LIST: Valentine's Day 2020 dining, gifting suggestions
Actor Paulo Avelino setting up a Valentine's Day date.
Red Ribbon/Released
LIST: Valentine's Day 2020 dining, gifting suggestions
Jan Milo Severo (Philstar.com) - February 12, 2020 - 9:57pm

MANILA, Philippines — As the saying goes, "The quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach."

So on February 14, give yourself permission to view life through rose-colored glasses, turn everyday words into love songs, and let love bloom in your vulnerable but valiant heart with the following Valentine's Day dining and gifting options.

Parisian love affair

French-inspired confections
Photo release

Flowers and chocolates have always been a winning combination. For that extra special touch, Bizu Patisserie has partnered with flower shop Designer Blooms for both online and physical stores. Styled blooms are matched with a cake for one's candlelit dinner.

The patisserie, which has branches in Greenbelt 2 Parkside, Greenhills Promenade, Alabang Town Center, St. Luke’s BGC, Eastwood Mall and Robinsons Magnolia, joins in the Valentine’s Day celebrations with a series of French-inspired confections "por amour de la vie" (for the love of life). It will mark this special day for lovers and lovers of life by presenting our signature Valentine’s Day cake: The Romance Cake. Exclusive to this time of the year, the cake is made of layers of dark chocolate ganache, crème brûlée, and caramel, topped by local strawberries.

The Valentine’s edition Macaron de Paris, dubbed “Valentin,” is a bite-sized ruby-red delight of Malagos Chocolate Ganache with strawberry filling, dipped in chocolate and dusted with praline. 

For those who love a classic confection, there is Fresh Strawberry Chiboust, a heart- shaped French-style cheesecake topped with seasonal strawberries and raspberry coulis. 

For the pièce de résistance, this 2020 also marks the debut of La Vie en Rose (Life in Pink), special-edition Valentine drip cake made of layers of moist sponge cake, flavored with strawberry sauce, rose essence and Chantilly cream. This heart-shaped creation is decorated with toppings of fresh strawberries, meringue, and petit Macaron de Paris. 

Paulo Avelino reveals his heartfelt Valentine gift

Avelino
Red Ribbon/Released

Everyone shares a common goal this Valentine's season: to show heartfelt effort to make their loved one feel special, whether through a grand gesture or a simple, laid-back celebration.

Red Ribbon’s brand ambassador, admired film and TV actor Paulo Avelino shares the same goal this Valentine’s season. In the brand’s latest digital video, Paulo shows us how we can make our loved ones feel special, and shares with us how his most heartfelt love is fully expressed.

Much like how Paulo takes precious time and effort to carefully plan the most impressive Valentine’s date for his special someone, the brand offers its cake for the occasion – the Valentine Black Forest.

The cake comes in a limited-edition heart-shaped design perfect for the season. It is made with luscious chocolate cake and creamy icing to make this red-letter occasion more special with every bite. It is also topped with sweet Maraschino cherries crowned with a chocolate ribbon topping, making it the perfect present for this romantic occasion.

This Valentine’s Day, make your loved one feel special by showing what your heart truly feels. The limited-edition Valentine Black Forest is available from February 13 to 15.

Four ways to love pizza

Everyone has their own style of doing things – from speaking, walking, dressing up, and working in the office. But did you know that the way you eat also reveals a lot about your personality? Take pizza, for example. You’d be surprised by the different ways barkadas satisfy their pizza cravings. If that’s hard to believe, then test it out with your closest friends with Greenwich pizza and pasta. 

1. The Folder. A Folder is your kabarkada who folds a pizza slice lengthwise, so it fits exactly into one’s mouth. A perfectionist to the core, he or she meticulously calculates all decisions, whether life-changing or routine, to ensure that everything’s in order which is like the way he munches on pizza. The folder carefully checks that all the toppings are neatly tucked in so that no ingredient, from the sweet pineapples to the savory ham, will fall outside when he/she takes a mouthful bite.  

 2. The Doughboy. Also known as Breadwinners, this kabarkada nibbles on the outer pizza crust first towards the tip. Intelligent and unique, this individual doesn’t care what other people think or do (which is not eating the crust), as long as his/her pizza cravings are satisfied. This kabarkada is rare and prefers to stand out because he knows that the crust makes all the difference in a pizza.

3. The Topper. This kabarkada eats his/her favorite toppings first before devouring the rest of the pizza. Self-assured and confident, he/she knows what he wants and wastes no time getting it, which is why this friend plucks out and eats the savory meat and sweet pineapple off the pinyasweet and pinya-sarap Hawaiian Overload first – before anything else. 
 
4. The Untouchable. There’s only one way Untouchables eat pizza – and that’s with a knife and a fork. Refined and sophisticated, these people appreciate the finer things in life. 

