This coming Valentine’s Day is quite special because the Chinese New Year celebration coincides with it and it also falls on a weekend. There are a lot of festivals, musical shows and events that will happen on this date. Check out the Top 8 Ideas for a “Rare” Valentine’s Day in 2010:

1. Latest Romantic Restaurants

We always make it a point to celebrate special occasions like Valentine’s Day in a new restaurant. This year, you can check out Marcia Adams’ Tuscany (the newest garden restaurant in Tagaytay) and Tippi Tambunting’s Masseto (an elegant restaurant in the heart of Salcedo Village). Along Maginhawa Foodie street in U.P. Village, you can try Van Gogh is Bipolar. In Marikina, a private dining studio recently opened called Qasa 61. In Makati, the chocolate cafe Maitre Chocolatier Boutique Cafe can be your dessert date place. For buffets, now is the best time to indulge in Mandarin Oriental’s Paseo Uno buffet as it features foie gras in its newest Luxury Buffet every Friday and Saturday evening. If you like steaks, try the latest steak house in Legaspi Village called Gustavus.


2. Hot Air Balloon Valentine’s

This year, the biggest festival in Clark, Pampanga will take place during the Valentine weekend! For a hassle-free trip to the Hot Air Balloon Festival, you can wake up early in the morning (you have to leave Manila by 3am) or stay overnight in Clark. Good places to stay would be Holiday Inn Hotel Clark and Oasis Hotel. I recommend eating in C’ Italian Dining (the best Italian Place in Pampanga) and trying Yats (the best wine bar there).

You can also join us in the Ultimate Philippines Hot Air Balloon Valentine’s Tour on February 13. It starts with a viewing of the take-off of the Hot Air Balloons early in the morning, then an unforgettable breakfast at C’s Italian Dining, then a trip to Abe’s Farm for a massage at Nurture Spa + merienda. The cost is P4,800.00/head, which includes all served meals, transfers, the Nurture spa massage and the entrance ticket to the balloon fiesta. To reserve a slot for the tour, please email [email protected] or contact Ivan Man Dy @ +63917 3291622.

15th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (February 14, Schedule): 

5:20-5:30AM – Philippine Army Flag Jump
5:30-7:00AM – Hot Air Balloon Flights
7:00-7:30AM – Philippines/Thailand/Malaysia/Indonesia/UK Paragliding Exhibition
7:30-8:00AM – ACFC Ultralight / Microlight Aircraft Formation Flights & Flour Bombing
8:00-8:30AM – SIL Helio Courier Short Takeoff and Landing Demonstration
8:30-9:15AM – Meynard Halili / Bill Wright Aerobatic Air Show
9:15-10:00AM – Philippine Coast Guard Rescue Demonstration
10:00-11:00AM – AOPA-P Light Aircraft Balloon-Bursting Competition
11:00-11:30AM – CIAC Fire-Fighting Demonstration
11:30-11:45PM – Pilot Proficiency Events Awarding Ceremonies
11:45-12:00NN – Radio-controlled Model Aircraft Demonstration
12:00-12:30PM – Winch-Launched Glider Demonstration
12:30-1:00PM – AFP / Civilian Skydiving Exhibition
1:00-1:30PM – Airlink/WCC/AAA/Omni/PPA/CA/Orient/Light Airplane Flyby
1:30-2:30PM – KAP/KTP Kite Flying Exhibition
3:00-3:15PM – Valentine’s Day Flower and Candy Drop
3:15-3:45PM – AFP / Civilian Skydiving Exhibition
3:45-4:15PM – ACFC Ultralight / Microlight Aircraft Formation Flights
4:15-5:00PM – Bill Wright / Meynard Halili Aerobatic Air Show
5:00-5:30PM – Philippines/Thailand/Malaysia/Indonesia/UK Paragliding Exhibition
5:30-6:00P – Hot Air Balloon Valentine’s Night Glow

For more details, check out their official website: Philippine Balloon Fest

Holiday Inn, Clark
Mimosa Drive, Mimosa Leisure Estate Clark Field, Philippines
Hotel Front Desk: +632-8451888
Visit Holiday Inn Hotel Clark

Oasis Hotel
Clarkville Compound, Clark Perimeter Road, Angeles City, Philippines 2009
Telephone.: +63 (45) 893.3301 to 04, 625.8301 to 04
Mobile No.: +63 (908) 866.3303
E-mail:  [email protected]
Visit Oasis Hotel Website 

Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar 
Mimosa Drive past Holiday Inn, Mimosa, Clark Freeport, Pampanga, Philippines 2023 
Telephone: +63 (45) 599-5600
Mobile:  +63 922-870-5178, +63 917-520-4401 
Visit Yats Restaurant Website  

C’ Italian Dining
121 Don Juico Avenue (Fields Avenue beside Clark)
For Reservations: Call +63 45 892-4059
Visit C Italian Dining Website


3. Chase the Dragons this Valentine’s Day @ Chinatown!

Join Ivan Man Dy for his BIG Binondo Food WOK! Special Chinese New Year Edition Tour this coming Valentine’s Weekend. Four half-day, 4-hour tours will run during that weekend — the morning tour starts 8am and the afternoon tour starts 2.30pm.

