Some families build schools, others go into land development, others go into manufacturing, but the Del Rosarios chose to build something that is closest to the Filipino consumers’ heart—a shopping mall.
On Nov. 7, or a little over five months from now, the Del Rosarios’ baby, called the Fisher Mall, will open its doors to the public.
The choice for the mall’s name couldn’t have been more appropriate. After all, the Del Rosarios have been involved in the fishing business in Malabon for several years now. As such, the mall pays homage to the family’s forefathers who started it all.
Located in a strategic area in Quezon City, along Quezon Ave. corner Roosevelt Ave. [formerly Pantranco] , the five-story, family-owned establishment offers an alternative shopping experience for practically all types of shoppers.
“This [Fisher Mall] is our father’s way of giving back to the community, and the people who had supported us all these years, “ says Paul del Rosario, vice chairman of Mallers Investment Inc., the company that will operate the mall.
Paul is referring to his father Bobby del Rosario, the company’s chairman and the guiding force behind the family’s new endeavor.
It was the elder Del Rosario who sold the idea of building a shopping mall to sons Paul, Ray and Obby and his wife Moleen del Rosario some 10 years ago.
Five years later, the idea began to take form and construction of the mall immediately proceeded.
To ensure “structural integrity,” the Del Rosarios hired Palafox & Associates to conceptualize the design and overall look of the 114,000-square-meter establishment in line with the Del Rosarios’ vision of creating a mall for everyone, which is encapsulized into its tagline of “Find All. Be All.”
Bobby was fortunate enough to secure the property for the mall, which sits right at the heart of a busy thoroughfare and is easily accessible through public and private transportation.
The mall’s management also plans to provide terminals to serve commuters going to and from Farview, Quiapo and Muńoz and neighboring communities like Heroes Hills, West Triangle, Sta. Mesa Heights and the Scout areas, Timog and Roxas District, among others.
When completed, the mall will feature five shopping levels of top brands in fashion and entertainment, a “value-packed” supermarket, dining areas, a customer-centric fashion department store, five state-of-the-art digital movie houses and a 2,4000-square meter arcade, one of the biggest in the country.
“Construction is almost 70-percent complete. It’s going to be a mall that has a more relaxed and homey environment, with plenty of spaces and one which offers a wide range of activities for the entire family,” says Ray del Rosario, president of Mallers Management Corp.
Aside from Paul and Ray, pitching in to share their vision and expertise are Molleen and Obby (Roberto Alfonso), the youngest of the Del Rosarios, and Obby’s fiancee, Mallory Caton.
Only 24 years old, Obby moved to California in the United States when he was eight years old, where he finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in Legal Studies and Philosophy at Cal State Fullerton University in Fullerton, California. He later worked as a casualty department assistant manager for McGraw Insurance in Anaheim, California.
In January this year, Obby returned home for good. He will head the Fisherfoods Corp., which oversees the mall’s supermarket division.
Moleen, who has her own business as president and chief executive of Dermastrasse Skin and Slimming Center, will be on top of Clothers Asia, the company managing the department store anchor, which would showcase foreign brands from UK, Australia, US, Korea and Japan, as well as world-class, indigenous brands. Mallory, on the other hand, handles one of the more sensitive positions in management as the mall’s business development manager.
Despite his young age, Obby says he hopes that his experience as a single guy living in the US would translate into a deeper appreciation of what Filipino consumer want to see—and buy—in a supermarket.
“Living alone in the US has taught me many things, including buying my own food to cook from the supermarket,” says Obby, who was a competitive wrestler.
To ensure that the mall’s supermarket would meet the everyday needs of the consumers, Obby says they started the tedious task of looking for the best produce from several sources from Metro Manila and the provinces.
“We’re looking at all the best parts and the best produce that we can get and put them together in our supermarket,” says Obby.
“Of course, the fish will be the highlight of the supermarket. We promise you that you will be able to taste the difference when you buy direct from the source,” he says.
Fresh and quality produce aside, Obby says the supermarket is offering a convenience other malls may not be able to provide —by opening its doors as early as 7 in the morning.
“We recognize the fact that our moms shop early for what they need for the whole day. That’s why we’re going to wake up early and be there for them,” Obby says.
Because the young Del Rosarios admit to being movie buffs, Fisher Mall will construct five ultra-modern digital cinemas, but with a twist: the cinemas will have a “throwback feel like the 20s era.”
“We’re bringing back the days when going to the cinema was a big deal, an event in itself. Of course, it helps that we all love to watch movies. In fact, we bond together by watching our favorite movies,” Ray says.
Aside from watching movies, Ray, Paul and Obby love to play video games together. So it was but natural for the young Del Rosarios to conceptualize an arcade where the entire family and “barkadas” play and bond.
The arcade will be filled with the latest in video and interactive games, and is designed to pamper both the hardcore gamer and the occasional player.
“The arcade will have everything on it. We can’t really describe how it would look like right now, but when the mall opens, I am sure everybody will have a great time by just being there,” says Ray.
Although they share many interests and are similarly passionate about the business of running a mall, the Del Rosario siblings took separate paths before finally coming together as an emerging force in the retail business.
Ray (Robert Raymond) like Obby, took his studies in the US, finishing with a B.A. Economics degree at Pepperdine University in Malibu, and completed his business administration course at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California.
Paul, (Paul Gerard) on the other hand, is homegrown, so to speak. He graduated with a Human Resources Management degree at the Southville International School, and later etched his name in Philippine sports as a world jet ski champion.
All three Del Rosarios are actually into sports. While Paul made his name in jet ski, Obby was a champion wrestler in California, and was even nominated for Orange County, CA as Athlete of the Year in 2006.
Ray, on the other hand, is an accomplished polo player and frequents the Manila Polo Club to join tournaments.
Ray and Paul actually work together in the family’s various businesses, namely the Irma Deep-sea Fishing Inc., Nautilus Shipyard & Repair Inc., and Fishport Iceplant Inc., among others so they had more time to bond. But Obby’s recent arrival had completed the triumvirate of the ultra-competitive Del Rosarios.
“I think that it helped that we grew up separately for some time, because now that we’re all together, we had become closer because we’re sort of making up for those years,” says Ray.
That togetherness and strong bond among the Del Rosarios may be the key to the success of Fisher Mall, which, in the first place, was started by a family’s vision of creating a place for each member of the family to Find All and Be All.