Filipinos reinvent celebrations on Monday of Valentine’s day

FILIPINOS whose penchant for creativity and innovation often shocks the world are set to reinvent the traditional commemoration on Monday of Saint Valentine’s Day , commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day.

Ordinarily, Valentine’s Day, sometimes called Lovers’ Day is spent with wives and husbands. But in the Philippines its eve and the day after are reserved for lovers engaged in forbidden love or illicit relationships.

It is for this reason the busiest days for motels and budget hotels in the country are Feb. 13 and 15.

This deviation from customary  date of Lovers’ Day can only happen in the Philippines purportedly the only Christian country in Asia or the largest Christian country in the world.

As the cost of living continued to rise, a more auster celebration of Valentine’s Day is to be expected. Thanks again to Filipinos’ ingenuity: With little money, many couples and lovers are expected to have a quite dinner alone, cook a meal for just the two of them. With some candles and a little music their dinner becomes more romantic.

Also expect lovers to go to parks, malls or have a picnic in some shaded places near the lake or the sea which is less expensive if the weather would allow it.

The annual Valentine’s Day celebration is believed to have its beginnings in a Roman festival called the Lupercalia.

The early Roman men often wore the names of the girls who were to be their partners during the Lupercalia pinned to their sleeves.

In the 17th century hopeful maiden ate a hard-boiled egg and pinned bay leaves to her pillow before going to bed on Valentine’s eve. She believed this would make her dream of her future husband come true.

During better days most Filipino couples exchanged presents. Ladies often received bottle of perfume and fine jewels like rings, pendants, necklace and bracelets.

After the Lupercalia became a saint’s day honoring Saint Valentine saints, one of early  Christian martyrs, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 500 A.D. It was deleted from the Roman calendar of saints in 1965 by Pope Paul VI, but religious observance is still permitted. It is traditionally a day  for lovers to express their love for each other by presenting flowers, candy, chocolate and sending love notes or poems.-Cornelio de Guzman

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