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PIA Press Release

Feature: Wooing need not cost a thing

By Rachelle M. Nessia

Dumaguete City (12 February) -- You know it's Valentine's Day when radio stations start persistently playing cheesy love songs, flower shops are suddenly bursting with huge blooms, and fat red Styrofoam hearts are popping out everywhere, even in your local Sari-Sari Store.

But with majority of the masa pinching pennies in this time of financial gloom, not all amorous Romeos out there have the cash to sweep off their Juliets' feet this fast approaching day of hearts.

Just like Romeo Catada, 48, and married for three years, says all he can afford this year is a card and maybe, three roses.

Catada has been unemployed for two years now but he says cash doesn't matter much with love. "My wife and I always go to church and attend mass on Valentine's Day. You don't need money for that," he says.

Back when he still had a job, he relates that aside from going to church, he would give his wife chocolates, bring her to a nice restaurant and then afterwards they would watch a romantic movie.

Will there still be chocolates this year? He shakes his head. "Sorry, chocolates are so expensive now," he sighs.

With the financial crisis pushing a lot of people in the red, Catada says men can still bring on the romance on the day of hearts without burning a lot of cash. "Couples can still go out on inexpensive dates, like in places where they don't have to spend or pay for anything, such as in parks," he suggests.

A simple greeting will do, too, says Alboro Gabriel Alar, a Capitol employee who's set to retire from his job next year.

Alar says he and his wife have never been lavish during V-day. "We don't really go out and celebrate it. What is important is, the love is there," he said.

Take it from the man who has been married to his wife for 37 years now.

Alar also stresses that it's not in how much money you spend during that day, but in the sincerity of the moment. "But of course, if you have the money, then you should go out and spend it on your loved one," he adds.

Desperate Romeos on a tight budget can also do a quick search online for more romantic gestures for Valentine's Day that won't dent the wallet.

Some suggestions online include cooking affordable meals, going on picnics in local free parks, visiting never-been-to before nearby towns for inexpensive getaways, do-it-yourself romantic gifts and leaving love notes all over.

So if you can't afford to shower your special someone with Hershey's kisses this Valentine's Day, remember that a real kiss will do the job just as nicely. Well, maybe even better. (PIA/rmn) [top]

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