What is the point of Valentine’s Day? Just the word, “Valentine” evokes images of romantic escapades, unique surprises and the pressure to do better than last year.

I think the whole idea is just to have another loving milestone to celebrate with your loved one. For entrepreneurs, it is a special moment to monetize that loving feeling. For lovers, it is a day to celebrate your relationship that lasted until that day. For long-time lovers, it is an ordinary day because everyday is Valentine’s day.

Personally, Valentine’s is a challenge for me each year to showcase my love for my special someone, in the most creative way possible. Sometimes, I live up to the challenge but sometimes I don’t. But what’s the point of Valentine’s anyway…

Whatever the point is, here are the Top 9 Ideas on How to Spend Your Valentine’s Weekend this 2009:

1. Make Virlanie your Valentine



Valentine’s Day has always been synonymous with love and family, and by transitivity, with good food. This Valentine’s Day, various generous restaurants have pledged to feed a child under the care of Virlanie Foundation for the entire year.


Virlanie Foundation (http://www.virlanie.org) is probably the biggest child-caring institution in Metro Manila. It runs 13 residential homes that take care of 20 children each. Former street children get shelter, food, education, and most importantly, love from these homes.

These residences are just like any traditional Filipino household because they have house mothers and fathers. Aside from the homes, the foundation sponsors outreach and support programs for the children and families in Manila’s poorest neighborhoods, which aim to reintegrate the children into community life and to help them become self-reliant, confident and productive. (Source: Virlanie Foundation)

Since 1992, the foundation has taken care of more than 11,000 street children. Despite the longevity of this foundation, however, only a handful of people know about it and actively support it.

Remember that when you eat in the restaurants listed below during Valentine’s Day, you are also supporting and feeding one child for the entire year. Please support the Virlanie Kids.

Antonio’s of Tagaytay
Purok 7, Barangay Neogan, Tagaytay City
For reservations: 0918-8992866

Astralis by Diamond Hotel
Lopez Drive, Powerplant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City
For reservations: 703-2688

Azuthai
G/F Milky Way Building 900 A. Arnaiz (Pasay Road), Makati City
For reservations: 817-6252

Bizu Patisserie (Greenbelt 2)
G/F Greenbelt 2 Esperanza St., Ayala Center, Makati City
For reservations: 757-2498

Capricciosa
Greenbelt 3 3/F Ayala Center Makati City
For reservations: 757-7811 or 757-7898

Cav Wine Shop Café
G/F The Spa Building Lot 5, Quadrant 8, City Center, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
For reservations: 856-1798

Cibo (Gateway)
8003 Aurora Tower, Araneta Center, Quezon City
For reservations: 913-2426

Cuillère
Units 1C-06 and 1C-07 Serendra, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
For reservations: 916-7394

Il Ponticello
2/F Antel 2000, 121 Valero St., Makati City
For reservations: 887-7168

L’Incontro
207 Nicanor Garcia (formerly Reposo) Street, Makati City
For reservations: 899-0638  

People’s Palace
G/F Garden Side, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City
For reservations: 729-2888

Restaurant 101 of Enderun Colleges
2/F Wynsum Corporate Plaza, 22 F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
For reservations: 638-5555 local 101

Sala Bistro
G/F Garden Side, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City
For reservations: 729-7500

2. A Double Date with Chef Bruce and Michelle Lim

Try the latest freestyle dining by-reservation-only in Manila — Chef’s Table by Chef Bruce Lim. It’s definitely a different way of “dining out” for Valentine’s.

Read the Full Review: Chef’s Table by Chef Bruce Lim

Chef’s Table Private Dining
For Reservations, contact Michelle Lim + 63 918 8871277
3. A Romantic Filipino Lunch at Pamana, the latest Filipino restaurant  in Tagaytay

The one week-old Filipino restaurant of Happy Ongpauco is the next generation reincarnation of Barrio Fiesta. Pamana is a showcase of the best Filipino dishes that the owner inherited from her family and foodie friends. Get to experience first-hand what the buzz is all about this Valentine’s weekend from the same owner who created the Boutique Hotel.

Pamana Restaurant
Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City, Philppines
For Reservations, contact Vangie Reyes +63920 856 1970
4. Celebrate the launch of Sweet Harmony Gardens in Taytay, Rizal

 
This Valentine’s day, the owner of Paul Calvin’s Deli is officially launching an events place in Taytay, Rizal (12 km from Robinson’s Galleria), with live bands and 7 caterers offering an eat-all-you-can buffet.

Sweet Harmony Gardens offers the best of both worlds — the beauty of nature combined with urban pleasure. Inside a sprawling garden of 1.5 hectares is a well-engineered 3-storey building with different banquet halls and 7 lovely venues to choose from.


Wonderful Spring Garden & Precious Greens Garden:
It has a combined area of 1,800 sq. meters and has a capacity of 1,000 guests. It is great for big corporate gatherings, product launches and fellowships. These are covered venues suitable for changes of season, climate or weather. 

Majestic Upper Room: This 250-sq. meter function room can house 180 people. It is located on the second floor of the building with a good bird’s-eye-view of the garden. The place is air-conditioned and equipped with state-of-the-art sound system, making it one of the most popular venues for long corporate planning sessions or evening events. It also has 2 spacious restrooms for the guests’ convenience.

