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What’s the ideal date for Gen Zs?

by Gaby Agbulos

IN THE PAST, Filipinos were known to express their interest in an individual through making ligaw, or the act of courtship.

Even before the Spaniards came to the country, suitors would pursue their love interests with riddles, or by presenting the parents of whoever they were courting with a dowry. 

Serenading your partner – otherwise known as harana – was also fairly common, done by singing sweet, romantic songs to your partner, all while accompanied by the hum of a wooden guitar. 

Spoken poetry or balak was also a very popular form of courtship, wherein suitors would express their love with the use of sincere words formed into rhythmic stanzas.

Over time, though, the dating scene became more casual. From having to give cows and goats for the approval of your partner’s parents, you can now just enjoy a simple coffee date out with someone you met on Bumble, and then figure out where to go from there.

Casual dating has become particularly popular with Gen Zs and millennials. Instead of going to fancy restaurants, the new generation is focused on dating people on their own terms, preferring a chill environment wherein they can just hang out with their date and get to know them without any external pressures involved.

If you’re trying to figure out what to do this coming Valentine’s Day, or if you’re looking for date ideas for your crush / partner in general, here are some activities that some Gen Zs considered their perfect first date.

  1. Picnic dates

If you’re partner’s the type that loves aesthetic dates, going on a picnic is perfect. 

There are many parks in which you can set up, with some of the most popular places being UP’s Sunken Garden, the Ayala Triangle Gardens, or Rizal Park.

Setting up a picnic date is simple: all you need is a blanket to lay on the ground and money for whatever food and drinks you may want to eat side by side. 

To level up your picnic date, you can also plan some cute activities to do with your partner, like painting together or reading books that you both like.

Just make sure to check the weather on the day you plan to go out for your picnic. This coming Valentine’s is expected to be sunny all throughout, so there’s no need to worry about the weather raining on your parade… literally.

  1. Ice skating

Perhaps one of the more unconventional date ideas, ice skating is something you can do at SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, Robinson’s Place Manila, Uptown Mall BGC, or SM Southmall. 

While the price may vary depending on where you’re going, it usually ranges from P300 to P450 per person.

Activities like ice skating are a great way to break physical barriers with your partner, and to be more comfortable in their presence. Ice skating with a partner means being able to grab their hand and hold onto them as you glide through the ice.

It’s also a fun way to release awkwardness or tension that may still be there, especially if you’re still in the early stages of the relationship, because you’ll find yourself laughing your butt off any time your date falls down on the ice. 

  1. Photo walks

For the artsy people out there, why not go out for a photo walk? 

Some spots you can try out are Cubao Expo, Intramuros, or Binondo. You can also visit different museums like the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery, or the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, but pretty much anywhere is a good picture-taking spot if you’re with the right person.

Going out on a photo walk is basically like going on an adventure with your partner, exploring different places and hanging out at different spots as you take pictures of one another. When you get tired, you can take a break at a cute coffee shop and take even more cute pictures as you talk and sip your drinks.

Gen Zs love dates that are a mix of intimate and fun, and with this, you get to post a number of cute photos of yourself and of them to your Instagram afterwards. 

It’s the perfect way to get that Pinterest-level soft launch picture to get your friends to reply to your stories with a: “Huy, sino yan!” 

  1. Watching a movie

One kind of date you can never go wrong with is taking your partner out for a movie. Some films currently showing in cinemas are Dune: Part One, Ikaw Pa Rin Ang Pipiliin Ko, Lisa Frankenstein, Madame Webb, Mean Girls, My Sassy Girl, Rewind, and Poor Things. 

Whether it be action, romance, horror, sci-fi, or whatever else, there are a number of options to choose from. It’s just a matter of figuring out what you and your partner know you’d enjoy the most.

Movie dates are perfect if you want something intimate with your partner, and also a great excuse for a cheat day with huge buckets of popcorn and bags full of candy. It’s a win-win for everyone all around.

  1. Arcade dates

If you’re the type of person that likes dates filled with fun activities, or if you’re the type of couple that likes to be competitive with one another, arcades are the way to go. 

Places like Timezone, Tom’s World, and Quantum can be found in a number of branches all around the Philippines, so all you have to do is find the one nearest to you, and you’re good to go. 

For only P100 to P200, you can spend the afternoon playing different games, and then load up with a quick snack from the food court before going for another round.

Honestly, what beats shooting hoops, shooting zombies, and bringing home photobooth pictures with someone you love? And if you win enough tickets, you can even bring home a prize to have a reminder of the fun day you’ve spent with your partner. 

If you want a date that’s cheap and entertaining, an arcade date is a safe bet.

  1. Staying in

If you and your partner are certified homebodies, then maybe the best way to spend this Valentine’s Day is to just stay in and spend the day with no one but each other. 

Staying in also means saving on money you’d spend if you were to go out, so this is also a great option if the two of you are trying to save up for something. 

Instead of going to a movie and a restaurant, you can instead figure out how to cook your favorite meals, or order fast food and chow down while watching a movie on Netflix.

Whether you’re going out or staying in this Valentine’s is no big deal. As long as you’re with the person you love, what else matters?

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