January 27, 2020
Turn over a new leaf
Part of what makes a new year so exciting is the chance of exploring new horizons — books included.
Your Valentine could be anyone from family, friends, a significant other, or even yourself — and it’s not too late to celebrate the month of hearts with them.
We tend to overthink Valentine’s Day, greeting it with as much cynicism and as many eye-rolls as we do with full hearts and swooning. We’ve even come up with terms like “Singlehood Awareness Day” or “self-partnership” to battle perceived loneliness — which is all well and good, because it’s empowering to embrace independence and learning to spend time with yourself.
But what we may be taking for granted is that Valentine’s Day is primarily about love — which isn’t exclusive to romance. Love comes is many forms and it can be shared with all the people in your life who care about you and enjoy spending time with you. What’s more, the flowers, chocolate, and cheesy pop songs aren’t exclusive to just one day, or just one person, and there are so many other ways to celebrate what’s in your heart.
Valentine’s Day may be over, but you can still have some fun with the people you love the most. In this guide, we map out the perfect places to take your Valentine — whether it’s family, friends, or someone extra special.
The Craft Central is a great place to support local artists, try out a new hobby or two, and get excited over all your pop culture favorites. The branch at Ayala Malls Vertis North is especially worth a visit — not only do they hold workshops, they also have an in-house cafe with a menu that’s perfect for snacks or lunch: you can share nachos or fries, split sandwiches, or order your own rice meals. If the weather’s pleasant, you might want to sit at their outdoor deck.
Glorietta has been the hippest hangout forever, and it’s even better now with a rooftop area that holds a garden and the freshest restaurant concepts bringing must-try flavors. Established last year, its Japan Town is home to the likes of Tendon Akimitsu, Hakata Ton-Ichi, Washoku Musashi-Maru, Shaburi & Kintan Buffet, Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo, Coco Ichibanya, and 102 Izakaya. The choices are sure to satisfy all cravings and budgets — and if they don’t, you can always go to more than one.
Now that you’re older, eating out with your parents feels more like taking time to catch up with your best friend, and you always want to go somewhere new but feels a little like home; somewhere trendy but also classic and familiar. Their comfort food will definitely hit all the right beats with just the right twist — think tinapa rice with salted egg salsa, chicken and waffles, or fancy mac ‘n’ cheese.
LGTBQ+ safe spaces are important, and one of the most well-known is the theater. In a place where we can believe anything and people can be whatever they want to be, there can be nothing more freeing for people who just want to love who they love and live their truth. Repertory Philippines’ latest, currently being staged at Greenbelt 1’s Onstage Theater, is a production of Sarah Ruhl’s comedy Stage Kiss, where a pair of estranged lovers must act opposite each other as romantic leads. It’s a guaranteed joy to see with your significant other or your group of friends, and further encouragement to express yourselves.
What’s a better way to love yourself than by indulging in your every whim for a day and easing off your worries? It can be putting together a new outfit that you got on sale, a nice new pile of books to read, a bottle of your favorite perfume because you’re running out, or even a little grocery shopping because it’s honestly a great way to relax. Once you’re done, head to Cupcakes by Sonja and remind yourself that you deserve happiness in whatever form with some sprinkles and frosting.