‘Your presence is a testament to the strong bonds we’ve built over the years’
Written by: Ruth L. Navarra
Pioneers have always had the daunting task of gathering enough courage to take on unforeseen challenges that lie ahead. It’s not easy to take that first step, finding a balance between audacity and caution. Yet that is exactly what the 78 Filinvest Malls tenants have done.
In recognition for all the bravery and outstanding efforts, Filinvest Malls held a Lifemalls Tenant Appreciation Night on Sept. 28 at The Filinvest Tent, Alabang. The awardees came from Festival Mall in Alabang, Main Square in Bacoor, Cavite, Fora Mall in Tagaytay and IL Corso in Cebu, all under the Filinvest Malls group.
“It’s a pleasure to address our esteemed partners and celebrate this special occasion with all of you,” said Filinvest Development Corp. vice chairperson Josephine Gotianun Yap. “On behalf of Filinvest Malls, I want to express our deepest gratitude for your unwavering support and dedication. You are an integral part of the Filinvest Malls family, and your presence here tonight is a testament to the strong bonds we’ve built over the years.”
Some of the pioneers have been with Filinvest Malls for the past 25 years. They started their business in 1998, the same year as Asia’s financial crisis. Thus, Filinvest Malls’ story of growth, perseverance and success is shared by its pioneers.
“With your support and our joint efforts, we have not only realized this vision but have transformed Festival Mall into what it is today: a shopping and leisure mecca that serves an incredible number of visitors every day and is a vibrant community axis,” said Gotianun Yap.
The inaugural event paid tribute to the remarkable contributions of the mall tenants, highlighting the strength of their partnerships and its positive impact on the community.
One of the tenant awardees was Tom’s World. The amusement and recreational center established their very first branch at Filinvest Malls.
“The challenge when we entered the business in 1998 was really the financial crisis, but after the first year, we were able to grow with Filinvest,” said Oliver Ryan Co, vice president of Tom’s World. Co recalls that they chose Filinvest because of its strategic location. Today, they have 140 branches all over the Philippines.
Tom’s World assistant vice president Racquel de Lara said that the biggest branch of Tom’s World is still in Filinvest. Their space inside Festival Mall’s X-Site is 1,200 sqm, and Pixie Forest is almost 800 sqm, and they also have a ground floor area that is almost 400 sqm.
Co said that this is a partnership that they have shared for the past 25 years.
Their business was hit hard again during the pandemic lockdowns. They weren’t able to operate for two years.
“Filinvest gave us rental concessions during the pandemic. We occupy a lot of space, but we couldn’t operate for two years. It’s a big loss on their part also, but they gave us an opportunity to bounce back,” said De Lara.
This is the kind of support that their company is grateful for. Co said that Filinvest gave them the confidence to continue growing their business. The support that they received allowed them to continue moving forward.
“At the Lifemalls Tenant Appreciation Night, we celebrate the heart of Filinvest Malls—our valued tenants. Together, we drive operational excellence and innovation, turning everyday moments into extraordinary experiences. We are grateful to our tenants for their partnership, dedication, and commitment to making our malls the best they can be,” said Filinvest Land, Inc. president and CEO Tristan Las Marias.
Some of the pioneer tenants of Filinvest Malls are household names. In Festival Mall, they are CLN, Majeid’s Carpet, McDonald’s, Sbarro, Western Appliances, Kenny Rogers, Alberto, Memo Express, Washington Jewelry, Renditions, Shopwise, Converse, The Body Shop, Q-Cards, Bench, Healthy Options, Mr. Quickie, Toy Town, Freshaire, Bio Research, Ideal Vision, Chin’s Empress and Inihaw Express, Pinctada, Tom’s World, Pabder, Olympic Village, UniSilver, Starbucks Coffee, Blue Magic, Cinema 2000, David’s Salon, Enfant, George Optical, Giordano, JP Sabater Optical, Jollibee, Mendrez, National Bookstore, Steak Break, TCA Digital Square, Toby’s Sports, Toolz Specialist and Unica Hija. Main Square has Robinsons Supermarket, Anytime Fitness and Watsons, while Fora Mall recognizes Super Metro Hypermarket, ForMe, Memo, Regatta, OXGN, 7-Eleven. IL Corso is grateful to Parilya, Chikaan sa Cebu, The Dessert Factory Restaurant & Bakery, Fishes Seafood & Wine.
Notable tenants were also recognized for having multiple locations across Filinvest Malls, including EastWest Bank, Ace Hardware, Penshoppe, Potato Corner, Broadway Gems, Giligan’s, Greenwich, Henlin, Levi’s and LBC.
Mitch Dumlao, first vice president and business retail head of Filinvest Malls, said that the future is bright for Filinvest Malls and all their tenants. “The pandemic is over. It is time to update our road maps and our five-year plans. The time is now,” he said.
Dumlao shared how Filinvest Mall Dumaguete will open by the end of the year. He also said that there will be a Filinvest Mall in Cubao and Mimosa in Clark, Pampanga, the combined land area of which is over 50,000 sqm.
With the kind of support that Filinvest Malls have given to their pioneer tenants, future tenants can expect the same support.