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Festival Mall @ 25: Breathing life, energy, and a warm vibe in the South

By LAI S. REYES, The Philippine STAR Published May 16, 2023 2:41 pm

Today’s malls are more than just extensions of our homes. They are nerve centers that allow space not only for family bonding but also community interactions, artistic pursuits, protecting, and nurturing nature.

Breathing life, energy, and a warm vibe into the community of residential villages, condominiums, offices, and schools for 25 years now, Festival Mall is at the front and center of Alabang lifestyle—connected to the community, growing and dreaming with it.

“Festival Mall has achieved many milestones over the past 25 years, but what makes me most proud is the way it has become a cherished part of the community in the south of Metro Manila,” said Josephine Gotianun Yap, president and CEO, Filinvest Development Corporation. “In 1998, we dared to be ahead of our time by opening a regional mall that was not just about shopping, but about creating a place where families and the community could build dreams and memories together. Working with a leading architectural firm, Festival Mall was designed to have not just one, but two large theme parks inside the mall.”

“Festival Mall has achieved many milestones over the past 25 years, but what makes me very proud is the way it has become a cherished part of the community in the South of Metro Manila,” says Josephine Gotianun Yap, President and CEO, Filinvest Development Corporation.

“True to its name, we brought the fun and exciting elements of a carnival inside the mall. Today, it has become a hub where customers can conveniently shop and dine; where businesses can prosper, and people can bond with their loved ones. Knowing that we have played a role in creating this space for them is something we are incredibly proud of,” added Gotianun Yap.  

The flagship Lifemalls of Filinvest, Festival Mall also creates an inclusive environment that provides opportunities and social inclusion.  

Let the good times roll!

Festival Mall is located in Alabang, Muntinlupa, which is a fast-developing business district in the southern part of Metro Manila. This location provides easy access to major highways and public transportation, making it convenient for visitors to reach the mall.

Aside from its strategic location, Festival Mall has a vast retail space, making it one of the largest malls in the country. The mall has two wings: the West and East Wings.

The East Wing (grand expansion), completes the whole retail block by providing brands that uplifts the community’s shopping and dining experience. This includes Pandora, Cole Haan and Bistro Groups’ Las Flores, TGIFridays, Itallianni’s and Watami.

The West Wing provides the necessities for shoppers, housing local and international brands, specialty stores, and boutique shops, some of which have remained loyal to Festival Mall through the years. These include Shopwise, Ace Hardware, National Book Store, Unica Hija, The Body Shop, Toby’s Sports, Healthway, Healthy Options, Executive Optical, and Tom’s World.

It boasts a wide range of brands from local apparel—Bench and Penshoppe—to global clothing and accessories leaders—H&M, Cole Haan, and Pandora, among others. For the active set, there’s European sports retail giant Decathlon.  

The East Wing, on the other hand, completes the mall’s offerings by housing retail brands that elevate one’s shopping and dining experience.
Families and barkada love to bond over good food and good conversation at The Bistro Group’s Las Flores, TGI Friday’s, Italianni’s, and Watami; Nono’s, Starbucks, and CBTL.

The mall’s main building, now called the West Wing, opened its doors to the public in May 15, 1998. Home to the most popular local and global brands and specialty stores, offering a variety of food concepts, and a venue for live performances and entertainment. Located in this wing, are two indoor amusement centers—Pixie Forest and X-Site.

The new wing is designed for easy navigation, with spacious walkways, open areas, and clear signages.

Festival Mall also provides various entertainment options. Experience the thrill and excitement at the mall’s indoor amusement centers such as X-Site’s Xtreme Coaster and Pixie Forest’s Elfin Waves. It also boasts eight movie theaters for the entire family to enjoy.  

Spaces for one’s well-being

At Festival Mall, spaces are designed to provide shoppers a sense of well-being as they walk through its well-designed hallways, open areas, and parks.

The mall is built around a creek that runs through the scenic River Park and Boardwalk. The centerpiece of the East Wing is the Water Garden, where live concerts are usually held.

For the love of the environment

Festival Mall has implemented sustainable practices—using energy-efficient lighting, specialized segregation bins, water-efficient solutions, recycling, and waste reduction—in its daily operations through Lifemalls’ EcoMovement, a sustainability program that aims to protect and preserve the environment, strengthen, and engage communities where “we live, work, and play.”

This program has been adopted not only by Festival Mall, but also its customers, partner tenants, and employees.

State-of-the-art solar panels were also installed on the rooftops of Festival Mall to save on energy.

Filinvest Land Inc. signed a 20-year solar power purchase agreement with ENGIE Renewable Enterprise Inc. for the supply of clean and green energy that will generate seven percent of the mall’s requirements, reducing its carbon footprint, and saving 30 percent of costs.

A biker’s haven

With bicycles becoming more widely used, Festival Mall is creating biker-friendly facilities to provide bike commuters and enthusiasts a safe, convenient, and enjoyable experience.  

Bike parking slots are scattered around the mall: at the Civic drop-off near TGI Friday’s, the Riverpark, Water Garden, and the steel parking across Shopwise.  One can also find the latest bicycle models and accessories at Olympic Village, Toby’s Sports, Decathlon, and TwelveBikes, a bike and coffee shop at the Riverpark.  

Anniversary deals and surprises

To kick off its silver anniversary celebration, Festival Mall recently held a Grand Birthday Sale (from April 28 to May 1) with up to 70 percent discount; and a birthday concert dubbed “Soundtrack of our Generation” featuring Side A’s Joey G last May 1 at the Water Garden.

Lifemalls Executives, led by Michael Angelo Dumlao, First Vice-President & Retail Business Head with the kids of Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines headed by Agnes Lapeña and Adette De La Paz for Lifemalls’ Down The Extra Mile CSR program

In line with its mission to be a safe and inclusive mall for everyone, Festival Mall launched “Down the Extra Mile,” a two-day immersion program with the kids of Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc. (DSAPI), together with the mall executives and employees of Lifemalls.  
Participants got first-hand experience of being part of the mall operations—security, housekeeping, and ride management and safety. To commence the program, a photo exhibit by the kids of DSAPI will be held from May 26 to June 12.  

Festival Mall has been one of the go-to shopping destinations in the south of Metro Manila for over two decades. It has undergone several renovations and expansions which have brought in new shops, dining options, and entertainment facilities.

“We would not be where we are today without the unwavering support of our customers, merchants, suppliers, and employees, who have journeyed with us through the years. It is humbling to think that when we first opened the mall, we only had 30 stores and no anchor supermarket. But thousands of visitors came on our first day attracted by our amusement centers, cinemas, and food court. And now, the mall has 800 tenants and eight leading anchor stores,” enthused Gotianun Yap.  

“We value our collaboration with major retailers which has brought together SaveMore, Ace Hardware, Robinsons Department Store, Handyman, Shopwise, H&M, Decathlon, and Landmark—all under one roof.”

And as Festival Mall builds a stronger foundation for the future, Gotianun Yap sees it continuing to serve “as a place where time stops for making memories with family and friends.”

Indeed, people don’t just go to Festival Mall to eat, play, and shop, but also to nourish their spirits, and nurture nature as well—for 25 years now!

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Editor’s Note: BrandedUp is designed to provide you with insightful, inspiring and educational content created by PhilSTAR L!fe in collaboration with brands like Festival Mall.