Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — It’s ingrained in our culture that Valentine’s Day should only be feted with a significant other. This annual holiday is highly anticipated by those who are taken but for some single people, it is another capitalist and commercial celebration — another day to put up with.
Since the day of hearts is pigeonholed as a romantic holiday, it’s as if it’s a must to spend it with someone. The stigma is if you’re single, it’s presumed you’re sad and lonely. But it’s 2019 and it’s time to be more inclusive.
There are single people who are the captain of their own ship and don’t feel the need to depend on others for happiness. February 14th may be a license for couples to ostentatiously show their affection but it can be more than that. It’s a diverse celebration of all kinds of love — including loving yourself.
Here’s how you can hack Valentine’s to be your own special day and make it worth your while:
Host a singles party/try a new recipe
The best thing about being single is you have your time. Use this to throw a singles party with your close friends. Play fun games such as charades, spin the bottle, and truth or dare. Hire a caterer and spice up your table with hors d’oeuvres. If you want to infuse a bit of Filipino palate, crunchy spring rolls (lumpia) are the best option — it’s easy to serve and eat. To keep things interesting, add aphrodisiacs and ingredients with sensual associations such as pears, apples, chocolates, and oysters.
However, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating Valentine’s Day alone. Learn a new recipe in your kitchen. There is a variety of dishes to cook and cocktails to concoct if you’re keen on personalizing your dish. Cooking is tedious, but it pays off because it’s healthier than ordering food and consuming ready-to-eat meals.
Take a hike
There’s a possibility Metro Manila may get congested in the morning and at night. You don’t want to waste time on the road. Away from the chaos — crowded streets, pollution, and noise — take a breather and go on a beginner’s hike near Manila. If the city is passé for you, do soul-searching in Pico de Loro, Masungi Georeserve, or Mount Talamitam to name a few. Wake up early to avoid traffic.
Take note of what you’ll wear and bring. Your comfort and protection is priority for the trip. The proper gear will help prevent injury and protect you from the harsh environment. Wear waterproof jogging pants, a comfy shirt, and thick hiking shoes. Pack light and bring water, biscuits, and canned goods. And be mindful of your surroundings. Leave no trace behind.
People around the world have been tidying their offices and homes, thanks to organizing trailblazer Marie Kondo. Her Netflix show “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” inspired everyone to start cleaning homes. Her mantra — the KonMari method — focuses on things that spark joy: the goal is to have a house full of items that make you happy. So, before inviting your friends on Valentine’s Day, declutter to introduce a new version of yourself through your revamped home.
Throwing away items that have no value is hard but it will be therapeutic to fill a bag of unwanted clutter. It’s a way to clear and recover space. For starters, fix your closet — identify the essentials and the clothes you actually wear. The KonMari method of folding goes into detail how to store each piece. Instead of laying it flat, they should sta
Book a flight and travel solo
It’s intimidating to travel alone but it’s fulfilling once you’ve explored the country you’re going to. It’s a temporary respite to what the eye sees every day. It exposes you to new experiences, different cultures, and it’s humbling to see places from a new perspective. Surpassing obstacles along the way helps you to become stronger and more confident. Even Vogue’s former creative director Grace Coddington tells viewers in the fashion documentary “The September Issue” how important it is to keep an open eye when traveling: “Never go to sleep in the car and keep watching because what you see in the window, whenever or wherever, it can inspire you.”
Traveling may get overwhelming though so make sure to research your destination thoroughly. Book a hotel with a 24-hour desk so that you can lodge at any time. Download commuting app Moovit so you’ll know where to go.
Go to a museum
When the National Museum of Natural History opened last year to the public, people flocked to admire the building’s façade and pieces, such as taxidermied specimens and botanical illustrations and paintings. Because of museums, art has become universal that everyone is now open to gain a deeper understanding of customs and tradition.
This year, why not immerse yourself in culture? The National Museum holds the works of national artists like Juan Luna’s Spoliarium. It houses pre-colonial artifacts belonging to Indo-Malayans who originated from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and South China. The best part is admission is free.
Another well-known institution to visit is the Ayala Museum, which has a more metropolitan feel. One of the museum’s highlight is the “Gold of Ancestors: Pre-Colonial Treasures in the Philippines.” This exhibit puts a spotlight on our rich ancestry and craftsmanship.
Other museums worth checking out include The Lopez Museum and Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Manila, and the Pinto Art Museum.
Saving your hard-earned money and investing it wisely is part of adulting. Budgeting your salary and allocating it via the 50/30/20 rule is important to manage finances. Fifty percent goes to necessities (housing and bills), 30 percent goes to wants (shopping, dining out, hobbies), and 20 percent should be allotted for financial goals.
It’s all right to treat yourself as long as you’ve got savings and you don’t overspend. Once in a while, do retail therapy to cheer your spirit. It doesn’t hurt to treat yourself to a haircut, facial or massage. Eat at your favorite restaurant (or take out and binge-watch Netflix), go to a bar, and indulge on dessert. Luxuriate in a long bath, apply a new skin-care regimen, or paint your nails. Do it. It’s time to take time for yourself.