Neliza Marie E. Dakoykoy

IT'S NO surprise that on the big V-day there is rampant booking of restaurants, hotels, specialty shops and basically everywhere else for people to celebrate Valentine’s Day! It’s one of those days when overpriced flowers, chocolates, and diners actually sell! I have nothing against it though, if you have the buck for it, why not? Anyone

would do anything to make a loved one feel special on Cupid’s Day. I know I would!

What I like to remind everyone, is to make sure that come February 15, there is still some money left; especially if the paycheck comes only on the 20th. It’s just not practical (this, of course depending on where you are in the human food chain) to spend a thousand pesos for flowers or 500 pesos for chocolates, because they literally don’t last. By the way, I love flowers and chocolates; in fact I am a great fan of all things mushy; although I am also still very practical.

I’m not really lecturing the “V-day-big-spenders” but, instead I am here to share my V-day celebration which was worth only 500 pesos; prize money from a V-day card making contest I joined at work.

On Feb 14th, I spent my entire day in a fully-furnished vacation house near a shopping area and entertainment area - and all for FREE! Translation: I spent Valentine’s Day at my sister’s place!

My 500 went a long way. One and a half kilos of pork for “sinugba,” worth PhP 280 and a kilo of fresh fish for “kinilaw” for PhP 80 from Lahug wet market and I still had some change left.

We had a DVD movie marathon. The first movie was “Find Me Guilty” starring Vin Diesel and was based on a true story.

This would appeal to the lawyer in each of us and is comic relief to all the legal dramas we’ve had so much of. The second movie was entitled “Yanggaw”; and if I’m not mistaken, this movie received an international award. It’s a story of how a young woman was turned into an “aswang” and how her family dealt with it. It really made me scream and sent shivers down my spine.

Mind you, this is no low-budget film - the scenes were really very vivid; you could see dew drops sitting on a blade of grass. It’s an absolute must-see!

Third on our list was “Confessions of a Shopaholic” and this movie had me laughing hysterically. It’s an obvious chick-flick but hey, it’s a real “feel-good” movie and I would watch it all over again. The fourth one we watched was “Sherlock Holmes” and it was a burst of action for the day. It’s a thrilling yet intellectual action movie and I loved it. To top the evening off, we tried to watch “He’s Just Not That IntoYou” but stopped because it was past midnight already and already time for bed.

So, that was how my I spent my V-day 2010; with my sister and her family. I prepared the “kinilaw” and my sister’s hubby added his own twist with coconut milk and “chicharon” sprinkles. Itoy was on the grill for the pork, my sister set the table and my young nephew gave us a few laughs with his antics. My ma and pa ate lunch with us too. We even had a lot of leftovers for dinner.

In the latter part of the day, some beer and a bottle of red wine was served with chocolates from my sister’s hubby. The day was full of many adventures via the movies, goodies and most especially, full of memories. It was more than any fancy restaurant or any hotel could ever offer, and at a minimal cost too.

So, I ask you, why not in the next events to come, keep the money in your pockets and spend less, but make it count? You can’t put a price tag on memories anyway, right? Things can break, flowers can wither and die, chocolates can just melt away but memories linger on.

Belated Happy Valentines to everyone and I hope V-day 2010 is memorable for you too...