SM Lanang Premier merrily launched the 60th anniversary celebration of SM with its series of visual attractions and interactive activities for its loyal clients starting last fine Friday, the 25th of May, 2018. Opening the show, hosted by no less than Davao’s fave Chinita emcee Joey Sy-Domingo, was the Champion of the 2015 World Championship of the Performing Arts trio of Zhalia singing the iconic SM jingle, “Here at SM, We Got It All For You.”

Welcoming the excited guests was SM Lanang Premier’s Mall Manager, Engineer Jonathan Nick Santos, who came in a sleek black suit matched with a nice pair of cowboy’s pure leather boots. Gracing the special event were Honeylet Avancena & family, Inday Garcia-del Rosario & family, Vice Mayor Bernie and Cherry Al-ag & family, Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre, City Tourism Officer Generose Tecson, former Japanese Consul Tomoko Dodo, Park Inn by Radisson GM Em Mauhay-Rosales, Mutya ng Davao 2018 Shelah Faye Juntilla & her court, just to mention some. From Manila came the SM Ambassadors namely the Perkins Twins and Japanese-Brazilian hunk, Hideo Muraoka.

From Engr. Nick Santos’ message, he narrated how the history of SM started from a dream of a 12-year-old Henry Sy, Sr. who sought a better life for his family, for himself, and for his community. The determined young entrepreneur started in sari-sari stores and in buy-and-sell in partnership with a few shoe stores. In 1958, Sy opened the first Shoemart store in downtown Manila which was just a few meters away from the Quiapo Church. His goal was to sell a pair of shoes to every Filipino to make himself successful in the trade.

By the 1970’s, Shoemart saw its shoe store chain expanding in the commercial centers of Makati and Cubao. In no time, Shoemart evolved into a popular department store and thus became SM which is known for its “one-stop shopping experience.” In the 1980’s, SM’s growth and development included its supermarket and appliance businesses.

In 1985, despite the country’s political and economic crisis, SM Founder Henry Sy, Sr. bravely launched the first humongous SM shopping center called the SM City North EDSA. This paved the way for the “malling” phenomenon in the country. Malls became a an integral part of the Filipino lifestyle creating a new breed of Pinoy “mall rats.” The SM malls became places where families and friends would shop together, eat together, watch movies together, have fun and cool themselves together in a well-designed and well-maintained venue.

To date, SM has close to a thousand retail stores, and 70 malls found scattered in the urban centers of the Philippines. Yes, SM has also built seven malls in Mother China. Henry Sy, Sr. has successfully built his business empire to include SM Prime Holdings, SM Hotels and Conventions, and of course, SM’s main bank, the BDO. SM reaches out to communities through its SM Foundation focusing on its educational, health and livelihood training programs aimed at making farmers sulf-sufficient.

As the Vice Chair of SM Investments, Tessie Sy-Coson, reiterated, SM is celebrating not history but the future. Talking to her once in my cousin’s party, she mentioned about the various challenges her family has encountered with SM; and survived rather well. On my part, I wanted to tell her how grateful I am when SM bought the family’s property on which SM Lanang Premier now stands. You can imagine the progressive development that has resulted in the area when SM Lanang Premier was established. But I just didn’t muster enough courage to do so with the madame.

During the #AweSM night celebration last Friday, 60 of Davao’s young and stylish Davaoenos headed by Mutya ng Davao 2018 Shelah Faye Juntilla and presidential daughter Kitty A. Duterte with the special participation of SM Ambassadors the Perkins Twins and Hideo Muraoka strutted on the fashion runway wearing the latest summer outfits from SM Men’s Fashion, SM Ladies’ Fashion, SM Children’s Fashion, Promod, Penshoppe, Oxygen, Regatta, Memo, Forme, Terranova, Cotton On, American Eagle, Forever 21 and Guess. Dan Salvana directed the smooth flowing fashion show.

The young millennials, as expected, had the time of their lives taking selfies with the SM Ambassadors after the fashion parade. Host Joey Sy-Domingo was tireless in conducting SM’s 60 Bursts of Surprises where some lucky guests went home with free concert tickets and goodies from SM and the participating stores. Carmina Mapa-del Rosario’s Crazy Cook catering provided mini culinary treats to the delight of the hungry guests.

Thank you, Jesse Boga, for the pictures.

SM Toast (l-r): Nick Santos, VM Bernie Al-ag, Kitty A. Duterte, Generose Tecson, Al Ryan Alejandre

(L-R): Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre, Tourism Chief Generose Tecson, Inday G. del Rosario, Tomoko Dodo, Michael E. Dakudao, Nick Santos

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