Where to go for a budget-friendly and safe Valentine’s Day #CDNDValentines2021
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The pandemic has been hard for many families especially since many businesses have closed down and people have been losing jobs.
And couples may hesitate to celebrate their love on the usual date especially when the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases are still rising in Cebu.
However, there are ways to spend a few hours away from home without burning the cash in a quick romantic getaway as Cebu has the best spots inside or outside the metropolis.
So take your face mask, face shield, and your travel alcohol, and allow CDN Digital to take you to the budget-friendly and safe Valentine’s get-away in Metro Cebu.
People in the southern portion of Metro Cebu has various choices for a romantic Valentine’s Day. This is because from Talisay City down to Carcar City, there are endless beaches, resorts, restaurants, and even a theme park to choose from.
Yet for those who are in a tighter budget and a tighter time schedule, Naga City’s famous Boardwalk or Baywalk is the best choice.
The Boardwalk is located at Barangay Poblacion at the heart of this southern city. The government building surrounds its center, but facing the sea is a long stretch of walkway with an enchanting view of ships docking from afar and the horizon behind them.
It has a park, a playground for the older children, who are allowed to go out this pandemic, and a food strip for the hungry couples.
The Boardwalk is best for strolling, biking, and having a picnic. Just make sure that you take your trash with you and leave no trace of your presence there.
For James Savellon, the Naga Boardwalk holds a special place for him and his fiancée.
“So far I and my fiancée’s go-to getaway is the Naga Boardwalk — at least before the pandemic. Aside from it being just a 10-minute walk away from our house in Naga, the sea breeze, calming view, and the affordable eats — popcorn, shakes, street food you name it — are undoubtedly worth the trip. We also feel safe walking around the plaza, and parking and public transportation aren’t too big of a deal,” said Savellon.
The Naga Boardwalk also offers a stunning view of the horizon for the Instagram-worthy Valentine’s Day pictures and a peaceful whole-day sea breeze for those seeking meditation.
The place is fully compliant of the health protocols under the pandemic, so don’t go there without a mask and a shield as occasional marshalls may be there to remind you for it.
Social distancing is also maintained and every food stall will implement distance in the seating arrangement. Alcohol and disinfectants are readily available in the establishments.
Still, since the place is wide open and the air flows freely with the breeze, a quick maskless breath may be allowed. After all, fresh air is good for the body.
Cordova’s Roro Port
The island is a famous a resort-haven in the heart of Cebu, but it’s not all about expensive exclusive resorts and hotels here.
Tucked away on the other side of Cordova, a blooming town of mangroves and fresh air, lies a boqueria of all kinds of food and a dining experience with a view of the sea.
The Roro Port in Barangay Poblacion is a port for fishermen and fishing vessels alike, but it is more than just a docking spot. It has evolved into a park, akin to the Sugbo Mercado.
Most of the stalls offer streetfood, but the bigger carenderias offer the town’s famous dish that has reached international fame, the bakasi or saltwater eel.
The port is a great place to hang out with friends and for romantic couples, they can enjoy a long walk at the Roro Port road.
Couples, who enjoy biking, will definitely enjoy the Roro Port because the long roads and minimal public transport passing is a good biking spot for beginners.
Ben Cascejo, a tricycle driver who is turning 60-years-old this Valentine’s Day, has told CDN Digital that the Roro Port is one of the common dating spots in the town.
“Saksi na kini sa daghang gugma (This place is a witness to many love stories),” he said.
The health protocols remain in Roro Port, and individuals have to wear face masks and face shields here.
Establishments may also ask for contact tracing information, and disinfectants and washing areas are readily available for customers.
It may be best to visit the Roro Port at night, but if you live far from the town, you can visit the area in the afternoon to avoid being caught in the curfew that the town is implementing as part of its measures against COVID-19.
Consolacion town is hiding a gem right within the mouth of a river.
Two competing yet thriving talabahans famous for their talaba or oysters are situated half a kilometer from each other along the Laray Road.
The Ruben’s Talabahan and Co Jordan’s Talabahan are for couples seeking a unique Valentine’s date among mangroves and above brackish water.
The two talabahans serve affordable seafood recently caught by the nearby fisherfolks especially since fishing is the main industry in the area. They offer bangus, balbacua, larang, and other seafood.
In Rubens Talabahan, customers can choose to be seated in the nipa huts surrounded by the water allowing a 360 view of the surrounding landscape.
At Co Jordan’s Talaban, the customers will experience a sutukil style of service, common for seafood restaurant in Cebu. This means that the food you choose will be cooked fresh and served hot.
If you find that one of the talabahans are at full capacity, which at this pandemic is at 70 percent, do not fret. The two talabahans are less than a kilometer away from each other and getting to the other talabahan offers you a scenic view of the river.
Josh, 25, a patron of the talabahan, said the place is the perfect dating spot for on-the-budget couples as the food is affordable, both restaurants are cozy, and the ambiance is fresh.
“The food is affordable and the place is fresh and relaxing,” he told CDN Digital.
Both talabahans require the customers to provide contact tracing information prior to being served. Health protocols are also maintained and washing areas are easily accessible.
After eating in any of the talabahans, you can also check Laray Road’s roadside market where fresh seafood are sold by locals.
The Valentine’s Day may have to be simple this year because of the ongoing pandemic, but it doesn’t need to be less romantic.
There are a lot of good spots in Cebu where you can spend the “Day of Love” with the person you love the most, and you don’t need to spend so much on these places as well.
Many Cebuanos will not be able to go far this Valentine’s Day, but what is truely important is that they will be with the one who matters the most to them.
The best place to spend Valentine’s Day will be wherever your heart lies./dbs
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