Near and around Metro Manila, go on these fun, romantic dates

It’s the weekend or your much-deserved break, and you want to go on a romantic date or adventure with your significant other, but would rather not have the hassle of traveling too far from the metro. Yes, it’s possible, with many options from the cliché but satisfying, to the novel and exciting.

Below are some ideas for dates in Metro Manila or just a few hours away to kick-start your date planning.

SCENIC MEAL. You can dine with a view of green hills and landscapes at Luljetta's Hanging Gardens and Spa.

Photo by Claudine Callanta

Go on a Manila walking tour. 

The charm of this city never gets old, with striking heritage structures like Intramuros’ and Escolta’s, an abundance of art and artifacts at the National Museum, and more.

Walk on Intramuros’ cobbled streets and take in the colonial buildings and churches. You can also start from Escolta if you have more time. Or, you can easily spend a leisurely day exploring the National Museum of Fine Art and National Museum of Anthropology. 

HERITAGE WALK. Enjoy Intramuros' old-world charm.

All photos and videos by or courtesy of Rhea Claire Madarang unless otherwise specified

ART AND CULTURE. Explore and appreciate the National Museum's artworks and artifacts.

Whether coming from Intramuros or the National Museum, head to Rizal Park in the evening for its colorful light and sound show. On weekends, the park’s fountains light up and dance to music.

If you come early, you can even just spread a mat on the grass, relax, and soak in the scenery around you. For a long-time and sometimes taken-for-granted attraction in Manila, Luneta is surprisingly alive and vibrant.

 

Watch fireworks together.

A seemingly cliché but arguably still enjoyable activity, watching together as the sky bursts in colors has its own brand of magic.   

Every Saturday evening, Mall of Asia’s bayside usually has a fireworks show. And, every February and March, the Philippine International Pyromusical Competition is held, with extensive fireworks displays of two countries each Saturday.  

You can brave the crowd to watch the fireworks up close, or find a spot to watch from a distance. Rooftop bars or hotel roof decks make for excellent viewpoints too. 

SKY OF LIGHTS. The sky looks magical during Pyromusical displays.

 

 

Take a sunset or evening cruise along the bay. 

Enjoy the sea breeze and the sight of the city’s skyline while you cruise along Manila Bay. You can choose a sunset or evening cruise; both provide great views of the city. The cruise usually comes with dinner. Jump-off point is from Mall of Asia’s bayside. 

 

Our view for tonight's Christmas party! #cruise #manilabaycruise A photo posted by Tina Cabrera (@cabreratina) on Dec 9, 2016 at 5:41am PST

 

Have a relaxing staycation.

Stay at a hotel where you can just chill all weekend, with comfortable beds and great views.  

Take a relaxing dip in a rooftop pool, where you can also enjoy the view of the city at sunset or during the evening. Then have a leisurely breakfast in the morning.

ROOM WITH A VIEW. Pick a room with a view of the city, like Amelie'u0080u0099s rooms in Manila.

VIEW FROM THE TOP. Or pick a hotel with a roof deck, where you can see the city skyline and sunsets. This photo was taken from the roof deck of Microtel in Quezon City.

NIGHT LIGHTS. Pools as beautiful as this can make for a romantic swim. This photo was taken from the roof deck of Microtel in Quezon City.

RELAXED BREAKFAST. Also stay at a hotel with its own or a connected restaurant, so you can have leisurely meals, like at Amelie in Manila.

Have a spa date.

Have a couple’s massage and relax together as all the stress drains away from your body. Spa dates need not just be about massages. Some spas, like Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa in Antipolo, also have massage pools and infinity pools with breathtaking views.

COUPLE'u0080u0099S MASSAGE WITH A VIEW.

Enjoy the view of Rizal's landscapes together while getting a massage u2013u0080u0093 if you don'u0080u0099t fall asleep first! Photo by Claudine Callanta, taken at Luljetta's Hanging Gardens and Spa

MASSAGE POOL WITH A VIEW. Let the water trickle down and massage your body while taking in the surrounding landscapes.

