My first Valentine’s Day with my Dutch husband was a bit of a shock to my Filipino sensibilities. At that time, we were still living in the Philippines and I was expecting a surprise like perhaps, a bunch of red roses, a dinner date invitation, or a movie date. The day passed by and I didn’t a card nor a peck on the cheek. Back then, I never considered it as something cultural but rather as a disappointment. Needless to say, we ended up fighting. I got my dinner date the next day.
Five years later, I moved to the Netherlands and the novelty of celebrating Valentine’s Day has since faded. I realized that the Dutch think of Valentine’s Day as a commercial ploy by Hallmark, some chocolate companies and flower shops. I lowered my expectations about V-Day. Though, my husband has already learned to compromise, never forgetting to give me something to celebrate the “special” day.
Those who are still looking for a gift for their Filipino wives need not worry about spending too much on this occasion. Most Filipino women are not hard to please. Coming from a country where romantic movies are always a hit no matter how cheesy they are, we swoon at the smallest of things especially when we see the effort and love that were put into them. What’s important is to make her feel special. We share you some tips:
Write her a love letter and send it via snail mail.
There was a time when writing letters using scented paper and sealing them with a kiss were considered very romantic. The joy and excitement when you see the mailman approach your house and hand you a letter from that special someone were simply incomparable. That was before. Because of the Internet and social media, how we communicate today has taken away the anticipation and most importantly, romance. So we say, surprise your lady love the traditional way by writing to her.
Prepare her a breakfast in bed
Filipino women are very caring. They don’t see it a burden waking up every early so that they can prepare breakfast for their husbands and children. We suggest turn her alarm off on V-day, wake up before she does and prepare her some breakfast in bed. Waking her up with kisses would be a great bonus. A long-stem rose plus a lovely card would complete the whole surprise and might even win you most romantic partner of the year.
Harana is one of the traditional ways of courting a Filipina particularly in Philippine provinces. Back in the day, the young man goes to his lady love’s house, bringing a guitar with him or a friend who knows how to play the guitar, to serenade her with songs by her window. Grandmas would good-humoredly remember their parents having the dog chase after their suitor or pouring a bucket of urine outside their window targeting the poor lovelorn fellow.
Nowadays, plugging a microphone to your computer and singing her favorite song will do.
Create a scrapbook chronicling your love story
Filipinos, like other Asians, are crazy about pictures. But most of us don’t have time to print and organize them in an album. So putting some of your unforgettable photos together in a scrapbook will be one of the sweetest gifts you can give her. The internet gives you thousands of creative ways to pull this one off. Download an album-making software to help you create a collage of your photos together – from the moment you met until three children later.
Give her some alone time or allow her to bond with her girlfriends
Those with kids will definitely appreciate some “girl’s day out.” Let her sleep in, arrange a coffee date for her and her girlfriends, accompany her to the hairdresser, or treat her to a spa or some shopping. With all the responsibilities they carry on their shoulders, moms need a day of rest and pampering. It will be a great way to show your love for her.
Gift her with a romantic book
As much as we are suckers for chick flicks, we also enjoy reading about feel-good love stories. Give her a book of poems by Pablo Neruda or the latest Harlequin novel with a sweet note written on one of the book sleeves.
Bouquet of red roses
Honestly, girls fancy roses and diamonds. If you don’t have the budget for the latter, the former will do. A bunch of red roses delivered to her workplace or to your house with a sweet note will earn you points in the romance department.
Take her to a candlelight dinner
A candlelight dinner will always make any girl feel special on Valentine’s Day. But keep in mind that you don’t need to go to an expensive restaurant. Simply set up the dinner table as nicely as you can and cook her favorite dish.
Dheza Marie Aguilar migrated to the Netherlands in 2009 to join her husband. She is a freelance lifestyle and travel writer and works in a logistic company in Rotterdam. She blogs about her travels in between assignments at www.theweekendtraveller.com.