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Valentine’s Day cheap dates: Taking sweetie out can be budget-friendly

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Reporter/CDN Digital | February 14,2020 - 03:30 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines – We get it.

Valentine’s Day can be a tough day for the working class to celebrate especially when the cost of flowers skyrockets up to five times its normal price, the restaurants are booked, and yet it isn’t exactly a holiday when you can easily get off from work.

Saving up for a future home, wedding, or car on top of making a sweetheart happy on this day of love can be stressful.

Valentine's Cheap Dates

Picking a place where to spend Valentine’s Day with your loved one doesn't have to be a difficult decision as Cebu City, an old Queen City nestled in a bed of cultural heritage, has so much to offer that is absolutely free all within the buzzing downtown area.

Posted by CDN Digital on Thursday, February 13, 2020

Yet it doesn’t have to be a difficult decision as Cebu City, an old Queen City nestled in a bed of cultural heritage, has so much to offer that is absolutely free all within the buzzing downtown area.

If you think you have nowhere to go this Valentine’s Day, think again.

Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu lighted in red. |CDN FILE PHOTO

Basilica Minore del Santo Niño

The Basilica Minore del Santo Niño is an iconic piece of Cebuano heritage that is home to Cebu’s patron, the Señor Santo Niño, located along Osmeña Boulevard, beside the Plaza Sugbo.

The Feast of the Child Jesus is celebrated every third Sunday of January in one of the grandest festivals in the country, the Sinulog.

You might think that it is no place to go on a date, but you’ll be surprised that the beauty of its gardens inside the Basilica grounds can make any conversation solemn.

It also pays to give homage to the Santo Niño on this day of love as His love is considered by the Catholic faithful as pure and perfect as Jesus gave his life to save the world from sin.

For friends Anna Mary Isok, 21, and Cristy Cabagte, 22, hearing Mass on Valentine’s Day is important as a relationship can only grow stronger with God at its center.

“Malig-on na ang relationship nato basta center si God. (Our relationships grow stronger if we place God in the center),” said Isok.

An aerial view of the Senior Citizens Park and the Compania Maritima building (top left corner). | CDN FILE PHOTO

Senior Citizen’s Park

This 3,000 square meter park lay snug in between the Filipino-Chinese Museum and the new Cebu City Financial Center just across the Cebu City Hall.

It was opened in October 2012 as a tribute to the senior citizens of the city, a place where the Office for the Senior Citizen’s Affairs can hold activities for the elderly members of the city.

The circular design of the mini-park was patterned after the Fuente Osmeña Circle (Rotunda) in uptown Cebu City. The Senior Citizen’s Park even has its own mini fountain with the image of Lola (grandmother) carrying a big fish over her shoulders.

The statue represents the hard work of the past generations to make Cebu City the bustling city that it is now.

Today, it’s a small haven to the busy streets around it with a good view of the sea at the South Road Properties (SRP).

Restaurants surround the area on all sides with cheaper choices along M.C. Briones Street going to the Carbon Market, Cebu City’s premier public market, and the fancier restaurants at least 300 meters aways near the Compania Maritima Building facing the SRP.

The park is a good shot for lovers seeking a cheap place to date with all amenities available for them. It’s good for families as well!

The Fuente Osmeña Circle. |CDN FILE PHOTO

Fuente Osmeña Circle

If you rather choose a more metro feel for your budget-friendly Valentine’s Day outing, look no further than the city uptown center, the Fuente Osmeña Circle.

It is surrounded by malls, restaurants, entertainment centers and the like. The park sits in the middle of the buzzing Cebu City yet offers a quiet place surrounding by the sights and sounds of a bustling city.

The park itself is surrounded by trees, flowers, and bushes arranged in a circular pattern around a giant fountain.

On Valentine’s Day, activities may happen at the Fuente Osmeña Circle as it is a common site for public concerts and similar events.

For Ropquits Desemperado, 22, the Fuente Osmeña Circle is certainly a place that people can make memories in.

“Nindot kaayo ni nga lugar kay dako, nindot og view, napalibotan og mga building. Kung naa koy uyab dalhon nako siya diri. (This place is beautiful, spaceous, and with a good view. It is surrounded by buildings. If I had a partner, I would bring that person here),” he said.

Newly installed flowers bring bright color to Plaza Independencia in downtown Cebu City. | CDN FILE PHOTO/ Gerard Vincent Francisco

Plaza Independencia

Romance is at play every day at the Plaza Independencia, the largest public park in Cebu City, as this is a frequent to-go place by joggers, students, dancers, and barkadas.

Even if at can be quite crowded, space is enough to cater to people as different sections offer either benches or cool grass to sit on. The cool breeze that is apparent the whole day would surely make you feel fresh.

The Fort San Pedro is also nearby for an alternative scenery, with only just P20 entrance fee, you and your lover or family can take a walk back in time.

Restaurants may be far from the Plaza Independencia, but you can always bring your own picnic basket and eat a hearty meal with your family.

For mother and partner, Mary Cris Mangaron, 27, the Plaza Independencia is a great place to spend the Valentines Day with her family.

“Nindot kaayo dinhi, presko ang hangin nya makafeel ka nga daghan mosuroy bitaw nga mga manag-uyab o managtiayon. (This place is very nice, the air is fresh and you can feel the vibe with many people coming here especially couples),” said Mangaro.

Valentines Day is a special day, a time to show your loved ones how you feel about them. Yet celebrating love doesn’t have to be expensive.

Time is invaluable, and this is the best gift to your loved, the best way to say “I love you.”/elb

 

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