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Celebrating Valentine’s Day the Filipino Way

Updated on January 4, 2011

The Filipinos are really romantic and loving people.

And no holiday brings out the romantic in us than Valentine’s Day. In fact, in a survey conducted in 2008 (see link), Filipinos, among Asians, are the ones most ‘into’ Valentine’s Day.

So, how do we celebrate Valentine’s Day? We celebrate this occasion in various ways.

Of course, some of these we’ve already adopted from other countries. The concept of Valentine’s Day itself was adopted by our culture from other countries. The color red is another such adoption as well as the giving of flowers, chocolates, Valentine’s card and the romantic candlelight dinner for two.

But then again, like Halloween, Christmas and New Year Celebrations, we, Filipinos, have our own way of celebrating Valentine’s Day. Some of these ways may be those we’ve adopted from other countries / cultures and, through some twists and turns, given a local flavor. Still others are uniquely our own. And in this hub, I’d like to relate how we celebrate Valentine’s Day, the Filipino way.

Some Flowers in Dangwa Market

A Video About the Dangwa Market

Part II of the Dangwa Market Video

The Dangwa Market. The number one Valentine’s Day gift? Flowers, or more specifically, roses, what else? But what if you want to buy your special someone roses (or other flowers) for Valentine’s Day but lack the budget? Where would you go (if you live in Metro Manila, that is)? Enter the Dangwa Market. Located in the country’s capital, Manila, this is the place to be when you want to buy beautifully arranged flowers at a budget. Be warned though, the place really gets jam-packed during and even before Valentine's Day. But if you really want to buy those flowers for your sweetheart, go ahead and brave the crowd.

Prices of flowers…go over the roof before Valentine’s Day. Did I say you have a tight budget? Okay, you might want to re-consider that budget. There are basically two holidays when the prices of flowers go up in the Philippines: All Saint’s Day / All Soul’s Day (or Halloween) and Valentine’s Day. During this time, prices of flowers increase by 100% (or even more). So check your budget again or plan to buy them early (or right after Valentine's Day) so that you can avoid the high prices.

Serenading your loved one. I haven’t seen this practiced much these days but I know this is done. We have what we call the “Harana” or a guy serenading a girl he’s courting under the moonlight. Then we have the “Singing telegrams” where the guy will hire a local singer to do the serenading for him. When I was in college, this is a favorite fund-raiser for some of our organizations. Some of their members become “singers for hire” during Valentine’s Day and they will go to our classrooms to serenade the girl while the rest of us listen and giggle (and secretly envy them LOL).

Dinner by candlelight. I know this is a common practice even in other countries. But have you ever seen McDonald’s in the dark, with only candles on each table to light it up inside? It’s their idea of a dinner by candlelight to those couples who don’t want to spend much during Valentine’s Day but still want to celebrate it romantically. Corny? Yes. Romantic? Hmmmmm, let’s ask those who have gone there during Valentine’s Day. LOL

Full hotels, motels, inns, etc. Every Valentine’s Day, all taxis and a lot of private vehicles head for one destination (after dinner that is), the uhm, private rooms for some private tête-à-tête (you know what I mean). And during this time, traffic to and from these establishments is really something. If you’re not one of those people heading to these establishments, don’t drive near them or you’ll just get stuck in traffic.

Lastly, the Valentine’s Gifts. And I don’t even mean just flowers, although I would see big bouquets delivered to our office when I was still working in one. Take your pick – the usual candies and chocolates, stuffed toys, cookies, cakes, perfume, jewelries (even an engagement ring!), a romantic text message, a Valentine’s Card (or e-Card), a treat in a spa or a home massage, a romantic night out (sans the kids if you’re already married), or a retreat in Tagaytay or another city far away from the crowd.

And that’s it. Hope you enjoy reading how we celebrate Valentine’s Day. If you’re single and unattached, why not check out my hub on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day? I’m sure, regardless or despite your status, you’ll still have a great Valentine’s Day.

Flowers from Dangwa Market

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Romantic Gifts - Gourmet Food

Got Any Traditions During Valentine's Day?

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    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I was smiling as I read your hub nodding my head all along. Yes, Filipinos are really loving and romantic..I agree! :)

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for your great and lovely selection. I will make my man read that.

