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A Momma Abroad is where I share my perspective of life abroad and my love for the Philippines, there is so much to love!


Motherhood Around The World: Malling

Motherhood Around The World: Malling

This post is the second addition to MY Mothering Around The World Series, you can read the first post on health care here and my feature on US based blog, A Cup Of Jo, here. I hope this opens a window for you of what our life is like in Manila. I put emphasis on our life because I know everyone has different lived experiences. 

Did you ever know that ‘malling’ was a verb? I didn’t either but it is definitely a part of the Filipino vocabulary. 

With a current population of 17 million the city is one of the most densely populated cities in the world which means not a lot of open spaces. What we lack in parks we make up for with malls. Manila has barangays (neighborhoods), villages (gated communities), high rises, slums/squatters, markets, rivers (not always the cleanest but we still got 'em) and malls. Lots of malls. Almost everything is located at the mall - grocery stores, movie theaters, banks, salons, hardware stores, pharmacies, etc. Malls are everywhere. I could probably list 20 off the top of my head if you asked. We are actually located within a short walking distance of two brand new malls, which if you haven't notice, we hang out at a lot. When I imagine what motherhood in my home country would be like malls most likely wouldn't be in the equation. But you work with what you got and spending a lot of time in malls is what we got, it's just what you do here. 

Family Time 


Almost weekly my kids make Jamba Juice with Akira, our favorite juicer. 


Two times a month Lego store has a free build. 


You wanna go bowling? You head to the mall. 

little urinal

I love the convenience of low toilets and sinks they have for children in the bathrooms.

Date Night 


Date night at Mystery Manila

Workshops At The Mall

Everything happens in malls, like Starwars events.JPG

We attended a Star Wars workshop at Pottery Barn. 

Everything happens in a mall. This was a craft workshop I taught right in the middle of the mall.JPG

I have even taught workshops at the... you guessed it, at the mall! I hauled my sewing machines through stores and crowds of people and then taught a class in the middle of it. No one even bats an eye.  

worksop ii

Fitness Classes


This was one of my weirder Manila moments, I did a Ply-O class in the middle of a mall on a Saturday night. Surprisingly, this is not unusual. We have seen a number of Zumba classes in malls. 

Doctor Visits


I wrote a whole post about our health care here and you can even watch a video about our dentist visits to the mall. We visit our dentist weekly and as you can see she is the best!

Hair Cuts

Barber + massage .jpg

A toddler massage to cap off a hair trim, only in the Philippines. :)

all hands on deck

You want a facial? You want a mani or pedi? You need a kids hair cut? You go to the mall! I have been going to Piandre since 2009! Can you believe that? They have done my hair since before I had children. Luckily, they opened a branch at Ayala 30th so we are there often. Their kids cuts are half the price of kiddie barbers and I wouldn't trust my blonde hair with anyone else!

wells cuts.jpg

Press Play

As you can see, malling is a built in part of life when living in Manila. 

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