Last week, we gave the northern guys a chance to make a good impression on their southern loves. This time, it’s up to the southern boys to rise to the challenge. The north can be a big, scary place, especially if you don’t often venture into it. But when it’s love that's at stake, no distance is too far, no river too wide, and no EDSA or C-5 traffic is too dense for you to get to your girl.
So gear up and make your way to the other side, gentlemen!
FIRST STOP: NO TOLL NEEDED
Option 1: Museum to Build Your Love History
Where you’re going for your first stop is a place you don’t need to pay toll. It’s just a little to the East, specifically in Antipolo. Pinto Art Museum is filled with beautiful artwork housed in a quaint and romantic garden. Some will say it’s a cliché of a date place, but if you see it for yourself, you’ll understand why it’s such an easy pick to have a memorable day with your significant other.
The museum structure in itself is interesting with its Mediterranean-inspired design. The vast, open space also makes it perfect for that ideal HHWW (holding hands while walking) moment.
Option 2: Going with the Flow
If you want a more adventurous trip, you can go to Tanay, Rizal and enjoy what nature has to offer in the form of Tinipak River. It's one heck of an awesome sight, and like the Hinulugan Falls in the south, has only recently gained popularity.
It’s best to start the journey early so you can make the most out of the day trip. Make sure get a tour guide for yourself—this is required for your own safety. It takes an hour or so to get to the main point of attraction along the river, so preserve and prepare your strength for it. Once there, you'll be greeted with a fantastic view. The impressive tinapak rocks, impressively clean and white, shaping the flow of the river, make for the perfect IG capture. There are also small, natural “tub” formations, where you can safely dip in away from the rushing currents. Considering that it’ll only set you back some Php650, it’s sure to be well worth the trip.
SECOND STOP: Afternoon Relief
Option 1: Ginhawa in Maginhawa
After that morning out of town, head back into the city for some lunch or mid-afternoon grub. When it comes to food in the North, there’s no other place that comes to mind than Maginhawa Street in Teacher’s Village. Several food parks can be found here including the pioneering StrEAT: Maginhawa, Malingap Marketplace, Sagul Food Park and more.
Apart from food parks, there are also various eateries, coffee shops, fancy restaurants, and special dessert establishments that are sure to get you full.
Option 2: Up in UP
UP offers more than just academic excellence, a sweet stroll around the iconic oval can prove to be a hit with your ladylove should you have all the right moves. If you’ve got some more energy left, you can bike around, or simply take out a picnic spread and enjoy the afternoon as you wait for the sunset in the Sunken Garden.
You can go to the Coop to get some snacks—maybe some tapsilog from Rodic’s along the way, and a variety of isaw from Mang Raul’s (yes, he’s still there, contrary to panicky reports). What better way to spend some quiet time with your plus one and reminisce about your halcyon days than in a cozy campus.
THIRD STOP: Dinner
Option 1: The Fancy Date Place
If you’d like to take her out somewhere fancy, there are a bevy of choices in the North. Ninyo Fusion Cuisine in Loyola Heights is a common go-to for couples going for a fancier night out of town, particularly on special occasions like anniversaries—or you making your way to the north. They serve mostly Japanese but also other Asian cuisines. Make sure to dress up, and prep your wallet too, as appetizers can already set you back at least Php230 to Php500. As for the mains, you can have honey marinated salmon for just a little under Php600, while a Java Rubbed Duck Breast Magret is at about Php800.
If you want something more cool but still date-appropriate, you can go to Van Gogh is Bipolar. They have set meals that should make it easy to decide on what to eat. Impress your date with a 5-course meal if you want, and only for PhP1250 per head.
Option 2: Dance the Night Away
If you’d like to go to a club, head over to Eastwood. It should strike a nice balance with the relaxing afternoon you’ve just had, either in the food parks or in the UP Sunken garden. Dress codes apply, of course, so just make sure to dress the part. You don’t have to stay on the dance floor all night long, too. The point is for you to have a fun time with your date.
Option 3: Go Giggin’
The north is utterly spoiled with choices for gigs. Cubao’s Today X Future is the right venue for all thos electro-dance tunes you've been waiting to click your heels to all week. Conspiracy Bar in Visayas Avenue has a more laidback restaurant and garden vibe. Maybe a bucket of beer in Route 196 along Katipunan is more your thing. 70’s Bistro in Anonas is also a crowd favorite.
The best part about all these choices is that they serve good food, ice cold beer, reasonable door charges, and great OPM music.