IN PHOTOS: Touring the new SM Seaside City Cebu, PH 3rd biggest mall

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Aside from historical landmarks and the annual Sinulog festival, there's another thing that's been added to the list of things to see in Cebu: its newest – and biggest – mall, SM Seaside City Cebu.

INSIDE. SM Seaside City Cebu is the largest mall in the city. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com

INSIDE. SM Seaside City Cebu is the largest mall in the city. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.

com

More than 250 of its stores are open to the public November 27, Friday, but Seaside will have more than 400. Among those stores are the likes of H&M, Forever 21, Uniqlo, Kultura and more.

Hu0026M. A branch of the Swedish store opens at SM Seaside City. The store is located across one of the mall's cinemas. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com

Hu0026M. A branch of the Swedish store opens at SM Seaside City. The store is located across one of the mall's cinemas. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.

com

SHOPPING. Some shoppers at SM Seaside City's VIP opening on November 26. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com

SHOPPING. Some shoppers at SM Seaside City's VIP opening on November 26. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.

com

 KULTURA. One of SM's mainstays is Kultura Filipino, where you can buy Filipino goods.  Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com

The 400 stores that will open include food establishments too. The food court, with its warm orange and yellow ceiling installments, has stalls like Sizzling Plate, Island Grill, Potato Corner, and Seoul Bibimbob.

FOOD COURT. The dining area beside the skating rink has beautiful ceiling installations.  Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com

FOOD COURT. The dining area beside the skating rink has beautiful ceiling installations. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.

com

The mall was packed when it opened to the public on November 27. Seaside is big enough for the crowd flocking to its doors though. According to SM's public relations, Seaside is the biggest mall in the Mindanao-Visayas region.

SM also said that in terms of total gross floor area, Seaside is the 3rd* biggest mall in the country at 430,000 square meters. MOA, which is at 407,000 square meters, is smaller than Seaside. SM said that the largest mall is SM Megamall at 474,000 square meters, followed by SM North EDSA at 470,000 square meters. 

#SMSeasideCityCebu just opened to the public today, and the place is packed! @rappler A photo posted by Vernise Tantuco (@realverntantuco) on Nov 26, 2015 at 8:25pm PST

 

All the people trying to grab coupons at the restaurant Yoshinoya today at #SMSeasideCityCebu @rappler A photo posted by Vernise Tantuco (@realverntantuco) on Nov 26, 2015 at 8:54pm PST

 

It looked like some kids got tired from exploring the huge mall though.

These kids are pooped from exploring #SMSeasideCityCebu@rappler A photo posted by Vernise Tantuco (@realverntantuco) on Nov 26, 2015 at 9:46pm PST

 

Aside from shopping and eating, mall visitors can also go ice skating, bowling, and watch movies at one of 4 cinemas or the IMAX theater.

SKATING RINK. Visitors to the mall can enjoy the Olympic-sized ice skating rink.  Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com

SKATING RINK. Visitors to the mall can enjoy the Olympic-sized ice skating rink. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.

com

BOOTS. You can rent out ice skating boots beside the rink. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com

BOOTS. You can rent out ice skating boots beside the rink. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.

com

CINEMA. One of the 4 cinemas at SM Seaside City Cebu. The rest of this cinema was under construction on November 26, but this side gives an idea of how it will look when it's finished.  Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com

CINEMA. One of the 4 cinemas at SM Seaside City Cebu. The rest of this cinema was under construction on November 26, but this side gives an idea of how it will look when it's finished. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.

com

The mall may be huge, but the pops of color in its interiors make it much friendlier, and the wooden details make it warmer. 

INSIDE LOOK. SM Seaside City Cebu opens to the public on November 27. In the photo, guests and employees wander around the mall during the November 26 VIP opening. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com

INSIDE LOOK. SM Seaside City Cebu opens to the public on November 27. In the photo, guests and employees wander around the mall during the November 26 VIP opening. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.

com

The steps of the spiral staircases around the mall are also painted different colors, according to the area they're located.

 Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.

com

Outside, SM Seaside City has a sculpture as a landmark, just like MOA. MOA has the Globe, while Seaside has The Cube. At the opening, visitors were taking photos with The Cube and the sea behind it. 

Of course, everyone's trying to get a photo with #SMSeasideCityCebu 's landmark, The Cube. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/zxXDX5I5it — vernise tantuco (@verntantuco) November 27, 2015

 

THE CUBE. SM Seaside City Cebu's landmark is The Cube, a 21 meter by 21 meter steel sculpture. Photo by John Richard Velasquez

THE CUBE. SM Seaside City Cebu's landmark is The Cube, a 21 meter by 21 meter steel sculpture.

Photo by John Richard Velasquez

The mall was designed by Arquitectonica, an architecture firm from Florida.

ELEVATORS. SM Seaside City Cebu boasts glass elevators that go through al 5 of its floors.  Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com

ELEVATORS. SM Seaside City Cebu boasts glass elevators that go through al 5 of its floors. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.

com

There are Filipino touches too though, such as Kenneth Cobonpue's Sky Park. The Cebu native was also the creative director of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Welcome Dinner, where ecomonic leaders or their representatives dined at the MOA Arena. (LOOK: Kenneth Cobonpue designs venue for APEC welcome dinner)

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

Photo by Vernise L.

Tantuco/Rappler

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

Photo by Vernise L.

Tantuco/Rappler

You can dine also at the restaurants around the park and appreciate the gardens through the glass windows.

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

Photo by Vernise L.

Tantuco/Rappler

Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler

Photo by Vernise L.

Tantuco/Rappler

SM Seaside City is being compared to Manila's SM Mall of Asia, not just because of size but also because its right by the sea. SM Seaside City has a view of the Cebu Channel, while the Manila Bay can be seen from SM MOA. 

CEBU CHANNEL. A peek at the ocean through one of SM Seaside City Cebu's windows.

CEBU CHANNEL. A peek at the ocean through one of SM Seaside City Cebu's windows.

The mall sits on South Road Properties, a reclaimed land area that SM Prime Holdings plans on turning into a community, with residential towers, hotels, a convention and exhibition center, a school, and a hospital.

What are you looking forward to seeing the most at SM Seaside City Cebu? Sound off in the comments! – Rappler.com

*Editor's Note: In an earlier version of this story, we said SM Seaside City Cebu was the 3rd largest mall in the Philippines. We were later told by agency Mediacom that it was the 4th largest, but SM has clarified that it is the 3rd largest in the Philippines. The corrections have been made.