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks ripplemaker. Glad we agree on this one. Happy Valentine's Day :).

      Hey Hello, hope your man agrees with me :).

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you for a great hub celebrating Valentine's Day The Filipino way, Thank you for sharing such a great hub. Godspeed. creativeone59

    • Papa Sez profile image

      Papa Sez 7 years ago from The Philippines to Canada

      Hey emie, I agree that Filipinos are into Valentine's Day. One thing that got so popular in the country nowadays are the spa dates for couples. I am thinking of getting it as a gift for my wife.

      I also included it (massage/spa treat) in my recent hub about what men and women want this special occasion. Hope you check it out and let me know what you think.

      Regards, Papa Sez

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      You said it all, emie, theres nothing like the Filipino way, caring and loving indeed, Maita

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      @creativeone, you're welcome.

      @Papa Sez, yep I read that hub. It's comprehensive. A Spa treat is the way to go. I can only envy Mama Sez :D. Maybe we'll just go to Davao and have a spa treat for my husband and me as well. :)

      @Maita, thanks. :)

    • Papa Sez profile image

      Papa Sez 7 years ago from The Philippines to Canada

      Hey emie, just let me know if you need info/recommendation as there are lots of choices here. Enjoy!

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

      Beautiful hub Emie! Like Michele, I was also smiling and nodding while reading.

      Re taxis and hotels/motels during Valentines day - I still remember an incident while we were in college. A few of us (dateless ones) decided to go out for dinner on Valentine's day and we couldn't get any seats in restaurants. We ended up getting sandwiches from a corner burger stand! Then on our way back to the dorm, we could not get any ride. We had to walk part of the way until we finally got a taxi. Along the way, the taxi driver regaled us with stories of how he spent the whole day driving couples to and from hotels/motels. He even told us that the last couple he drove couldn't find any rooms in hotels/motels so the pair told him to just drive around and around as they celebrated Valentine's day. Ha ha ha.

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      @Papa Sez, sure will. Thanks.

      @jill, LOL, that was quite a tale from your taxi driver. Thanks for sharing.

    • _cheryl_ profile image

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      Great hub! I would've never known that filipino fact about Valentine's Day =)

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Wonderful! I love reading about other cultures!

    • Beth100 profile image

      Beth100 7 years ago from Canada

      I remember being serenaded when I was in high school as he held a dozen red roses in his hand. He even went down on one knee when he gave them to me!! I didn't fully appreciate what he had done (I was too young), but now...if only...! Thanks for sharing how you celebrate Valentine's. Happy Valentine's Emie! Hugs :)

    • profile image

      ralwus 7 years ago

      All I can say dear woman is that y'all know how to do things right over there. Thanks for your sentiments in the thread about me. Love and xox CC I will see another V Day, I think.

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      @cheryl, glad you liked my hub. Thanks.

      @habee, thanks.

      @beth, you're a lucky woman. Being serenaded is one heck of an experience and it's so rare nowadays. Thanks for your comment.

      CC! what do you mean you think????? You know you're going to see another V Day, in fact you're going to see lots more. Glad you're back with us :).

    • topgunjager profile image

      topgunjager 7 years ago from Sunnyvale, CA

      wow, sending flowers, serenading and candle light dinners are the "filipino way" of celebrating valentine's day? that's very original, i wonder what other ways people from around the globe use to celebrate valentine's day.

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      hey top, long time no see. Oh yes, other countries have flowers, serenading and candle light dinners. But do they have a Dangwa market or the harana or the candle light dinner in McDonald's?????

    • profile image

      TattoGuy 7 years ago

      Love the flowers in the market, reading all that romance has made me determined to find myself a redheaded Valentine ; )

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 7 years ago from Philippines

      I wondered why "serenading" on Valentine's Day was something I missed. This is my first time to know about it. Well, you really would envy the lucky girl being serenaded in public. I like this.

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      @Art, hope you will have a wonderful Valentine's Day :).

      @Ms. Lita, thanks.

