HAVEN – (noun) a sanctuary, a refuge.  A place where one experiences bliss, delight, joy, happiness, nirvana.

Before the imposing structure of Robinsons Place GenSan dominated the scenery along the Lagao National Highway, Bariles and his happy group of online writers, now famously known as the SOCCSKSARGEN BLOGGERS used to share a common problem – where to blog?

Some are lucky, including Bariles if they have wi-fi connections at home making it more convenient for them to blog there until the wee hours of the morning, when they are most productive mentally.

Most however, have to use their hard-earned money to visit internet cafes or if they have laptops, purchase uber expensive coffee from the two or three cafes in the city back then to avail of their wifi services.

Blogging and surfing the net for them, along with other internet users was an expensive exercise.  Everyone must have been praying for an establishment to offer them FREE WIFI connection.

The gods must have been listening  because in September 2009, the gods created Robinsons Place GenSan which was promising a whole new malling experience for the Generals! Consider these – spacious promenades, clean restrooms, new and updated merchandise, secure parking, gracious guards, super cool ambience, well-stocked supermarket, dining establishments which open late into the night and high-end cinemas including one equipped with 3D!  It was a revolutionary way to shop, to say the least!

And a few months after it opened, the mall began offering FREE WI-FI Connection to its clients.

First it was through their Al Fresco strip of restaurants and cafes starting with the trendsetting Piyesta KTV and Resto Bar followed by Coffee Club 101 and Grab A Crab Restaurant, Sunset Bistro, BluGre Coffee, Big Ben’s Steaks and finally, Bigby’s Restaurant.

For the Soccsksargen bloggers with laptops and with the extra cash to order a few drinks and some eats, this was more than what they have hoped for!  And depending on the day of the week, these establishments are open up to midnight, a dream-come-true for some of the bloggers who are nocturnal creatures!

Then in a TRIAL MODE, the Robinsons Management started to provide FREE internet connection all throughout the mall in early 2010,  a move which strengthened its appeal among the Soccsksargen Bloggers and other internet users!

This was most helpful during the summer months of March, April and May 2010 when the whole island of Mindanao suffered the worst energy crisis in its checkered history!  Rob (as people fondly call the mall) luckily had standby generators and served as the populace’s oasis and refuge during the 12-hour blackouts in their homes.

By then, the mall’s reputation as a BLOGGER’s HAVEN started growing because basically, it was THE perfect place not only to shop, dine  and hang out in all its air-conditioned, brownout-free and sparklingly clean and spacious comfort but the ONLY MALL in Region 12 which dangled FREE WIFI CONNECTION to its cients!

Thus, when the time came for Robinsons Place GenSan to officially launch their MALL-WIDE FREE WIFI SERVICE (reaching up to the parking lot, mind you) through a Wifi party with the Soccsksargen Bloggers two weeks ago, it was just a formality.

For by then, the Soccsksargen Bloggers were already strongly convinced that by providing free wi-fi, the mall truly was true to its word in providing the people of GenSan the best malling experience ever.  And for their group of almost two hundred members, Robinsons Place GenSan is truly the OFFICIAL BLOGGER’S HAVEN of South Central Mindanao!

But do not just take Bariles’ word for it.  Here is the list of  what the other bloggers have to say.  Click on each one to read them and find out why they agree that at Robinsons, talagang “MAS MAGANDA DITO”.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DAVAO BLOGGER AND BARILES' MENTOR, LYLE SANTOS.

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