Pizza date

Who says you’d have to break the bank for the perfect date? Celebrate Valentine’s with Yellow Cab's Pizza Perfect Pair, composed of four Hot Chix Wings, four Sweet Soy Wings, a 9” 2-in-1 Manhattan Meatlovers and BBQ Chicken Pizza, and an ice cream of your choice. Offer runs from February 10 to 14.

For Chinese food lovers

Couples who want to enjoy Chinese cuisine in the northern part of the Metro Manila now have another option with the opening of Pin Wei in Seda Vertis North.  

Since it opened in late 2019, the restaurant offering authentic Cantonese dishes in modern presentations has gathered a long list of regular diners that come to savor special set menus highlighting dishes like Tiger Prawns in Golden Pumpkin Sauce and Hand-pulled Noodles with Fish Tofu.

Pin Wei is also popular for its business lunch highlighted by crafted dim sum or noodles and two mains like spareribs with black beans and homemade spinach tofu with minced pork.

Chef Hann Furn Chen is the restaurant's head chef, who brings with him a wealth of experience. The former chef of Manila Mandarin’s Tin Hau has been cooking since he was a tween in his father’s Chinese restaurant in Malaysia. Stints in Singapore, Dubai and Indonesia have given him exposure to a wide range of cooking styles. Despite having resided in the Philippines many years in total, he has retained a strong affinity to his Chinese roots and avoided a sweet palate.

Chef Chen has whipped up memorable set menus to bring in joy and prosperity for the year. An item the chef is particularly excited about is Braised Fish and Mushrooms Soup, Auntie Song style.

According to Chinese lore, Auntie Song owned a humble restaurant which gained fame when an emperor who was just passing by tasted and extolled the virtues of this soup made from fish, chicken, beef and pork bones simmered for four hours. He is also eager to introduce Braised Eight Treasure Fish Maw and Seafood Soup and Top Shell with Vegetables in Oyster Sauce among his other new dishes in the set menus.

The restaurant's cuisine is further enhanced by a wide selection of fine teas. The diner's house tea is Tie Guan Yin Oolong tea with a flowery fragrance and natural sweetness. The restaurant also offers a white tea named Spring Silver Needle, made from buds and immature tea leaves picked before the buds have fully opened.

Rewarding love

In line with its commitment to continuously deliver feel-good dining experiences through its well-loved meals, Pancake House launches its new Rewards Card. With this, customers can access exclusive deals any time of the year. 

Included in the annual subscription, cardholders can also enjoy free pancakes on their birthday month, a free House Specials Set A when they register online, and many more. The card can be claimed starting on February 17, with a minimum single-receipt food purchase.

“We are introducing the card as a way to show appreciation to our regular diners and to connect with them in new ways,” said Pancake House Senior Marketing Manager Cherry Hernandez. “We hope this program gives Filipinos another reason to Choose to Feel Good every day of the year and will encourage them to come home to familiar comfort.”

Love at first spark

Valentine's collection
Photo release

Love. It all begins with a spark of energy: it’s exciting, all-consuming and unforgettable. This Valentine’s Day, Swarovski will celebrate how this extraordinary spark blossoms into a journey of never-ending love, from the very first moment eyes meet and sparks fly, to the ways we fuel that spark and keep it burning bright.

True to the brand's innovative spirit, the Valentine’s Day collection reimagines traditional symbols of love into of-the-moment designs that add a touch of effortless sparkle to any outfit.

The iconic and eternal motifs of the infinity symbol and the shimmering heart are given a contemporary twist—making the perfect gift for loved ones, for friends or for yourself.

Swarovski’s Creative Director, Nathalie Colin, explains the inspiration behind the new collection: “Love is the energy of life. During the most romantic time of the year, we wanted to show how illuminating this energy can be, making people feel more brilliant, brighter and loved. We’ve transformed iconic symbols into stylish pieces designed to capture hearts around the world.”

For lovers on-the-go

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and you’re probably trying to figure out the best possible gift. Something that your loved ones will definitely appreciate and use everyday. After all, it’s a good way to show how much you know the person you’ll be giving it to.

The classic chocolate and flowers are a good start, but a smart and useful present is something a little more well-thought of, especially now that the trend for unisex items are on the rise, especially for couples who love to switch things up.

First on the list is the 36L Cabinzero travel backpack. This classic zero-hassle travel bag is perfect and totally useful for those who are planning a travel adventure anytime soon. With so much space to store extra clothes and other valuables, this makes a good hand carry bag.

Another one for travel or everyday use is the the FCB Backpack from FX Creations which boasts a striking two-tone red. Its AGS anti-gravity system is one of FX Creations’ innovative features that truly sets this apart. With two main compartments and four internal pockets, this bag can hold and secure all your essentials and valuables such wallets, keys, and a 15-inch laptop.

