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February 14, Valentine’s Day, four ways

It is that time of the year again when flowers, cards and chocolates become prime commodities and are sought by the most romantic among us. It also so happens that this is the second Valentine’s Day that we, in the Philippines, are celebrating under varying levels of alert and/or quarantine, due to the COVID-19 pandemic – which means there are health protocols such as distancing that the public needs to follow.

But even with the restrictions, people seem to always find ways to make a simple day extraordinary. Lots of people even planned in advance for this day, to surprise their loved ones. However, others may proceed through the day just doing their usual activities, and for some, they might even pretend that Valentine’s Day does not exist.

So which of these people are you going to be today? Will you be among those who planned and would celebrate no matter what, or would you be among the oblivious?

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Are you going on a date with your partner?

For couples who are planning to spend the rest of the day outside, the usual plan tends to be to enjoy a meal in their favorite restaurants where they first met. It would be romantic to celebrate in the place where it all started.

You can also go on that trip you have been planning all along with your partner because a simple vacation after all would be nice. For those who reside in the capital, Tagaytay or somewhere reachable by land travel can be an option. Go there to simply enjoy breathing some fresh air, as you also enjoy the scenery far from work or school.

But couples have to remember that we are still fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and as much as we want to live normal lives again, face masks, alcohol and physical distancing will still be part of the journey. As couples decide to travel, they need to take into consideration the protocols implemented by the national and the local governments they will be going to. Be ready to take swab tests too, as required, and keep proofs of vaccination handy.

Meanwhile, some couples love to stay in and spend their time together in their cozy personal spaces. A movie streaming night with your partner might sound good. This could be the perfect day where you can finish that long list of unwatched films in your notes, and just order food like pizzas and fries, to complete your romantic date.

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Are you going to have a romantic day at work or school?

Unfortunately, the fourteenth day of the month falls on a Monday – a weekday, which also means a day in the office or a day with synchronous and asynchronous classes. Beating deadlines, submitting reports and assignments, doing the thesis, and other work or school-related things will be the tale of most of us – and that includes me.

But this should not be a hindrance to having a meaningful day. Since the country is experiencing a pandemic, deliveries have been the go-to of most people, and this could also be the solution for those who are going to be stuck at work and school. In a click, one can buy a gift for one’s partner or friends, or you can also order food and have it delivered to their addresses. This way, you can still mark Valentine’s Day though you cannot be with them.

If you want a more personalized touch, a simple letter or note makes a difference, so do not forget to include that when you are planning to buy something for or have something sent to your loved ones.

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Are you going to be a third wheel?

I am sure you have seen a post or two about an offer to be the third-wheel on a date. This comes with a promise of free food, and even restaurants have this kind of promo. Did a couple invite you? Or has this become your annual fate?

As the third person on a date, there is that excitement of being with your friends, especially since we experienced the longest lockdowns. The longing for gathering and seeing each other’s faces after a long time gives a different high, which is why most of us might agree to be the third wheel on a date.

Well, just remember that there are still restrictions on gatherings, limiting the number of people in groups, so this means that it might be safer to spend the rest of your day in your house. As much as we want to hang out with our friends who also happen to be couples, the virus is still here and it is still our greatest enemy.

A reminder: you are not a bad friend for turning down an offer to be a third wheel. You are just being careful, there is nothing wrong with that, and your couple friends should even thank you for it.

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Are you going to date yourself?

Treat yourself! If you are looking for a good day to do it, why not choose Feb. 14? I know you have been planning to spoil yourself for a day, and there is no perfect time to make it happen than the fourteenth.

Finish that book on your shelf that has been there for ages, it is the right time to open its pages and read. You can also order your favorite snacks. And if you are worried about your diet, give yourself a break by making this day your cheat day.

How about finishing your favorite series which you have been planning to binge-watch since last month? This can be an excellent time to go and watch that sitcom! If you are looking for some recommendations, you can’t go wrong with “Friends,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” These are three of the best series I have watched, and you might also want to give it a try, or a revisiting if you’re already a fan.

But if you feel exhausted and you do not want to do anything, just lay on your bed and sleep. Take that well-deserved rest and turn off all your alarms, as this is your chance to complete that eight-hour sleep. After all, this is not about how extravagant you are going to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but more about how meaningful it could be for you. If staying in your room for the whole day gives you peace and satisfaction, that should be perfect.

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Yes, we definitely have different plans this fourteenth, and whatever you are going to do, make sure to shower yourself with love, because February is not just about couples, it is about each one of us.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! JB


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