For some, it’s a day of sulking and being bitter and complaining (“Bwisit, sobrang daming tao sa mall!”) and accidentally getting hit in the face by obnoxious bouquet-carrying people. But for others, Valentine’s Day is still a celebration of love. No matter how cheesy or consumerist it feels like for others, many couples (and single guys or girls!) still go on special dates on that special day.
Wondering where Pinoys went this year? Luckily, the team of Uber Philippines gave us some enlightenment. These were the top hotels and malls booked as destinations for Valentine’s Day, according to their data:
Solaire, Shangri-La at the Fort, and City of Dreams
Perhaps, couples splurged on a sumptuous dinner or maybe some drinks at one of the classy restos and bars. Perhaps, they were there for grand staycation with the posh, romantic interiors or the premium amenities of the deluxe rooms or suites. These top-tier hotels certainly have something for everyone...everyone who has plenty of money to throw around, that is. And the world-class suites “fit for royalty” would’ve made any woman swoon and feel like a queen. The guys must’ve gotten lucky.
SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, SM Aura, Greenbelt 3, and UP Town Center
These malls were the destination of choice of a lot of Uber riders, and they may have come in pairs, as a group of friends, or as a family. With so many options for every price range and interest, going to the mall was a popular choice—which is why all of them (even others like Megamall, for instance) were pretty frickin’ crowded. The traffic situation that night (and the morning after) also tell you how big a deal the holiday still is for a lot of Pinoys.
Aside from the data from Uber, a few taxi drivers were also surveyed to know where else people went this Valentine’s Day. Here’s what they said:
Buffet restaurants for couples and families
Kram Arboleda, an Uber driver, mentioned that his riders went to these establishments for Valentine’s. “Barbara's Resto fine dining sa Intramuros para sa couple[s] and MOA seaside sa family. Others decided to take their date to Viking’s,” he said over Messenger when asked where some of his riders went. Looking at the amount you need for the buffet (for a family!) or a complete meal for two at the restos, one thing’s for sure: those people went all out! Naks, may budget.
Work, work, work, and bahay lang.
The other taxi drivers surveyed, however, said that they picked up or dropped off a lot of passengers at their offices that day. “Sa may Ayala tsaka sa may BGC lang karamihan nagpapahatid,” according to Edsel, a working taxi driver. It’s not a holiday worthy of using leave credits for, at least for many Pinoys.
And here’s the second most common response of the drivers: their passengers just went home. Be it a strategy to mitigate date expenses or to simply enjoy his or her own company, going home makes sense. Of course, a lot of siblings gladly spend their Valentine’s with and buy gifts for the people that love them unconditionally forever—their parents. Many couples also prefer simple #teambahay dates, where both can just relax...and maybe enjoy some good ol’ sexy time in the privacy of their own bedroom.
Christian Route, Pasig
“May mga pasahero po ako na dun sa may Pasig ang punta, ‘yung sa food park dun sa may Christian Route,” said Harvey, another cab driver. Did the couples just indulge in the treats at The Yard: Underground? Or maybe they took detours at the infamous lane of inexpensive motels nearby? You be the judge.
Hotel Sogo and Victoria Court
One taxi driver also shared that some of his passengers went to these popular budget hotel chains that offer “so clean, so good” rooms and “a sweet escape.” Some branches even have themed rooms for those who want a unique experience. No surprise there, but the driver also said that he was more than happy to drop off couples at these places. “‘Yung mga motel po kasi may reward sa mga taxi driver ‘pag may customer papunta dun. ‘Yung isa bigas, tapos ‘yung isa may raffle tickets* din. Nanalo na nga ako ng toaster last year, eh. Sayang ‘di ganun karami mga pasahero ko na papunta dun sa mga motel ngayong taon.” Very, very interesting.
*Disclaimer: The information about the secret promo for taxi drivers were obtained from the driver and were not verified by the budget hotels.