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It’s time to go shopping and flying again! |

Fashion and Beauty

It’s time to go shopping and flying again!

LIFE AND STYLE - Millet M. Mananquil - The Philippine Star
Itâs time to go shopping and flying again!
Flying high: PAL president Stanley Ng, PAL chairman Lucio C. Tan and PAL board diector Carmen Tan, SM dynamo: Tessie Sy-Coson, Always chic: Vivienne Tan of PAL and Young blood at SM: Mara Sy Coson, Herson Sy and Hendrik Sy.

Shopping and flying were not really top of mind during the past three pandemic years. But since both the retail industry and tourism industry are now looking good and moving towards economic recovery for the Philippines, these are renewed passions.

“Shop to fly. Fly to shop” is a lifestyle campaign — a partnership between SM and Philippine Airlines — that makes their customer loyalty programs more rewarding. Using the SM Advantage Card and PAL’s Mabuhay Miles, the more you shop, the more you fly, and vice versa.

“This is a good idea,” I told SM boss Tessie Sy-Coson. “And the timing is perfect.”

“This is their project,” she replied, looking at the young people seated with us — Herson Sy, Hendrik Sy and Mara Sy Coson of SM Retail, and Kevin Hartigan Go, COO of Digital Advantage.

Tessie was reluctant at first to attend this happening, lest she be out of place at a young cocktail event. But other venerable top bosses arrived and sat beside her — PAL chairman and CEO, “Kapitan” Lucio C. Tan and his wife Carmen Tan listened to the program emceed by PAL VP-marketing Ria Domingo and SM SAVP- marketing Jay Beltran.

What is the average age now of PAL execs? I asked PAL president and COO Stanley Ng.

Shop to Fly, Fly to Shop launch: At back are Ernest Acar of PAL Mabuhay Miles; Jay Beltran, SAVP head of SM sales and marketing; Ria Domingo, PAL VP-marketing; Hendrik Sy, executive director of SM Food Group. In front are Kevin Hartigan Go, COO of Digital Advantage Corp.; Herson Sy, executive director of SM Food Group; Mara Sy Coson, executive director of SM Retail Inc.; Vivienne Tan, PAL board director; Capt. Stanley Ng, PAL president and COO; and Carlos Luis Fernandez, PAL SVP-general counsel.

“Um, 49,” he replied after mentally calculating. I asked how old he was, and he replied, “43.”

There you go. And PAL VP Lucio Tan III or “LT3,” is turning 30 this year.

I told Tessie that I had recently gone shopping at SM Makati and was happy to buy several comfy, cotton lounge dresses at only P599 each. And at SM Supermart, I liked their huge, durable P50 eco bags with nice, leafy designs, but these were replaced by bags with circular designs.

“We change the designs every three months,” explained Hendrik, who is obviously hands-on at the supermart. “So expect new designs soon.”

The campaign expands the ways that PAL’s frequent flyers can convert their Mabuhay Miles to SM Advantage Card points, and SM loyal shoppers can convert their SMAC points to Mabuhay Miles.

Every 500 Mabuhay Miles points can be converted to 50 SMAC points, while every 250 SMAC points can become 100 Mabuhay Miles points.

The campaign covers PAL’s extensive local and international destinations. Shopping can be done not only at the SM Store and SM Supermarket, Hypermarket and Savemore, but also at retail brands like Waltermart, Alfamart, The Body Shop, Uniqlo, Levi’s, SM Appliances, Our Home, Crate and Barrel, Surplus Shop, Toy Kingdom and more.

“PAL Mabuhay Miles continues to evolve as a pervasive lifestyle program that offers everything that makes the heart of the Filipino beat — travel, shopping, dining and more,” explained Stanley. This is part of PAL’s 81st-anniversary offerings.

“This campaign will further ignite Filipinos’ passion for traveling and shopping at a crucial time, as we help push the country toward full economic recovery,” stated Kevin.

There are currently five million PAL Mabuhay Miles members, while SMAC maintains almost six million members over a network of 4,000 stores nationwide.

For conversion of points, visit and

Wearing their patriotic colors from Katutubo x Bench pop-up: Ria Domingo in Coco and Tres, flanked by PAL events manager Kit Javier (left) and Ernest Acar of Mabuhay Miles, both in bomber jackets by Jorel Espina.

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Follow the author on Instagram and Facebook @milletmartinezmananquil. Email her at and

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