A single's guide to Valentine's Day

By Ivy Jean Vibar, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Feb 12 2014 10:27 AM | Updated as of Feb 13 2014 04:03 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Being single on Valentine's Day can be a challenge for some people. Even an ice cream company is capitalizing on this.

Sebastian's has invented special flavors for people with no special someone to share Valentine’s Day with. The new flavors, called “Matinong Girlfriend” and “Matinong Boyfriend,” will be available on February 14.

The flavors are targeted toward singles, as well as people in relationships who wish to poke fun at their partners.

“Whether you already have a sweetheart this V-Day or are going solo, drop on by this weekend and grab a scoop so you can say ‘I got a Matinong Girlfriend [or Boyfriend] [at this store]!’” the brand proclaims on its Facebook page.

It is a rather bittersweet promo, implying people just have to have a significant other on Valentine’s Day in order to be happy, and those with no partners would have to settle for a sugary, calorie-filled treat instead.

It can be awkward to be single on Valentine’s Day, what with the promos targeting couples, implying singlehood as the worst state to be in whatever time of the year. People who have never been in a relationship or have just gone through a breakup may also find February a trial.

Unbroken, undivided

Aside from “not married,” the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “single” as “unaccompanied by others,” “consisting of or having only one part, feature, or portion,” and “consisting of a separate unique whole.”

There are many facets to being single, but the best way to look at it is through rose-tinted glasses. While there are many benefits to having a partner, it is not a bad thing to face life on your own either, as long as you are secure enough by yourself and have other social networks to lean on.

After all, the Merriam-Webster dictionary also defines “single” as “unbroken” and “undivided.” Just because you are alone does not mean you are missing pieces of yourself.

Alone, but not lonely

There is an old Filipino saying that one stick will easily break, but sticks bundled into a broom will not. Being single does not mean being the one stick which will easily break.

If people are confident enough in their own skin, and are whole enough to be able to stand up to the stresses brought about by life, then they can be the broom, with the different aspects of themselves working together to bring about a stronger whole.

In the long run, if people are secure while they are single, the better they will be able to deal with a partner in the future, if they choose to find one.

Celebrating singlehood

There are many ways to enjoy being single, even on Valentine’s Day.

Single men and women can travel, go out, or stay home. They can do it alone, or with friends who are also single. They can even go out with couples who choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day with other people. Love is, after all, not just the romantic kind.

Where can singles go to revel in their freedom on Valentine’s Day? We asked netizens for their suggestions.

The final frontier

While outer space would be a great place to go, as it allows for total freedom—from gravity, sound and everything earthly anyone would find restrictive—it is impossible to easily go there.

An alternative would be the Mind Museum, with its science exhibits. Here, singles can experience a childlike wonder of discovery, and pretend to be out in the cosmos while exploring the museum’s Universe Gallery. The Space Shell shows would be enough to bring a sparkle back into anyone’s eyes.

Furthermore, while it can induce an existential crisis to realize that one is just a speck in an ocean of stars, and universes in boundless space, it can also help singles put things into perspective.

Go to the beach

The beach is a good place for singles to go to lose themselves. Valentine’s Day can only be the start of a weekend holiday.

The slapping of the waves on the shore and the cool breeze salty enough to sting one’s cheeks would surely bring on a sense of peace and oneness with the world.

According to tourism website Choose Philippines (www.choosephilippines.com), some of the best beaches in the Philippines can be found in Cebu, Coron, Caramoan, Pagudpud, Busuanga and El Nido, among others.

Another great place to go would be Batanes, which is in Choose Philippines’ list of “Best Solo Travel Destinations in the Philippines.”

With its rolling hills and gorgeous coastline, Batanes’ “Lord of the Rings” vibe ought to infuse one with a zest for life.

Singles with plenty of cash to spare may even consider going on an international tour.

Looking for love

Valentine’s Day would not be the only day for singles to look for a date. However, it can be a good day to start, because love is sure to be in the air.

One of the best things to do to find a person you would find interesting is to do the things you find interesting.

If you like art and are based in Metro Manila, you may want to go to Valentine’s Day exhibits at Today X Future ("Packages of Meat: A Paperbag Erotica Show" by Tokwa Penaflorida), or SM Aura Premier in Taguig City (Art For All Manila: The Affordable Art Fair 2014).

Film aficionados can also go to the University of the Philippines Cine Adarna to watch “Jazz in Love” by filmmaker Baby Ruth Villarama.

If you like music, you may want to go to one of the many events around the country on February 14.

If you like wine, you can drink all you can for P999 at the Planet Grapes Anti-Valentine's Party at McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio, Makati.

Sidebar in El Pueblo at Ortigas Center will also hold an Anti-Valentine's Day event, promising to break-up/anti-VDay songs all night.

Speed dating website Peekawoo, meanwhile, will hold an event on February 15 at Distillery in Taguig City, starting at 8 p.m. The catch is you must be between 18 and 29 years old only.