Keeping our list with yet another smart bag this Valentine’s day is this versatile Drifter Convertible from U-Elements. With its dark red pantone, this bag is a perfect unisex accessory to match any clothing style. In addition, being able to carry this bag in 3-ways, the U-Element Drifter Convertible bag is bonded with organization for your everyday essentials that converts as a backpack, sling bag and handbag.

Win staycations

To make V-day celebrations memorable, Vivo introduces the Love Connects campaign. For those having smartphone models for themselves or their loved ones, they get the chance to win prizes, including hotel staycations, cuddle bears, bouquet of flowers, movie tickets and tumblers.

From February 8 to 22, 10 customers can win an overnight stay for two in selected four-star hotels, while 30 buyers can get their hands on cuddle bears. A hundred winners will receive a bouquet of flowers while 200 winners will get a pair of SM movie tickets. More mechanics are given on the brand's Facebook timeline. 

A savage kind of Valentine's

This romance season, Savage restaurant, helmed by award-winning chef Josh Boutwood, offers a four-course Valentine dinner from February 13 to 15. Begin with a selection of snacks.

Then, proceed to the appetizer - in-house smoked salmon chive and dill. Mains are a choice between the dry-aged Australian Wagyu striploin with house chimichuri; the Roast Chicken for Polenta and the Grilled Seabass with Manila Clams and Thai Basil.

End with Eton Mess, a delightful, traditional English dessert made with strawberries, broken meringue, and whipped double cream.

When two fashion houses become one 

Valentine's Day collection
Ferragamo/Released

Two of the fashion house’s icons, Fiocco Vara and Gancini, come together in the Salvatore Ferragamo range of accessories, jewelry and leather goods dedicated to Valentine’s Day.

Shades of red, pink and eternally elegant black color a mini-capsule with contemporary appeal and a romantic feel: “Fall in love with Ferragamo this Valentine’s Day.”

For women, the Vara Rainbow mini bag with front flap is available in red and pink. Shades of Coral Red, Black or Bone, for the sandal, in a chunky heel version, featuring the new Vara bow whose color and leather matches the upper.

The colorful silk ribbons are playful and versatile, embellished with a small gold-plated jewel, to be worn as a bracelet or choker. The new earrings and necklaces with pendants are exquisite and minimal, with the Gancini symbol embellished with elegant charms in the shape of a heart, a star, also available in a diamanté version, and a pearl. Leather is used instead for the slim bangle, whose enameled metal buckle replicates the Vara bow.

For men, accessories continue the red and black theme: the calfskin leather wallet has a sophisticated three-dimensional texture and bears the iconic Gancini logo. The same theme is used again for the casual belts with double Gancini buckle.

Eyewear completes the range, with a refined construction and a sophisticated material combination of leather and metal.

Celebrating perfectly imperfect love stories

Scene from '#CoupleGoals'
Jollibee/Released

Fast-food chain Jollibee is back with its latest Valentine’s series. This 2020, the award-winning digital series delves into how true love conquers all—that beyond the romance, it takes hard work and commitment to make real love last.

“Relationships can be complicated when people set unrealistic expectations about love, believing that it’s always easy and picture-perfect especially in today’s digital age! This year, our goal was to highlight that the best love stories are those of couples who understand and value true love, and the hard work and commitment that it takes to make it work,” shared Jollibee Global Brand Chief Marketing Officer, JFC Philippines Country Business Group Marketing Head and concurrent Philippines Marketing Head Francis Flores.

Valentine’s Day is no longer complete without Jollibee making viewers swoon and inspired by its series. Last year’s episodes—“Choice," “Proposal,” and “Anniversary”—encouraged fans to keep their faith in love and hit over 50 million views on Facebook and YouTube. The brand has produced over 33 short films, garnering over 350 million views and nearly 700 million in reach.

In 2019 alone, the fast-food brand brought home the APAC Tambuli Awards’ Gold Tambuli for the total campaign; three Bronze awards in the Family-Centered Brand category for Mother’s Day Series etc., and a Bronze award in the Seasons Celebration category for Father’s Day. 

This love month, Valentine’s Series 2020 include “#CoupleGoals," “Space” and “Apart." Directed by Ianco dela Cruz (“Vow”, “Choice”), “#CoupleGoals” tells the story of Matt and Lisa, a happy couple who couldn’t be more perfect for each other, or so their social media photos say. Is their relationship as flawless as it appears?

“Space” follows the story of funnyman Dan, who goes out of his way to show his girlfriend Mae how much he cares but their differences have pushed the couple apart. Directed by Sigrid Bernardo, this episode begs the question: In the age where finding someone new as easy as a swipe, is true love is just as easy to find?

