SM Seaside Cebu: An Amazing Adventure in Shopping

sm seaside cebu

My asawa and I recently visited the “Queen City of the South” and visited the new SM Seaside Cebu. It was an amazing adventure in shopping. This Super Mall, the 3rd largest mall in the Philippines and 8th largest in the world, opened last November. Though all the retail outlets are not open yet, over 250 out of 447 stores are in operation,  making it a tourist destination I highly recommend.

This is the first in a series regarding our visit to this super mall in the Philippines. It only cost us 100 pesos to reach the destination, SRP, South Road Properties, as it was referred to by our cab driver, from our room at the Travel Bee Business Inn.

The SM Seaside City Cebu is a circular-shaped retail mall with multiple anchors, including a two-story The SM Store, SM Supermarket, a Centerstage theater, a Large Screen cinema, two Director’s Club cinemas, and 4 regular cinemas, an 18-lane SM Bowling and Amusement Center, and a food court flanking an Olympic-size ice skating rink (Source: Wikipedia.) sm seaside cebu skating rink

You can reach SM Seaside by using the Cebu MyBus service as currently no jeepneys, only taxis and the MyBus, are allowed on the property. The MyBus, a hybrid, European-made Vovlo, has four different routes and run from 8am to 11pm daily. You have to purchase a e-Plus card for 200 pesos before you can avail of the service and each ride will cost you 25 pesos. The bus drivers will not accept cash so if you plan to use the e-Plus card it needs to be reloaded if you plan an extended stay in Cebu.

We used the taxi as it was more convenient for us. If you need to catch a cab at night I wouldn’t recommend standing in line at the extremely long taxi lane. My wife and I walked outside the Mountain Wing Exit where a security guard approached me, trying to wave me off the road.

I was on the MyBus path, but I ignored the guard, who didn’t pull his gun on me, and walked over to another area outside of the mall and flagged down a taxi. Trying to catch a taxi in SM Cebu City at night, the “old” SM or the new outlet we visited, is extremely difficult.

We waited in the taxi lane at SM Cebu City one Saturday night for over 30 minutes and the line barely budged. I took matters into my own hands and walked off the property and caught a taxi passing by in a matter of minutes. And yes, the cab driver went “on meter.”

outside the ship-themed sm seaside cebu

The outside of the new SM Seaside is unique. Check out the photos I took with my lovely asawa standing outside of the huge shopping mall. It resembles a ship! We were impressed.The mall was designed by Arquitectonica, the same outfit which designed SM City North EDSA, SM Mall of Asia and SM Megamall.

The Philippines Expat Advisor - SM Seaside Cebu: An Amazing Adventure in Shopping

outside sm seaside cebu

I took the next shot outside one of the many stunning views the mall offered, such as the port area shown below.

another view outside sm seaside cebu

A beautiful mountain vista is depicted in the next photograph taken outside the Sky Hall section of the mall. My spouse loved the plants and flowers planted in the gardens which even had a sprinkler system, something which I have rarely seen in the Philippines in the almost seven years I have lived here.

my lovely spouse outside sm seaside

I loved this huge metallic sculpture standing sentry over the nearby seas.

scupture at sm seaside


my lovely asawa sm seaside cebu

Here’s my lovely asawa again, posing for another picture with an amazing view behind her.

the kano at sm seaside cebu

My wife insisted on taking my picture at this spot, too. My apologies to anyone who might be eating breakfast, lunch or dinner while reading this blog.

More posts regarding our amazing adventures at the SM Seaside Mall and our trip to Bohol and the Chocolate Hills are coming up!

Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 19 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

32 thoughts on “SM Seaside Cebu: An Amazing Adventure in Shopping

  1. Well to be honest Dave, I always wondered what your very pretty wife ever saw in you…but now I sorta see it. You are actually fairly handsome.

    Joke lang! LOL.

    That mall looks amazing from the outside! Can’t wait to see if you have some pics from the inside, which I am sure you do.

    The malls in the Philippines are really amazing. HUGE! If this mall is anything along the lines of the Mall of Asia of SM Mega Mall it has to be pretty impressive.

    Oh, and calling you handsome was not the joke. You actually are. Age has treated you will, or is the San Miguel?

    1. Todd, to my continual bewilderment, I have absolutely no idea what my wife saw in me those 16+ years ago. My mother-in-law, who saw my picture, thought I was handsome but she thought the co-worker in the pic next to me “did not have an American nose.” Whatever an American nose is, I must have it.

      Lots more pics coming up, Todd. I’ve never been to the Mall of Asia but hope to make it over there some time. The SM Seaside in Cebu was, by far, the best mall I ever have been in, and I’m a 64-year crusty old expat.

