Ah, St. Valentine’s Day— one of my favorite holidays (not!) among my list of holidays! Right…
On this particular day also celebrates my family’s twenty-two long years of living in this (still) great country, the United States of America. Twenty-two years ago my family and I immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines on Valentine’s Day. It was perfect timing too thanks to the time zones. Because the Philippines is sixteen (was it sixteen?) hours ahead of U.S. Pacific Standard Time we arrived to SFO on the same day, which is Valentine’s Day. Sure, Valentine’s Day would be over at the old country but thanks to the time zones we pretty much departed, travelled, and arrived to our destination on one day. In other words, I do celebrate on February 14th, but for a different reason other than Valentine’s Day.
A lot of people despise this holiday for many reasons. One primary reason is that it only applies to couples in love and for girls and guys who aren’t shy with showing their feelings to the one they’ve been (secretly) in love with/have a crush with. Second would be that it’s an equivalent to Christmas where many retail shops such as candy shops, jewelry shops, and floral shops can take advantage with power marketing— by selling all these tokens of love, attracting anyone who is in love. Third reason would be a simple reason— it’s just too cheesy and overrated (for some reason not quite known to many). Why buy something for that person they love when you can just show them how you truly feel by actions alone? Point taken.
In all honesty, everyone has their own opinion about Valentine’s Day, but it’s not worth bashing it or speaking against it in public. Why? Because for one thing, it’s a special day for some people, just like how the Chinese New Year is a special day to those who celebrate it, and it should be treated as such. Second, I’m sure everyone has better things to do but to complain about the day, so go find something else that would make you happy instead of moping the entire day for Valentine’s Day. And while others celebrate this day, keep your opinions to yourself so you don’t offend anyone.
There is probably some similar customs that’s almost similar as Valentine’s Day. In fact, some countries celebrate it in a different way. Take Japan, for example. On Valentine’s Day it’s more of a “girl” thing where a girl (woman) buys chocolates, teddy bears, and what not to a boy (man) whom they have a secret crush on, secretly in love with, that kind of thing. Afterwards on March 14th, Japan has what they call White Day. It’s not an ancient-old traditional occassion but this was more of an answer day to Valentine’s Day. On White Day, those guys who received gifts from the girls on Valentine’s Day decide to give those same girls some gifts (also white and dark chocolate, flowers, etc.) or not. If they like that person, even if it’s not romantic, they would return the gesture by giving those girls similar gifts. If not, then the boy/man is a heartless prick probably has different feelings or isn’t as interested at all. In South Korea, they have what they call Black Day. It’s the opposite of White Day, except it’s for the people who did not receive gifts in return or did not receive any gifts on Valentine’s Day. They’d go to some ramen joint or something and eat black bean sauce noodles to swallow their woes. Strange but true. Just look them up in the net. They explain them better than I would.