I will be spending Valentine’s Day alone this year. But even if that’s the case, I would like to ask you to indulge me for just one minute.
If I do end up having a date, I would make it extra special. I would take him to see a movie we’ve been looking forward to seeing. This will be followed by dinner, either at a dimly-lit restaurant we’ve never tried or the place where we had our first date. We will spend the night laughing and talking about how good (or bad) the movie was. We’ll finish late, but I wouldn’t want it to end abruptly, so I’ll insist on getting something to drink at Starbucks. We’ll pick the store that has the least number of people, and continue lowkey flirting. Let’s assume that he’ll take a Grabcar home, so I’ll wait until his car comes. We’ll stand awkwardly on the sidewalk, not sure how we’ll part. Do we shake hands? Do we hug? Do I kiss him?
You guys already know how much I love Starbucks. It’s my go-to place for me time, or when I’m with my friends. I also take dates there. I don’t know, but there’s just something romantic about sitting on one of the couches under the warm glow of the lights. Yes, the place is loud, but it encourages you to get physically closer. To prove how romantic Starbucks can be, I asked 14 of my friends to share their love stories in the coffee shop.
1. Myke Soon, 32, blogger and marketing professional
We work in the same company. As colleagues, we get to go out as friends and with other officemates. The “coffee date” started in 2008 when suddenly, she sent a wrong text to me.
“Coffee later?” she asked.
I was surprised because we don’t usually go on coffee dates, but we do go out with friends sometimes. I replied “Sure!”
She had no choice but to go through with it and pretend that it wasn’t a wrong send. We didn’t have Starbucks near our office yet so we headed to the branch in West Avenue (back when it was still open). That went on. Coffee that led to conversations, dates, and more Starbucks. We’re now married, and we have a beautiful daughter named Riley.
2. Jenny Uriarte, 26, Senior Accounts Executive
CJ and I had our first date in Starbucks. He was wearing a goofy, weird shirt and cargo pants (which I hated, and still hate up to this moment). He could barely keep up with me, ang dami kong kwento! We chose Starbucks because it’s my second home. We shared a Caramel Macchiato. Actually, CJ isn’t a coffee drinker but after that date (and since the time he’s been dating me), nahilig na rin siya sa Starbucks!
3. Anonymous, 28, Voice Over Talent
This might have been our first date as an official couple eight years ago. He had just asked me to be his girlfriend the previous day, and we were at a Starbucks near where he was doing a work call. So while waiting we got some iced coffee. He had an americano and I had a chai tea latte.
I don’t remember who did it first, but we both removed the protective brown sleeve Starbucks gives everyone with the hot to-go order, wrote a short message along the curve of the Starbucks logo, put the date, and handed each other the note. His note to me said “I will love you, my sweets, until the day that I die.” We still have it in our wallets to this day. Sometimes, when each of us sees it, we go “Baby, look!” and point it out.
4. Mariel Aguilar, 28, IP trainer
We were still in the friendship zone when we used to visit Starbucks. Then he gave me a birthday gift while we were in Starbucks. It was Taylor Swift’s Wonderstruck perfume, which was a give away that he likes me. When we officially became a couple, Starbucks was one of our tambayan since it’s near the office. After a few months, we also broke up there. We got back together after two years, also in Starbucks, while we were occupying a table corner. We were both crying that time, and we knew lang na “yeah, we’re together again.”
5. MICHAEL FALLER, 29, BANKER
It started when I needed to edit this video for work last September. It was a huge solo project so several caffeine-filled all-nighters were necessary to complete it. Naturally, I holed up at Starbucks.
I had been dating this guy named Gab who was sweet enough to accompany me. Pokemon Go was still all the rage then so during breaks we would alternate between playing that and Vainglory, a MOBA game. This went on for two weekends. My video project turned out great, Gab is now my boyfriend with whom I share an apartment and a joint Starbucks account (we pooled our Starbucks cards so it’s easier to earn beverage stars), and though we rarely stay at Starbucks until dawn anymore, the coffee shop is still one of our go-to spots for when we want to destroy other Vainglory players online.
6. Marla EspIritu, 26, business development officer
Mike and I started “group dating” there. My friend Reen served as the third wheel. Reen and I used to meet every Tuesdays or Thursdays, and we called it Tuesdays or Thursdays with Marla and Reen. We had “guests” join us, and our “regular” was Mike.
Mike did court me talaga, not with flowers and all the cheesy stuff, but in how we really made an effort to get to know one another. We had these dates to do that. Most of it was in the Starbucks branches in Torre Lorenzo and Benilde since I took my master’s in DLSU. Eventually, I saw that he has all these essential qualities that I’m looking for in a partner in life. So I decided to take a chance on him. It’s been four years and we’re engaged. Sayang pala di natuloy yung coffee-themed shoot namin. I forgot to bring the coffee press!
7. Nina Oli-Roy, 32, writer/editor and stay-at-home mom
Hindi coffee drinker si Kiko before. Though matagal ko na gusto ayain. Then nung nadiscover niya na meron drinks na Kiko-friendly, e di after dinner madalas na kami mag coffee shops. Then yung first work ko, may Starbucks sa labas ng building, dun siya tumatambay while waiting for me. Nagfi-feeling coffee drinker siya e classic hot chocolate lang naman drink niya. We were in the Alabang Town Center branch of Starbucks when we announced our engagement. Then sa Summit Ridge branch in Tagaytay namin in-announce na pregnant na ko. Nagco-coffee na si Kiko ngayon, tapos kay Gavin yung whipped cream ng Frappuccino.
