Despite what society or Star Cinema tells you, not every Valentine’s Day—or anything really—ends in roses. Even some of today’s influencers from music to social media have experienced some rough patches on the road to love. It doesn’t matter if it’s during a Tagaytay getaway or at a pub-crawl; sometimes Cupid misses the mark completely. So if there’s anything to take from these five stories, it’s that it gets better. Eventually.
MARTINE CAJUCOM (@ilovemartine)
Creative Director, Sunnies Studio
Let me preface this story with another secret embarrassing fact about me — I don’t know how to ride a bike. When I was 16, my boyfriend at the time gave me a dark purple metallic mountain bike and running shoes for Valentine’s Day. Needless to say, the date ended with bloody knees and me crying on the ground saying, “The running shoes mean you think I’m fat and why did you go with purple? You know how much I love pink.” I was painfully immature. Over a decade later, I’m happy to say I’ve grown up and just a sweet note and hug is all I need on Valentine’s Day.
Restaurateur and blogger, thefatkidinside.com
My friend and I were with our respective girlfriends for about two years then, and we were already running out of ideas. We thought, since our girlfriends were also friends with each other, that a double Valentine’s date would be all the more fun. The plan was simple, we would all go have dinner, watch the Boys II Men Valentine’s concert (I don’t want to discuss this any further), hop into the car around 11 p.m., let the girls fall asleep and then drive all the way to Tagaytay, have them wake up and surprise them with a romantic night sleeping in the forest in tents. Looking back now, it’s not a bad idea if you think of it, as long as everything falls into place.
Dinner went well; the concert was as boring as I expected it to be. When it ended, I got excited to get the rest of the plan in motion. My friend was in charge of the tents and I pictured a solitary area in a cool forest with fairy lights, soft patches of tall grass and a light roaring fire. (Why I expected a fire to be lit unattended is beyond me.) When we arrived I realized all of this quickly. So there is no way to camp just wherever in Tagaytay, so we had to book in the tent village of a certain country club. The tent was comfortable enough but far from romantic. Apparently this is how the conyos of Manila camp. We were in our tents by 1 a.m., and by that point nothing was going to go bump. We woke up in the morning feeling sticky, thanks to the 35C weather, and ate tapa at the only restaurant in the tent complex, serenaded by screaming kids in the pool. Moral of the story: be grateful for a dinner and a movie.
When I was in high school, I got a cookie cake customized for Valentines Day, for someone special (at the time). I was supposed to give it after school. I was holding a lot of books walking up the stairs when it fell upside down and all the frosting got ruined. So I ate it instead, and wrote a letter. (By the way, it didn’t touch the floor, okay!)
I was in my freshman year of college when I bravely went up to this cute batch mate sitting across the quad. It took everything of my being to sit beside her and after congratulating myself for doing so, I asked myself, what the hell do I do now? I noticed that she’s studying our Filipino book so I took my book out and pretended to study. Didn’t work. After what felt like a lifetime, I finally mustered up the courage to say, “Do you have a pen?” She smiled and gladly gave me one. As I was chastising myself for that terrible opener, I didn’t realize I was underlining every word on my book. Losing all hope, I thanked her for the pen. But like any hopeless romantic in the movies, I thought I should say something to put the icing on my disaster of a cake. I finally uttered, “Ha ha, same book… Ha ha.” She gave me a smile that can only have been out of pity.
I was 19 when I went on the worst date in the world. I went to a university-sanctioned pub crawl. After a few drinks, this guy comes up to me, heavily sauced, and says he’s a painter from England studying art. He follows up with the information that his studio was nearby, and I make a promise to go check it out in the near future, write my number on his hand. Two days later, I meet him at the cafe near my house and I see his hand still had my number on it. I pushed it aside and went on with the coffee date that turned into a beer date. He ends up walking me home and stealing a kiss outside my door. I keep my lips pursed as I nod goodbye and walk back inside for the fear of tasting anything. I go to [University] the next day and proceed as normal until I get a text saying, “Hey, this is (guy) from last night. Funny thing, my roommate went away for a few days and took the keys. You think I could crash at yours for a bit?”