Alternative Valentine's Dates

Alternative Valentine's Dates 
By Walter Ang
February 14, 2007
Philippine Daily Inquirer

We know the formula for Valentine's Day dates. You have the de rigueur chocolates, flowers, fancy dinners, soft music, the works. It's all fun and exciting and romantic, but if you'd rather not deal with the crowds, the traffic and the endless list of things that could go wrong, you can also try 2bU!'s alterna-date ideas. We've come up with a list of different date ideas you can try on the day of love. Hey, your time together can be just as romantic even without candlelight.

Take a hike. 
Arrange for a private walking tour of either vibrant Escolta or bustling Chinatown or colorful Quiapo any area of downtown Manila you haven't been to before. If you've never been to these parts of the city, you might as well visit them with someone you like, right? The nostalgia in those old art-deco buildings, the aromas of the merchandise, the vigor of the people are all ingredients to this on-your-feet date. If you're feeling brave, you can go on your own and revel in the joy of the unplanned itinerary. If you'd rather have someone guide you along, check out the websites of streetwalkers Ivan ManDy (www.oldmanilawalks.com) and Carlos Celdran (http://celdrantours.blogspot.com/).

Picnic in the city. 
Forget Tagaytay or Baguio. Have a picnic in the middle of the city. Where you ask? Away from the maddening crowds, you can spend a nice quiet evening together on the rooftop of a building. Sitting on your gingham blanket, you can dine under a canopy of stars and amidst the glow of city lights. You heard right, a night time picnic. The sound of the occasional car horn from down below will only add to the urban flair. You know what kind of soundtrack would make it feel like a scene right out of a movie? Bring along a transistor radio and tune into an AM station that plays those old Tagalog love songs. The crackle and static is all part of the fun.

You can make your cake (and eat it, too!).
Try learning something you both have never tried. Not only will you experience or learn something new, you create a new memory for the both of you to share. Why not learn how to ballroom dance or take a one-day cooking class? You don't have to say sweet nothings to each other but you can surely bake it right up. Remember the movie "Ghost"? Be your own Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in a pottery class. The Instituto Cervantes (http://manila.cervantes.es/) has some upcoming gustatory-related classes like "Mastering Spanish Wine" and "Introduction to Spanish Cuisine."

Day at the museum. Admit it, the only time you've been to a museum was back in the fourth grade with your classmates. This time, no one is forcing you to go so you'll have a better chance of enjoying yourself. Plus, you're a little older now, which means you can finally actually appreciate the things you can see in a museum. There are lots of different kinds of museums (and art galleries) that will suit your fancy (art, history, etc.). To find one that will interest you both, you can visit the site of the Musuem Volunteers of the Philippines (http://mvphilippines.hypermart.net/index2.htm).

Also published online:
http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/you/2bu/view_article.php?article_id=49252