MANILA, Philippines – When it comes to dating and courtship, we all know that what matters most is the thought -- not the price tag.
As popular teen actor Daniel Padilla once said: “While a girl might be blown away by a really expensive gift, I believe that they equally value the creative, thoughtful gifts that have nothing to do with the amount on the price tag…It’s the things that money can’t buy which sometimes mean more and stay longer in her.”
Not all male celebrities, however, seem to agree with Padilla’s statement. Just last February 14, actor Xian Lim surprised his “Ina, Kapatid, Anak” and “My Binondo Girl” leading lady Kim Chiu with a yacht cruise in Subic.
Chiu’s ex-boyfriend, “Budoy” star Gerald Anderson, reportedly rented a helicopter to take him and another “Ina, Kapatid, Anak” actress, Maja Salvador, to Tagaytay for a quick Valentine date.
Inspired by these recent events, ABS-CBNnews.com compiled a short list of the most expensive dates that a couple here in the Philippines could possibly have.
Are you willing to spend an arm and a leg (or even an entire set of organs) to please your wife, girlfriend or special someone? Check out these pricey dates and some cheaper alternatives.
1. Being picked up by a stretch Hummer limo
|R33's white stretch hummer limousine. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com
Here’s an ostentatious way to hit the Manila streets – via a handsome white stretch Hummer limousine.
R33 Car Exchange in Pasig City is renting out its Hummer limo for P8,000 per hour for a minimum period of two hours. The package includes a dedicated chauffeur and a bottle of champagne. The rate goes down to P5,000 per hour after three hours.
A unique choice for a bridal car, the stretch Hummer limo is also a great way to impress not only your date, but also bystanders. Expect a lot of cameras when you rent this baby.
A cheaper alternative: If you do not want to spend your hard-earned money on a two-hour ride, try using your car instead. If you don’t have one, borrow from a friend or rent an ordinary vehicle.
2. A private yacht cruise along Manila Bay
|One of Realship's Yachts. Photo from Realship's website
You don’t need to go all the way to Subic a la Xian Lim to go on a private cruise with your special someone. Realship Yacht Rentals at the CCP Complex Bay Terminal in Pasay City is offering couples a chance to have a yacht all to themselves for P22,500.
The package includes the use of a 55-seater yacht for a two-hour cruise along Manila Bay and a four-course dinner (soup, salad, steak and prawns, and dessert) prepared by the cook on board.
A cheaper alternative: Those who don’t mind sharing a yacht with other couples may want to try Sun Cruises’ package, which costs only P550 per person. The rate includes a cruise for one hour and 15 minutes, a set dinner, and live performances by an acoustic band. Sun Cruises is also in Pasay City.
3. A helicopter ride to anywhere in the Philippines
|One of Airgurus' helicopters. Photo from Airgurus' website
Want to take your date on a helicopter ride a la Gerald Anderson or Gu Jun Pyo of the hit Korean soap “Boys Over Flowers”? It can be done – if you have the money, that is.
Airgurus promises to take their clients to anywhere in the country via their helicopter tours. A 30-minute trip all over Manila costs P45,000 for two persons, while a visit to Tagaytay, similar to what Anderson and Salvador reportedly did, costs about P94,000, excluding the price of the actual date in the fine dining restaurant Antonio’s.
A cheaper alternative: If you’re only going to Tagaytay, why not go there using a car? Or if you have more money to spare, book a trip when a budget carrier launches a seat sale – you can buy a ticket to Singapore for only P4,000 per person, taxes included.
4. A night in Manila’s most luxurious residence
|Sofitel Philippine Plaza's Imperial Residence. Photo from Sofitel Philippine Plaza's website
Would you and your partner like to feel like a king and queen for a day? Then book a room at Sofitel Philippine Plaza’s Imperial Residence, which is marketed as Manila’s most prestigious and luxurious collection of suites.
Designed by the world-renowned Spin Design Studio of Japan, the same company that designed the newly renovated Spiral, the 6,200-square foot Imperial Residence is composed of five suites. Each boasts of elegant living spaces, a kitchen, a dining room, state-of-the-art bath facilities and an outdoor area overlooking the Manila Bay.
The Imperial Suite, which has the kitchen and the bathroom, costs a whopping P250,000+++ per night. You may also book the entire residence and convert any of the four rooms into a gym, spa or office according to your requirements for P300,000+++ a night.
Aside from the beautiful interiors, guests also get to enjoy a number of privileges, such as VIP welcome at the airport (for foreigners and those who are coming from an out-of-the-country vacation), round trip limousine transfers, an exclusive butler and personal shopper, and Hermes bath amenities.
A cheaper alternative: To those who want the luxury without shelling out P300,000 in one go, try booking a room in Sofitel or in other top hotels in Manila. A standard room costs only around P7,500 per night on average, while a suite may be anywhere from P15,000 to P20,000.