PROMPTED by the Saudi ban, a group in the Philippines advocating the welfare of Filipino overseas workers — a million of whom work in Saudi Arabia and another million elsewhere in the Middle East — cautioned its countrymen to celebrate Valentine's Day only in private and refrain from publicly greeting anyone with "Happy Valentine's" across the region.

"We are urging fellow Filipinos in the Middle East, especially lovers, just to celebrate their Valentine's Day secretly and with utmost care," said John Leonard Monterona of the Migrante group.

He said the group advised against carrying anything that is red, including toys, hearts, and flowers, or even wearing red dresses or T-shirts.

Instead, he urged Filipinos to visit Internet cafes to chat with their loved ones, give them a call or send text messages. (AP)