Contributed by Tina Relampagos
There’s such a big fuss over Valentine’s Day that it’s starting to annoy many, especially those with a tight budget and an even tighter timeline. Restaurants, flower shops, chocolatiers and greeting card makers make a field day of the occasion hoping to make the most of what we intend to spend for the day. Ugh… capitalism. Before we completely lose faith in it, it’s worth looking into why we celebrate it in the first place.
The Cloud wasn’t around during the Roman Empire so there is no clear record on how Valentine’s Day started but according to infoplease.com, it got its official title from a St. Valentine. There are actually three St. Valentines, all believed to have been martyred on Feb. 14 (what are the odds…). The story of one St. Valentine, a priest, seems to fit the tradition most and it is quite a sad story. He performed marriage ceremonies at a time when the Roman Emperor, Claudius II, banned it because single men made better soldiers. He was jailed for defying the emperor’s orders but fell in love with his jailer’s daughter. On the day of his execution, he signed his love letter to her with “from your Valentine.” Even before his love story though, the Romans had their festival for fertility on that day. Centuries after, St. Valentine’s Day was associated with love because of a poem made by Chauser for a royal engagement. Doesn’t that make the day feel less overhyped? In fact, the day simply commemorates its long history of celebrating union of people through love, hope and commitment.
If this is the case, where did the whole giving a gift on Valentine’s Day came from? Proflowers.com says that it can be dated back to the 18th century where flowers were used to send messages by Charles II of Sweden. You see, each flower has a meaning. While rose is the most popular because it indicates ‘romantic love’, it is not the only one that can help send your meaning of love and adoration for someone. For example, The Flower Expert says that Carnation means pride and beauty. More specifically, a pink one is for the love of a woman while white means innocence and pure love. Gardenia is about purity and sweetness, Hyacinth is playfulness and sporty attitude, and Tulip signifies a declaration of love.
Chocolates, on the other hand, was popularized for Valentine’s Day by Cadbury when they packaged them in heart-shaped boxes, according to Paul McMahon of thehappychocolatier.com. It was a product of another marketing ingenuity but science has proven that chocolate definitely belongs to the occasion. Chocolate contains Phenylethylamine that induces excitement, attraction and pleasure. How does it do that? The chemical raises blood pressure and blood glucose levels making us feel more content. It does so by releasing a type of endorphin that brings pleasure.
If you’re just about as convinced as I am that Valentine’s Day deserves a chance, I guess you’re now thinking that you’ve put yourself in an awkward position of showing your admiration to someone, but who? The meaning of Valentine’s Day goes beyond romantic relationships, it’s about showing love so you shouldn’t be limited to a significant other. If you can show how much you appreciate your Mom on Mother’s Day, your siblings on Christmas and your friend on her Wedding, then you can definitely do the same on Valentine’s Day. Whether you plan to give it to someone from your family or the love of your life, make it as personal as you can by being transparent about how you feel.
If you are certain of the “who” part, would you now go for traditional flowers & chocolates? Of course you could but at this point it, it makes sense to think about practicality and logistics. Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday, (yup a weekday) which also means it’s going to be one hell of a rush hour on the way to your evening plans in areas packed with others like you. Don’t be deterred. This is why the likes of Gifted.PH is around. You can send your Valentine’s Day gift to someone in just a few minutes by picking a gift certificate from any of our 80+ partners that the recipient will love. You can customize it with a greeting card, personalized message and even a recommended item that you think they would like in the brand you selected. By doing this, you can send a teaser for your upcoming plans in the weekend or even months after – like a dinner date at Le Jardin Manila, a feast at Circles Event Café of Makati Shangri-la, a pair of commitment rings from SilverWorks that you both will like, a new fragrance of their choice from Fresh Fragrance Bar or new jewelry and home selections from Cura V. This way, you get to celebrate Valentine’s Day by reminding them of your love and showing that you have something planned for them.