Color Pampanga blue

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    GREEN WAS the color of Pampanga. Of vast sugarcane fields, rice paddies, vegetable gardens and forested hills.

    Turned red – as it birthed social unrest and grew the communist movement. Red still, blue and white too, at the time of Imperial America’s domineering presence. Yellow – with the widow, at the time of the  People Power revolution. Grey –  ash-blanketed by the Pinatubo eruptions. Orange, as the phoenix regenerated, reborn  from the embers of the   devastation.  A kaleidoscope of colors in its march to prosperity therefrom.  Don’t look now but blue is starting to    become  the dominant color of Pampanga. SM blue that is.  Soon as Punto! broke the news that SM Development    Corp. had – for the grand price of P939 million – won the bid for the Paskuhan Village, came yet another    announcement that  the Sy conglomerate is “in serious negotiations to acquire vast tracts of lands in Porac town.”     “For residential and business hubs,” said Mayor Condralito de la Cruz of the SM  intentions. Adding that the MVP  Group is  likewise in an invest-in-Porac mode. Much earlier, SM acquired the vast Lazatin  property along MacArthur  Highway in Barangay  Telabastagan, City of San Fernando along  with the iconic Essel Supermarket which has  promptly morphed to Savemore Market. The  deal reportedly costing way over P1.5 billion.  Buyer and seller in total     silence though.  Count now SM’s visible investments in Pampanga.  The longest mall in the whole Philippines that  is   SM City Pampanga. Further accessorized with Sky Ranch, hosting the largest Ferris wheel in the country.One more    mall within a four-kilometer radius from the first – SM San Fernando Downtown.  Even Walter Mart, hoped to take      away if only a little of the SM clientele, is now mainly  owned by SM. Some 20 kilometers away, SM City Clark where    sited a BPO center, and soon shall have  its own hotel. Even sooner, a bowling center. Once Mabalacat City’s  biggest wholesale store, the Ayalas’ Makro is now SM Hypermart. Savemore, SM’s pocket supermarket,   makes its presence felt too in Angeles City and  Guagua, aside from what once was Essel. And lest we forget, that SM  demi-mall in Apalit. Arguably, SM is the biggest investor in  Pampanga. In volume, if not in value. And, as the    Porac mayor revealed, there is  apparently no stopping it from infusing more. Mabalacat Mayor Boking Morales     whispers too of some negotiations with SM.  Truly, SM’s got it all. And still wants some more?  Absent any business   acumen, plain pen  pushers as we are, we can only speculate over this uber bullishness of SM on the  province. No,   Ashley Manabat, it is not merely to bully other investors and get the Kapampangan cake  all for itself. No matter that   bullish, bully and bullshit grew out of the same root.  SM definitely knows something in Pampanga that we don’t. That   we are not even aware of. It won’t be the corporate mega-powerhouse that it is if it did not.  Whatever it is we can only  hope that  Pampanga’s turning SM blue would not make our cabalens sing the blues. 

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