POWER TO THE PINOY: The V-day Dilemma


The V-Day Dilemma

By Lalaine Chu-Benitez

I’m a person who loves traditions and rituals.  I love the fact that you go the extra mile to make the people in your life feel special during specific occasions and Valentine’s Day is one of those important dates.

Then again, there’s that school of thought that says, ‘why wait for a special occasion to show your love when you can do it everyday, right’?  Well, call it the ‘human condition,’ but I’m not perfect. So let’s just say that being all out generous and loving, on a daily basis, is very much still a work in progress.

So a day devoted to love is great – or isn’t it?  

Ideally, it should be, although, it’s well known that more people get depressed during the holidays and special occasions.  With all the pressure that such celebrations bring, it’s easy to understand why some people are not exactly ecstatic and as celebratory as the rest.  And at this time, moreso, since Valentine’s could be quite a biased exercise.

Just consider beyond swooning pairs, what about husbands or boyfriends who lament that the celebration is quite partial to women?  Or pragmatic-jaded types (like moi) who cringe at the idea of having to sit through dinner at a restaurant with other googly-eyed couples, most of whom sport the color red, pledging cheesy love to each other? Most of all, what about singles who feel isolated while everybody else is gushing over flowers, chocolates and dinner by candlelight?

Although V-Day idealists would argue that this day of love is for everybody and anybody, the truth is, it has become mostly a celebration of romance.  So no matter how much of a true-blue idealist you are, a cozy dinner at home with your ‘manang’ auntie (if that’s the only person you have out here), does not a Valentine make.

Then again… you look back at your childhood memories, to those sweet days in February, spent making red art paper or cartolina hearts, or more ‘sophisticated’ (for elementary graders) cards complete with fancy cut-outs to give to your crush, your friends, your teachers, parents, siblings and just about everybody.  Sweet, isn’t it?

Well, that is unless you are the only kid in class who didn’t get a red heart. Ouch!


Confused?  I know I am.  Oh well, love it or hate it, we’re going to mark Valentine’s Day anyway.  So, turn the pages and indulge with us, while we tackle l’amour from different perspectives.

Just, don’t go cheesy on me now …