Friday the 14th! February 14th!

For most people, February 14th is equivalent to flowers, chocolates, big teddy bears, and fancy dinner… but not to me. Simply because it feels funny. And I’m not really romantic. (You know, before, I just had to warn someone that I won’t walk–either alone or with him–in public carrying a bouquet. So yeah, not really into the cliche.) And ever since I started studying in UP, my idea of Valentine’s Day is always associated to good live music, field grass, and glorious food because of the annual university fair which is always scheduled on Valentine’s Week. It’s becoming some sort of a tradition for me. Yes, V-day is almost non-existent if not for the uttered/typed words: Happy Valentine’s Day. It’s just basically an ordinary day spent with good company.

This year’s V-Day, I chose to stick with the tradition. But it definitely feels so much better because I spent it with someone really special, and I got to meet Arbie’s family and some friends.

I took a leave, and traveled from Quezon City to Calamba that morning to avoid the traffic caused by the Valentine’s Day-Pay Day-Friday combo. I arrived there before lunch giving us enough time to go to Rizal Shrine, because, funny enough, I haven’t been there… and we just came from Taal, so I was still in the mood for some heritage site. Honestly, if you’ve been to Taal, you won’t appreciate Rizal Shrine that much because its feel is not as authentic than the sites in Taal. But it’s good to finally be able to go there.

For lunch, we went to Laong Laan, Arbie’s family’s resto, and had a very sumptuous lunch. I’ve been in their resto twice when we’re still not together (actually, when we still doesn’t even know each other) and I enjoyed the food! Arbie ordered some dishes that I haven’t tried yet, and man, it was a veeeery good lunch!

IMG_0107We had chicharong bulaklak, steamed tilapia, chopsuey, and garlic chicken!

After that, we drove to UPLB to have some quiet moment at the National Arts Center located in Mt. Makiling. Before heading there, we got ourselves some dairy products from DTRI. I really miss Milk-o-Jel, but unfortunately it wasn’t available that time, even choco milk. So we bought yogurt ice cream, and a bottle of coffee milk!

IMG_0142 IMG_0136IMG_0156

When it started to get dark, we drove back to the campus, but dropped by for a while at St. Mark’s Chapel. It’s my first time seeing this, and I was really stunned. Its beauty will make you believe in God.


And I’m so excited to learn that someone close to me is going to get married here!

Just before sundown, we’re back in the campus, already walking around Freedom Park and checking out the booths. We grabbed some food and sat on the grass listening to the show. Giniling Festival was there! I’m always looking forward to Giniling Festival performances in every UP Fair. And hey, Arbie’s so lucky to get one of Bogart’s (yes, the Explorer from Davao City) drumsticks!


Being in the fair made me miss the university life more! It felt so good to breathe some fresh air. It felt so good to sit with students. It felt so good to listen to live music made by your classmates/schoolmates. It felt so good to listen to leftists talk. It felt so good to listen to uttered words that challenge your thinking. Ah~ it feels so good to be a student/alumna of this university!

That was my February 14, 2014. Basically, it’s a break from work. Not your romantic cliche celebration, but definitely brought me soooo many kinds of tingly feelings — freedom, youth, nostalgia, satisfaction… and that one that I, myself, can’t comprehend… so I’m just calling it love. 🙂


About Gillian Cruz

I have a feeling that I am a reincarnated hippie from the '70s.
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