Photo by Claudine Callanta, taken at Luljetta's Hanging Gardens and Spa

Other spas like Nurture Wellness Village in Tagaytay offer glamping (“glamorous camping”) options, where you can camp with creature comforts like a soft mattress and electric fan, but with the campfire and the stars for company – and your date, of course.

GLAMPING DATE. Camp in comfort with your date and the stars for company at Nurture Wellness Village in Tagaytay.

Photo by Bryan Venancio

GARDEN DINNER. Or you can have a romantic dinner at Nurture'u0080u0099s sprawling gardens.

Photo by Bryan Venancio

Trek together to a beautiful scenery or view. 

If you are up not just for relaxing but are also game for an adventure, hike up mountains or trek together to beautiful landscapes. The view on top is all the more beautiful when you reach it with the one you love.

If you are just starting out in climbing, mountains like Gulugod Baboy in Mabini, Batangas are recommended for gently sloping, not steep, terrain. The 360-degree view of mountains, islands, and seas make the trek worth it too! (READ: Gulugod Baboy’s all-weather beauty

SUMMIT VIEW. Look down at rolling green hills and blue seas from Gulugod Baboy's peak.

SUNSET FROM THE PEAK.

Enjoy the sunset from Gulugod Baboy's summit, too!

Get wet and wild at the river. 

While romantic getaways are usually associated with the beach, rivers like Angat River in Bulacan make for a great romantic adventure too, plus an adrenaline rush. You can cruise along the river, kayak, jet ski, walk on a floating bridge, jump on a trampoline on water, and more.  Activities are provided by the resort San Rafael River Adventure. 

While beaches usually just offer a view of either sunrise or sunset, you can also take in both the sunrise and the sunset from the river, and can even choose to sleep by the river through glamping in a tent on a bamboo raft, which you can walk to from the resort.

RIVER ADVENTURE. From quiet activities like kayaking to more adrenaline-pumping ones like jet skiing, San Rafael River Adventure in Bulacan has many to choose from.

Photo courtesy of Paula Anntoneth O

Good morning from Angat River! #sanrafaelriveradventure #sanrafaelriver #iamtravelinglight A photo posted by Claire Madarang (@iamtravelinglight) on Nov 20, 2016 at 3:33pm PST

 

GLAMPING BY THE RIVER. Enjoy glamping with a twist by staying in tents on bamboo rafts like these.

You get a front row to the sunrise and sunset!

Experience farm life together.

Farms are no longer just sources of our daily meals but have become tourist destinations too. In some farms near the Metro, you can tour around and also take part in activities like planting seeds and harvesting vegetables.

FARM DATE. Experience farm activities together like harvesting organic lettuce.

Photo courtesy of Costales Nature Farms

Costales Nature Farms in Majayjay, Laguna is one of the pioneer farm tourism destinations in the Philippines. Enjoy farm life together and breathe in the cool air here while enjoying the surrounding greenery and the mountain scenery in the background. Dine on healthy yet delicious meals – organic meat included! You can stay overnight in a hut to savor the experience for longer.

RUSTIC. Costales has rustic and charming accommodations like this.

Photo by Claire Madarang/Rappler

MOUNTAIN BACKDROP. Enjoy the view of mountains like Banahaw from Costales' grounds.

Photo by Claire Madarang/Rappler

Enjoy your romantic date! Were you able to get inspiration from this list? What are your own ideas for a romantic date? Share in the comments below. – Rappler.com 

Claire Madarang is a writer, traveler, and seeker who believes in traveling light, particularly in the inner journey. She is also a researcher and documenter. Her work and wanderlust takes her to adventures like backpacking for seven weeks and exploring remote islands and bustling cities alike. Follow her adventures, travel tips, and epiphanies at Traveling Light and on her Instagram