8. Nova Espinosa, 24, Casino Dealer
We’ve been to Starbucks together a lot of times as friends but there will always be that one memory in that changed the dynamic of our “friendship.”
It was a Sunday morning after a stressful eight hour shift. We decided to go to Starbucks in Alabang to spend some time together. There, we talked and talked and time swiftly passed by while we enjoyed our Frappuccinos. Conversations became more intimate and silences became longer and we couldn’t help but fall deeper into each other’s eyes. In that moment, we were sure we had something more than friendship. And now, three years later, we’re still hopelessly in love. Even though we both work in Pasay now, we still make time to go to Starbucks in Alabang to reminisce that special moment we had there.
9. Azrael Coladilla, 39, blogger
When i met her for the third time in 2004, it was in Starbucks sa may DLSU. Hindi date. Group kami nun. After my talk in DLSU, we went back to Starbucks, tapos ayon. I decided I will not let go of this girl! Ngayon wife ko na siya.
10. Anonymous, 27, Marketing Professional
I had a brief relationship with a guy before, but I wouldn’t say I was in love. But considering that I used to think I was straight, that was a huge deal. So after that relationship ended, I met this other guy through mutual friends and mutual interests.
Our first date was in Starbucks 6750. It was very late and raining pa. He came from a break up din so we consoled each other. That night turned into many nights, tapos we were not talking about our respective relationships’ ends anymore. We became inseparable. We ended things eventually in the same branch, but we are still very good friends. I haven’t met anyone I liked as much as I liked him.
11. Anonymous, 21, Copywriter
This guy I’ve been exclusively dating is a researcher, and I’m a writer, so we go to Starbucks almost three times a week to work. Yun na rin date namin. He orders tea, I order the White Chocolate Mocha. Sometimes we share a brownie or a croissant. Our usual spot is at the sofa, tapos we get to talk because the place isn’t packed and it’s usually quiet. One night, I was working there alone, tapos he had a really busy day so we didn’t get to talk. He dropped by just to give me a box of tikoy. Natawa ako because that was very Chinese of him, pero ang sweet rin na he went all the way there just to give me something I was craving. He has a card so he lets me use it to get free drinks and food #win.
12. Cath Wu, 26, events agency Co-Owner / Accounts Head
Tin used to be my client, and there was a time when we had an event in Makati Shang. While the show was running, we had this quick break at Starbucks 6750. While we were there, she was sharing that she’s bothered because she had this dream about a girl who she met at an event. Tin said that the girl is white and with long hair, and in her dream she left everybody for that girl. So I jokingly said “Baka ako?” Lo and behold, after egress she asked me to come with her to Tagaytay. I wouldn’t consider it as a first date, but that’s where she opened up to me. Up to this day, when we need to talk about anything, or just hang out and go on a quick date, Starbucks becomes our middle ground. I think that’s how Starbucks really is, no? Like everybody’s middle ground. You meet clients there, you catch up there, and for us, we have our “quality time” there.
13. Pam Rico, 26, Recruitment Specialist
Nag-meet kami ni Lyle sa birthday ng friend naming si Pete after ng college graduation namin in 2011. Tapos nakailang pakilala sakin ni Pete kay Lyle. Nung time na yun, di naman ako nag pe-pay ng attention. After ilang days, in-add niya ako sa Facebook and asked me out sa Festival Mall. Nung mismong day ng date, I was waiting sa Starbucks. He was 40 minutes late tapos medyo na-turn off ako dahil late siya. Nagusap kami ng matagal, hanggang sa naubos ko na yung coffee ko. Hindi talaga namin balak mag-date sa Starbucks pero doon kami nagtagal. He asked for another date. After three months, naging kami. First boyfriend ko siya. Until now kami pa rin.
14. Cheffrey catalan, 27, Business Analyst
Our first official date was at Starbucks in Robinsons Ermita. He had a hot latte and I had a mocha Frappuccino. We were chilling listening to music, and he was browsing my iPod for metal bands and giving me tips who to download.
I super had a crush on him. I wasn’t expecting he would take me seriously, but I didn’t care. I just enjoyed his company and he enjoyed mine. He said that back then I dress funny and the bands I listen to are emo (sarcastically), but he stuck along. He reminded me of those Byronic dudes in 18th century romantic novels. He will criticize the leading lady but love her anyway.
Realizing he was “the one“ wasn’t a biglaan thing. We went through a lot of petty fights and adjustments. I guess I realized we were destined to be together when I thought about how we complement each other and fill in each other’s pagkukulang. I’m an academic person, he’s more street smart.
Last time we went there, we flashed back to nine years ago when we first sat on that same exact spot we had our first date on. We look different now. We have a kid with us. Different lifestyles. But it was the same hot latte and mocha Frappuccino on our table.
I had a great time compiling these stories because it proves that love exists in the small moments, not in the Grand Gestures. Growing up, I was led to believe that someone should express his love in flashy and elaborate ways. Reading these stories made me realize that it can be found in spending time with each other, talking, watching the rain fall outside, and having cups of coffee.
For Valentine’s this year, Starbucks is holding Meet Me At Starbucks for a Date Night, a series of events on February 14 at various stores. Visit EVIA Daang Hari in Las Piñas and The Venice Grand Canal in Taguig from 6 to 8PM, and Axis Entertainment Center in Cebu and E- Lopez in Quezon City from 7 to 9PM for live musical performances, food and beverage samples, and special treats.
What’s your romantic story? Share your moments of being together at Starbucks at www.meetmeatstarbucks.ph