Pretty soon it’s going to be Valentine’s Day. For those who are attached, it could mean a stressful time trying to find unique date ideas you could do on this day.
After all, it’s so boring to just go to a restaurant, right? Not to mention every food establishment will be full with dating couples out to celebrate hearts day.
Full disclosure, though: I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. I think everyday should be celebrated with your loved one. However, I’m aware of why this special day is recognized.
So for all the people who want to celebrate it, here are romantic date ideas for Valentine’s, suggested by my fellow travel bloggers.
Keep it simple: have dinner together and enjoy the beauty of nature.
For some people, the simplest way is the best way. You can eat out–there are so many wonderful restaurants out there that could provide the perfect ambiance for you. Kara Santos recommends Maginhawa St. in Quezon City. It has a LOT of romantic dining places, including Van Gogh is Bipolar, BlackSoup Cafe + Artspace, Gayuma ni Maria, Leona Art Restaurant, When Uan Met Sally, and The Sweet Spot.
If you want your dinner to be more romantic, you can go on a Manila Bay Sunset Cruise. It’s an hour-long cruise that will take you from Manila Bay up to Mall of Asia and back. There’s dinner provided with the boat ticket, and a live band will serenade the passengers too. Buy your ticket in advance, since Valentine’s Day is sure to be sold out soon!
Those who are in the Visayas region would love the Palina River Cruise in Roxas City, Capiz. Claire Madarang says it’s quiet and idyllic, with a picturesque view of the river, mangroves, islets, and riverside communities.
She adds, “As this place is not your usual tourist destination, don’t be surprised to find it all to yourselves, save for some locals. Before you step on the raft, you can dine on oysters fresh from the river, as well as the seafood that Capiz is so famously known for.”
If dinner and cruising seems to be too cliché for you, you can also opt to go on a nature trip first. Mhe-Anne Ojeda My Comings and Goings recommends Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. She and her husband had gone there on their first date. There’s fish feeding, as well as “a water taxi ride for a scenic view of the whole facility. For heart-pumping activities, you can go jogging, biking, wakeboarding or playing sports at the 10-hectare open field.” You can also go bird watching or just have a picnic there.
Still in Laguna, Paula Anntoneth recommends a quaint bed-and-breakfast located in the heart of San Pablo City. It’s a converted old house that also has a museum, a restaurant, and–best of all–easy access to tourist attractions in the area like the seven lakes, the San Pablo Church, and the old houses in the city.
For those who are in Bukidnon in Mindanao, Regin Reyno recommends walking around in Mountain View College. It is 800 meters above sea level and is surrounded by the forest. It has wide green lawns, tall pine trees, and a park with a beautiful view–a truly romantic place!
Bukidnon and Laguna too far from you? Take Marky Ramone Go’s recommendation then, and just take a stroll in Luneta Park in Manila. According to him, it’s “a popular dating place since what the elders refers to as ‘panahon ni Homma‘ (referring to Japanese WWII General Masaharu Homma).” He asks, “What better way to carry the tradition of walking side by side and holding hands with your special someone than to do it in a modern time where the world is screaming not of a great war against an imperial army, but against the tyrannical ruling of the corrupt politicians?”
You can also just stay in Makati City and listen to music at The Collective, “a small artsy compound that houses an eclectic combination of galleries, restaurants and shops,” according to Marj Garra. “You can also check out another famous Indie hangout, SaGuijo Bar+Cafe. It has a very intimate setting—you will only be a few feet, if not inches, away from your favorite band!” she adds.
Splurge on an island getaway date!
For those with the time and money to splurge on a weekend getaway, what better way to show your love than to plan for a day or two at the beach or at some lovely island? The Philippines has so many of these beautiful destinations (read: Most Romantic Places in the Philippines) that you can celebrate every month in a new place for years without repeating a single destination!
Boracay is, of course, on top of the list of most travelers. It has been named as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and Brenna Bustamante highly recommends it. She loves Diniwid Beach for snorkeling, sunbathing and swimming, and–most of all–for the beautiful sunset that makes it a perfect place for romance.
There are many other beautiful places in the Philippines, though. Cebu City, for example, has a lot of beautiful beaches that are a must-visit. One of these is Bantayan Island which is popular with both local and foreign tourists. Oman Serapio recommends it for lovers, as it “has the atmosphere of a laid-back island full of beaches and old-world wonders.”
Reiza Dejito, on the other hand, likes Sumilon Island. According to her, Sumilon is a “white-sand-rimmed paradise just an hour and a half south of Cebu City. It has a small cove tucked between a cliff and shifting sandbar for much-needed privacy. It can provide the perfect backdrop and a memorable experience for a first or even a twentieth date!”
Still another island in Cebu that travelers love is the Camotes Island. It is “idyllic, enchanting, and just simply amazing,” according to Zigfred Diaz. He adds, “Its beaches, caves, underground springs and fascinating rock formation are just what awaits couples out there who would want to celebrate their relationship with nature’s wonders.”
Down in Mindanao, Edelito Sangco highly recommends Bucas Grande Island. Everyone should check out the world-renowned Sohoton Cove, an inlet with a 40-meter cave entrance passable only during low tide. He says, “Marvel at the scenic rock formations, snorkel and dive on the placid azure waters, and swim with the friendly and stingless jellyfish.”
For adventure-seekers, show love on the rocks (or the mountains)
Couples who share the same love for extreme adventure sports will find that nothing beats going on a date in the mountains or on the rocks. You can go rock climbing in Cantabaco, Toledo, Cebu.
According to bloggers Gian and Shiela, “Trust is the most important aspect of a healthy relationship, and nothing can demonstrate that mutual trust more eloquently than belaying your partner as he or she climbs a sheer cliff; his or her life is literally in your hands.”
If it’s trekking you want, and not exactly rock climbing, go to Osmeña Peak, still in the province of Cebu! Cleofas P. Yuson III finds that trekking with his loved one is his choice of a romantic date.
And for the most adventurous of all–climb a mountain! The Philippines’ third highest peak is Mount Pulag in Benguet, and during the cold months (February still may be considered cold season), you may be able to see the so-called Sea of Clouds. I’ve hiked there with the UP Mountaineers in 2003, and at night it reached a low of 3 degrees Celsius!
According to Mike Laagan, climbing Mt. Pulag is something that every (active) couple must try. This will test your patience and will, and the sunrise is a sight to behold. The experience will never be matched by anything else when you are up there, on top of the clouds.
There you go–there’re lots and lots of romantic ideas here that you can use for Valentine’s Day–or any other day, for that matter. Make every moment count with the one you love!
Do you observe Valentine’s Day? What will you do to celebrate it this year?
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Aleah Taboclaon is a freelance writer and editor. She likes running (completed one marathon, training for the next!), diving (PADI open water diver), and traveling with her Kindle. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also email her; she would love to hear from you!