As Mindanao’s key cities come alive with its festivals of bounty, SM malls in the island fired on all cylinders by holding events that align vibrant lifestyles with colorful local culture, gathering locals and tourists alike for a 2015 to remember.

SM malls painted Mindanao with vivid colors with sights and sounds to behold in Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and General Santos City in the festive months of August and September .

Food and the arts

As the Kadayawan celebrations in Davao came to a full swing last August, SM City Davao lit up the fashion runway with fresh takes on uniquely Mindanawon style with the 10th installation of the most anticipated fashion competition in the region: Moda Mindanow.

SM City Davao’s Moda Mindanao celebrates its 10 years

Young designers and their ingenious interpretations of Mindanao’s colors and patterns were in focus, with the Fashion Institute of Design and Arts (FIDA) in Davao as its production partner. Like pages of a fashion magazine coming to life, 30 young designers from the region showcased globally competitive designs that embody true Mindanawon fashion.

Koronadal designers Sherwin Tiongson (pret-a-porter), Duhata (Innovative Design), and Archie Castillo (Couture) won the competition.

The same event highlighted the B’laan-inspired collection by Jared Servaño, Project Runway Philippines finalist and 2014 Moda Mindanaw grand prize winner for the long gown category.

Meanwhile, SM Lanang Premier, staged the 9th edition of its long – running foodie event, The Davao Gourmet Collective, this time aptly themed as a Food and Music fair that gathered Davao City’s best restaurateurs and introduced unique food purveyors from Manila, along with vibrant sounds and beats to fill the air.

SM Lanang Premier’s Davao Gourmet Collective Food and Music Fair at the Fountain Court
SM Lanang Premier’s Davao Gourmet Collective Food and Music Fair at the Fountain Court

There were live performances by Techy Romantics, Up Dharma Down, Skymarines and BP Valenzuela which went side by side with the food stall exhibits by La Bodeguita, Don Durian, Classio Pizzza, Crazy Cook, Kushiya, Alibaba Shawarma, Backyard Burger, Café El Gato, JR Pastry, Carmela, Osvaldo’s, Cellar de Boca; and Manila’s Jam Foods and Stellina’s Lemonades.

Through events like this, SM Lanang and DGC hopes to headline food tourism in Davao, inviting food lovers from all over the country, and making Davao a food destination. Flavorful eats, after all, abound Davao.

The performing arts shared also had its own spotlight (literally) as Ballet Philippines 2 came to town to stage Master Pieces, a mixed bill showcasing a collection of some of the group’s most acclaimed works–from neo-classical works, to contemporary dances, and excerpts from full-length modern balletspieces.

sm lanang ballet phils
Ballet Philippines at SM Lanang Premier

Lights and crafts

SM City Cagayan de Oro joined the Higalaay Festival festivities by lighting up the sky with its Pyro Festival held at the end of August, gathering over 200,000 Kagayanons. This year, participating groups went all out in showcasing the beauty and synergy of fireworks and music.

Paintings in the sky at SM City Cagayan de Oro

Contingents came from as far as Manila, Cebu, Iligan, Dumaguete, GenSan, and Bulacan. The grand prize winner was the group from Cagayan de Oro who brilliantly painted the sky with luminous patterns and streaks of light, while filling the air with pleasant sound pieces that enlivened and excited the audience’s aural senses.

Meanwhile, 40 small-medium scale enterprises were on focus in the mall’s atrium in the Kahimunan Trade Fair, a project of the Department of Trade and Industry Region X with SM City Cagayan de Oro. The fair featured products from Northern Mindanao—from processed food, handcrafted items, fashion accessories, beverages, spices and condiments and organic products.

This annual activity aims to promote SMEs, assisting them to generate sales and to meet new buyers, while also giving opportunity to test the market with the prototype and burgeoning products.

All things tuna

Not to be left behind, SM City General Santos took part in the General Santos’ Tuna Festival during the first week of September by joining the float parade and being declared as the best. For the third year now, the city’s leading mall bagged the Best Tuna Float Award.

sm tuna float
SM City General Santos winning float at the Tuna Festival

“From the sweet sirens of 2013 and the joyful jellyfishes of 2014 come a novel and extravagant union of all sea treasures this year- celebrating the glorious creation of various fishes and sea creatures, rejoicing the gleeful creation of floras and faunas- with the city’s unique and rich tribal ancestry sparkled by the radiant culture of General Santos City. SM City General Santos is here to provide quality facilities and services, from food, fashion, and entertainment at all times; maximizing its resources and dedicating its time and effort to luster the unwavering passion and flame in the city. Thoroughly blending ancient to modern, SM City General Santos overcomes the tides of its existence and realizes one of the many possibilities,” The SM Store Marketing Manager, Ms. Jacynth Bernaldo describes the winning float.

More tuna came on the way in the mall’s Chill and Grill Tuna Festival, the only event that highlighted the tuna products during the festival week held at the mall’s The Fountain Court. Mouthwatering tuna products and other grilled foods were served to delighted Generals and local tourists while listening to the entertaining performance of top local bands. There so food places to choose from: Ranchero, A Taste of Singapore, Mama Titay’s Barbecue, Splash Corner, Jem’s Grill, Sibling’s Bistro and Chef Marjerioe’s Grill.

Days and feasts

Truly acknowledging the South’s important days and festivals, and making shopping an inclusive lifestyle to the Mindanao’s people, all the SM Stores in Mindanao also celebrated the Eid’l Adha at the end of September by giving out exclusive deals and discounts of up to 50%.

All these celebrations are still the beginning. With the holiday season fast approaching, the party is just about to get started with SM malls in Mindanao.