Let’s be honest. We weren’t the only ones who felt the restrictions during the pandemic. Our beloved fur babies also missed the freedom of the outdoors and facing new experiences.
Now that health protocols have eased—just in time to celebrate Christmas—everyone’s out for revenge on experiencing new opportunities with their loved ones—especially their fur babies.
If you’re looking for a festive pet-friendly destination, look no further than SM Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City. We traveled to the mall with Manila Standard’s lovable munchkin cat, Dobby, and his friends to check out what’s in store for pets and their owners.
What we experienced was nothing short of fun and memorable.
A safe space for pets
SM Supermall branches across the country welcome fur babies with open arms (provided their owners look after them properly). In SM MOA, pets can enjoy the spacious grounds inside the mall and get some fresh air at the SM by the Bay while exploring some of its amenities.
Dobby and another adorable cat, Bubba, had a stroll with us along SM by the Bay as we carried them in their carriers that also doubled as backpacks. But we saw they were eager to get their paws on the ground and experience the activity themselves. Luckily, SM MOA has a Paw Park to keep fur babies secure as they have fun under the sun.
The Paw Park has a white fence surrounding it and green Bermuda grass for the pets’ comfort. It also has several fun obstacle courses to get the pets going. Although Dobby and Bubba were initially reluctant, two energetic beagles, Lala and Ali, joined in the fun.
It didn’t take long for the fur babies to start going around the Paw Park and trying the obstacles. We could tell they enjoyed it because they were out of breath by the time they finished.
Besides getting a good view of the horizon, ideal for sunset viewing, the owners and their fur babies also have a great perspective of the outdoor Christmas tree sponsored by Firefly. It was a sight to behold at night.
We could tell Dobby and Bubba had a good time because they couldn’t take their eyes off the tree and its bright lights.
A Disney experience only at MOA
Speaking of bright lights, who could forget the Disney interactive lights show at SM MOA?
We took Dobby and Bubba to the show aboard its mobile, and we could see the amazement in their eyes. While the lights were already a splendid sight, the music added to the flair and made us feel the joy of the holidays.
The Disney lights show featured some of our favorite characters from well-loved movies. Some of them were the Disney Princesses, the Madrigal family from Encanto, and Pixar characters.
It only took us a few minutes, but we all felt nostalgic for our childhoods, thus adding more sentimental value to this Christmas season.
Riding their mobile isn’t the only way to experience the Disney light show. People can also drive their cars into the area and witness the display themselves. It’s suitable for families, especially with kids or kids at heart.
A one-stop-shop for all pet needs
Part of our trip to SM MOA was a visit to Pet Express, a one-stop shop for pets to get what they want and need. Pet Express’s friendly store manager Lloyd assisted us throughout our shopping. He gave us suggestions on what to get for Dobby and Bubba.
We saw various products in Pet Express, from pet food to treats to enchanting costumes to get our babies in the mood for the holidays or to dress up accordingly.
Dobby, the fun-loving munchkin, dove headfirst into the toy display section. He knew what he wanted exactly. On the other hand, Bubb took his time sampling some of the wares, which we eventually bought for him.
By the time we finished, our carts had several treats and pet food to keep our fur babies to keep them happy.
Pet Express also offers grooming services to keep pets feeling and looking refreshed.
Another captivating Christmas tree
SM MOA doesn’t skimp on experiences to offer mallgoers. Apart from the outdoor Christmas tree, the mall also has an indoor giant Christmas tree that follows a sweet theme.
The indoor Christmas tree was just as grand, if not more, than its outdoor counterpart because it had well-decorated surroundings that added to the Christmas cheer. We even saw families and other mallgoers taking pictures with the tree, the gingerbread men, and the gingerbread houses in the area.
Dobby and Bubba had a good time walking around the area, and we took some Instagrammable photos of them. Bubba couldn’t resist and had nestled under the crevices of the Christmas tree. It seemed like he was hinting that he wanted to stay there.
Passers-by wanted to pet Dobby and Bubba or take pictures with them.
A well-deserved break
We all felt hungry after the fun-filled day. It was only natural for us to search for a pet-friendly restaurant while we filled our bellies with good food—and while Dobby and Bubba had a well-deserved rest from their eventful day.
Our feet (and stomachs!) led us to Lechoneria, where we tried several Filipino dishes with a twist. Almost every food item on the menu had lechon in it!
The lechon belly was delectable and had the crispy skin we Filipinos find satisfying. The restaurant also offers other dishes, desserts, and unique, refreshing drinks to complete the dining experience.
All in all, it was an exciting and memorable day for us and our pets.
SM Mall of Asia, like other SM Supermalls around the country, offers unique experiences for the entire family, including fur babies! So if you’re looking for a place to spend the holidays with your loved ones, drop by SM MOA or any SM branch near you.