    • Craftsmith profile image

      Craftsmith 7 years ago from India

      serenading seems a little weird...but yes its lovable on occasions like this :)

    • Isabelle22 profile image

      Isabelle22 7 years ago from Somewhere on the coastline

      I love reading about different cultures, it was great to read about how your country goes about it.

    • stephensaldana profile image

      stephensaldana 7 years ago from Chicago

      Effortlessly Classic Hub!!!!!!!

      The day which is exclusively dedicated for love. The Filipino is favorite place in this regard. Love is the biggest asset in the cosmos. The individual, who has got true love, need not require any thing else in the world. Therefore, valentine day is a very sacred day.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      I love the idea of the serenade; it's so old fashioned. It's probably good that the option exists to hire a singer for the occasion, just in case one has the kind of voice that would make a romantic message hard to follow. Love the flower market!

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      @Craftsmith, never experienced it myself but it's a tradition here (albeit not practiced as much now as it was before). Thanks for your comment.

      @Isabelle, thanks.

      @stephensaldana, how true! Happy Valentine's to you :).

      @Sally's Trove, LOL, those singers for hire saved some guys from embarrassing themselves and at the same time, helped them capture the hearts of their ladies. Thank you for your comment.

      Happy Valentin's to all!

    • tal g mel profile image

      tal g mel 7 years ago

      I like it:-)

    • mel22 profile image

      mel22 7 years ago from ,

      MickeyD's 4 Valentine's Day.! WOW, you'd be called a cheap date over here. Chocolate shake and a Rose ,please! Good Hub !

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      thanks tal g mel and mel22. Glad you liked the hub :).

    • profile image

      Tony 7 years ago

      I've been at The Dangwa Market years ago, they had beautiful arrangements at that time. I bought some for my girlfriend after waiting for a half an hour, but it was worth every second.

    • Hungry Huy profile image

      Hungry Huy 7 years ago

      McD's would be game over. lol

    • profile image

      Amar 7 years ago

      yup.. that's true... what u write... filipina are really romantic... I love my dear.....

    • profile image

      American Cam 7 years ago

      another happy V day is coming! I cant wait any more. still single? you'd better hurry up. lol

    • graceth0mas profile image

      graceth0mas 7 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      I couldn't agree more! Nice hub. Happy Valentines!

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 6 years ago

      I agree that Filipinos are generally romantic and thus Valentines day is always special for most Filipinos. I remember my husband mentioned a few days ago and asked when February 14 is going to be. Not that we are going to celebrate it but he is waiting for that day to watch the news and hear about how many people line up in many romance-related establishments. Happy Hearts' day!

    • profile image

      noopur 6 years ago

      Valentines day is the day of lovers. All wishes to do something special for their valentine. So dinner is the best option to do so. To know more about restaurants in bangalore for parties or events and dinner then contact

    • edmondpogi profile image

      edmondpogi 6 years ago

      basta pinoy driver...

      sweet lover...

      nice post!

    • profile image

      pearl  6 years ago

      so true. i was just like nodding my head lol. . but yea filipinos are so very fucking romantic when it comes to love.

    • carolp profile image

      Carolina 6 years ago from Switzerland

      yes indeed...i had once a Filipino lover...he is so gentleman and romantic...

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 6 years ago from Germany

      Reading this Hub reminds me of my days in the Philippines. In my time it was mostly serenading young women in the neighbourhood and it was so funny but good. I did not know that it is still existing. Great Hub!

    • profile image

      marian rivera 5 years ago

      oo nga naman masayang mainlove noh

      happy valentines day po salahat

    • profile image

      marie 5 years ago

      totoo talaga . ing-ana ming mga pinoy .

      Happy Valentine's Day People

    • profile image

      valentinesgirl 5 years ago

      check this valentines song in the world.


    • profile image

      Junneil 2 years ago

      Back in the 90's in my elementary years, we used to celebrate this especial day by creating Valentine's card for our parents and singing a valentine song. I don't know if you had this song in your school back then.

      "Dearest child believe me you are truly my friend

      So today with gladness to you will I send

      Just a sign of friendship from this heart of mine

      That will tell you in words you are my valentine.

      These will it say mother’s heart is true

      And never will change the love she gives you."

      I recently made a video of this song in YouTube and here's the link if you want to hear it:

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