Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Star-tling Mall

Who has been to StarMall Alabang, aka Metropolis Mall? For years we’d pass by it on our way to Tagaytay or Laguna but we never bothered to stop by there. I’ve always wondered what the inside of that mall looked like. I’ve also heard the ghost stories; they whisper of movie houses jam-packed with audience, but the ticket sales only show less than half of the capacity sold. You see, there used to be a cemetery where the mall is standing right now. I always wondered what happened to it.

Yesterday I got to visit the mall for the first time ever.

The moment I saw the winding driveway leading to the parking area, I knew this was a mall that had seen better times. The formerly white walls were dirty with soot and grime, and despite the fact that the parking area faces the outside, the atmosphere there was dark and dreary. Some mall entrances welcome you with open arms; here, the side entrances looked uninviting.

Inside I saw lots of space. The mall looked busy enough, with a noticeable size of foot traffic. I didn’t see the usual shops one sees inside an SM or an Ayala mall; maybe they were situated nearer to the front entrance, I supposed.

My two other officemates and I (we were there for work) went up to the 4th level, where we were greeted with a surprise. Actually it was the warm, sticky heat of the afternoon that greeted us. What, no aircon? Then we saw a full-sized, covered basketball court; I guess to save on electricity, the management decided that the sports area would be air-cooled. Also in the sports area were a gym, a billiard hall, and—whoa, this was the punchline—a boxing ring. So what if SM’s Mall of Asia has the biggest indoor ice skating rink—who cares about ice-skating, anyway? In the Philippines the three most popular sport are the three Bs: basketball, boxing and billiards. Bingo!

We attended our meeting. Afterwards I found the nerve to ask our host if she knew what happened to the cemetery. She was silent for a few seconds before blurting out embarrassed, “Now, how do I answer that question?” She eventually insisted that she doesn’t know what happened, but I don’t believe her.

Before we left StarMall, my female officemate decided to go to the toilet. Before she entered the ladies comfort room I warned her, “Check first if the woman standing beside you in front of the vanity area is actually alive.” She yelped and smacked my shoulder.

As we piled into my car, my art director looked around one last time and said, “You know, even if you didn’t tell me that there was a cemetery here on this lot before, I’d still feel there’s something off with this mall. The atmosphere here is sad, dark…” and here he groped for words, “…hindi maaliwalas.”

“Well,” I said, “SM only has a Mall of Asia. This one’s StarMall of Asia… and the Beyond.”

As we were pulling out of the parking lot, I thought I saw a man sanding in the shadows inside one of the abandoned stall spaces of the mall. He looked like he was staring at me.

13 comments:

Stan™ said...

waaah.
nice halloween story... or is it?
hahaha....


di padin aku nakakrating dun eh.
dinadaaanan lang din namin.

nacurious aku bigla.

E said...

yup been there more than 10times! (don't ask!) yup its ugly and dirty...the man staring at you? baka booking hehehehe

thebaklareview said...

the guy staring at you was checking you out. uso ang cruising doon. you didn't find out while you were there?

uso rin ang decrepit malls sa south.

Chuck Suarez said...

dapat pumunta kayo sa rooftop kasi meron silang 3 swimming pools- wading pool for kids, lap pool and a family pool na meron pang slides.

JM Agreda said...

I pass by metropolis whenever I'm in the metro. Because I live in Las Pinas, whenever I need to go to makati or alabang or down south imposibleng hindi madaanan yung mall na yan...Oo nga at sementeryo yan dati...kakatakot yung mall na yan...hindi dahil sa multo...pero dahil marami mandurukot dun...heheh

Алексей said...

the cemetery was moved further down SLEX in the laguna area. if you look to your left if you're Southbound, you'll see it on the opposite side.

joelmcvie said...

@E & @THEBAKLAREVIEW: Juzmeh, iisa lang talaga ang nasa isip ninyo, hahaha! In furnezz, I didn't describe the man. Then again, ang hirap kasi he was in the shadows; at best he looked like an old man in t-shirt and dark pants (hindi mukhang sikyu). Baka hindi booking kundi mandurukot.

@CHUCK: 3 swimming pools?! Good lord, that's not a mall, that's a resort, hahaha! (Hmmm, I wonder if ghosts swim?)

dalumat said...

the booking is true. may experience na ko doon. hehe.

joelmcvie said...

@DALUMAT: And I believe you. =)

Aris said...

daming mga -er- na pa-booking sa mall na yan! =)

may foodcourt sa basement. deep well ang drinking water. nakabaon ang tubo sa dating sementeryo! ok lang, may purifier naman hehe! =)

PikaBucks said...

Yeah, I think they do have a resort. Anyway, medyo katakot nga. I think they just dug up the bodies and put them somewhere. but rumor has it that they left some of the dearly departed behind...

Anonymous said...

totoo nga may multo dyan, i watch Serbis (kasi dito lang showing yung movie na yun) sa kalandian kong makita ang butt ni Coco Martin so go ako dyan sa mall na sa first time kong makapunta pagpasok ko sa sinehan apat lang yata kaming nanood magkakalayo pa , pero after mga 20 minutes ng movie eh parang kinilabutan akong ewan ang feeling...then tingin ako sa likuran kp may nakita kong dalawang matanda babae at lalake parang mag asawa sa likod ko nanonood, bigla akong nag think para kasing walang logic na manood matandang mag asawa ng SERBIS , so kinilabutan na ko at alis sa sinehan sayang 120 kong binayad.tayung tayo balahibo ko. i can feel it ..na may something creepy talaga...

palma tayona said...

hmmm... methinks this is a good halloween adventure. i have heard so many of the ghost stories from that mall. interesting