A celebration of love between friends, lovers, and family.
In the memory of St. Valentine, people celebrate the occasion of Valentine’s Day annually on February 14. Traditions on how people celebrate their Valentine differ around the world. It was said that in history, St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated to commemorate the martyr act of priest Valentinus during the third century in Rome, when Emperor Claudius II banned the marriage for single soldiers for the reason that they served better without wives and families. For Valentinus, it was an unfair act, so he secretly continued performing marriages for those young soldiers. Unfortunately, Claudius discovered what he did, and was sentenced to death. While Valentinus was in prison, it was also said that the “Valentine greeting” started when he gave the first message to a girl he fell in love with, who visited him during his imprisonment; the letter was signed by Valentinus as “From your Valentine”, which is now used by a lot of people in their cards.
In the Philippines, it’s a day when people freely express their appreciation to their loved ones; may it be their friends, families, and lovers. You can see shades of red in every place, which were said to be the colour for strong emotions such as love, respect, and courage, especially when associated with roses, and shapes of hearts, the centre of our circulatory system, which incorporated with human emotions, has become the most popular sign of love.
It has also been a tradition in the Philippines to participate in the Mass Wedding, which thousands of couples exchange their vows to each other. For the companies and establishments, Valentine’s Day is also a special day for them as they prepare special promos for hotels and restaurants, which are definitely occupied by celebrating couples, usually with candlelight dinners. Stores and malls are no doubt filled with different Valentine’s gifts such as stuffed toys, chocolates, flowers, balloons, and etc. Movie houses, parks, and other romantic destinations are surely at their picks.
It is also the time when the creative juices of Filipinos are reveled in the form of arts such as poems, paintings, songs or even “harana”, which is a popular act of courtship done by Filipinos by singing underneath the windows of their wooed woman. Before the occasion, it’s a very busy week for people to prepare their unique surprises, to make sure that their beloved would entirely feel loved, most importantly the efforts they put to make the day very special. The ladies wear the prettiest look they have, especially that the love they received just shows off effortlessly. Smiling faces of the children just receiving little presents, making puppy eyes when they want cotton candies and balloons, running alongside parks while picking flowers to put them on their ears, while their family sit and prepare their food in the picnic area; altogether they enjoy the scenery and the peaceful day it gives. Valentine’s day is not only for people in a relationship but, group of friends gather to celebrate together, and do stuff like going to cinemas and watch Romantic movies, go to theme park and take on rides while scream their lungs out in harmony, a place doesn’t matter as long as they come together and celebrate the day of hearts. Distance is never an issue for the people who truly love; they can send surprises like order your love one their favourite food, send them whatever makes them feel loved, or even their presence is already enough.
No matter where you are, no matter how you celebrate it, no matter what your status, the most important thing is to share your love even to the tiniest that you could offer, and it’s not the celebration that counts; express it, say it and feel it every single day, because moments with the people you love don’t come more often, you have to appreciate, and show them that you are worthy, and they are deserved to be loved.