Yesterday was Dane and I’s 4th anniversary as boyfriend and girlfriend. To make things a little bit different, I decided to be the one to plan our activities for the day.
Our celebration ‘started’ the day before, when Dane sent flowers to my home. I still always get giddy when I get them even after all these years and I’m happy that Dane feeds on my small happiness through it.
Dane and I attend a marriage prep class every Sunday for August and September. We pick up a lot of lessons in those sessions. It’s a good thing that they also happen early in the morning, so planning activities afterward was easier compared to planning things before and after it.
Once our class finished around 10am. We took a GrabCar to our lunch location in Malate, Nobunaga Izakaya Robatayaki—a place that I saw recommended in one of my favorite Facebook groups, Best of the Best Manila. It’s quite a mouthful to say and their food is also quite a mouthful. I reserved them around a month earlier because Dane loves Japanese food. They’re pretty responsive on their Facebook page.
We picked out a few of our go-to dishes in Japanese cuisine, namely Beef Udon for myself, and Katsu Curry for Dane. We also ordered our favorites: Salmon Sashimi and Ebi Tempura.
The place is reminiscent of restaurants I visited in Japan. They even had TVs flashing Japanese news and the all-important greeting in Japan restaurants, “Irasshaimase” or “welcome to our store”, that everyone else chants after the hostess says it.
The food was great and you can see the full food review of Nobunaga Izakaya Robatayaki here.
Once we finished our heartful meal, the next agenda I planned was to go to Manila Ocean Park. Dane is a huge fan of animals and would often watch documentaries and videos about them. It was the perfect activity to just bond together.
I got the tickets for ₱680 each from the Manila Ocean Park website and paid via card transaction online. The tickets allowed us access to 8 attractions. Then I receive an email confirmation from Klook along with the ticket voucher containing a QR code that is scanned at the entrances of each individual attraction.
It wasn’t exactly what I thought. In my head, you’ll only use one ticket voucher per person to get inside the Ocean Park—you know, like museums or theme parks work. But for Manila Ocean Park, each attraction had a separate entrance, which meant that every time you visited a new attraction, your ticket had to be scanned which was kinda inconvenient in my opinion.
The place is pretty huge and it was jam-packed with people, especially since it was a Sunday. The place was also filled with lots of commercial establishments, including toys, souvenirs, and food stalls. Exactly what you would assume for a family-focused park.
We decided to skip the outdoor All Star Bird Show and Sea Lion Show because it was around noon when we arrived and the sun was enthusiastic about crisping up some humans. Instead, we went to some of the indoor, air-conditioned attractions starting with the World of Creepy Crawlies.. which included snakes, some reptiles, arachnids, and various insects… including cockroaches. Just thinking about some of these insects makes my body shiver.
These Bearded Dragon guys were pretty cool though!!
My favorite of all is the Jellyfish Dancing Sea Faries attraction in Manila Ocean Park! It was super relaxing to look at and the colors that reflect on their transparent bodies are super mesmerizing!!
Although the place was crowded, it was a great experience, and definitely worth the ₱680!
Read more about our Manila Ocean Park experience.
To end our whole day affair, I picked out another restaurant that’s a tad bit fancier for dinner, Raffaele Woodfired Pizzeria located at The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros.
We ordered a couple items on the list, namely the Tomato and Roasted Garlic Pizza, US Striploin, the Local Crab & Sea Urchin pasta, and their in-house Bayleaf Signature Iced Tea.
Food, ambiance, and service of Raffaele restaurant was top-notched. And we’ll surely visit again! Also their iced tea is the best iced tea I’ve ever tasted.
Read about our full food review of Raffaele Woodfired Pizzeria located at The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros.
It was a super exciting day and definitely a great way for us to cap off our 4th anniversary. It was tiring, but it was definitely a fun-filled experience. I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together.