Ivan recently launched the Big Binondo Food Wok Map, which gives you a preview of Chinatown and marks all the notable establishments. It even comes with exclusive discount coupons. You can get it for FREE during his tours or you can buy it for P100 from Ivan (email: [email protected]).

The BIG Binondo Food WOK! Special Chinese New Year Edition Tour
Date:   February 13-14, 2010
Time:   8am-12pm, 2.30pm-6.30pm
Tour Description:
“Oh yes, it’s that time of the year again when we BINGE ourselves silly as we welcome the the Lunar New Year with a BIG, BIG BITE! It’s the BEST time of the year to do the BIG Binondo Food WOK as we say goodbye to a COW-tastrophic year and ROAR through the YEAR of the TIGER! GRRRROWL!

So what are you waiting for? Let us paint the town RED and WOK our way through Chinatown in this most festive occasion! KIONG HEE HUAT TSAI!”

Rate: P1,200.00/head*
Visit Old Manila Walks Website



4. Valentine’s Cruise

One of my favorite ways to spend Valentine’s Day is to go on a Romantic Cruise (even if there are other couples present). Sunset Cruise is highly recommended, and if you join on February 14, you’ll be able to see the first International Pyro Musical in Mall of Asia.

FEBRUARY 12 (Friday)
EVENING CRUISE
Assembly Time: 7:30 PM, Manila Yacht Club
Departure: 8:00 PM
Arrival: 11:00 PM, Manila Yacht Club

FEBRUARY 13 (Saturday)
SUNSET CRUISE 
Assembly Time: 4:00 PM, Manila Yacht Club
Departure: 4:30 PM
Arrival: 7:30 PM, Manila Yacht Club

EVENING CRUISE
Assembly Time: 7:30 PM, Manila Yacht Club
Departure: 8:00 PM
Arrival: 11:00 PM, Manila Yacht Club

FEBRUARY 14 (Sunday)
SUNSET CRUISE 
Assembly Time: 4:00 PM, Manila Yacht Club
Departure: 4:30 PM
Arrival: 7:30 PM, Manila Yacht Club

EVENING CRUISE
Assembly Time: 7:30 PM, Manila Yacht Club
Departure: 8:00 PM
Arrival: 11:00 PM, Manila Yacht Club

For inquiries and bookings, Call or SMS Raymond at +63 917 5808800. Reserve your slots now!

They can accommodate up to 10 couples (20 pax). Price per couple is Php 4,000 (Php 2,000 per head), inclusive of buffet dinner and drinks. Available dates are February 12, 13, and 14.

*Reservations will be accepted starting February 1, 2010.
**Reservations will be held up to 2 days only. 50% downpayment is required to confirm your slot.
***Pictures from past cruises available upon request.

5. Watch the Pyro Musical Competition in Mall of Asia

This is not the same as the World Pyro Olympics, but it is another International Pyro Competition organized by the people behind the weekend fireworks at Mall of Asia. It will start on February 14 and continue every Sunday thereafter (until March 14). The competitors are different from the World Pyro Olympics, but I heard some are as good as the WPO competitors. Finally, the WPO has competition — expect to see awesome fireworks displays at both events.

February 14, 7PM – Opening Presentation
February 14, 8PM – Australia
Seaside Boulevard, SM Mall of Asia
Visit www.PyroPhilippines.com
 
I highly suggest that you watch it onboard a yacht on Manila Bay. 🙂

6. A RENT Valentine’s Day!

Officially, most of the RENT shows are sold out, but I still recommend that you try to find tickets as this is the best show to watch this Valentine’s weekend. Just imagine listening to “Seasons of Love” with your special someone on Valentine’s. The new cast is awesome, and I like their fresh take on this rock-musical. Don’t miss it!

