More often than not, going on a date means catching a movie, eating out, and sharing dessert. It can get a bit repetitive if you've been doing this for x number of years, so we round up other date ideas that can spice up your love life (in a very wholesome way). These may also earn you some plus points if you've only started seeing each other. Wink, wink!
1) Immerse yourself in a bit of culture in Escolta
Escolta in Manila was once the place to be from the year 1800 to the late 1900s. Nowadays, its old buildings have been repurposed as bazaar spots, coffee shops, and watering holes. You can experience this historic place in a different way by booking a walking tour through Manila Who, where you have to find clues that will lead you to your next stop or finish challenges to gather enough evidence to solve a fictional case. It's the perfect way to find out if you can communicate well with your future boyfriend/girlfriend even in the middle of a stressful situation!
2) Volunteer together at PAWS
Love dogs but can't fully commit to taking one home? Philippine Animal Welfare Society regularly seeks volunteers who can assist in their clinic, help clean up the animal shelters, walk the dogs, or simply stroke a cat's fur. This way, you can show your date how loving and caring you can be. Volunteer work requires at least six hours a month, so it's also a good way to guarantee a second date.
3) Have a picnic at Salcedo Park
Patches of green can be hard to come by in Metro Manila, but Salcedo Park—in the middle of the skyscrapers of Makati—provides a small spot of grass for those who want to experience a fun afternoon picnic. Don't forget to bring a mat! After eating, you may want to play a game or two of badminton or frisbee.
4) Create your own bags in a leather workshop
The best gifts are often the ones that take a lot of hard work. At Soul Flower Co., you can learn how to make leather bags, belts, pouches, and jewelry using your very own hands. You can even sign up for a ring-making class and just propose to your loved one right then and there.
5) Take your love of coffee to a whole new level through coffee tasting
Met your special someone in a cafe? Add to your long list of coffee-date memories by taking a class in specialty coffee tasting or joining a public cupping session at Yardstick, EDSA Beverage Design Group, or SGD Coffee in Teachers Village.
6) Practice your aim at an indoor shooting range
It's not only an exciting option for a date, but also a great stress reliever after a busy week. Manila Target Shooting Range at the HK Sun Plaza Complex is a good place to start. Rates start at P3,000 for a handgun with 50 rounds.
7) Enjoy the view at La Mesa Ecopark
It could be hard to believe that there's a small nature reserve in the busy city, but Quezon City proves that it's possible. La Mesa Eco Park, a 33-hectare public park in the 2,700-hectare La Mesa Watershed Reservation, showcases the rich flora and fauna of the last remaining rainforest in Metro Manila. The tree-lined facility is perfect for hiking, mountain-biking, horseback riding, boating, swimming, and more. You can even hold hands while strolling around the orchidarium or butterfly sanctuary.
8) Check out the Jellies Exhibit at the Manila Ocean Park
People are often wary of jellyfish while out in the sea because, well, getting stung hurts. But at Manila Ocean Park, these gelatinous aquatic animals glide in small aquariums filled with colorful lights. Breathtaking music also plays in the background to create an experience that's pretty mesmerizing. They're not otherwise known as "dancing sea fairies" for nothing.
9) Go stargazing at the Manila Observatory
Nope, it's not in Manila. The Manila Observatory in Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City was originally established as a private institution for weather forecasting. It eventually ventured into astronomical studies in 1899. And we're glad they did because any budding astronomer can now tinker with their small telescopes. While you're out there, why not wait for a shooting star and wish for a forever with the love of your life?
10) Appreciate Philippine art at the National Museum
"The Progress of Medicine in the Philippines" (1953) by Carlos "Botong" Francisco
Now that the National Museum trifecta—Anthropology, Fine Arts, and Natural History—is almost complete, people can't be any more excited to visit this repository of the countryâs history and culture. Amaze your date with how much you know about Philippine art (besides the famous Spoliarium, of course).