Ororama Supercenter Annex Building Opens – YESTERDAY ONCE MORE

Dec 23, 2017

by The Night Stalker

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Thirty six years ago, in February 1981 to be exact, I moved to Cagayan de Oro from my hometown of Zamboanga City to start anew. My first job was as the “official letter writer” of the then Ororama Superstore which had just opened its department store annex along Mortola Street.

Atrium of the New Ororama Annex Building (RMB, NPN)

Atrium of the New Ororama Annex Building (RMB, NPN)


Last December 16, I was fortunate to be invited to share another milestone in its storied history with the grand opening of its new Annex Building along Mortola Street on Saturday, 16 December 2017.


But how times have changed looking back through the lens of 36 years: the Grand Opening featured celebrity guests Sam Concepcion, The Good Son Actor Mark Rivera and GMA’s Fantaserye Alyas Robinhood Lindsay De Vera  at the new Event Center in the second floor.

Lindsay De Vera dances with some fans (RMB,NPN)

Lindsay De Vera dances with some fans (RMB,NPN)


During my brief tenure with the store from 1981-1985, we were already thinking of inviting Filipino artists to promote what was then another expansion at the former Bahay ni Rosa Restaurant along Mortola Street. Mentioned was then rising Pinoy Folk stars Rey Valera, Freddie Aguilar, and Florante, among others.


Last December 16, the audience was much younger considering all featured artists were in their 20s or younger. I doubt if you would have heard the same screams from the audience every time one of the featured stars performed during the 1980’s.

Sam Concepcion interacts with fans at the Ororama Annex Bldg Event Center (RMB, NPN)

Sam Concepcion interacts with fans at the Ororama Annex Bldg Event Center (RMB, NPN)


And of course, everyone I had worked with during those days have moved or passed on, among them my buddies Tony Ong and Rudy SyLuz Diaz (Wholesale), Vilma Paz Lorono (Credit), Eddie Babia (Textiles), his better half Lina Babia (Cashier Supervisor), Linda Castro (Glassware), Nancy Dael (Office Admin), Nelybeth Tumara (Ladies RTW), Eleanor Tan (Jeans), Gingging Lanaja (HR) and Col. Pablo Parades(Security).


For my part, I was gradually given other sections to supervise in the first floor of the new Department Store Annex among them Cameras & Accessories, Books & Magazines, Records & Tapes (I can see the millennials furrowing their brows at this: unsa kuno?)and Sporting Goods.


On top of that, I also supervised the store’s promos like the “Instant Kotse Bonanza” and the follow-up “Biglang Bahay Bonanza” where the top prize was a house and lot for the then new Phase II of P.N.Roa Secured Valley Subdivision in Cala-anan, Canitoan. If I recall correctly, it was no less than Mr. Hong See himself who chose the names for these promos.


And look at how even that has changed: Patrons who come in early on December 16 (store opened at 8AM) got first dibs at Ororama’s Treats for Firsts tokens and giveaways!


The first 200 customers with at least P200 purchase at the Dept. Store got P200 gift certificates while the first 500 customers with at least P100 purchase at the Supermarket got gift packs. On top of this, any amount of purchase from the Fresh Section entitled the first 500 customers to six fresh eggs!


Later, when Ororama also acquired the adjacent lot which previously had a gasoline station, the space was used as the Fast Food Section which was probably the largest during its time. It was also here when Parasat’s Elpie Paras put one of his satellite dishes and hardcore NBA fans woke up at the wee hours of the morning to watch their favorite teams play live.


And most customers still came using the jeepney and motorela, through the J.R.Borja and Mortola entrance/exits, and the small space allotted for privately owned vehicles were often sufficient for their needs.


Today, motorist-shoppers have a parking lot along Mortola street in addition to the parking slots available to them in the old department store building. But they can now breathe easier with the availability of 60 parking slots in the new Basement Parking of the Annex Building.


The new Annex Building makes Ororama Supercenter one of the largest malls in Cagayan de Oro, in addition to the Rural Bank Building and former hardware store along J.R.Borja Street they have added in the meantime.

Three Generations - Mrs Gloria O. See, Mrs Genevieve See Yap and daughter enjoying the Dec 16 show at the Ororama Annex Bldg Event Center (RMB, NPN)

Three Generations – Mrs Gloria O. See, Mrs Genevieve See Yap and daughter enjoying the Dec 16 show at the Ororama Annex Bldg Event Center (RMB, NPN)


Kudos to my wedding ninong and ninang Mr Hong and Mrs Gloria See, and kids Erwin, Michelle and Genevieve for attaining another milestone in Ororama’s storied history.Mabuhay!




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