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In a Romantic Rut? Try These Fresh Date Ideas in Metro Manila

by Jean Arboleda
October 9, 2019

Whether you’ve been in a relationship for six months or six years, going on regular dates is crucial to keeping the love alive. More than allowing you to take time out from your busy lives to focus on each other, a great date gives you a chance to create memories together and build your bank of shared experiences. The good news is that you don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to plan something fun and romantic—you can change up your date routine as early as this weekend, and as often as you want to.

If you’re looking for something more than the usual dinner and movie night without having to go out of town, we’ve rounded up the best and coolest alternative date ideas in Metro Manila for you and your significant other to try.

1. Challenge yourselves at Pretty Huge Obstacles

INSTAGRAM: prettyhugeobstacles

Even if you don’t consider yourselves athletic or sporty, you’ll enjoy Pretty Huge Obstacles. It’s the largest indoor multi-level obstacle course race in Asia with everything you’ve seen on American Ninja Warrior—salmon ladder, Z wall, jumping bars, and yes, even the infamous warped wall! This adult obstacle course class will introduce you to all the obstacles and teach you the proper techniques, so even beginners to functional training are welcome. Bonus: if you end up enjoying this, then you could train together to start joining competitions (more date nights, yay!).

2/F SM Aura Premier
26th St. cor. McKinley Parkway, BGC, Taguig
(0947) 309 2222
(0917) 303 1111

2. Get in shape at Rise Nation

INSTAGRAM: risenationph

For couples who have busy schedules and are constantly on the move, high-intensity interval training is the way to go. One of the newest kids on the boutique fitness block, Rise Nation and its Jennifer Aniston-approved climbing cardio workouts are gaining a steady fanbase. Using a vertical climbing machine called the VersaClimber, you’ll get to improve your coordination and balance as you test your endurance and strength—all while enjoying the studio’s pumped-up beats and party lights. The best part? 30 minutes is all you need to sweat it out in this fun new workout.

2/F High Street South Corporate Plaza
26th St. cor 9th Ave., BGC, Taguig

3. Test your cooperative skills at Left Behind

INSTAGRAM: leftbehindph

Like winning a cooperative video game, breakout rooms are a fun way to test how well you work together. If you love watching thrillers and spy movies as a couple, try solving puzzles and cracking codes firsthand at Left Behind. One of their best challenges, called The Bunker, is set in a post-apocalyptic underground bunker, where you must ultimately decide if the world above is all it’s cracked up to be. Will you make it, or will you two get left behind?

3/F Ayala Malls Vertis North, QC;
2/F Ayala Malls Circuit Makati

4. Get inspired at the National Museum(s)


For a lot of people, museums are a great first (or hundredth) date. You get to know so much about your partner by finding out what kind of museum-goer they are, and there’s nothing quite like strolling through the galleries together in comfortable silence. If you both appreciate a beautiful Amorsolo, love staring at Luna’s Spoliarium, or want to discover more contemporary Filipino artists, try the National Museum of Fine Arts. You can also visit the National Museum of Natural History to learn more about our incredibly rich and diverse ecosystem. Here, you can walk through a rainforest or mangrove diorama, board a life-size submarine, and admire the Tree of Life sculpture in the atrium. Museum fees are waived, so you can enjoy a whole day here worry-free.

Padre Burgos Ave.
Ermita, Manila

5. Go stargazing at the Manila Observatory

INSAGRAM: reviewmastersfairview

If A Walk To Remember was a part of your teenage years, then we’re pretty sure stargazing is on your list of romantic date ideas. Don’t worry, you won’t have to go too far—you can soak in the breathtaking views and contemplate the universe at the Manila Observatory, right inside the Ateneo campus. You’ll have to prepare for it in advance though: make sure you check the weather and choose a date with clear skies, and secure approval from the Manila Observatory prior to your visit.

Father Masterson Drive
Ateneo de Manila University, QC

6. Level up your movie dates at Cinema ’76

INSTAGRAM: aliesaanne

For those looking for a unique and intimate moviegoing experience, Cinema ’76 Film Society is definitely worth a try. It combines cozy yet modern interiors (complete with couches and throw pillows) with a wide variety of film screenings. Though they are primarily known for showing Filipino indie films and classic Filipino masterpieces, they also screen mainstream foreign-language films, so they’ll most likely have something to suit your taste.

160 Luna Mencias St., Brgy. Addition Hills, San Juan;
3/F Anonas LRT City Center, Aurora Boulevard, QC

7. Create something beautiful at Tahanan Pottery Shop

INSTAGRAM: tahananpottery

If you’ve ever seen the movie Ghost, you probably know the romantic potential of working together at a pottery wheel. And even if you haven’t, taking a pottery class together is a great way to learn a new skill. Tahanan Pottery in Quezon City is a quiet little space for local artists to showcase and sell their wares. They also offer affordable workshops for beginners who are interested to learn how to mold clay into functional and beautiful designs. The workshop fee already includes clay, glaze, and firing at the kiln. Pro tip: skip the manicure session before class!