      Me, handsome, Todd? Awww, shucks, I don’t know if the San Miguel is helping or not, truth be told, I haven’t had one in a couple of weeks. Take care.

  2. Hi Dave, great looking mall would rival any of Manila malls including SM Megamall
    And Trinoma , it’s good to see any new mall just to get out of the heat really hot in
    Manila right now, I bet the restaurants were very good in Cebu always love to try
    Different foods when we travel sometimes I get a little bit bored to much time on my
    Hands not like back home where I just worked and slept, but I’m trying new things
    She’s even got me gardening lol, I’m still learning how to use the computer I’ll get
    There one day, Derek in pasig.

    1. Derek, I’m going to post a story soon about one of the BEST rib places I even eaten at my entire life. It was at a place called RACKS at the SM Seaside.

      I’ve been so bored in the morning, Derek, that I’ve been cashew hunting. Must be helping trim down my fat belly, though. My asawa told me the other day that my “belly is getting smaller and that I look good.” Truth be told, the heat is cutting back my appetite and I haven’t had a cold San Mig in weeks. 🙂

  3. Dave,

    Look’s like a nice mall that competes with MOA, Megamall and Robinson’s Manila. Nice to be back home after being in the hospital for 3 day’s to get my Gallbladder removed. Can’t complain about the care i received, but when it came time to be discharged, that’s when the problems started.

    1. What! Didn’t know you were in for surgery, Papa Duck. Hope that you’re feeling better and hope this doesn’t delay your trip to the States. Problems with red tape when you got discharged? Take care and regards to Anne.

      1. Dave,
        Yea, it took us 6 hours to get discharged. We have Philhealth and Blue Cross so the whole bill was supposed to be fully covered. They forgot to add some medication on the bill and 30,000p charge for the surgeon before submitting the bill to Philhealth and Blue Cross. After we were cleared to get discharged. As we were ready to leave they came and told us about these new fees. We were not happy asked them why they were not on the original bill submitted to the insurance companies. Of course they had no answer. They notified Blue Cross about the add on charges and they weren’t going to cover them and Anne went off the deep end. The policy covers 1.4m pesos for doctors fees. She told them if they did not pay them she was going to sue them and they changed there tune. I had no problem with the care there. We were in a suite for 4500p a day for 3 days, which insurance pays up to 13000p per day, the surgeon was very good. The incision was maybe a half an inch, very little pain. The nurses were all great. My Gastrologist was the president of the hospital and used to have a practice in the US. They would not let us leave until it was fully paid. The bill was 171,000p. Philhealth paid 25%.

        1. I don’t blame Anne for being upset about those extra charges, Papa Duck. My blood pressure would have shot sky high if the hospital tried to pull that on us. I wouldn’t be surprised if the “skin tax” might have had something to do with those additional fees.

          Sounds, however, like you received good care in the hospital and had a good Blue Cross policy since your room was covered up to 13000 per day. Our accommodations at the local provincial hospital in Guimaras, when Melinda contracted dengue, were far from luxurious.

          Your story should prove very useful to other expats out there. I appreciate you relaying all the details for us and Melinda and I both pray you have a speedy recovery. We were both were quite shocked you were in the hospital.

          Though the hospital might state you cannot leave the hospital until your bill is fully paid, they cannot legally hold you there under Filipino law. The hospitals won’t tell you that, of course, but it’s hard to argue with a hospital guard who is carrying a loaded shotgun. 🙂

          1. Dave,

            I am already moving around pretty good. The worst part is not the incision, but the area around it as they had to stretch the incison as it was very small, so they could remove the gallbladder which was inflamed and 2 gallstones. I was having a lot of acid and decided to get it checked out. They did an ultrasound and found the gallstones and decided to get it done before our trip to the US. Should be ready to go by the 21st of May.

            1. OK, Papa Duck, Melinda and I were wondering why you didn’t wait until you got to the States but I’m sure the operation would have cost you a lot more there. Good idea to get the gallstones removed before you got to the States. Not much you could do if you’re on a long flight to the US from the Philippines. Take care.

  4. The mall seems to be the perfect place for my wife to tell me how much she loves me right before she buys some more clothes… Hahaha LOL…
    And looking foward to seeing the inside pictures of the mall. Especially you on those ice skates……

    1. Your wife is a very smart woman, Roger. My asawa had a field day at SM Seaside and tried to check out any shop that had a sale going on. I doubt we missed many of them.

      Truth be told, I don’t have as many inside pics of the mall that I thought I did. We have to return to Cebu in two weeks as we are bringing our little niece and nephew from Guimaras on the boat this time, as we promised them a trip to Cebu. I’ll make sure to take more interior shots but don’t get too disappointed if I don’t make it inside the skating rink on any ice skates. 🙂

  5. They had just started that 2 years ago when we were there, our friends had read it was going to be mall, but they knew nothing of the specifics or knew it was going to be so big and nice, hope to visit it next year.

