Metro Manila may be relatively small in land size (613.9 square kilometers to be exact), but traffic congestion makes dating between couples from the North and the South practically a long-distance affair. But that shouldn't stop you from spending quality time with your partner in her own turf. This week, we've prepared a dating guide for you Northeners out to treat your beloved from the South to an impressively good time.
FIRST STOP: A QUICK GETAWAY
Since this dating guide is meant to be for a whole day, you might as well head down to the south early to get a good headstart. Traffic during the weekend is not as light as you think. The reason for the early travel is that you’ll want to spend the morning out of town. Relax, where you're going isn't all that far, well, not if you’re coming from the south. In as little as 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the traffic, for example, you can get to Nuvali and spend some time taking in the fresh air, biking around, or even doing water sports.
Option 1: Sporty Action
Republic Wakepark in Nuvali is a renowned world-class wakeboarding cable park facility, where enthusiasts get around the water through cables instead of actual boats. If you’re a beginner, they definitely have room for newbies craving adventure and adrenaline-pumping action. If you’ve got skills and want to show off, you can head over to their funbox and the challenging obstacle-filled area. They open at 8:30 a.m. daily and offer some pretty reasonable rates. A 4-hour session will set you back P595, while an 8-hour stay costs P995. And if you’re both noobs, you’ll even get to rent their wakeboards for free!
Option 2: Falling Together
Another destination for you to consider is 2.5 hours away from Alabang. Hulugan Falls is situated in Luisiana, Laguna and has been below the radar of out-of-town-hungry urban tourists until recently. For the more intrepid outdoor explorers, however, Hulugan is one of the more breathtaking hidden gems just outside of the city.
Hulugan is one of three falls in the forests of San Salvador, the two others being Talay and Hidden Falls. For better time management, determine how many you would like to check out beforehand. The descent to Hulugan will take about 30 minutes, while the climb back up will vary significantly on how cardio-ready you are.
If you want to see all three, note that it’s going to take you 1.5 hours ONE WAY. If you don’t want to tire yourselves out too much and would still like to make it back to the city in time for some afternoon snacks, then it’s best that you stick to the area's major attraction, taking a refreshing dip and IG-worthy couple pics. You can always come back for the other ones some other time anyway.
SECOND STOP: CHILLAX AND AFTERNOON SNACKS
Option 1: Food Park
Assuming you’re back in the south by mid- or early afternoon, reward yourselves with fun snacks over at the Container Turf in BF, Aguirre. It just opened recently so expect a lot of other curious foodies lining up to get in.
Mac n’ Cheese burgers, Korean street food, giant ribs, and extra rich desserts are all in store for you there. Be careful not to fill yourself up, though, because you’ve still got dinner on the way. Still, it should be a great venue for you to refill and recharge after that exciting morning you’ve had.
Option 2: Paint Your Couple Future
Sip and Gogh is a huge hit among dating couples because it’s a fun and wholesome spot to spend time with each other while also just staying relaxed and feeling artistic. It’s a café as well, actually, so you can have your snacks or coffee too if you opt to spend the rest of your day in the Alabang area. Enjoy the light banter and chats as you go about your painting. Afterwards, you can both pose for a souvenir picture to show off your works of art.
THIRD STOP: DINNER
Option 1: Romantic Dinner
The Nest: Dining in the Sky is an al fresco restaurant on top of Vivere Hotel. It makes for a perfect night cap as you enjoy a sumptuous dinner with your S.O. while looking over Laguna de Bay as it glistens in the moonlight. Don’t worry about the dress code because it’s actually pretty laid back—as long as you make sure to change into something comfy and presentable following your morning adventures, of course. They offer a wide variety of dishes, from Asian to International cuisine. On average, you'll shell out approximately P2,500 for you and your date.
Option 2: Neighborhood Pub Feels
South Pub is one of the newest pubs you can check out. Situated on the second floor of the Commerce Center, you can choose to come here if you want a more casual and chill environment, without the usual rowdy pub crowds on weekends.
Draft beers and cocktails are available and reasonably priced, and food is exciting and delicious. You can see and taste for yourself by trying out their buffalo wings, pasta, grilled cheese sandwich with sisig, and the deceivingly healthy mushroom chicharon. Budget ranges from P700 to P1,500 for you both.
Option 3: Gig Night
19 East along Sucat Road is the place to go in case you both would like to wrap up the night with some good music. Just make sure to check out who’s playing for that night, especially if you’re keen on catching a particular band or artist. Whoever may be up on schedule, however, you can be sure that it’s going to be another great way to end one great day with your beloved down south.
So to you, northern lover, Godspeed and good luck!