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Tita Tita: Valentine’s Day In The Good Ol’ Days

“Love means never to have to say you’re sorry”

Hola hola, no me digas! Valentines Day is coming, and what are you doing?

I was at Polilya with my classmates (again, I know) and we were all taking about our dates, and boys of when we were younger. Marilou used to date this track and field star that was, what kids would say today, ripped. We saw pictures of their class reunion on FB held last week, and Marilou said, “Ewwww. S** t, he is kalbo, and he is so fat.” Tito was from the same class, and he isn’t as thin but he managed to control his weight. I didn’t want to chime in. We talked about who is still together, and who just got separated. Everyone is using this Assumptionista lawyer who has a sure shot batting average for quick annulments. Totally senseless conversation but I just wandered off and watched what kids today were doing at the bar. We never got to go to a bar when we were teens, unless, it was Star Gazer and someone had a card, hahaha…

Bars and clubs weren’t romantic, no crees? But I thought that going to movies was one of the most romantic things we could do—unless you end up going with your mother!

“Where do I begin…. to tell the story….teenuneenunui”  Oh, that song, was the theme of Love Story. It was a big film in the ’70s.  When I started this article, I looked it up to refresh my memory. I must have been 10 when we watched it at Rizal Theater. Mammy snuck me to watch it. She picked me from the Ponce Gate at San Lo and said we would have an adventure! She wanted to watch this movie of the book of the same title by Erich Segal.  It was with Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw, and touched on an issue that we see in movies today: objection of marriage because you aren’t from the same circle.

The most famous line of the movie was the line of the generation: "Love means never having to say you're sorry.”  It was heartfelt, and well, at the same time, a bit baduy… But I remember all the cards holding lines of that in the old “House of Cards” in QUAD, by Magnolia Ice Cream House—ay, there I go again, showing my age. Pues, let me continue. Before e-mails and GIFs, cards were a big thing.

That statement then set an entire generation into denial and into therapy about feelings, wants, and needs.

Sabes, we weren’t as needy as people are today. We also didn’t have the freedom that kids have now. You wouldn’t think of going to the beach (going to Boracay was unheard of) without a chaperone. Parties were so controlled, and someone was always watching. But sabes, people still got pregnant, no? If there is a will there is a way.

You waited for the invite, and getting a number was such big thing. Especially, if they got your number and you waited in earnest for them to call.  When he finally calls, the party line insists he need to make a call, and that ends that. As we grew up, the way we got to go out with boys is through our school fair, the class soiree and parties. Sometimes, one of classmates would get to round up guys and girls and we happen to see each other in Polo or Makati Sports. It was so so cute, but really hard to organize.

It was a big thing to get a gift, no? The choices were something from the Regina’s at Greenhills, from Papelmelroti.  But if it was special, you got flowers from Esperanza’s in those cello boxes. We found ways to send letters to each other , and we collected stationary from Hallmark, or Sanrio. It was such a different time then, so so so old school.

I kept to myself most of the night, since they began disagreeing on what book to read for the next book club and thought of my own love story. Nothing to write about, but we met during the days of GALS Volleyball at his school, as things go, we would go out together as a group, and we became best friends. I had a boyfriend for a long time, and he had a girlfriend, but when we would have rows with our partners, we would call each other. Or he would appear at home!

If there is anything I would love to keep things for Valentine is always remembering the good times.  It is the little things that count, you know. Naku, Valentine’s Day dinners on the day itself are so overrated, you end up fighting because you expect so much over nothing. For Tito, and I, we would be honest about what we liked and didn’t. Oye, we don’t have Zenaida Seva and can’t read charts or minds, eh?

But every girl, especially at my age, would wait for this month. You know we aren’t as young as we used to be, but we keep going. Thank God I have Tito, and he always makes me feel special. You know it’s hard if you have expectations, for me, just keep to what you feel will make you happy. Here are a few cutesy things I still enjoy receiving.


Flowers, por favor.

Pues, I am not djahe, I would like flowers or some sorts. Not roses, they are so common, its like what a guy would buy for his wife, and his mistress! Something nicer… Maybe an arrangement from Lanai. I like that. It’s sturdy enough to bring with us to El Campo for us to enjoy.


Old style dining.

A nice dinner that brings back fond memories. Antonio’s is always nice, but not on the day, please. It is going to be traffic, and just like attending someone’s wedding, a bit, magulo. But another favorite of ours from our college days is Vieux Chalet in Antipolo, which is still doing well since it began in the mid-80’s.


A road trip.

Yes, who doesn’t want a quick trip to Macau or Bangkok, but sabes, es gastos, and I would rather save it up for a longer trip somewhere off the beaten path. But getting into the car, and driving just the two of you would be great. Yes, Tito drives like a slowpoke, and I drive like Mario Andretti (he loves to tell the story of when I would take take the curves at the Bitukang Manok going to El Campo at such high speeds, he almost made wiwi in his shorts!). We both love Baguio and the weather is so nice. Rainy and cool, plus lunch at the country club is always special.


A note.

I would write Tito every year and say how thankful I am to have him. I know sometimes he wants to flush me down the toilet because I can be so so sungit, but it’s normal. He keeps the letters in a box, and he likes to read them.


And finally, agree on a date night.

No matter what happens, keep a day sacred, be it drinks at home, a movie, a new discovery, or just having dessert somewhere just to catch up. I think that is the most romantic thing.

Like the characters in the movie Love Story, I never want to regret what we didn’t get to do. Partnership or marriage is about the little things. As you get older, material things don’t count. It is being able to have fond memories and keep going. Never say sorry, please. We have forgiven each other for all the wrong we have done, and we still enjoy moments together.

Pues, its time for us to pitch in and settle the bill. The kids are beginning to come in, and I have to get up early tomorrow to head to the factory. Its past 10pm, and I think I want to still watch an episode of Queer Eye, which is so so so nice—or why not watch Love Story?

Be honest, amor, and be expressive about your wants and needs. Love means never having to say you’re sorry can be cliché, but it can be anything you want it to be if you are real.


Besos y abrazos, te hecho mucho de menos.