LOOK OUT, Soon to Open!
I would be remiss if I fail to mention that Filipinos have their own way of appropriating words from the English dictionary and applying them as they understand English usage and sentence structure. In many cases, their use of English follows similar rules in Tagalog sentence composition. It is the very reason you will not see an announcement like “Opening Soon” or “Coming Soon” but an announcement that is rather more like a warning… Look Out, Soon To Open! In this case, I am referring to the local Gaisano Super Metro Hypermarket, which is currently under construction and getting close to completion. And that will be the “Official” name of the new supermarket that will grace Magsaysay Blvd. in Calbayog City when it opens.
The other day, I happened to be in town with my camera and decided to take a walk through the construction to see what I could find out. I was given a security pass and proceeded to the main entrance where I was met by the Store Manager, a young 30 something woman named Mae, who is well versed in English and was happy to answer all my questions, but refused to let me enter the premises to take photos without corporate approval. She explained to me how to request this corporate approval, but looking at the timeline in this case, by the time I might get approval, the store could already be open, so I just obliged her and asked her a handful of questions as follows:
Me: So when do you expect the store to open?
Mae: Our tentative date is February 15th, but that can always change.
Me: What is the official name of the store?
Mae: It is Gaisano Super Metro with the Hypermarket format.
Me: So it is simply Super Metro Hypermarket?
Me: How many floors will there be?
Mae: There will be two floors. The main floor will be the supermarket and the top floor will be general merchandise.
Me: When you say “general merchandise,” what exactly do you mean?
Mae: There will be clothing and shoes, housewares, hardware, home furnishings and things like that. There will be a little bit of everything.
Me: So it will be like a Walmart?
Mae: Yes… er, what is this Walmart? I think I heard of that.
Me: It is like an everything store.
Mae: Yes, like that!
Me: I have obtained a photo showing only 4 checkout registers, is this right?
Mae: No sir, there will be 12 check out lanes in the Supermarket and there will be at least that same amount of check-outs on the second floor.
Me: In the supermarket, will there be an international foods section?
Mae: Yes sir, there will be an imported foods section.
Me: And how about meats? Will there be a good selection of beef.
Mae: Yes sir, there will be a meat, poultry, sea foods and fresh produce section.
Me: So you are saying there will be beef?
Mae: Yes, there will be meats, poultry, and sea foods.
Me: So if I cannot find say…kidney beans or French’s mustard or….(she cuts me off here with)
Mae: … You just get in contact with me. I am the store manager.
Me: Thank you, that sounds good!
Me: What are all these outbuildings facing the entrance?
Mae: These are outparcels available for lease to independent businesses. (While pointing, she indicated that a cell phone company already leased one space and she was meeting with Jollibee’s later this day to discuss the largest and centermost parcel. LBC is also considering a space based upon her comments.)
Me: About the parking situation, will there be a parking area for cars?
Mae: Yes (while pointing to the west side of the complex), that area over there will be for vehicles only. Motorcycles will require parking in the front.
Me: That is kind of a small space for parking cars. How many cars can park there?
Mae: It is proportioned to park 30 cars. We have rented the basketball court next door for our opening day because we think we will need more parking for that day. After that, if the parking lot is full, customers will need to park on the street.
Me: Do you think the East Awang basketball players will like you for that? I mean, they cannot play basketball now during this time.
Mae: It’s no problem.
Me: So I cannot take any pictures of the inside?
Mae: No sir. Like I said, you will need our corporate permission. But you can take pictures from here (while standing in front of the main entrance).
So I did!
Thanks to Mae, the Hypermarket store manager, for taking the time to provide answers to some burning questions many Calbayognons have about their new store (I hope I spelled her name right). Thanks to Skyscraper City for supplying me with the last three (inside) photos on this post.