LOVE is a tagline.
Like the pails of roses and bouquets inundating the public pulse last Feb. 14, some took to the public sphere of mass media to spread advocacies for lovers, those about to fall in love, those resisting love and those immune to love.
Here are my favorites, a mix of social good and pithy capsules for that most maddening of emotions (sa Binisaya pa: “makaboang”):
“Wear your feelings.” As paraphrased by SunStar Cebu’s Fe Marie Dumaboc in her Feb. 13, 2020 report, this was the essence of Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony Gullas’ Feb. 12 memorandum directing City Hall employees to abandon their uniforms in favor of an attire to “express (one’s) feelings” on Valentine’s Day.
His inclusive color code accommodates almost all statuses: red for couples, green for the “single and ready to mingle,” yellow for those neck-deep in “complicated” relationships, orange for the “prisoner to someone’s love,” pink for the solitary ones, gray for those relieved they “got away,” and black for the “dense.”
Talisay City Police Chief Maj. Gerard Ace Pelare reminds the public to avoid trouble by staying within the law: “make sure your date is of legal age.”
In a telenovela dilemma, a male teacher rejects his undergraduate student, protesting that he is too old for her. What should be emphasized are the reasons why student-teacher romances are inappropriate and must be avoided, regardless of the student’s consent: abuse of authority, conflict of interests, exploitation of the student’s vulnerability and threats to the student’s emotional stability and academic performance.
“Dili magpataka og partner (choose your date).” Department of Health (DOH) 7 Director Jaime Bernadas advises checking first the recent travel history of the intended before going on a date that may just lead to a possibly fatal exchange of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19), reported Wenilyn Sabalo in SunStar Cebu last Feb. 13.
And not the least is “H.E.A.R.T to H.E.A.R.T,” cautions the Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) 7, whose advocacy launched on Feb. 14 emphasizes these touchpoints for millennials: H stands for HIV, Aids and STI; E for early sexual encounters; A for adolescent sexuality; R for reproductive health; and T for teenage pregnancy.
Love is a minefield, not just on Feb. 14, one infers from this headline from “Bag-ong Kusog,” the leading newspaper in Cebu during the American period: “Mirisi nga babayhana” (published on May 6, 1917).
Tamely translated, the idiom means “serves her right,” but it is not just in matters of the heart that the saltiness of the Cebuano is beyond the ken of English.