Mandaluyong

in memoriam: SM Megamall’s Ice Skating Rink

To be honest, I was not surprised to see it coming as the rumors have been circulating its impending demise for a long time. Then again, I was also hoping these rumors would remain as they are: just rumors that are to be taken with a grain of salt.

So when I visited SM Megamall earlier this week, I was surprised to see this:

DSC01890
© The Urban Roamer

To think that the place was still there 2 weeks ago when I last came here, that was quick.

According to the crew I’ve talked to, SM Megamall’s Ice Skating Rink was closed down last week to give way to a possible Events Center that will replace the current one at the Upper Ground level where those mini-concerts and other events are currently held. (though technically that venue is not an actual Events Center since that area is not really dedicated solely for those events)

Then I’ve heard the real reason why the Ice Skating Rink was torn down was because SM is now in the process of “centralizing” their ice skating rink operations at the Mall of Asia, where it has a larger, Olympic-sized skating rink.

Okay, while I’m not really that good of an ice skater, (heck I’ve tried ice skating once, incidentally at SM Megamall’s Ice Skating Rink, and I really sucked) I feel bad for the ice skaters who for so long have considered this place special in their hearts. So with ice skating to be confined only at the Mall of Asia, will the old patrons at Megamall follow, especially those who find Megamall more accessible than Mall of Asia?

But I feel bad more that SM Megamall has lost part of its soul that made it unique. Come to think about it, it is ironic that such a “cold” (literally) spot can be considered the heart of a place as cold (literally and figuratively) and “soul-less” (as some critics point out) as this one. Yet there were beautiful and heartwarming stories that sprang from this place. Stories of achievement, love, courage, and inspiration of those who found themselves loving ice skating and becoming good in what they do. In fact there was an episode once of a long-running drama anthology program here that illustrated once such story, and it also happened in SM Megamall’s Ice Skating Rink too. Even for those who don’t do ice skating that frequent the area, the memories of watching ice skaters struggling to learn as well as those who gracefully glide through the ice, as well as the ice hockey players strutting their game is something that would be ingrained in their memories as well.

It was also a place that for many defined SM Megamall, from the previous ones as well as the other SM malls that followed. (save perhaps for Mall of Asia) I suppose the rink being placed in one of the country’s largest malls in terms of floor area was a factor. But with the other malls were offering the “same old, same old” in terms of choices and attractions and that they were being brandished as unattractive pieces of architecture and be called concrete boxes, it was refreshing to see a unique attraction for a mall of this size and caliber.

Whatever SM’s rationale in making this decision, it is in their discretion entirely. And as all decisions when it comes to commercial establishments, we the mall-going public just hope it’s for the better. But having lost part of the mall’s soul with this decision, things will never be the same.  It would be hard to replace the memories and the stories that were created and told by this landmark.

an old picture of the Ice Skating Rink from the web (you can tell its old from the logo of the Bench store on the upper left)
an old picture of the Ice Skating Rink from the web (you can tell it’s old from the logo of the Bench store on the upper left)

SM Megamall Ice Skating Rink, another landmark now gone but will never be forgotten by this urban roamer.

© The Urban Roamer

8 Comments

  • Avatar

    Michelle

    I’ve lived in the US for some time, and am visiting family and friends in the Philippines. I’m sad to read that the skating rink at SM Megamall no longer exists. Thanks for an excellent post. You’ve managed to capture my nostalgic feeling about that skating rink. Even if I’m afraid to ice skate, it was fun to watch the ice skaters. I think this skating rink produced ice skaters who competed with the best in the world. I recall how I proudly explained to friends in the US that Filipinos were resourceful enough to have an ice skating rink in the midst of the tropical climate.

  • Avatar

    Ted Wilson

    You might be happy to know that the Megamall extension has an Olympic size ice rink that will open soon, and be the venue for Skate Asia 2014 in August. SM has a huge commitment to skating and has some of the finest skating talent in all of SE Asia. Their one major star is Michael Christian Martinez who is winning medals all over the world and is a hopeful for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

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