Ever since I could remember, SM has been the go-to mall of everyone. And this has not changed. In fact, there’s practically an SM Mall in all major cities of the Philippines now. SM Mall of Asia in Pasay being the 3rd biggest of all the SM Supermalls. So big that I have never had the chance to really explore the whole mall. But the humongous size of this mall isn’t the only thing that makes this mall unique. Go towards the back end of the MOA complex and you will see a long entertainment complex for the whole family! Rides, events places, and tons of restaurants with the Manila Bay as your natural background!
My family and I checked out SM by the Bay last weekend. It was only at this time that I realized how long and big the area is! 1.5KM to be exact, that’s just filled with a lot of restaurants and fun activities for the whole family. I was pretty excited to park and start exploring the place. But we were starving. Good thing our first stop was Buffet 101. Perfect!
Buffet 101 is located at the far left side of SM by the Bay..
(left side if you’re facing Manila Bay).
(left side if you’re facing Manila Bay).
Outside they have a huge comfortable waiting area.
Not just chairs, but actual couches are
situated there while people wait for their groups to be called.
Upon entering, you will already notice the classy interiors. There is a crystal chandelier gloriously hanging in the middle of the actual buffet area which really gives the place a luxurious feel.
There’s a lot of seating area.
Not sure exactly how much their capacity is but it really is huge.
Without further delay, we started attacking the buffet!
Rina enjoyed their collection of sushi
Lots of dishes from different cuisines lined the aisles of the buffet
The tempura station was like the Lochness Monster. People swear to you that it exists, but you never seem to see if with your own two eyes. That’s how fast it runs out because it’s a crowd favorite.
That’s why when I was able to get my hands on a piece,
I just had to savor the moment!
And I have to admit, it was pretty good!
From their dimsum corner, Rina enjoyed their pork siomai
Buffet 101 has a wine section too!
I don’t drink wine but it’s something not usual for
buffets so I just wanted to share.
The dessert area is one of the biggest areas I think.
They have lots of variants of smallcakes, cookies, fruits, ice cream, yogurt...
Chocolate fondue, halo halo station, and more.
Oh, and they have a candy buffet as well which Rain ransacked,
but shared with me!
With a full stomach, we decided walk around SM by the Bay in an attempt to burn off what we ate. The place has fun rides almost on every corner of the bay. Like the famous MOA Eye which is one of the biggest ferris wheel in the Philippines. This would be perfect to ride during the late afternoon to get a spectacular view of the Manila Bay sunset.
One of the thrilling rides there was the Drop Tower. Like the MOA Eye, you will get a spectacular view of the sunset when you’re at the top. But I guess you will forget all about the sunset once the ride drops you down so fast without warning!
There are a lot of kiddie rides too! Like the Barnstormer which Rina rode with Rain. She seemed to enjoy it. And the ride duration was just right.
Holi Festival 2015
It was also during this day that we experienced the colorful festivities (literally) of the HOLI Festival. Now on its 3rd year, the HOLI Fesival 2015 was organized by the Asia Society Philippines together with the Embassy of India, Federation of Indian Chambers and Commerce, SingIndia, and Indian Ladies Club. The HOLI Festival is a popular celebration in India which is celebrated every March. It’s their way of welcoming the beautiful colors of Spring, which to them, is a season of hope and joy.
As soon as you enter, they welcome you with a friendly wipe / smudge of "gulal".. (colored powder) in your face or body.
No one escaped their colorful hands! Even my sister in law and father in law were game!
Next is you line up to get your own supply of gulal for the party
The program hasn’t even started yet but people on the stage and by the stage area werealready having a blast learning some Bollywood dance moves
And the fun thing about it is that you could see that everyone was really having a blast, dancing along! No kill-joys allowed!
On the side, there was an area where kids could try making Rangoli. Rangoli is a folk artwhere you can create patterns on the floor
with colored rice, sand, flour or flower petals.
While Rain didn’t really follow the pattern, she did have fun playing with the
Young kids can learn yoga through the creative storytelling session by the teachers of Kids Yoga Philippines (by Urban Ashram Manila) also has an area where kids can uniquely learn yoga by way of a creative story-telling.
And of course, any sort of party wouldn’t be complete without food!
The whole left side of the activity area was lined up with delicious Indian food!
There were also booths that sold books on India.
And also a booth selling colorful Indian clothes.
Everyone threw gulal up in the air three times during the program. This symbolizes unity and friendship. It’s a fantastic sight! Something you don’t see everyday
This was our first HOLI Festival and we feel it won’t be our last. And the same feeling goes to our whole family day experience at SM by the Bay. It’s an ideal place to spend a family day where there’s a little of something for everyone!