Celebrating the month of February – published February 2018
It is February once again and there are multiple occasions to celebrate in this compressed 28-day month. There’s Chinese New year on the 16th, the EDSA Revolution anniversary (that sadly falls on a Sunday and therefore not a holiday), the start of Lent or Ash Wednesday. This last one coincides with the one celebration that stands out not only in the month of February but for the entire year – toppling even Christmas- and that’s Valentine’s Day or Hearts Day, or V-Day.
Whatever one is fond of calling it, and no matter how hard skeptics lambaste it, lets face it; Valentine’s will not go away. So as the old adage goes, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. And this article might just address even the toughest of skeptics and their valentine issues.
Given the changing times, worsening traffic, insufficient parking space, surging Uber and Grab rates, it is best and wisest for Valentine’s Day celebrations to be more flexible and stretched throughout the entire month of February. Additionally, it should not necessarily be limited to a restaurant reservation for two.
Let’s say you decide to take out your loved one on a special date. You get to the restaurant, packed with couples while understaffed with service, order your meal then wait for forever to be served to you. At the end of the date in a place jam-packed with other people who had the same idea as you (not exactly the romantic night you had envisioned), you ask for your bill that may take another forever to process. Once you see the bill, you try hard not to look but do anyway then you cringe, as it is just too painful spending all that hard-earned money for a night of agony. Sounds like a night to remember? Was all the fuss about a one night celebration of love worth it?
Options to Celebrate V-Day
Celebrating love need not be so anal or obsessive or precise. It definitely should not be a hassle. So let loose and open your mind to different days and ways of celebrating. This article will help you loosen up on your Valentine celebration practices and be open to a change. If you have qualms like celebrations on the 13th and 15th are for mistresses or number 2s, drop it. True or not, find security and own your position. That perception should neither influence nor affect you. What should matter are your comfort, your connection and your intimacy with your partner or companions. Below are a few suggestions on how you can celebrate Valentine’s minus the chaos.
Watch a (no-brainer) Movie
Not just any movie but the movie (and book) that aroused the eroticism (or lack thereof) of millions of readers and viewers; Fifty Shades Freed. The third and final installment of the erotic trilogy of E.L. James is showing since February 7.
Yes, ladies, Christian Grey is back and this time married to his submissive. Whether you imagine your partner to be one day like him or already have your very own Christian Grey, the film is likely to give you a tingle in zones you never thought would elicit sensations. Prior to watching in the wide screen, do a prelude viewing with your partner (for couples) or girlfriends (for singles). Watch the 2 prequels: Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker. Both prequels are available online. Watching the prequels will get you warmed up as well as refreshed.
For single men however, just grab a beer and watch a ball game. This is not a film you will enjoy watching with your testosterone-conscious buddies. As for men watching with their partners, note this movie is a chick flick and will be more enjoyed by the ladies but will definitely score you points and some kinky ideas too for the post-valentine date.
Or, attached gents, barter a deal with your significant other. You will watch Fifty Shades Freed with her, IF she watches Black Panther with you, the latest superhero installment from Marvel, which is out on February 14. Who knows, you each might enjoy both films in the end, and you get to go on two dates, so it will be a win-win situation regardless.
Indulge in Arts and Culture
The whole month of February is National Arts Month. Why not celebrate the love month with some art and culture loving?
Comedy of Tenors
This is running at Greenbelt’s On Stage Theatre until February 18. Set in Paris during the 1930s, the storyrevolves around four tenors who had a night of pandemonium and folly. As the title implies, it is a comedy with spots of frenetic music. It is easily in the Philippinesyou can put four tenors together and incredibly produce a perfect blending of voices that complement and not overpower each other. If you, you’re date or your friends enjoy watching world class talent and entertainment, make a date to catch this musical event before it is over.
Himala, The Musical
A stage and musical adaptation of one of Philippine cinema’s most respected artist, Ishmael Bernal’s 1982 award winning film. The show will feature an array of stage actors whose talents were tried, tested and so admired in their previous performances in as Rak of Aegis, Dreamgirls, and Maynila sa Kuko ng Agila. Not your typical romance but an enjoyable show worth watching with a date or some friends. The show opens this month at the Power Mac Center Spotlight in Circuit, Makati.
Nang Dalawin Ng Pagibigsi Juan Tamad
A story written by no less than the country’s national artist, Nick Joaquin. The same mind that gave you the controversial Larawan during the Manila Film Festival. That itself is a reason to see it. It expounds on the roles of folktale legends as Maria Makiling and Juan Tamad in Philippine culture. And as the title implies, expect a romantic entanglement between and among an unexpected character. The show will run from February 16 to March 11 at the CCP Little Theatre.
Concerts from both local and international outfits will both serenade and rock the stadium all over the metro. Numerous concerts by the country’s divas and balladeers are likely held in hotel lounges and lounge bars. This is nothing new as it happens every year with the usual suspect of talents (Martin Nievera, Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid, etc.). What’s new and interesting is Incubus performing at the Big Dome on the 17th while Paramore will be at the Arena on the 18th. Secure your tickets for you and your date if they are not sold out already.
If local bands are more your thing, there are always limitless options when it comes to gig nights. One notable event in February is the Rakrakan Festival 2018, with 120 artists and 6 different stages, showcasing music, skating, merchandise, and arts. This festival will be held at Aseana City, Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, Parañaque. You can buy tickets here https://smtickets.com/events/view/6232.
Fiesta with the Locals
Whether a religious image or the harvest of a unique fruit or a parade of colorful flowers in bloom brings about the reasons for the festivities, there is no stopping the array, display and prey of food, colors and confetti. Celebrate the love month differently by immersing in the country’s deepest roots as revealed in the fiestas. There are a number of festivals all over the country but the ones worth going to for lovers and love-seekers are read below.
