Date posted on May 23, 2007

Finally! An Ayala mall in QC!

Though this makes me sound embarrassingly shallow, I have to admit I’ve been waiting for this moment to arrive. This photo shows my first visit to TriNoma, taken on the fourth floor of the mall, at the garden outside the Cinemas. I’m writing this entry as Joni and I sit through the trailers before the 10.30PM screening of ‘Pirates of the Carribean: At World’s End.’ Needless to mention, the first movie I’m watching here. If you haven’t figured out by now, I take my firsts very seriously. I’m sentimental that way 🙂

I must say, the place is worth the wait. Take note, though. It’s not fully operational yet. Most of the shops are still under construction and the whole place smells of cement. The cinema’s quite big, almost twice the size of Greenbelt 3’s Cinema 1, I think. I actually like my cinemas smaller and more intimate, but at least I won’t have to wait two hours for the next screening or settle for bad seats whenever I go there to catch a big movie. That’s usually the problem I have with screenings that are booked out so quickly.

The mall has the great location! Right at the center of the triangle formed by Edsa, North, and Mindanao Avenues in Quezon City (thus the name, TriNoma, which stands for “Triangle North of Manila”). It was a good idea to shape it as such and make its impressive facade point toward the North Ave.-Mindanao Ave. intersection and its back on Edsa, where most cars will be coming from. It cleverly sidesteps the traffic and is an easy 10-minute drive from my Tierra Pura house. Five minutes if coming from Mother Ignacia where I work. For commuters, you will be happy to know that it has conveniently appendaged itself to the MRT North Avenue Station, the way the Ayala Station ushers commuters right smack into SM Makati. I just hope traffic remains free flowing. For the Ayalas to find a lot big enough for a project as big as this and situate it beside an older, more established competition, is quite a feat.

The architecture’s also praiseworthy. It had the distinguished look of Ayala’s newer malls. I read complaints in one blog about it being full of beams and pillars, but I didn’t think it was anything to raise an alarm about. Plus the fact that it looks and feels more like a park than a mall compensates for that. Lots of trees, plants and fountains were incorporated in the landscape. In that sense, it’s a lot like GB3. Even better, if you can believe that. A lot of nooks and pocket parks that will encourage you to just sit down and lounge amidst the greenery. The place is still confusing because it’s new and unfamiliar, but I’m giving myself a couple of visits more and I’ll have it nailed in my head.

The mall part, on the other hand, is more reminiscent of Glorietta. Both because of the atrium that serves as the activity center, and the nature of the the shops waiting to be opened, most obviously catering to the same market as Glorietta.Oh, and as if interiors, geography and accessibility is not enough, they’re even going to have a Krispy Kreme and a Cold Rock there!

My excitement over this mall’s opening probably stems from the fact that I grew up in the South (of Metro Manila, that is). Since I spent most of my pre-university years in Alabang, the mall of choice for us was Alabang Town Center (ATC, a brilliant redefition of the acronym that used to stand for Alabang Twin Cinemas). I’ve always thought that it was the best mall in the country. I still remember how my classmates and I would hang out, watch a movie, or kill time at Glico’s after Saturday meetings for class projects or extra-curricular activities.

Since I made QC my home a year and a half ago, I rarely got to hang out at the ATC anymore. Actually, I started spending less time in the South after I started studying in UP Diliman. I only find myself back there when I visit our house in Muntinlupa and have some time to spare. So now, if I wanted to go hang out or shop in a place with a similar ambiance as Town’s, I would have to go all the way to Makati. I never really wondered why it took this long for the Ayalas to build a mall in QC, considering the Sys have the SM City there. Well, I’m just glad TriNoma’s open na. I swear, if you put blinders on and just block from view the heavy traffic along EDSA, and the SM across the street, you’d actually feel like you’re in Alabang. Ah, home sweet home…

Or maybe OA lang talaga ko. I’m sentimental that way 🙂

This picture on the right:
Still taken at the garden outside the Cinemas. Sarap tambayan. I swear, kundi lang konti pa ang tao at bagong bukas pa lang yung place, di ako magpapapicture ng ganito sa mall, hahaha… Feeling ko tuloy nagde-day-off ako.