I’ve featured the Plaza Luisita Commercial Complex last year and it is a popular (and maybe even mandatory) stopover for travelers going to the north from Manila. One popular near-counterpart in the south is Paseo de Sta. Rosa in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Launched way back in 1997, This strip mall (which is the flagship retail complex of Greenfield City) is located along the Sta. Rosa–Tagaytay Road and I think it is a very good choice for a stopover when you’re going to Tagaytay or the western parts of Batangas like Nasugbu and Calatagan. But between the two—Luisita or Paseo—I prefer Luisita’s ambiance more because of its numerous acacia trees. Then again, Paseo beats Luisita hands down in terms of restaurant choices.
Arguably the best-known restaurant of Paseo de Sta. Rosa is Kanin Club. Its fame is the stuff of food blogs and people go to Santa Rosa just to eat at Kanin Club even if they’re not going to Tagaytay or beyond. It’s a good thing that Kanin Club opened its second branch in Alabang (at Westgate Filinvest) (and this is the one I ate at) and so Metro Manila foodies need not go all the way to Laguna. The problem is, the branch in Alabang is quite small.
Photo from the Greenfield Development Corp. website.
Going back to Santa Rosa, other notable restaurants in Paseo are Brothers Burger, Café Breton, Yellow Cab Pizza, Shakey’s, Razon’s, and Pancake House. Of course Jollibee Foods Corporation can’t resist putting up branches there of its flagship fast-food chain Jollibee, as well as Chowking and Greenwich. In addition, Paseo has Starbucks Coffee (no surprise there), National Bookstore, and sports stores like Nike, Speedo, and Adidas. Interestingly, the Ateneo Graduate School of Business has a branch right in Paseo itself (I can imagine the Starbucks there packed with Ateneans doing coursework over frappes).
Paseo de Sta. Rosa reminds me most of the Blue Wave strip mall in Pasay City. The ambiance and architecture is the same and like Blue Wave, Paseo has a central activity center for concerts, job fairs, and other events. But unlike Blue Wave, Paseo is much more extensive, currently occupying 16 hectares and with expansion room for 4 more hectares. The Paseo 4 building is currently under construction and is expected to be launched this July 2009.
If you wish to learn more, I guess the best place to start is the official webpage of Paseo de Sta. Rosa over at the Greenfield Development Corporation website.