January Week 2 Photo Challenge: Transmogrify

Cherry Foodarama today

This is Cherry Foodarama along Congressional Avenue. A few years back, it housed a more budget-friendly grocery, a couple of fast food restaurants, and dozens of seedy-looking tiangges that I absolutely adored.

I’m not sure when exactly it closed down. What I remember is that my family shopped here when we lived nearby, then we moved to an unbelievably remote subdivision, moved again, then found out that Cherry was out of business right when we could shop there again.

Recently, it reopened, but only the building’s name remained the same. The supermarket inside is now SM Hypermarket. The tiangges have been replaced by legit-looking concessionaires who, I bet, are registered and are paying taxes and shit (Can you imagine?!).

The travesty up close

I still miss the old Cherry. The only good things about its makeover are that French Baker is still in it (albeit in a much smaller space) and Jollibee is already under construction. Because I like stuffing my face with yummy bread (50% off each night!) and Chickenjoy.

The old Cherry Foodarama that people loved (Photo from http://www.philretailers.com)

SM Coupons!

Generally, I like seeing that my phone’s clutter is at least under three quarters of its total storage capacity. There were times in the past, though, that I would install applications just because it looked cute to have a full app drawer and because I wanted to “feel” like I could do more with my phone (I always end up not using them).

One of the apps I had installed before for no logical reason was the My SMAC app. SMAC stands for SM Advantage Card, which is the best friend of every nanay, tita, and manang. I didn’t even know they had an app let alone know what it could do. I thought I’d just download it to keep track of my points. Apparently, it could do more than that.

They have discount coupons! The coupons are mainly (or only–not really sure) for SM partner merchants like Parisian, Surplus, and Toy Kingdom, among others. Not bad. In addition, you can redeem these coupons without affecting your points balance. YAY.

Personally, I’ve tried just one coupon so far. It offered a 10% discount for any regular item from Tough Kids (kids apparel at SM Department Store). Here’s what happened: I picked a pair of sneakers for my son and presented the coupon’s bar code to the cashier. I was expecting to have a quick and smooth transaction because the instructions on the coupon made it sound like it was going to be easy. However, nobody at the cashier knew what to do! I had to explain that it was a coupon from their app and not a .jpg file made by aliens using MS Paint. They passed me (and my phone) along to different people until someone brought out a receipt pad, scribbled things on it, and let me go with my discounted sneakers. Good thing I wasn’t in a hurry then.

That made me wonder, was my points balance unaffected because it was really supposed to work that way or was it only because the cashier didn’t know what to do? It also made me realize that people were not maximizing their rewards cards. The fact that SM’s staff were unfamiliar with it meant that not a lot of people were using the coupons. A 10% discount may not be much, but it’s still a discount. And a discount is always tita-approved.

(The coupons are not restricted to merchandise, by the way. They have special deals and promotions going on with restaurants and other merchants as well. Check it out. It’s lovely.)

Anyway, back to the app itself. Half the time, it works. The other half, it either takes too long to do what you want it to or just doesn’t do anything at all. But I’m okay with that. Just don’t touch my points, SM. And keep the coupons and other perks coming!