It's nice to treat your loved ones to luxurious experiences once in a while when you celebrate special occasions. However, it's not really a requirement you need to tick off to create memories worth treasuring. In the long run, it will benefit you both more if you choose to spend your money wisely, shelling out on more important necessities than splurging for the sake of a one-time event. And if your partner truly loves you, surely, they'd understand and would simply appreciate having the pleasure of your company. So for this month, fret no more about hurting your pockets. For our readers in Metro Manila, ahead, we list down affordable Valentine's date ideas that you'll love.
Wine and dine at Fino Deli
For a more classic Valentine's date idea, how about spending the evening on a romantic dinner? Head over to the peaceful suburbs of Marikina and reserve a table at Fino Deli, a hidden wine-and-dine gem in the city. The restaurant will serve you sumptuous dishes like Carbonara Souffle and Tomahawk Porkchops. To accompany your meal, you could order a glass of wine or — if you prefer — have a sip of their Signature Wine Milkshake. The best part? The two of you could enjoy the hearty affair atop a hill for only around PHP1,000(~USD20) with their à la carte selections. Quite worth the drive to Eastern Metro Manila, isn't it?
Catch an indie film at Cinema '76
Are you and your S.O. film junkies? This Valentine's season, drop by Cinema '76 in either of their Anonas, Quezon City or San Juan branches to get your movie fix. The micro-cinema is dedicated to bringing classic films, with an emphasis on Filipino productions -- whether they are indie or mainstream -- so you'll get a chance to view underrated titles you most likely won't see in a mall cinema. For their Love Fest this 2020, they're showing local love indies such as Tayo Sa Huling Buwan Sa Taon (Us, In The Last Month Of The Year), Sleepless, and more. But if the romance genre isn't your cup of tea, you can catch the screening of Bong Joon Ho's critically-acclaimed Parasite. For only PHP200(~USD4) a seat, film viewing in Cinema '76 is perhaps one of the most affordable date ideas you can do in Metro Manila.
Enjoy a sweet day in the Dessert Museum
Visiting the Dessert Museum at S'Maison in Pasay City is another fun yet affordable Valentine's date idea in Metro Manila. This will totally curb your cravings for sweets this Valentine's Day, stat. Take your partner with you as you explore eight sugar-filled rooms that set the perfect backdrop for your Insta-worthy couple snaps. From a confectionery carnival to a yummy gummy bear room — you'll find the stuff of Hansel and Gretel's dreams right here. For only PHP699(~USD14) each, you can have two hours of fun just sliding, jumping, and munching on dessert samples.
Have a retro party at Versus Barcade
For an electrifying night, the retro-themed Versus Barcade is the place for you. As the first "barcade" (contraption of "bar" and "arcade") in the country, this spot at Uptown Parade in Taguig indulges 80s kids in a night of nostalgic fun. Drink up and join in the drinking challenges. You can also head right into the game room that looks straight out of a Stranger Things scene to compete in old-school games like PacMan, Pinball, and more with your bae. For the hungry, order up elevated, video game-themed versions of Pinoy streetfood favourites like kwek-kwek (tempura-like quail egg dumplings) and isaw (barbecued pig or chicken intestines). Now that's what you call a perfectly laid-back date.
Reach new heights at Climb Central
Lastly, to foster a healthy relationship, both partners should learn to support and help one another. Practice that literally by attempting to scale walls at Climb Central in Mandaluyong City. First-timers and experienced climbers can come for an exhilarating experience in the largest indoor, air-conditioned climbing clinic in the country. A day pass and an equipment set will only set you back PHP600(~USD12) each, so dust on some chalk and climb right beside your partner. Strengthen your trust with one another by letting them know which rocks are best to step on so they don't end up slipping and falling. It can be challenging, but this sporty activity will surely be a good quality time for you both.