Amazing Haven Above: A 230-sq. meter venue located on the rooftop. It has a capacity of 150 people and is an amazing place for cocktail parties or romantic events. There are powder rooms for the ladies and the gents. It also has a dressing room, making it a perfect place to hold intimate wedding receptions and family parties.

Worship Garden: This chapel is 170 sq. meters and is good for 170 people. It is equipped with audio and video systems, making it a popular choice for fellowships and gatherings. It is situated in the midst of a luscious garden, perfect for nature lovers.

Blissful Barn House: A 180-seater venue that is a well-engineered building. It is perfect for corporate planning and team building sessions. The building is equipped with a sound system, presentation area, projector area and white boards. It is also built with restrooms, prep area, shower, dressing room and even a kitchen.

Courtyard Open Space: a 1,000 sq. meter open space that is available for huge tent gatherings or open space corporate team building events.

(Source: Sweet Harmony Gardens)

Sweet Harmony Gardens
For Reservations, contact Jay Em +63918-9089037 or email [email protected]


5. Join Ultimate Philippines for the Hot Air Balloon Festival on Valentine’s

We’re at it again. It’s another ULTIMATE experience as we gear up for Valentine’s day! Prepare to be amazed by the high and mighty in Pampanga! Gawk at the giant hot air balloon of the 13th Annual Philippine Balloon Festival! Savor the delights of an authentic Italian breakfast at the best cafe on this side of Clark.

As a finale, we’ll while away the afternoon in a soothing retreat while stuffing ourselves silly with a sumptuous Kapampangan feast in a rustic farm setting! A great treat for the body, mind and soul!

(Read full details: Ultimate Philippines Website)

Ultimate Pampanga Hot Air Balloon Valentine’s
For reservations, contact Anton Diaz +63917 5683627 or [email protected]

6. Celebrate Valentine’s with Dusit Thani’s Cross Over Sunday Brunch Buffet, Makati

 

I’ve been doing my rounds of the hotel buffets in Manila. Dusit Thani’s cross-over buffet gets my vote for the best Hotel Buffet in the Metro! You’ll get to eat in the best Thai, Japanese and Italian restaurant in Makati for a price of P1,450 net. Don’t miss the eat-all-you-can Teppanyaki and Tempura of Umu, the Pad Thai cooked by Benjarong’s head Thai Chef Khun Tun, and Tosca’s hot chocolate cake served with homemade vanilla ice cream!

Dusit Thani’s Sunday Family Crossover Brunch
Every Sunday 11.30am to 3.00pm
For Reservations, contact +632 8673333 


7. Watch Joanna Ampil’s First Concert and Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah, Ze Muzikal!


For Broadway musical lovers, you must see these 2 shows!

Joanna Ampil: I Love… Her First Solo Concert
After the success of West Side Story, Joanna Ampil comes back to Manila to perform in her first major concert.

Feb 13 (Fri) 8PM
Feb 14 (Sat) 8PM
For tickets, call Ticket World +632 891-9999

Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah, Ze Muzikal
Eula Valdez is back as Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah. If you haven’t watched this, it’s time to do so.

Tanghalang Huseng Batute (CCP Studio Theater)
Feb 14 (Sat) 3PM & 8PM
Feb 15 (Sun) 3PM & 8PM
For tickets, call Ticket World +632 891-9999
8. Offer your Valentine’s Day for the Sick and for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes


The Manila archdiocese is encouraging people to celebrate Valentine’s with the sick in celebration of the World Day of the Sick and the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on Feb. 14. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo will celebrate Saturday Mass at 9 a.m. at the Holy Spirit Parish, 1912 Rizal Avenue in Sta. Cruz, Manila.


9. A romantic Manila Bay cruise on board the Prince of Tides

Celebrate Valentine’s Day on board the Prince of Tides with newlyweds Raymond and Gieves on a very special Valentine’s Manila Bay cruise, together with 20 romantic couples.

Price per couple is P4,000 (or P2,000 per head), inclusive of dinner buffet and drinks.

FEBRUARY 13 (Friday) EVENING CRUISE. Assembly Time: 7:30 PM, Manila Yacht Club (along Roxas Boulevard); Departure: 8:00 PM; Arrival: 11:00 PM, Manila Yacht Club

FEBRUARY 14 (Saturday) SUNSET CRUISE. Assembly Time: 4:00 PM, Manila Yacht Club (along Roxas Boulevard); Departure: 4:30 PM; Arrival: 7:30 PM, Manila Yacht Club  EVENING CRUISE. Assembly Time: 7:30 PM, Manila Yacht Club (along Roxas Boulevard); Departure: 8:00 PM; Arrival: 11:00 PM, Manila Yacht Club

FEBRUARY 15 (Sunday) SUNSET CRUISE. Assembly Time: 4:00 PM, Manila Yacht Club (along Roxas Boulevard); Departure: 4:30 PM; Arrival: 7:30 PM, Manila Yacht Club

Prince of Tides Manila Bay Cruise
For inquiries and bookings, contact Raymond at 0917 8081039 or 0922 8991703. Reserve your slots now!

Whether you pick 1 or 2 or more of these 9 ideas for Valentine’s, I hope you have a memorable celebration with your loved one!


Live an Awesome Life in God’s Love,  

Anton 
Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2009. 

blog: www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
prof. blog: AntonDiaz.com
mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627) 

P.S. As for us, we will be shooting the Manila episode of City by City. Here is the link to the Seoul Episode: http://www.alpheusmedia.com/citybycity/cbc_0202_seoul.mov