IT’s the day for the heart today, as well as New Year’s Day in the Chinese lunar calendar.

This makes Feb. 14, to be redundant about it, extra special! But then celebrating love and the chance to open new doors are truly special. Superfluity aside, this means that every watering hole, and dining place will be crowded with people celebrating not just New Year but also Valentine’s Day.

Time was when, as little kids, Valentine’s Day was a simple affair of drawing hearts on bond paper, making cards out of them and sending messages of love to our parents, perhaps also to our siblings—if one is not on the warpath with them—and classmates, our very best friends in school.

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In later years, things became somewhat more complicated, with a need to give roses and chocolates to the crush of our lives, the gifts becoming more elaborate as we grew older and as we came into our own, working for our own living, and finding finally one’s true love.

These days there are so many ways of celebrating this occasion, on top of roses and chocolates.

There are Valentine shows to tickle the heart strings, and hotel and restaurant come-ons with special menus for a romantic dinner for two, though it may not prove so romantic with all the other people trying to get into their favorite restos, which will surely necessitate waiting in line, if one is not early enough.

Whether you’re going to have a special celebration with your loved ones today, or whether it will just be “Sunday as usual,” do take time out to reach out to all the people you love and who love you. And yes, it’s also the Lord’s day today. So why not say “I love You” (and mean it, please) to the King, the Lord of all hearts?

In the here and now, we asked a few people how they are going to celebrate this day of the heart:

Christina Frasco, married to Liloan Mayor Duke Frasco:

“A quiet dinner with good wine in a resort where we can unwind from the stresses of life and enjoy each other’s company.”

Carlo Fortuna, Vice Mayor of Mandaue City:

“I’ll be attending a wedding on that day, so it’s going to be a late-night celebration with my love over wine and pastries, somewhere up in the hills.”

Adelino Sitoy, Mayor of Cordova:

“Having been a widower for nine years now, I’ll be celebrating the day hunting for a Valentina.” (Happy hunting, Mayor Sitoy!)