Other than the celebration of the birthday of the Savior of mankind, another much-anticipated date in the calendar is Valentine’s Day. Some would get bored with January and want to fast-track to February. It’s as though January is always awaiting the arrival of Feb-ibig. January has 31 days while February has only 28. Apart from the number, it is quite unfair to label January as the most boring month. Other months also have the same number of days as January. Perhaps what made January dull was the fact that it was sandwiched between the jam-packed December and the supposedly love-filled February. Money has already been expended by December, notwithstanding. February, meanwhile, is up for the most precious stuff around for a darling. Be that as it may, it is rather difficult to ignore the spirit that surrounds February 14.

While Christmas is appropriate for everyone, Valentine’s Day has traditionally been reserved for lovers only. It is time for them to express affection and adulation. Hence, the overflow of flowers, chocolates, stuffed toys, and the like. It is said that it has been celebrated as such since the 14th century. Nowadays, however, the celebration has been hyped up to include every Adam and Eve in the vicinity. Everybody is wont to be in for the day. Henceforth, pretensions abound. While the occasion is reserved for lovers, not a few would assume that they too have something romantic to talk about or are romantically linked as well. In fact, and in truth, these people would just want to join the bandwagon of the day so as not to be publicly known as “zero.”

Social media is at its wackiest around Valentine’s Day. From okay being alone—“On this Valentine’s Day, if you don’t have anyone, don’t be sad. Just know that you’re not the only one. Happy Valentine Day”; “I’m spending Valentine’s Day with the cutest, nicest, most amazing person ever… ME”; to the economics of it—“Just saved tons of money on Valentine’s Day by switching to single”; “I can’t wait until February 15-half-price roses and discounted chocolates. Bargains, my first love”; to being anatomical—“Don’t break someone’s heart, they have only one. Break their bones, they have 206 of them”; and this, “What’s the difference between me and a calendar? Ang kalendaryo ay may date…. Yun lang.” How cracked can one really get with Valentine’s Day as an extraordinary day?

At our rate, Valentine’s could also be the most overrated celebration. Reckon Talk enumerates why. One, it has turned extremely commercialized. It is a business opportunity with big profits assured. Nobody would want to go out or be cheap on Valentine’s Day, would you? Second, it is also a day when one can be lonely and feel blue. The expectation is just too high that one could really feel so alone without having a dinner date or a flower to hold on to and smell its fragrance. Third, Valentine’s has a “pressurize power.” You cannot escape Valentine’s Day; it’s all over. Everything is decorated with pink ribbons, red hearts, love poems, etc. Staying at home would not save the situation because shows on TV and elsewhere talk about it. Fourth, there is a guilt trip. You feel obliged to greet one or two. If you fail to do so, people may be hurt by your lack of thoughtfulness. Love has become arm-twisting then. And lastly, it can also destroy a relationship. “Many couples who have weak and unstable relationships usually lack care, intimacy, and romance during this day.” They see hundreds of happy couples walking along the streets and come to the conclusion that the spark of love and romance has already faded away.”

What’s pathetic, if not pathologic, is pretending to be romantic when there’s nothing (read: no one) to talk about in the first place. Feeler, that is. Posting a rose on Facebook and then making it appear somewhat mysterious that friends would either get curious about or would just raise their eyebrows in disbelief knowing too well that the subject has been loveless for already quite a long time. Pakiligin na lang ang sarili, ganern. In such a case, Valentine’s Day is not only overrated but fake as well.

I was not spared by the juggernaut myself. A few days ago, I was approached by a high schooler to do an interview for their class project. Topic? You have guessed it correctly—Valentine. I obliged myself, though. I was already composing my thoughts on Valentine’s Day as romantic love, as the sweetest over a candlelight dinner, and as fairy tale-sounding. But lo and behold, the question was, “As a man of God, what is your idea of love?” But I went on with my take anyway. At the back of my mind, I was protesting, though. “It’s Valentine’s Day, but why am I asking and talking here about God?” I said to myself. But on second thought, why not talk about God on Valentine’s Day? After all, legend has it that it started with a saint of the church, who is a priest and was martyred on account of his love for others. Nuff said.

Have a good one, everyone. Happy Valentine.