Foreign and local tourists planning a trip to Naga City in Bicol share one thing in common: that unshakeable feeling of hunger — hunger for all those delicious and spicy Bicolano fare cooked in coconut oil, hunger for adventure, and to satisfy their spiritual hunger.
Aside from being Bicol Region’s center of commerce, the province is also considered as the Pilgrim City of Bicolandia. The local’s ardent and indescribable devotion to Our Lady of Penafrancia, the miraculous wooden statue of the Blessed Virgin, has inspired Marian devotees from all over the globe.
The miraculous chronicle of the Our Lady of Penafrancia in Naga City began when a Spanish government official decided to live in Cavite, in 1712. One day, his son got ill. And so he prayed for the intercession of the Lady and promised Her that if his son recovered, he would build a chapel in Her honor — by the riverbank of the Pasig River in Manila. His son got healed. Soon, the doting father was ordained as a priest in the Ciudad of Nueva Caceres, which is now the City of Naga, and brought the miraculous image with him.
Due to her countless miracles, millions of devotees, pilgrims, local and foreign tourists alike, flock to the city every third Sunday of September to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady Penafrancia.
IT’S A MALL WORLD AFTER ALL
In time for the annual feast, a new mall rises in the heart of the Pilgrim City of Bicolandia — Robinsons Mall Naga.
Opening on Aug. 15, Robinsons Place Naga is only 11 kilometers away from Our Lady of Penafrancia Basilica Minore. Shoppers can go to and from the mall in jeepneys, multi cabs and vans; on buses and other means of transportation.
The mixed-use development, comprising of a three-level commercial building annexed to a two-level office structure, could accommodate pilgrims right after the procession. Here, they can recharge with the different dining options available. Robinsons Place Naga could also be an extension of the locals’ home and the mall-going public. There’s a wide variety of retail stores, restaurants and entertainment facilities all at your fingertips.
Robinsons Place Naga pays homage to homegrown restaurant owners that have made the newest mall in the city their new home.
Savor the taste of Bicol at Tugawe Cove Cafe, which serves grilled chicken, laing and crab paella with soup and dessert. The restaurant also has a bar for late-night drinks.
Dine al fresco at Earthquake where monster shakes await. Try the Bikolano-Pinoy twist such as the VP Leni Quake Shake and The P. Duterte Quake Shake.
For a wide variety of meal options, check out the 300-seater food court on the third level; and the al fresco area, which features stalls and communal spaces.
With Robinsons’ anchor tenants such as the Robinsons Department Store, Robinsons Supermarket, Handyman, and Robinsons Appliance, mixed with more features, this newest mall is surely set to be Naga’s favorite hangout place and shopping destination.
Robinsons Place Naga is easily accessible from major establishments such Ateneo De Naga; Naga City Science High School; University of Nueva Caceres; STI College Naga; Bicol Medical Center; Mother Seton Hospital; Plaza Medica; Our Lady of Peñafrancia Basilica Minore Parish; different banks including BDO, Development Bank of the Philippines, and Allied Banking Corporation, as well as Naga City Transportation Terminals; Robinsons Naga will be providing jeepney and tricycle terminals.
KEEPING THINGS LOCAL
Robinsons Land Corporation’s newest mall is all about keeping things local. Its unique interior uses Bicolandia’s iconic gabi and pili nut to complement and promote the rich culture and heritage of the Bicolanos.
The mall’s ceiling features a large, leaf-shaped decor reminiscent of gabi (taro) leaves lit up with green, LED lights with white lighting that illuminate the grand entrance.
The leaf motif continues to the atrium, whose ceiling also has gargantuan leaf patterns with glowing lights that brighten the activity area. Complimenting these ceiling designs are green posts and vertical gardening interspersed throughout the Mall interiors.
A spacious 2,000 plus square meter activity area located at the Mall’s Atrium area is the ideal venue for shows and events.
And there’s the Tree of Life, an imposing structure at the al fresco area. Made of fiberglass with a smooth, glossy-white finish, the 15-meter sculpture by Jefre Manuel, features the iconic gabi (taro) leaf, a homage to the root crop that has catapulted Bicol to the country’s culinary map.
As mall-goers walk on the third floor of Robinsons Place Naga, beautifully painted murals by visual artist, Anina Rubio, will be the first thing their eyes will see. With a pinch of creativity and a slice of life added to the mix, the mall’s bare pillars, which were once empty of thought, now speak inspirational quotes making any person’s day brighter than ever.
Each mural breathes new life into the mall’s quiet spaces as it’s turned into huge canvases. One may find the artworks very inspiring and encouraging as it presents words of wisdom and pieces of advice which can give an extra burst of hope and courage to the viewer.
While these murals may not be vital to fulfill a person’s basic needs, it does make life more joyful. Looking at the Mall’s murals with quotes beautifully scrolled on it such as “Dream Big” and “Life is good” or a painting of a picturesque scene of nature will create a sense of happiness to the person viewing it. Being surrounded by these varieties of art forms can create an atmosphere personable to anyone which can affect a person’s mood in a positive way, making them feel happier, calmer, and more importantly, inspired to persevere.
Such familiar motifs create a sense of regional pride and a homey feel for families and friends gathering inside Robinsons Place Naga, while indulging on favorite mall activities whether — be it pasyalan with family and friends, dining, shopping, entertainment, and more.
At Robinsons Place Naga, you’ll definitely get hungry — for more!
Robinsons Place Naga is Robinsons Land’s first mall in the Bicol Region and the 28th branch in Luzon including NCR. With Robinsons Place Naga’s opening, the total GFA of Robinsons Malls in Luzon will grow to more than 1.4M square meters.