Single women and Valentine’s Day

On Sunday, I arrived from Cebu City after a brief visit to Bohol on occasion of my father’s birthday. Being a sentimental soul, homecoming is not only melancholic; it’s very restful and relaxing as well. It’s very comforting and works wonders to the soul. ”There’s no other place like home.” That sums up everything.

Sunday evening, I was staring on the computer screen wondering what in the world to write for my column this week when my dearest Chavacana bonita amiga Cecile inspired me to write about “single career women in their thirties and how they will celebrate Valentine’s Day”. Ha! What a master piece but tough job. How to write about it?

Let’s start. A lot of women these days are single. They are not only single; they have financial independence as well. Others call it careers. I have lots of single friends – gorgeous girls mind you – with good jobs and in their thirties. You may start wondering what’s with the age-thing? Oh well, women have different perceptions of life at thirty. Some look forward to it. Some fear it. Others celebrate it. Still some others want to get over it – the sooner the better.

In this modern age and date when women are hailed for having careers and living life with gusto, a lot of women still feel lonely at the end of the day. They still feel a void. They desire to belong to someone and be loved by someone. Isn’t this a universal need? Even men want to belong to someone, be cared for by someone.

Thus, single women in their thirties, and not in relationships bond together to celebrate their lives by maximizing their talents and gifts, not to mention their money. Look around; you will see them in groups in bars, restaurants, malls, movie houses, coffee shops, gyms, other likely places they tend to congregate. However, for some others who have excelled professionally and financially, and are comfortable by their lonesome from time to time, they have difficulty connecting with men because these able women have “ways” that intimidate men. I guess you have heard of the phrase: She is intimidating.

Women who have independent minds, are accomplished, moneyed, and going places almost naturally intimidate men who are just upstarts. So pray tell, how do they connect? There’s really no point of connection unless the more established party goes down one level to accommodate the upstart. Yeah I know it sounds harsh but the truth hurts. In any relationship, either of the parties involved has a bigger sacrifice over the other. That’s how a relationship works. There’s no perfect relationship. All relationships entail sacrifice.

So what do we do with thirty-something single career women on Valentine’s Day? Tough question. We cannot play cupid and find them their Valentines. I will not volunteer for the job.

I guess it’s the same thing every year then, minus the years that they were involved in a relationship. It’s like any other ordinary day. They go to work and at the end of the day, they go home and sleep. For some others, they congregate together and have dinner in a fancy restaurant culminating in either singing or dancing. For the more romantic, two single career women or three can have either a dinner date or simply lounge in a coffee house, chat about their “miserable hearts” while soft music appeases their romance-deprived souls. Ah, who’s stopping you from inventing anything to enjoy Valentine’s Day. Some would probably watch a concert, show or movie.

Still at the end of the day, our single, thirty-something career women will always find ways and means to enjoy life on Valentine’s Day, Valentine or no Valentine. After all, human beings whether man or woman, will constantly work on surviving ANY lonely day.

So girl, cheer up! It’s just one of those days when you feel the lack. The upcoming days will be better. Just fill your life with the little joys of the moment while Valentine is finding his way to you.

Note: This article was published in a local paper sometime in 2008.

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The bus ride

Sometime in 1991, the first time I stepped on Mindanao soil, my boyfriend who later on became my husband and I went on a trip to Mati in Davao province.

We were traveling the unpaved national road which was characterized by boulders on the left side, and a deep ravine on the right.

As we were descending on the road, the bus suddenly lost its brakes. The bus driver, with his admirable presence of mind, swerved the bus deliberately to the left to hit a boulder. He assumed it would halt the bus. He missed the first boulder. People started to panic. The bus conductor tried to pacify everyone. He asked the passengers to remain in their seats. The driver attempted to hit another boulder, he missed. People started to jump off the bus. Suddenly we heard a loud thud.

My boyfriend nudged me to transfer to the front. I followed. As the bus finally came to halt and I looked back, only six passengers remained in the bus. Everybody else jumped.

Then there were wails. The thud turned out to be the foot of the old woman ran over by the bus. She was badly hurt.

We stayed on the bus until the next bus came along to transport us to Mati. From a distance, I heard a siren. The old lady was rushed to a hospital in Mati.

When we reached Mati after the ordeal, we were informed that the old lady expired in the hospital. What a tragic ending to an otherwise pleasant bus trip.