It’s Valentine Again

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

OUR citizens are still wobbly and dazed with the many festivities and celebrations imposed by tradition and culture.

The past Christmas season, for instance, had its toll in human excesses- of locomotion, emotion, and (physical) demolition through eating much "litson."

Surprisingly, the two million Fil-Chinese populace nationwide as against 95 million Christians and mixed faith could create a widespread impact and louder noise during its lunar new year.


Filipino festivities, one on one cannot match the hype, public spectacle, and deluge of media publicity given the Chinese event. Our Christmas “suman” cannot beat their “tikoy” in patronage. Superstitious Pinoys believe the sticky tikoy can foster better family unity than our super malagkit.

The lion and dragon dance in Binondo, however, pales in comparison to the frenzy and organized chaos of the three-mile long procession of the Quiapo Nazareno.

Visitors to the Chinatown enjoyed a shopping holiday, purchasing truckloads of Eng Bee Tin hopia, tons of tikoy, and varieties of lucky charms. Pendants, bracelets, figurines are meant to bring good luck, prosperity, and health. There are special items that are meant to thwart evil, but not against corrupt government regulators and kotong gangs.

Devotees to the Nazareno had their religious trip, too. The visitors also had a shopping spree in local bazaars, stores selling holiday ham, sausages, food condiments, and herbs. Lucky charms (anting-anting) abound in the church vicinity. The place beats Binondo by the fantastic, exotic, illegal merchandise available, including the abortifacient anti-ulcer drug. Some illicitly impregnated women are known to make Friday devotions at the shrine, then buy “pamparegla” herbs, and finding this ineffective, increase their prayers before getting a “pampalaglag.” It is a small price one pays for love.

Now comes the Valentine season, the height of extreme climate change in the country.

Our newspapers chronicle the unending stories of romance, comedy, and tragedy that make Valentine’s Day a year-long activity.

The “romance” part is depicted by showbiz personalities who, after co-habiting and enjoying sexual liberties for a period, declare a break-up. When asked of their present status, the classic reply, “Mag kaibigan pa rin kami, pero we have moved on.” (To reprise illicit affairs)

The comedy is about sex-starved women who hitched up with young men half their age or thereabout, or who married for the wrong reason, then declare a separation. These are known as “cougars”.

Tragedy is what happens when you monkey with another monkey’s monkey. Actor Vhong Navarro has been paying a heavy price for “monkeying” with a playful two-timing partner of an ape.

I would not exchange a broken nose with a broken hymen if you want to know.


Release the regrets of yesterday,
refuse the fears of tomorrow,
and receive instead the peace of today.
A blessed beautiful Wednesday!

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 05, 2014.


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