Monday, May 28, 2012

Getting over the VDay Blues
By Ana Valenzuela · Tuesday, February 14, 2012 · 12:11 pm

February 14 is day of the year that singles shun the most. Comments such as “why celebrate, it is not even a holiday?”, “everybody’s got somebody but me,” and “kapag ba single malungkot, bakit lahat ba ng taken masaya?” would fill social networking sites.
After all, what makes this day so special? Why spend your hard earned money on roses, chocolates, and what not’s just to profess your undying love for someone. Isn’t Valentine’s Day supposed to be a saint’s feast day not a commercial hype to promote love and couples? According to research, $1.7 billion have been spent on flowers on Valentines Day in the US alone and $116.21 is the average money spent on a Valentine’s dinner date in 2011. Couldn’t you say that you love them each day and make those memories memorable?
Hey, I’m not being bitter. Even though I’ve been single most of my life, I get to enjoy Valentines Day with a date. Since high school, I’ve been spending Valentines Day with my barkada. It’s just us girls, the four of us together.
I remember the first time we spent Valentines together at my friend’s house, our usual tambayan. We cooked pasta, carbonara, and had chicken, and a bottle of wine. Last year’s date had a little bit more of tweaking as we were already working. We met early as we decided to do something special—feed and take care of children at the House of Joy in Tayuman. Afterwards, we had some pork-silog at one of my friend’s favorite carinderia at the University Belt, and got all made up and headed to Cloud 9 in Antipolo, to get a view overlooking the city.
There we were surprised by one of my friend’s partner. She had with her flowers, not only for my friend, but for all of us. She gave Mela a dozen hand-tied bouquet of roses, and to each of us, a single long stemmed rose. Now, I wonder, what is it that made this day so special that Doris would go out of the way to track us down, wait for the right moment to surprise us, particularly Mela, with flowers?
Especially since flowers cost more than a movie ticket or two on the day of hearts. On Dangwa Flower Market, a bouquet of assorted flowers, ranging from Malaysian mums, gerberas, and stargazers, would cost from P200 to P450. A bouquet of roses would run from P300 to P650 depending on whether you would like a teddy bear and a balloon to go with the flowers. A bulk of roses, usually two dozen, would cost P200, however the vendor did warn me that the price would increase by night and as Valentines day approaches. Apparently the cost of the flowers rises up three times the regular price.
If you are the type who does not like to haggle and order from a flower shop like Paraiso flowers, which has a store at Waltermart Makati or online through, a dozen flowers cost about P2,500 to P8,000 depending on the type of flowers and the arrangement.
People go all out and spend thousands of money on Valentines Day and they make it so special like it’s their anniversary. (Heck, some people don’t even celebrate their anniversary.) A great tasting chocolate bar lik Machiavelli costs P125 per 25 grams. A room at the Manila Hotel runs between P7,250 to P18,250. You could also buy an airplane ticket to a local or Southeast Asia destination with that.

Khay, one of my barkada, spent her Valentines a week late last year. Her boyfriend of more than four years gave her bouquet of assorted flowers. Then, she and her boyfriend went up to Tagaytay and enjoyed the food and also each other’s company at the Greek Taverna. Although the celebration for the day of hearts was delayed, they still made the effort to do so.
It might be more than the smile that you see on your loved ones’ face. Couples would not save their money and look for the best gifts, reserve in the best restaurants so as to have a memorable evening together. It’s more than the cliché-ish answer: love, or to be more exact, part of that is.
Even though you are single, you are still expecting something out of February 14. Maybe from a secret admirer or maybe even a smile or a “hi” from an office crush. If not, then why bother with all the fuss about Valentine’s Day.
I may not feel the way couples feel on Valentines—so much in love with their pupils dilating. But, at least I feel special without having the need to spring for a high cost bouquet of roses or a Valentine’s gift for anybody. I maybe the only single person in the group, since time immemorial; still I thank my friends for making me feel that Valentines day is not all about the couples, but also a day to spend single blessedness. Who knows what we would do next this year?

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