Washington Supermart at Iloilo city proper: the predecessor of all Iloilo Supermarts (Image: Iloilo Supermart)
Unlike the old days, Iloilo City has now become a destination for shoppers. Thus, big-time foreign investors and mall owners have established malls and shopping districts in the city. However, this did not curtail the thriving of Ilonggo mall businesses. Proof of this are the following homegrown malls in Iloilo.
One prominent mall in Iloilo City that concentrates on food and grocery items is Iloilo Supermart. The business has been in existence for 70 years now since it was built in 1948 by Que Hua Pho, who is popularly known as “Papa George.” He is also the man behind Washington Supermart at the corner of J.M. Basa and Guanco Streets in the city proper. With the success of Washington Supermarket, he then established the first branch of Iloilo Supermart at Valeria Street.
This preceded the establishment of Iloilo Supermart branches in Molo, Mandurriao, Jaro, Atrium, and Villa. These stores owned by the Que’s is under the business name Iloilo Supermart, Inc. The family also manages Tinapayan Bakeshop Iloilo
, Paper Chase
, Medicine Corner
, The Atrium
at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol, and Iloilo Right Choice Enterprise, Inc
The mall is well-loved by Ilonggos because of its accessibility and affordability. The jingle played at the mall and in strategic places which goes, “Iloilo Supermart, may bargain araw-araw... Aton guid ini!” (“Iloilo Supermart where there is a bargain every day... This is truly ours!”) captured the hearts of the buying public. Thus, the business kept on growing.
Iloilo Supermart is often the destination for all economic classes, from the elite to the middle class and lower class. It is one comfortable shopping destination for Ilonggos and tourists.
Iloilo Society Commercial, Inc.
Iloilo Society Commercial, Inc. (ISC)
in Iloilo City is a haven to shoppers who are on a tight budget. It is the place where one can purchase items wholesale, which is why small and big time business establishments buy from ISC. ISC carries meat, grocery items, school supplies
, milk, medicine, toys, and other similar items.
Small and medium enterprise owners are most familiar with ISC. Those who intend to start their businesses often come here since they can ensure profit with the competitively priced products they offer.
The founders of the business are the families of Roberto Chua and Che Wai of Iloilo City. Today, their heirs continue the legacy that their forefathers have started. Now, there are three ISC branches: ISC Tagbak, ISC Aldeguer, and ISC Rizal, Ortiz.
The business is also very supportive of annual and institutional events of the Iloilo City government.
Plazuela de Iloilo
Plazuela de Iloilo offers a whole new lifestyle destination to Ilonggos because of its unique design and artistry. It is also a place for kids and those who were kids once. With its wide-open spaces, it is a place for fun and frolic and is oftentimes the destination of celebrities for their concerts.
Plazuela de Iloilo also has Original Biscocho Haus. One may try their a la carte meals provided such as the pancit molo (pork dumpling soup), s’mores, and the like. Here, tourists may also shop Ilonggo delicacies to give to their friends and loved ones.
At Plazuela de Iloilo, another crowd-drawer is the La Tolda or The Tent. It is an air-conditioned tent that can be used for all occasions by families and friends. Corporate events are also held in the venue.
Today, Plazuela Dos, which is just adjacent to Plaza Mayor of Plazuela de Iloilo, is about to be completed.
Amigo Plaza Mall
The wide hallways of the mall allow Ilonggos to hold activities such as bloodletting, culminating programs, school events, and awarding ceremonies of government and non-government agencies.
These are just some of the homegrown malls in Iloilo City. Given the boost in the city’s economy for the past three years, it won’t be a wonder if more of these establishments will rise soon.
Click the store names to see their exact addresses and contact numbers.