Enough of the hat thing! :) That summer was one of my most memorable ones! The time I spent with my Mom (about 60 days) allowed me to discover something I didn't know about her. Twas her sense of pride in her work that got me thinking that my Mom is an important person, not just to our immediate family, but to all those people at the construction site. Engineers, architects, foremen, construction workers, security personnel, canteen staff, and errand boys followed my Mom's instructions to the letter. She was one of those responsible for the safety aspects of the project and health of the workers. No one questioned her wisdom nor her authority. I could sense the respect that people around us had for my mom. It made me proud of my Mom. And prouder still because I learned from her the importance and value of "pakikisama". The way I see it, people respected my Mom not because of her position nor the degrees that she had under her belt. It was the way she went about job and how she dealt with people. She listened to the needs and wants of everyone, their ideas and their thoughts. She tried to accommodate each and everyone's views, yet at the same time, she knew how to politely say no without offending anyone. That's her magic! Everyone felt important! Everybody knew that my Mom was speaking from both the heart and mind - that she really did care for all those at the site. It didn't matter what your job description said - YOU and EVERYONE ELSE ARE PART of the SM FAMILY! YOU ARE ALL IMPORTANT! She made them realize that! And I kid you not! You can check the stats and all...SM CIty West has the lowest work-related injuries (construction phase) among all the SM malls built!
That summer made all the difference in my life. I guess, I am trying to relive (somehow) that experience every time me and my kids go out. Malls and stores of all shapes and sizes dot the Philippine supermarket industry. Yes, there are countless of them in the metro, besides SM. And yeah, I've been in and out of them all my life. But let me tell you this, nothing, as in nothing, compares to the SM shopping experience!
Three SM malls are conveniently located within 4 kilometers from my place in Sucat- and in three directions of travel! There's one in Las Pinas, another in Bicutan, and of course, my family's favorite - Sucat! The SM Hypermarket in Sucat, Paranaque City, was the first to tout itself as a Hypermarket. I can't forget our first visit to the Hypermarket! Twas the start of my kids' summer vacation. As we entered the Hypermarket, I couldn't help but noticed the store's layout. Everything we needed is in one area of the mall! I've never seen anything like it! Yeah, MegaMall used to be the biggest at that time, but remember, everything is spread out at that place. The SM Hypermarket in Sucat is a totally different concept! It's like one gigantic white space filled with life's everyday needs! It didn't just have groceries, it had a department store too, smacked in the middle of it! It even featured an appliance section! And who could forget the hardware nook? Or the wet market section? Prices are reasonable! Very reasonable! I know this for a fact. With regards to parking, it used to be free and all, but now they charge Php20 per entry. I have no qualms about it. It's still one of the lowest in the metro. No kidding!
As me and my kids made our way through the countless aisles and corners, we were greeted by this colorful display of must-haves for kids. We came upon the toys section! Yup! It's like a a mini-Toy Kingdom. Impressive! I could see heads turning left and right, up and down. All of them silent, just looking intently at the toys. You know how kids are with toys! And being a kid at heart, I, too, looked up and down, left and right! ^_^ And as an unforgettable treat for all my closenesses, each was allowed to pick a toy to bring home. Any toy! Twas like a "sky's the limit" thing for all the good grades they got in the past school year. Boy! You should have seen their faces - all filled with glee and smiles! Totally unforgettable! But what's more memorable was what my children did after choosing their respective toys. Each and everyone of them kissed and hugged me - IN PUBLIC! Natataranta pa! Yes, my kids kiss me all the time. There's the "good morning kiss," the "goodnight kiss," the "I am home, kids kiss," the "Bye Dad kiss," and the "I love you, Dad kiss." However, this was the first time that they kissed me in public! And it happened inside a SM Hypermarket! Honestly, I think it was I who got one unforgettable experience!
And do you want to know another reason why I can't forget about it? All those kisses and hugs inside the SM Hypermarket reminded me of that summer vacation, the one I accompanied my Mom for 60 days. Why so? Twas the time that I really felt close to my Mom, bonded with her and all. And twas the time that I first kissed my Mom in public. My Mom really cared for all those people. She had everyone's love and respect. I was so proud of her. Still do.
With all my heart, I love you. We all love you.
Thanks for everything.
I have to end this now, friends. I'm having this fuzzy feeling. I think I have something stuck in my throat. You may want to be updated and interact with SM Hypermarket through their blog. Yes, they have a blog! And it's an interesting read. And I kid you not!
*Friends, this piece won the Grand Prize of the first ever SM Hypermarket Bloggers Writing Contest! :)