“Praktikal na ta karon” (Let’s be practical) is a common phrase heard nowadays because of the economic situation brought by the pandemic. Even this Valentine’s Day finds Davaoeño couples opting for practical celebration.
From their usual fancy dinner, couple Aldred and Tina Monta chose to spend Valentine’s Day at home with their three-year-old son.
“Big consideration talaga ang budget. Kaya kesa magdinner kami like dati na may reservations talaga ngayon flowers na lang tas luto luto sa bahay, ok na yun. (Budget is a big consideration. Rather than reserving a dinner outside, now it’s just flowers and cooking at home) What is important is that the love is there,” said Aldred.
Aldred usually treats Tina with a P7,000 dinner with a bouquet of flowers with a one-night hotel staycation. However, since the pandemic, the couple decided to forego their usual celebration due to budget limitation.
“Mahal na man ang lahat gud. Kelangan mo din iconsider na baka bukas wala ka na madukot sa wallet kay nagasto mo na in one day. Mahirap yun (Everything’s so expensive now. We also have to consider that we may not have money left in our wallets for the next day because we spent it all in a day),” he added.
Couples Vince and Lyca Nacaram also forgo their usual Valentine’s date in the past five years where they go shopping in the mall.
“Di na muna kay ang sweldo igo ra panggrocery para sa balay. Lisod na kaayo magsigeg gasto nga mahal na ang mga palaliton karon (Not this time as my salary is only enough for groceries. It’s hard to spend so much when prices are expensive),” Vince said.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 2023 data showed an increase in prices of chocolates (7.2%), wine (75%), spirits and liquors (8%), and beer (6.7%).
Both Aldred and Vince still manage to spend for flowers, which they find at the stalls in front of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council) building in San Pedro, as they bought a piece of red rose for their respective wives on Tuesday afternoon.
Flowers are in demand for this occasion, but flower vendor Midred Tango said customers chose cheaper flower bouquets.
“Mangita silag gwapo pero barato maong among style amo na lang gyud pangitaan paagi aron mahalin among bulak kay mahal sab among kumpra (They look for nice flowers for a cheaper price, so we look for those that can sell, because we spent much too to get them),” said Tango.
A bouquet of flowers can be bought for as low as P500 to P15,000 depending on the size and type of flowers while a dozen of roses is at P500 compared to P300 last year.
A stem of rose costs P100 while sunflowers cost P100 to P150 per stem compared to a much cheaper price in the previous years.
While other couples spent this heart’s day at home and made do-it-yourself gifts, some couples still go on dates “on a budget.”
These dates include eating street foods at the market or sidewalks or hanging around malls to look out for gimmick sales or events on that day.
Student couple Larrence and Shekaina prefer to go on a date along the park in Roxas Street after school. Though both said they set aside some money from their allowance, the couple said it’s not practical to spend a lot on things they do not need every day.
“Mga students pa kasi kami so di na muna siguro yung mga pakilig na stuff kasi wala pang budget. Ok na man na mag eat out kami dito tapos walking, kasi I think di naman need na gumaya sa iba. Baka sila kasi may budget (We’re students so we don’t want the fancy stuff because we don’t have that money. It’s okay to eat out and walk around, I think we don’t need to spend much like others do. Besides they have the money),” said Shekaina.
“Ayaw nya din magpabili ng flowers or teddy bear kasi sabi nya di man daw nya need for me to prove anything. So instead dito na lang kami tapos after uwi na (She doesn’t want to get flowers or a teddy bear, she said she don’t need those from me to prove anything. So instead, we just stay here and after that we go home.),” Larrence added.
Stuffed toys paired with Valentine balloons have increased their price ranging from P150 to a thousand depending on the size and type. (davaotoday.com)davao city, philippines