Have a Game Night with Them
Drag your friends out for a game night before the year comes to an end. Let's face it, the best gift you can give would be your time and spending it doing something you both love.
For those who live up North, there's Ludo: Boardgame Bar and Cafe which can be found at the corner of Scout Fuentebella and Scout Torillo, near Tomas Morato in Quezon City. Open from 4:00 p.m. til a little past midnight, you can get your gaming fix there while enjoying some delicious meals, not to mention a host of geek-themed events and offerings to check out. I'm a sucker for their wasabi gyoza.
Further down, closer to Shaw would be Tobey's Games Cafe Manila which is at 65 Mariveles Street, corner Sultan. Unit S at Highway Hills, Mandaluyong. A lot of friends have even teased me, asking if I am the owner of this place simply because of my name. The geek gods know I wish I was (oh to have my own geek shop and cafe..) The place has awesome salads and burgers and is even hosting a Holiday Mixer White Elephant Gift Exchange. So even if going might be your first time ever to do so, the event is sure to help break the ice and allow you to make new friends.
For those closer to Makati, there's Makati B&B Boardgames and Beer which is located on the 2nd floor of Languages Internationale Building, 926 A. Arnaiz Avenue in Makati. The place is open every day from 3:00 p.m. til 10:00 p.m. and hosts a lot of gaming fun be it Heroclix Tourneys, Warhammer 40k clashes or role-playing sessions. (I believe my remarkably talented friend Marc Reyes runs games there too). There's even Club Membership there, which can be a pretty cool gift you can give to your friend if you think about it.
Then for those down south, there's Puzzles: Board Game Lounge at Paranaque (Where were you back when I used to live in that area?!?) at 287 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes. They are open every day around 3:00 p.m. til midnight, but go as late as 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Tables can also be reserved for those groups that worry about showing up and not having a place to hang out. Parking can be a challenge, however, so be warned. I was happy that the day I was there, the guy at the counter was very accommodating and seemed genuinely interested in talking to me when I asked about how long the place had been in operations. I can only wonder if he remembers the game designer he chatted with if he ever chances upon this blog post.
Time not a good option? Distance a painful factor? You actually are only web-based friends with the other? That's fine and completely understandable. One of the biggest lessons any gamer learns as they get older is time becomes a precious commodity indeed. So if spending time to game with your buddy isn't quite a possible gift you can give, keep yours eyes posted on the next update which will show other options you can choose. Check out Part II which discusses online shopping options. And the last part, Part III, will feature places to order rpg pdfs as well as a recommended list of stuff to give your friends. (Link to be added once its online)