Journey north to the Philippine summer capital, Baguio City, where the Panagbenga Festival is held. Be overwhelmed by the countless different hues and refreshing scents in the parade of beautiful flowers, some unique to the country. The celebration is month-long so you have until the end of the month to embark on this with your partner or your friends. Drive or commute. Rent a house if you are a brady bunch or get a room if you want intimacy and privacy. Your options are endless. Bonus for couples, the February chill in Baguio can trigger longings for bodily warmth day or night.
If you have time to fly further out of town, Camarines Sur offers not only wakeboarding activities, but also a festival showcasing the locals’ artistry and delicacies. The Tinagba Festival held on the 26th showcases carabao-drawn carts filled with local eats and treats coupled with a marching band that fills the streets with lively music. This seems fun when done with adventurous and active friends or partners who will be game in participating in the festival and perhaps a bit of wakeboarding while already in Cam Sur.
Furthermore, while in the region, drive an hour or so to Donsol and swim with the whalesharks in the wild waters.These gentle giants are entrancing and the experience swimming with them for hours is quite spiritual. Bring your date around and dine in Barracuda, anquaint al fresco restaurant owned by a gregarious lady who serves delicious gourmet dishes charged at local prices. Do this while whale shark season is on.
If you and your partner or friends are too busy or too lazy (no judgment there) to explore or embark on something new, the typical city offers countless options from the usual suspects to the eccentric picks.
Weekend Markets Dates
Salcedo Market on Saturdays and Legaspi Market on Sundays. These markets offer foods and goods,from fresh picks and live catches to dry goods that include trinkets, furniture, art, and fashion. Take advantage of the cool climate and walk the grounds as you survey the offers. Check out pieces and later decide on whether you want them for yourself, your partner or your friend. Do your actual and literal heart a favor and grab some organic produce. Enjoy being served lunch in a shaded al fresco setting.
Do the Poblacion Crawl
The hippest place in the city of Makati is getting more and more cramped as more and more establishments are sprouting in its corners. Sadly, no lots for parking are added to the development of this community, but on some nights you will see valet parkers offering their services. A bit of a walk will be required to get to your favorite hangout, or check out the many different bars and restaurants though. You can bet the 14th will be bumper to bumper along that and the inner streets. Again, it’s best and wisest to celebrate V-Day on other days of the month.
Singles Speed Dating / Singles Mixers
If you and your partner like soulful rhythm and blues, SaGuijo Café and Bar offers a lineup this Valentine’s Day. If you are single male or female, SaGuijo will have an exciting speed dating extravaganza for you. Participants are limited to only 15 per gender so if you are game to meet people, sign up and show up. The speed dating form is available at http://bit.ly/SingleForValentinesDay. SaGuijo is located at 7612 Guijo St. San Anotnio Village, Makati.
Z Hostel Roofdeck is also holding a socially relevant singles dating night – a sustainable and slightly cheeky Sustainable Singles Mixer. Meet fellow singles who care about the planet, flex your brain muscles with Geek Games, win free drinks, eco friendly surprises, and then stay on for some sweet 90’s music from DJ Natasha Taylor. Z Hostel is located at 5660 Don Pedro, Poblacion Makati.
Credit Card Promos Galore
Credit Card promos are storming the restaurants and shops everywhere. Fifty percent discounts are offered on food if not a free dish. It is worth mentioning if you are dining out this month, whether with a date or with friends, to try out the promo in Ruby Jack’s in City of Dreams. The promo offers mouthwatering and succulent steaks, filling sides and appetizing salads all for half the price. This is best done with a group of foodie friends or group date, with at least one person holding a Metrobank credit card. The bargain makes the drive to COD very much worth the time, money and energy.
This is possibly the best move to make in all the insanity of Valentine’s Day. Stay in but do it with a bit style, glamour and romance. Light some scented candles, bring out the expensive China (or any nice dinnerware) and set the table fancy. Get dolled up or dandy before greeting your partner. Just because you are staying home doesn’t mean you have to stick to house clothes. Open a bottle of white or red or even a bubbly. You won’t even be charged for corkage. Even if you are a good cook, free yourself from the toils of preparation.
Order in. There are great places that could prepare delicious dishes for you and with delivery apps like Food Panda, Twoanyone, and Delivery Guy, the set up would be nothing short of heavenly. No parking problems, no traffic, no bad service, no inflated bills, no hassles! Well, not entirely, there are the dishes to wash after, but it will be a small price to pay for a load of comfort and convenience.
Restaurants All Over
Restaurants all over will most likely have a Valentine special, from roses for the ladies to a complimentary dinner raffle prize, this will not be in scarce supply. It would be noteworthy to add that with Ash Wednesday coinciding with Valentine’s, Ash Wednesday is a day supposedly of fasting and abstinence (at least for Catholics). The restaurants will likely have a few modifications in their menu or at least have a few selections that will serve both occasions (Valentine’s and Ash Wednesday) and purposes (love and abstinence). There will be an availability of meatless Valentine menu for couples who strictly adhere to Catholic practices, and at the same time strictly celebrate Hearts Day only on the 14th of February.
So there you have it. A list of things to do, places to go to, shows to see and people to meet for a whole month to celebrate and even find love. Personally, we think everyday should be Valentine’s Day but that is in fact an ideal scenario. Valentine’s Day is probably the craziest time of the year, yet in spite of the drawbacks, Filipinos still celebrate it because they love to have a reason to get together, whether with a partner, a friend or a family member. Whatever you choose to do to celebrate Valentines, maybe you can spread love not only on that day, not only for the month of February, but try to practice this year round.