Check out Manila’s Essential Guide to Rent The Musical

Feb 13, 2010 (Saturday)
8PM/ C.P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza
Get Your Tickets Now! (Check out the Seat Plan)
Call/ Text: 09178114977 (Jason),  09276577086 (Francis) and 09178480043 (Eileen)
Email: [email protected]

Feb 14, 2010 (Sunday)

RENT Musical in Manila on V-Day!
4:30PM/ C.P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza
Get Your Tickets Now! (Check out the Seat Plan)

Call/ Text: +63917-5577367 (Chad Manapat)
Email: [email protected]
RSVP Facebook Event Page
Visit rentvalentines.co.cc

Feb 14, 2010 (Sunday)

RENT Musical on Valentine’s Night
8:00PM/ C.P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza
Get Your Tickets Now! (Check out the Seat Plan)
Call/ Text: Contact Onay (0918-536-2116)
Email: [email protected]
Visit www.rentfeb14.blogspot.com


7. Sibling Revelry

For theater lovers out there, Raymond and Menchu’s Rockwell Tent concert entitled, Sibling Revelry, is a must-see. Read the official press release below:

Lauchengco siblings in a rare Valentine show at the Rockwell Tent

Premiere balladeer Raymond Lauchengco and first lady of Philippine musical theater Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo perform in a back-to-back concert for the very first time this Valentine’s Day.

‘Sibling Revelry’, a dinner-concert to be held at the Rockwell Tent on February 14, brings together two of the country’s most talented musical siblings in a rare evening filled with big band standards, soulful ballads, and the most loved songs from Broadway and the West End.

‘It’s going to be a fun, musical evening performing with my sister,’ says Raymond.  ‘It’s not often that we get to share the stage…and to think she was my first-ever singing partner!’

Menchu continues, ‘Growing up, we spent a lot of time singing together, in front of family and friends…it’s been a while since we’ve been able to do that.  It’s always been fun to do that.  I think the last time we shared a stage before a concert audience was in the ’80s, when we were both New Generation artists.’

Suffice it to say that the siblings have indeed come a long way.  Since appearing as Louis when he was twelve years old in the Repertory Philippines’ staging of ‘The King and I’, Raymond pursued a singing career, recording a total of eight albums (the latest of which is ‘Full Circle’, his big band album) and performing in concerts around the country and the world.  Meanwhile, Menchu proceeded to conquer the stage with one memorable performance after another in dozens of musicals, including the role of Ellen, the wife of American soldier Chris, in the Manila staging of ‘Miss Saigon’.  Her recent portrayal of Mrs. Lovett in ‘Sweeney Todd’ is considered among her finest performances.

Raymond and Menchu will be accompanied by an eight-piece band comprising of two keyboardists, one bassist, one drummer, two trumpeteers, one trombonist, and one saxophonist under the musical direction of Jun Austria.

Prior to the concert, a four-course, sit-down dinner with a menu designed and prepared by Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef Him Uy de Baron of Chef Cuisine will be served to guests.

‘To be able to sing the songs that we love, the songs we grew up with, is a real treat for us,’ Raymond says.

Adds Menchu, ‘And we hope that when we do sing those songs, the audience will see why we fell in love with them, making the concert a treat for them as well.’

Unforgettable voices, beautiful music, unmatched elegance, sophisticated charm, quick wit and a dash of humor are the elements that make ‘Sibling Revelry’ the show to watch this Valentine season.  With music from Sinatra to Streisand, from the Carpenters to the Osmonds, from Broadway to the West End, the Lauchengcos are sure to make February 14 a night to remember.

Sibling Revelry Valentine’s Show

Sibling Revelry will be held on February 14, 2010 at the Rockwell Tent.  
Dinner will be served from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. The show promptly begins at 8 p.m.

Tickets at Php 3,300 (inclusive of dinner).  
For free delivery within Metro Manila, please contact (0939) 128-6569.
Also available at TicketWorld 891-9999.

Dinner menu by Chef Him Uy de Baron: 

Fresh foccacia bread with fresh pomodoro and olive tapenade
Duck meat parcel with arugula and mixed green salad in raspberry dressing
Slow-roasted tomato soup with basil oil
Six-hour braised short ribs with lemon gremolata and truffle mash
Le Kitkat with strawberry sauce


8. No More Bad Valentine’s!

For those who love contests and who are very creative, you just need to submit your “Perfect Valentine’s date plan” worth P20,000 — and the best entry will get their plan executed by Juice.PH. The winner will be determined 50% by online voting and 50% by the Juice Staff. The promo runs from January 15, 2010 (12:00 mn) to February 10, 2010 (11:59 am).

I’m disqualified from participating in the contest because they are an OAP partner, but this is the type of contest I would love to join because it is NOT based on chance, but on how creative you are.

(Feel free to promote your own Valentine’s contest/s in the comments section below.)

Advanced Happy Valentine’s and Chinese New Year, OAP readers! 🙂

Live an Awesome Life, 

Anton 

Anton Diaz
Founder and Digital Publisher 
www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627) 
Email: [email protected]
Follow me in Twitter
antondiaz
Add me as a Friend in Facebookantondiaz
Subscribe in my You Tube channelantondiaz

P.S. Do you have any new restaurant recommendations? We are looking for one, too, since we have been to most of the events and places I mentioned in this blog post. 

P.P.S. Also, we are not sure if BB5 will wait until Valentine’s Day. 🙂