Unit 4, 24K Mansion
45 Timog Ave. cor. Sct. Tuason St.
South Triangle, QC
(0917) 834 9525

8. Whip up something delicious at Casa Artusi

INSTAGRAM: casartusiph

You’ve probably heard the saying, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach—and we have to say, it’s not entirely wrong. There’s something so satisfying about knowing you can take care of your partner (and vice-versa). Plus, who doesn’t love good food? For a unique date experience, sign up for Casa Artusi’s La Sfoglia Di Una Volta class. Learn how to make fresh pasta and delicious sauces from scratch under the tutelage of acclaimed Chef Margarita Fores (of Mamou fame) and Casa Artusi’s executive chef Carla Brigliadori. We promise your succeeding date nights will be * insert chef’s kiss here *.

Locations vary for Casa Artusi classes.

9. Take a wok through Chinatown

INSTAGRAM: samiraherrera

Did you know that Binondo is the oldest Chinatown in the world? If you’ve always been curious about our culinary history, Old Manila Walks’ Big Binondo Food Wok is a great first step (no pun intended). Ivan Man Dy knows his stuff; after all, he was one of Anthony Bourdain’s guides when he visited the Philippines for No Reservations. Siopao, hopia, lumpia—all your Chinese favorites are on the menu! Wake up early on a weekend for this, and discover and get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the best restaurants in Binondo.

10. Enjoy a gastronomic treat at The Pantry at Dusit Thani Manila

IMAGE: Jericho San Miguel

We’ve all been there: you want to have dinner out, but you can’t quite decide where to go. For couples who have made bonding over food a habit, The Pantry at Dusit Thani is a great choice. They have eight stations featuring a plethora of international flavors, so you can take your pick from American, Japanese, Indian, and other cuisines. The lechon is their most popular buffet staple, which has diners raving about its crisp skin and tender meat. Their seafood station also shows off their farm-to-fork concept, with the freshest scallops, oysters, and clams available. Try their Italian brick oven pizza station for some unusual pizza flavors, and cap your night off at the dessert station, which includes 8 different flavors of ice cream and a variety of toppings.

Check out our exclusive Dusit Thani Manila deals to get the best rates on this crowd-favorite buffet.

11. Go on a lunch date at The Mess Hall

IMAGES: The Moment Group

If your usual lunchtime haunts leave much to be desired, head to The Moment Group’s The Mess Hall, a modern cafeteria offering signature dishes from their hit culinary concepts including Manam, Ooma, and Mo’ Cookies. To celebrate the restaurant group’s 7th anniversary, The Mess Hall recently unveiled some exclusive new plates, such as the Spaghetti Carbonara with Bacon and Manchego, Inihaw na Manok at Pusit, and the Bananutella dessert stack. Feeling extra cheesy as a couple? Own it with the Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich and the gooey Cheese Katsudon (a recent addition to Ooma’s menu). You can also now fuel up with best-selling dishes from their other beloved restaurants here, such as Shawa Wama’s Primo Beef and 8Cuts’ Oh-Rings and Burger Bomb. It’s the best—and tastiest—way to get that midday energy boost!

Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Extension, Makati
Also available on foodpanda.

12. Treat yourselves to a fancy date night at La Picara

INSTAGRAM: lapicaraph

At-home dates are great, but it’s also fun to switch it up sometimes with a fancy date night. Ditch your Netflix queue and make your way to La Picara, a gorgeous new Spanish restaurant at the heart of BGC. Their Chili Crab Paella—a sweet-spicy twist on regular seafood paella, which comes with a Singaporean chili crab base and is served with soft-shell crab tempura—is absolutely swoon-worthy. We also love the Sisig Pibil Tacos, a Filipino classic served Mexican-style, perfect for sharing. The lush tropical vibe is a great backdrop to a delicious meal, best paired with their fruity Sangria Picara, a deceptively sweet, refreshing drink that packs a potent punch.

2/F One Bonifacio High Street
5th Ave., BGC, Taguig

Elevate date night by making a staycation out of it! Check out SUITEst Stays, our limited-time special collection of sweet, suite city escapes for couples looking to rekindle the romance.

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About Jean
Jean Arboleda will try anything once. She has, at different points in her life, worked in government, telecommunications, social media, music, gaming, and tech. On any given day, she would rather be reading, preferably surrounded by puppies. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @jeanarboleda.

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