Flowers, arts, lent, love and February

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A CHURCH had a practice of giving special blessing on the first Sunday of the month to members of the congregation who celebrate their birthdays or wedding anniversaries in that month. On the first Sunday of February, the usual call for celebrators to proceed in front was made. Before the priest gave his blessings, he asked those who came forward who among them are celebrating wedding anniversaries. Nobody raised a hand. He repeated his question. Still, no hands went up.

“I am not surprised. Most people don’t really plan their wedding on a February. Baka maging maiksi ang pagsasama dahil maiksi ang buwan” the priest said. Chuckles and murmurs are heard from the congregation. Many realized from what the priest stated some superstitious behaviour of society towards short February.

Despite superstitions though, the month continue to be packed with activities. Many local governments and philanthropic institutions sponsor mass weddings to which many who cannot afford to hold their own weddings participate. After all, February is ‘love’ month. Valentine’s Day is in the month in which most lovers won’t like to miss observance with their beloved whether it is thru a simple kiss, a sweet utterance of ‘I love you”, a flower, or a full date. Also, Ash Wednesday marking the start of the Lenten season in the Roman Catholic calendar falls on February which too speaks of conversion and forgiveness, all related to love.


February is designated as National Arts Month in the Philippines. Festivals are organized across the nation at various dates to commemorate the occasion. Events draw artists and enthusiasts to these festivities, both those advanced in age and the young. With a number of fields (architecture, cinema, dance, literature, music, theatre, and the visual arts), the themes would be endless and impact to audiences immeasurable.

In Baguio City, the festival of flowers was established to be held in the month of February. And for almost two decades, it consistently lures a large number of people to the city. It was never short of fun. In fact, there was always a pour out of flowers as seen in the floats, landscaping, and decors on establishments. There was always an overflow of food as the established restaurants are increased by informal establishments in parks and fair centres, and a flood of garbage - sign of the bliss that has been (or was it irresponsibleness?) show up when the flock of people clear out from parks and roads.

People certainly love pleasant things that they want them to last for the longest possible period. Perhaps this leads most not to take chances even with superstitions like those attributed to February. But as long as Valentine’s Day, Ash Wednesday, Arts Month, and Flower Festival continue to exist, the superstitions remain to be just that. Besides, reason would tell that even short-lived things would last. An officemate once shared that his husband never gave her flowers even on Valentine’s Day. His reason: flowers wilt. But for her, even if it withers, its essence lasts.

To continue with what the priest told his congregation, “February maybe attributed to shortness, or less than normal compared to other months. But don’t you think these people born in February are as normal as you are?”

Note: Last week’s column “Ifugao’s Momon: Sharing the institution of love to family, community” that was published in last week’s column was also written by Richard Kinnud and not by the author printed. Our apologies.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 28, 2013.


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