Lovebirds Myles and Ron are the center of the story titled “Apart," directed by Pepe Diokno. Myles is strong-willed and self-sufficient, and Ron feels like he doesn’t have a place in her world. Does true love prevail or are they better off apart?

Beef up your V-Day playlist

Valentine’s is just a couple of days away, and it wouldn’t be complete without our favorite love songs. With this, John Legend’s "All of Me" reigns as the most-streamed love song globally which has been added to more than 29M playlists.

“The impact of ‘All of Me’ continues to amaze and inspire me,” John Legend told Spotify. “I'm grateful to know that lovers around the world have connected with this song and made it their own.”

For more Valentine's feels, check out these top songs from the Philippines' love playlists gathered from the streaming app's local data.

Songs that appear most on Love playlists in the Philippines: 

“Love Yourself” - Justin Bieber

“Secret Live Song (feat. Jason Derulo)” - Little Mix

“Stay - On the Wings of Love Teleserye Theme” - Daryl Ong

“Your Love - Dolce Amore Teleserye Theme” - Juris

“Love Me Like You Do - From “Fifty Shades of Grey”” - Ellie Goulding

“Tadhana” - Up Dharma Down

“A Thousand Years” - Christina Perri

“Ikaw” - Yeng Constantino

“Perfect” - Ed Sheeran

“Say You Won’t Let Go” - James Arthur

Come home to love

Everybody yearns to come home to love. May it be excited squeals from your kids, a warm hug from your spouse, or a hearty meal lovingly prepared by your mom. Love, indeed, comes in different forms. And for some families, a special love comes in the form of furs and wagging tails.

Nowadays, pets are treated as family members capable of providing emotional support, unconditional love, and a sense of “home” for their loved ones. Families with pets share a truly incredible kind of bonding and loving relationship.

This Valentine’s Day, PLDT Home celebrates the unique love shared by different kinds of families – including pet parents and their fur babies.

PLDT Home celebrates the unconditional love of families for their fur babies in a special video that features unique love stories of pet parents. In the video, concert and events director Paolo Valenciano, managing director and editor-in-chief Gretchen Gatan, CEO and cycling instructor Kristina Sy, marketing manager Camille Tantoco, and musician and managing director JJ Pimpinio talk about how being pet parents changed their homes. 

Paolo says of his shih tzu Trooper, “He is really part of our family. That’s why my daughter calls Trooper ‘kuya.’ He always makes sure that we’re okay. When I’m sad, he’d come to me and start kissing me. He knows our feelings.”

For Kristina, her dog Olie is the go-to stress reliever of her and her husband. “It may sound cliché, but the truth is they really do make you a happier person,” she said. “It’s weird because it means more responsibility, expenses, and headaches. But the joy he gives you every day—even when you just leave him for like 10 minutes, when you see him again it’s like he hasn’t seen you in five years. It’s very unconditional.”

Though unconventional, pet parents show unconditional love and meaningful connection with their fur babies in their own unique ways such as making sure that their home is safe and secured for their pets. Paolo shares, “If you want the dog to live a long and happy life, you have to treat them like a human being. I make sure that my daughter, Leah, and Trooper are always safe. I have a Fam Cam at home that lets me take care of them whenever and wherever I am.”

Gretchen treats her cat Bella as her own baby. She says, “When I got married, my husband and I had to look for a condo that is near our offices so that if something urgent happens with our pets at home, we can go to them right away. As a parent, I want to feel assured that my baby is okay. Home security is very important for us. We upgraded our Fibr connection and installed home monitoring cameras to ensure Bella is well-monitored at home.”

Sweets for your sweet

Valentine’s is just a few days away and if you’re either looking for a last-minute gift to your special someone or planning a night of Netflix and chill at home with your loved one, Naked Patisserie offers luxe gift boxes. 

A passion project of Christian Mark Jacobs, the patisserie's website offers bespoke cakes, gift sets, spreads, wines and other food using naked and quality ingredients. For Valentine’s, the offerings include White Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake Truffle, Midnight Snacker, Strawberries and Cream and Signature Red Velvet Cake that all come with free Valentine's card.

Time to get cheesy

Eden cheese via Facebook

This month of chessy and mushy exchanges, Eden encourages all families to truly cherish the family meal times they have together. Since it has now become more of a challenge to complete families during gatherings, it is important that families make every meal matter by being present in the now and savoring each moment. 

There will be lots of meals and parties during this season, and what better way to make it more delicious by using the cheese brand, from appetizers to the family’s favorite Kaldereta to creamy Leche Flan.

This Valentine's, let’s remember that it’s not about the material things we receive rather, it’s about the moments of togetherness with our family. It’s about savoring those moments and making them memories that the heart will not forget.

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