    Dave, I dont know Papa Duck but could you ask him, if he is retired military or not. I want to try to get some kind of medical insurance once we move there, but I am not military, so dont know what kinds of GOOD insurance is available there other than Philhealth, would like to find something that covers what Philhealth doesn’t pay . Only looking for insurance that covers hospital stays and prescribed drugs would be nice also since medicine is ridiculously expensive there it seems.

    1. The mall certainly is worth visiting, Bill S, no doubt about that.

      Papa Duck, if you see Bill’s comment, would you mind responding to him. I know in your comment you mentioned that you had Blue Cross along with PhilHealth but I don’t believe you are retired military as you were a correctional officer for many years.

      Bill, I had Blue Cross when we first moved to the Philippines but wasn’t able to use it in Iloilo City when I had my first kidney stone attack in 2010. My Health Reimbursement Account with AT&T, however, did end up paying for my private hospital stay and my meds for the kidney stone attack.

    2. Bill S. and Mike,

      The policy i have through Blue Cross is worth 20 million pesos or $500,000.00 per year. But it is based on your age. There office is in Makati City. The policy covers everything 100% inpatient and emergency room, but no outpatient or regular dr visits or medication unless you receive the medication while confined to the hospital. This is the first time we have used this policy in the 2 years we’ve had it. But it left a bad taste in my mouth from them refusing to pay a part of it, especially since we have never used it and it covered 1.4 mil pesos for doctors fees. Don’t know if we will renew that policy again or even if they would even want to renew us lol. There is a Insurance Broker called Omnibroker that sells health insurance with 20 different companies. It is located in Pasig City, but i believe you can contact them on line or call them. I think we will go though them next year. Since Philhealth does not cover much i thought it was best to have a supplement to cover the rest in case of a major medical problem. My didn’t think i needed one, but it paid for itself in one visit.

      1. Thanks so much for that information, Papa Duck. Well, I can’t blame you for dropping Blue Cross after they failed to cover all of the charges from your hospital visit. I still have a health plan available from AT&T but would have to go to the States, or perhaps, Guam, if I needed it for any major operation. PhilHealth is certainly only a supplemental health insurance policy but one I highly recommend.

        1. Thanks Dave, I dont always get online daily so sometimes it takes me a day or two to reply, but really appreciate PapaDucks help also.

          Totally off topic Dave. Do you still use your magicjack for calling the US. People I talk to on a regular basis I use Viber or some other app similar to that, but I know I will need to make calls from time to time from there and was wandering if I should activate a number from the US before moving there, or maybe there are other ways to make calls from there to US I dont know about. Our speeds are often quite slow there in Davao and didnt know if that would affect the reliability of using a Magicjack.

          Thanks as always!

          1. Bill, I let my magicjack subscription expire since they would not let me renew it with a check, only credit card. I got rid of our credit cards years ago. Some places will take an “e-check” but not magicjack.

            I know a lot of people are switching to Viber but we don’t use it. When we have to call the States, which is not very often now, we use a prepaid international card from Sun which only costs about 1 peso a minute. I’m sure some of my other readers have some feedback on Viber, hope to hear from them.

            1. Viber works pretty good in most instances, except for free calls the other person also has to be on viber, but I can also make pay calls to anyone but sometimes the sigal quality there prevents me from doing anything using the internet or VOIP. Was jsut wandering if Magic Jack worked any better but doubt it does since its also VOIP. I will keep a couple US credit cards I think, so I can buy things online there and have a friend send them to me in a Balik Bayan box, and also to try to keep a credit rating here in US in case we ever move back here.

              1. Forgot, even if the house dosent sell, I have decided to go on and move there probably in Nov.. I will have a couple friends take care of the house and just pray it sells soon. Its kinda big and has 50 acres and a 6,000 sq. ft. building with it also, so it takes time to find someone looking for all that, unfortunatly. At least I sold the commercial land and the shop earlier.

                1. Hopefully the house will sell by the time you make your move, Bill. I remember you sold the commercial land and the shop. Glad to hear you’re going ahead and making the big move.

              2. The voice quality with my magicJack was suspect at times, Bill S. With 3G service at the beginning of the month, the signal with Globe is good. But the signal deteriorates rapidly near the middle of the month and the voice quality of calls was not good.

                It’s probably a good idea to keep a good credit rating in the States, but to my knowledge the Philippines does not have credit bureaus such as the US does. They do, however, have bill collectors, I’ve heard, who will come and take your motorcycle if you don’t keep up your payments on it.

