SM Baguio may be the biggest mall you’ll ever find in the city but if you want to get away from so much crowd and discover more of what Baguio can offer, there are small malls that can be its rivals. Open your Google map and visit these shopping malls on the premises of Session Road.
Porta Vaga was owned by the Catholic Vicariate of Baguio. It opened its doors in 2002 to keep the business in the Session Road when SM Baguio began to draw away customers from the commercial center.
The street-level row of stores of the church’s owned properties houses homegrown enterprises like Steaks and Toppings, Don Henrico’s, and Solibao. It also has several famous outlets Red Ribbon, Jollibee, Mang Inasal, Andok’s, and Chow King; cafes like Starbucks, Read & Brew, and Recess. The variety of food chains and shops of Porta Vaga makes it loved by pedestrians. Its faux Amsterdam facade is also one of the most Instagrammed in Baguio City.
The Porta Vaga Mall connects to the Puso ng Baguio, Antipolo Building, and Patria de Baguio which are also owned by the vicariate. This explains why these commercial structures stand at the foot of the elevated Baguio Cathedral.
The Baguio Center Mall was constructed in the late ’80s. It is built the defunct by the same family that constructed Syvel’s chain of stores. Situated in front of the Baguio City public market, it used to offer Baguio’s very first multiplex cinemas.
The Baguio Center Mall serves as one of the first big commercial areas in the city which operates under a build-operate-transfer scheme. But its management falls now unde the city government of Baguio.
The arcade center on its top floor also serves a great alternative of the SM entertainment center. It is the only mall in Baguio City that has a bowling alley.
Abanao Square is the old Mount Peak Hotel. Karats Property transformed it into a mini-mall through the initiative of Pacific Land and Building Corporation. There were initial concepts that the site will be an apartelle or a dormitory, but its location is too noisy for relaxation. The thought of having a bookstore in a university city is perfect and so the mall opened with one.
Finding Japanese products in the DIY home center is a delightful experience!
Cedar Peak is actually a residential condominium, but it has a mini-shopping center on its lower grounds that is worth visiting.