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Not the usual candle-lit dinner

Raye Sanchez

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In romantic movies, we often see Valentine’s like a holiday — a girl wears an elegant dress to a candle-lit, warm-toned ambiance dinner with her significant other. In reality, not all couples want that kind of extravagant celebration.

In fact, people tend to have a laidback celebration because 14 February isn’t the only day where you can show your partner that you deeply love and care for them. Also, people nowadays know better than to appease the gods of capitalism.

But if you still want to spice things up a little this love month, here are other ways you can celebrate:

Staying in. Nothing beats the comfort of your own home. There, you won’t have to dress up and all that pizzaz. You can still have ambiance by doing your own setup with a personally prepared meal. Not only is it practical, it is special because you worked hard for it. Also, you can stay in your most comfortable state.

SIMPLE celebration with your loved one makes the day a lot sweeter. DAVID CUBANGBANG @tribunephl_dvd

Street food food trip. Instead of steak and wine, why not opt for fishballs, kikiam or kwek-kwek? It’s definitely worth a try. Mercato Centrale in BGC caters to those who want to try these classic Filipino street fare. But if you’re a daredevil who’s willing to take risks (it’s not that risky though), there will always be random kuya vendors on almost every curb of the city selling all kinds of street food.

Strolling around historical places. Despite being in an urban area, there are still some places in Manila where you can roam around and still get a vintage feel — Intramuros, for example. The famous walled city is now lit with bright street lights which makes it perfect (and safe) for a late afternoon and night stroll. There are also some historical sites in the area where you’ll spend little to nothing to view. Also, the Intramuros Administration recently opened the Dungeons in Fort Santiago so that would be nice to experience as well. Not only is it practical, it’s also educational.
Also, the Parisian-inspired Jones Bridge is only a few steps away from “Intra.”

FANCY street food for a date? Clem Onojeghuo/ UNSPLASH.COM

Get some vitamin sea. Since this year’s Valentine’s day also falls on a payday, why not go on a trip? There are plenty of beautiful beaches near Manila — one where a day trip would suffice. It’s also a nice way to destress from life’s everyday works.

Escape the escape room with your friends. Valentine’s day isn’t just for couples per se. You can also celebrate it with your friends and their significant others.

And instead of going on a double, triple or quadruple dinner date, why not test your courage and thinking skills by going in an escape room? Breakout Philippines is one of the places where you can experience being stuck inside a room where you’ll have to figure out how to escape using your intellectual skills. Not only is it fun, it can strengthen your bond.

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