Riverbanks Center: A one-stop destination for the whole family
CONSUMERLINE - Ching M. Alano (The Philippine Star) - April 18, 2016 - 10:00am

Where in the metro can you find the biggest outdoor amphitheater that can seat 20,000 people? Where can you find the biggest outlet center (24 stores and counting) with the lowest prices? Where can you find the world’s biggest pair of shoes, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, that measures 5.29 m. long, 2.37 m. wide, and 1.83 m. high? Shoe amazing, don’t you think? Where can you see the smallest replicas of things you would find in the different rooms of a European mansion? Where can you find the country’s first interactive science center? Where can you find a museum of “faith and patriotism”? Where can you find a “dormtel” (dormitory hotel) within a shopping center complex? Where can you find a mall with a huge studio across it, that’s a perfect venue for movie, TV or commercial shoots?

We found all this — and more — on our trip to Marikina’s Riverbanks Center that sits on a scenic sprawling 20-hectare property strategically located at the crossroads of the thriving communities of Quezon City, Pasig, Antipolo, Montalban, San Mateo, and Cainta, and accessible via public transportation (MRT, LRT, and public utility vehicles).

“We’re basically considered a community mall,” says a beaming and most accommodating Ching Maipid, ad and pr manager, Riverbanks Development Corp., “but now, we’re tagging ourselves as a regional destination for the whole family.”

Surely, at Riverbanks, there’s something for every member of the family.  For me, there’s shopping galore! Make that outlet shopping! But first, I stretch my legs to make sure I make it to the finish line of this shopping marathon. Good thing I discover I don’t have to stretch my hard-earned peso even as I shop till I literally drop! First stop on my shopping itinerary is Bodibase, a Taiwan brand, that’s got dresses at P299.75, shirts for less than P200, scarves at P169.75, totes at P199.75, and so much more. Next is — you guessed it right — Guess! Here, I snap up a nice tee with a whimsical red mouth design at 50-percent off (from P1,398 to P699) and a nifty black cardigan at 50-percent off. A must-see in your busy itinerary is Adidas, where you can get a pair of rubber shoes for less than P2k (yes, to use an Adidas slogan, impossible is nothing). But  instead of shoes, I walk over to the rack where the Stella McCartney sports tanks are. I grab one for P1,097 (from P3,000 plus). Ye, ye, ye, I walk out of the store with an ear-to-ear smile! Bagaholics can get the most out of their shopping money at Mossimo, where body bags sell for as cheap as P990.





I’ve barely scratched the surface of this outlet mall and already, I’ve got a stashful of designer bargains! The outlet stores include: Accel, Adidas, Attitudes, Bambu, Bizaare, Blowing Bubbles, BNY Jeans, Bodibase, Caya, Garfield, Golden Fortune, Guess, Hammerhead, Kids Republic, Mossimo, Nike, Page Jeans, Puma, Reva Royal Sporting House, RRJ & Mr. Lee, Shubizz, The Look Boutique, and World Balance.

“We have casual dining outlets, too, like Jollibee, Mang Inasal, Tropical Hut, Razon’s, Figaro, plus a mini Dampa with eight tenants for paluto dining,” adds Ching. “We also have Handyman for housewares and home improvement, Save More Supermarket, and Merriam and Webster Bookstore.”

 Here’s more: The biggest outlet center in the city gives back to its loyal patrons through its four-day anniversary and Labor Day sale on April 28-May 1 (per DTI-FTEB SPD Permit No. 3084 series of 2016), where bargain hunters will enjoy up to 70-percent discount on selected items mallwide. Fashion items and accessories, shoes and bags, and home items are up for grabs at the following participating stores: Bench, Bizaare, BNY, Michaela, Dakt Toys, Gibi Shoes, Handyman, Reva, Off-Price Store and Marikina Shoe Gallery. Meanwhile, Team Sir George Salon offers a big discount on Brazilian Keratin Blow-out, from P3,000 to only P1,300.

 There’s really no need to go out of town or wait for those annual bazaars or sales because at Riverbanks, there’s a sale every day. Adidas, Nike, Puma, and World Balance always have a good collection of “just what you have been looking for” pieces while a host of apparel brands like Guess, Mossimo, RRJ & Mr. Lee, among others, have their own amazing prices.

 On a mission (not so impossible) to look for the latest sophisticated gadgets? You can get these and hi-tech accessories from the different electronics and computer shops at the Technolane Area of the Riverbanks Mall —cellphones to tablets and phablets, game consoles, laptops, etc. Brands like Samsung, Cloudfone, CKK, Cherry Mobile and O+ (plus) are part of this new lane with Oppo, SKK, Torque, and Firefly Mobile.

But of course, there’s more to Riverbanks than just shopping. Families can visit The Spirit of Bethlehem, a private collection of over 500 belens/nativity sets, posters, paintings and sculptures from all over the world, collected through decades of devotion to the Child Jesus by the owner. Riverbanks is also big on its Museum of Miniatures, a treasure trove of over 60,000 finely crafted miniature pieces put together in 24 rooms of a European mansion. Entrance fee to The Spirit of Bethlehem, packaged with the Museum of Miniatures, is P75, open Friday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Or you can drop by the Joey Velasco Gallery (P120 entrance fee, Friday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and reflect on the faith and patriotism of the late artist in this living museum that houses his street children art. Or be touched/moved by the magic of the Philippine Science Centrum (entrance fee: P130, Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), a premier hands-on science center museum recognized by DepEd, DOST, and DOT as an ideal venue for educational field trips where visitors are encouraged to touch, twist, play, hear, and see the interactive exhibits on display.

For more fun, colorful action and precious family bonding time, the grand finals of the Philippine National Fireworks Festival is on April 30, Saturday, 7-8 p.m. at the Amphitheater.

No doubt about it, at Riverbanks, you’re sure to experience an overflow of fun and bargains!

* * *

Riverbanks Center is located at A. Bonifacio, Bgy. Barangka, Marikina City. Mall hours are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.riverbankscenter.com or call 570-0701 local 332.

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