This week celebrated Valentine’s Day, and as it turns out, I’m still on business in another country. I wondered how they celebrated the pink and red heart holiday in the Philippines, and was able to experience it firsthand. The work that brings me half way around the world is training. My current class consists of 24 team members and decided to bring each one a small bag of chocolates from the U.S. in honor of the holiday.
Since I’m working the overnight shift, it was February 13th when I brought the chocolates to the office. The hotel is close enough of a walk to and from the office each day, and this particular night the streets were mayhem. Traffic was crazy and almost got hit by a van while crossing the street. My colleague and I were perplexed at the amount of cars and people in the city, on what we thought was a random Tuesday night.
When we arrived at the office, we inquired about the chaos, and were told it was because of Valentine’s Day. Everyone was busy in preparation of their celebrations; making plans, dinner reservations and buying gifts. Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated, I was told they love, love……except, maybe the guy that almost ran me over….HA!
During the early morning, of February 14th, we placed the chocolates by their seats. Upon return, one by one, they were genuinely surprised and pleased by the little bag of love we shared from our homeland. They actually started comparing the bag as if it was part of the curriculum, which made us laugh. Before leaving work an email was sent to us that was entitled: Don’t forget to wear your colors. WHAT? I opened the email to find four pictures of shirts and the meaning: green (for single), red (in a relationship), yellow (don’t ask, it’s complicated) and black (what status? AKA bitter). Again……WHAT? I thought these people must take their holiday very serious.
The same day my colleague and I walked to a local shopping area and found dozens of booths that went up overnight selling Valentine’s Day candy, flowers and gifts. People were rushing into the mall as well as the street vendors to buy their sweetheart’s something special.
The night of the 14th, we arrived at the office just as if it was a normal workday and received several gifts from the class as well as other new friends. We were showered in love. As I looked around the room, several team members were wearing their colors, in all shades of green, red, yellow and of course black.
It was a fun couple of days celebrating Valentine’s Day in Manila. I didn’t have many things I could wear, but managed to come up with something to play along. From the front I was single and from the back I was all black….people must have thought I was bitter….LOL. Really I wasn’t. I did manage to buy a pair of crazy green glasses and green headband to show my single colors…..haha! Next time someone asks you to wear your colors…..wear em loud, wear em proud!!!
Happy Heart Day, my friends!