Valentine’s Day is coming up and if you’re tired of the usual dinner date, there are plenty of things you can do other than a fancy dinner at an overpriced restaurant. Whether you’re spending the day with your significant other, your best friend, your mom, a sibling, or a group of single friends, these ideas are unique ways to celebrate love—whether it’s romantic or otherwise. You can even have a date with yourself and celebrate self-love!
1. Go on a cultural tour.
Head to the capital and explore a museum or two, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Manila or the highly photogenic National Museum of Natural history. Go on a walking tour of Intramuros and have dinner at one of the restaurants within the city walls. Cap off the evening by heading to the restored Jones Bridge in Binondo for a romantic stroll. The historic bridge has some newly installed Beaux Arts-style lampposts that give the area some Paris feels and that would make a gorgeous backdrop for your couple photos.
2. Paint and sip.
Some establishments offer painting lessons along with glasses of wine. You can also just purchase art materials and a bottle of wine, and spend an evening at home painting or sketching each other. It doesn’t matter if neither of you is particularly artistic—in fact, this might make it even more fun! At the end of the night, you can give each other your masterpieces as a present and as souvenirs from this date.
3. Take dance lessons.
Search online for places offering dance classes for couples. Some bars or restaurants host salsa nights where you can just come and dance the night away. Don’t worry if you’ve never danced in your life. The point is to do something different together! And trying something new together, with your arms around each other, can certainly bring you closer.
4. Go on a food trip.
Pick a neighborhood that has plenty of restaurants, such as Maginhawa Street in Quezon City, Kapitolyo in Pasig, or Binondo in Manila. Go from restaurant to restaurant, sharing one dish at each place, starting with appetizers and ending with dessert or coffee.
5. Commune with nature.
You don’t have to go too far to spend the day outdoors. Go for a hike at Masungi Georeserve or go biking at La Mesa Nature Reserve. If you have more time, you can go on a trek to Mt. Pinatubo on the border of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga: You’ll start off with a ride on a 4x4 before going on a fairly easy three-kilometer hike on rugged, often scenic, terrain. The hike ends at the enchanting crater lake. Rest up, have a snack, then hike back. (Holding hands optional.)
6. Have a themed movie night at home.
Pick a movie and prep food to go with it. Watching Under the Tuscan Sun? Have some pasta and some Italian wine. Going for a Korean horror flick? Try making your own kimchi fried rice!
7. Have a spa day.
Spas usually have specials for couples to celebrate the month of hearts. Book a private room and get pampered side by side. On a budget? Create a relaxing ambiance at home with candles and mood music then book an affordable home service massage. Or buy some massage oils, set up your room diffuser and pamper each other!
8. Sweeten it up.
Who says a romantic meal has to mean a candlelit dinner? Switch things up and whisper sweet nothings over sweets. On February 14, Baking Therapy—Healthy Options’ new café—will be launching its Valentine’s tea set. Get a hearty assortment of gluten-free scones, sandwiches, and artisanal pastries served with organic tea or coffee for just P1,300 for two. Available beginning Valentine’s Day from 2:30 to 5:30 pm and every Friday to Sunday until March. Want to surprise your loved one with something decadent? Pre-order Baking Therapy’s cake made with organic strawberries and Valrhona chocolate (P750).
Baking Therapy at Healthy Options is located at Uptown Mall BGC. For reservations, call (02) 7940-4426 or email [email protected].