Zamboanga badly needs new shopping centers. The city is literally growing; population-wise, the city grew from 500,000+ residents in 2001 to close to a million this year. That’s double the number of people nine years ago! No wonder the city’s streets are chaotic most of the time (pretty soon the heat, dust and sweat will give us all acne and then we’re going to need acne treatments).
Take yesterday for instance. Me and a couple of friends went off to have lunch after a grueling morning spent answering a pharmacology exam. We went to nearby Southway “Mall” for barbecue at Mang Inasal’s (a local resto that offers unlimited rice refills). When we got there, I was genuinely surprised at the throng of people milling about the sardine can- shaped “mall”.
Sardine-can is the best adjective to describe it. It is a cylindrical, narrow structure of four floors and packed with people from top to bottom. It was nauseating just being there. The smell of sweat, perfume, and food all mingled to form a pungent and unpleasant aroma that stuck to your clothes and made you feel haggard and tired.
Instead of making me feel refreshed and rested, that lunch all the more made me feel cranky, irritated, and disheveled. This city definitely needs more shopping centers. SM, Gaisano, Robinson’s; where fort art thou?