      2. PapaDuck,

        Thank you VERY MUCH for your assistance in replying to my question. I hope your feeling better by now and will be fully recovered by the time you go back to the US of A. I am 58 now and in reasonably good health I think, but was told just last week I may have to get surgery on my right Achilles tendon because of a build up of calcium under it that needs to be ground off the bone. Its not that bad but causes some pain the more I walk, we will be moving there if all goes well sometime in Nov. and I have thought about having it done here, but Dr. says it will be about a 3 month period to fully recover so with the move coming up, and it not hurting all that bad most of the time I am going to try to wait I think. I know there would be a waiting period if I get insurance there but I have checked and its not all that expensive to have it done there even if I have to pay for it. We will be in Davao, at least when we first move there so will if we can locate Omnibroker or someone that represents multiple companies. I just have a hard time locating things like that there since there is no phonebooks and for some reason so many companies and people there dont advertise much on the internet like they do here in the US. I have read that Philhealth covers about 50% from some people then others say they dont cover much at all, so a person does not know I guess til they see the actual bill.

        Thanks again PapaDuck, and you too Dave!!!!

        1. Bill S, it might just be better to get it done in the Philippines. Should be much cheaper. Many doctors in the PH are trained in the United States and I have no doubt that you could find a good physician in Davao.

          Glad to hear you’re planning to move here in November. That’s great news. I know you’ve been planning the big move for quite some time now.

          Phonebooks? Yep, hard to come by here, nearly nonexistent. Our local SM Business Center does have a local phonebook, however.

          I think it depends on what kind of treatment you are getting as to what PhilHealth will cover. They covered my wife’s hospital stay in December when she had dengue fever. Hopefully you can find a good policy to supplement PhilHealth. Take care.

  6. Dave,

    You are a brave man. We drove by the mall on our way to visit our sister-in-law in Talisay. I do not believe I have ever seen a mall of that size. Luckily there were only a few stores open at Christmas time so it was not too much of an attraction. I was very grateful for the new road that went along the sea. Much less traffic than the old route through town. Cebu traffic can be a real test of a mans patients.If I make there some day I hope they have a coffee shop for husbands to sit and watch the beautiful ladies walk by. Wandering around a mall of that size seems exhausting. I too am interested in the different insurance options in the PI after reading Papa Ducks response. Do you have any insight into this?

    1. About half the shops are open now, Mike. When we first arrived to the mall on Thursday I was surprised that the mall was not that crowded. However, it was a different story when we went there on a Saturday. Big crowds everywhere.

      There’s a decent-sized Krispy Kreme at the new Seaside, Mike, good place to grab a coffee and a doughnut. And the mall is indeed huge. We had to make a couple of stops during the day for this crusty old expat to rest. We arrived at the opening time of 10 am and stayed until closing, 9 pm.

      PhilHealth is the best and cheapest option for insurance, Mike, though it does not cover everything. Sounds like Papa Duck had a good Blue Cross plan. Retired military from the United States can also take advantage of TRICARE if they live overseas.

  7. Cebu,often called “the little manila” is so progressive and the traffic is so relentless,I didnt know theres a huge SM already there other than the SM city & the ayala.Still prefer the laid back cities like Iloilo,guimaras and bacolod right dave?

  8. Good day.I am Joe from Canada(The Great White North)and am thinking of retiring in Phillipines.My wife is from there.Could we have a discussion of good health insurance companies?Phil Health covers some thing,but not surgery,if I understand correctly.Great articles,by the way,and I love your book.Another by the way,it is May here,and still freezing…snow two weeks ago.After almost 60 years of snow,I have had ENUF!!!Thanks,Joe.

    1. Joe, first of all a big thanks for purchasing my book, “The Philippines Expat Advisor.” It’s still only available in paperback form from Amazon. I haven’t posted the new digital version on this website though it has almost been updated.

      Well, Joe, why not check out Omnibrokers, an insurance outlet that Papa Duck mentioned? I receive absolutely no reimbursement from them by mentioning them, but if you go to this LINK they can offer you a free quote. Won’t hurt to try. And if you happen to get any info from them that you could share, I’m sure our readers would appreciate it.

      You won’t have much of a problem with snow here, Joe. Hope to hear that you make the big move to the Philippines soon. Take care and thanks again.

      1. Thanks for the reply.I bought your latest,2016, from Amazon.Some parts are very funny,especially your comments about the “carefree” attitude toward keeping appointments.I have been to Philippines twice,and I don’t for the life of me understand how anything gets done.Somehow things sorta,kinda,get done,and everything works…sometimes.Thanks again,Joe..

        1. Joe, a big thanks again for purchasing the latest update of my book. I’m glad you enjoyed it and it is a mystery how anything gets done here, to be honest. “Filipino Time” is weaved into the fabric of the culture in the PH and nothing will ever change that.

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