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Set in Cebu

Love on the beach

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They say life’s a beach, and although not everyone will agree with that, it sounds like most Cebuanos do.

Hypothetically, that proverbial glass is usually half-full down here. And in a more literal sense, if you’re Cebuano, though life may not always be a beach, at the very least, much of it will be spent on one.

Case in point, when we asked some of our favorite young couples to describe their ideal Valentine’s Day scenario, almost everyone deemed a trip to Cebu’s gorgeous beaches a requisite component to a perfectly romantic day.

Our sandy shores are a mere 30-minute ride away (and come to think of it, so are our mountains), so you think we’d be sick of them by now, but then again, there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing.

RODRICK and Gretchen Uy

Rodrick and Gretchen Uy


Married for six years

Our ideal Valentine’s date would consist of spending the whole day together, just the two of us, and acting like newlyweds. We would go to Shangri-La Mactan for a day of swim and sand, then cap it off with dinner at Tavolata restaurant, where we always get good food and good service. As much as we want to stay out late, knowing us, we would miss our kids and want to come home and hope that they are still awake so we can play with them.

JAKE Hall and Mia Arcenas

Jake Hall and Mia Arcenas

Online entrepreneur/fashion and accessories designer

Dating for nine months

Mia: A dinner date on a boat in Mactan. The city can get too busy at times, especially on Valentine’s Day, so being in the middle of the ocean with Jake would be the most ideal date.

Jake: For Mia it is Valentine’s every day, so Feb. 14 would have to be something extravagant. There would be fireworks, dancers, jugglers, fire breathers, you name it. In other words, a huge dent in my wallet. But as it’s for Mia, I couldn’t care less.

Jeremy and

Dianne Huang


Married for one year and three months

Jeremy: For all the hype about Valentine’s Day, the truth is we prefer to avoid the traffic and rush that the occasion causes. That said, we’ve celebrated Valentine’s Day in the past with dive trips (we’re certified PADI divers) or just having a candlelit dinner at home.

Our idea of a perfect Valentine’s date would be something private and spontaneous, like staying overnight in a hotel or resort. It could also be having a private dinner underneath the stars, perfect for a moonlit stroll by the beach afterwards.

Dianne: I love surprises, and Jeremy never ceases to amaze me with his quirky yet still romantic ways.  He always focuses his attention on me regardless of the occasion.

And I look forward to what he has in store for me this year.

Anthony and Xacah Chang

Entrepreneur/online store proprietor and real estate broker

Married for nine years

An ideal Valentine’s date for us would be dinner up in the mountains of Cebu with a spectacular view of the city, great food, good wine and romantic music to keep us company.

Marco Antonio Aranas and Karen Gallman

Model and hotelier/model

Dating for 11 months

Our ideal Valentine’s date in Cebu would be spent on the beach, just relaxing. Perhaps, we’ll open a bottle of white wine and cuddle while watching the sunset. Afterwards, we’ll get a massage back at the resort to end the day.

Iñaki and May Martinez


Married for nine months

We got married on a beach, so for our first Valentine’s date as a married couple it would be nice to revisit that and go have dinner and a few beers on a beach, which is usually just a short drive away here in Cebu.

John Hilson and Michael Sanchez

AVP, Manulife/online editor, Zee Lifestyle Magazine

Dating for six months

A stay at Shangri-La Mactan Resort & Spa would be ideal where we can just laze by the beach during the day. Then, we’d charter a boat and take a cruise around the neighboring islands with some bubbly and cheese to enjoy as we greet the sunset while heading back to shore. At night, a romantic dinner in the nearby Abaca Boutique Resort + Restaurant would be perfect. We don’t want anything too elaborate. No horse-drawn carriages.

Taino and Judy Tenney


Married for five years

Judy: My husband grew up in Texas, so he is very fond of Tex-Mex cuisine. I would have a private chef prepare his favorite dishes and have a nice, intimate table setting at Tops where we can have a spectacular view of the city while we enjoy the outdoors, a nice bottle of wine, and more importantly, each other’s company.

ALLEN and Jennifer Tan

Allen and Jennifer Tan


Married for nine years

Jen: My ideal Valentine’s date would be a day on the beach spent reading, swimming, lounging (and even getting a massage), topped with a yummy Japanese meal and some champagne.

Allen: I would probably like a dessert buffet to end that perfect day.

RIA Redulla and Odin Fernandez

Odin Fernandez and Ria Redulla

Video and film director/web and graphic designer

Dating for three and a half years

As a couple, we love two things: a nice beach and good food—and Cebu has both in abundance! Our ideal Valentine’s date would start off with a day trip to Shangri-La Mactan for much-needed sunshine and saltwater therapy. Then for dinner, we can dress up nicely and have a sumptuous meal at David’s Steakhouse, one of our favorite restaurants and also our first date place in Cebu! In Manila (where we are both based), we usually have our Valentine’s date on the 13th or 15th because of the traffic on the 14th. With everything 15-20 minutes away, the beach included, a Valentine’s date in the Queen City would definitely be a breath of fresh air!

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Tags: Cebu , Cebu Lifestyle

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