MANILA, Philippines – Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are urged not to wear or bring anything that may be associated with Valentine's Day, as the event is considered banned in many Arab countries in the Middle East.
“We are urging fellow OFWs, especially lovers just to celebrate their Valentine's Day with utmost care especially those in Saudi Arabia,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.
Monterona said the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (religious police) are especially active at this time of the year to stop Saudis from celebrating Valentines Day.
“In order not to become victims of the circumstances, we are urging our fellow OFWs to be careful and vigilant not to implicate themselves in anything that has something to do with the Valentine’s Day celebration,” Monterona said.
‘No V-Day greetings, virtual flying kisses’
According to Monterona, it is not advisable to wear or bring anything red like toys, flowers, and heart-shaped items especially in the days leading up to the February 14 celebration.
“We are anticipating an active patrolling starting tomorrow by the Saudi morals police who search for forbidden items most especially in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital,” Monterona added.
He suggested OFWs to just send short text messages or calls to loved ones back home.
“Or better go to the internet café and chat with your wife and kids, but be careful not to even give virtual flying kisses as it is associated to Valentine or don’t ever greet ‘Happy Valentine’s day’ with other nationalities around you,” he added.
Have a heart, sign Jakatia petition
He likewise suggested Pinoy internet users to visit Migrante’s online petition and sign up to “SAVE OFW Jakatia Pawa” from execution.
“We are determined in doing everything possible just to save our fellow OFW Jakatia Pawa from execution. Everyone is encouraged to send the link of the ‘Save Jakatia Pawa” online petition to fellow OFWs, friends, and migrant advocates,” Monterona said.
The signatures will be collated and sent together with the group’s appeal to the Emir of Kuwait.
“On Valentine’s Day, let us not miss to greet our loved ones back home, let us also urge them to support by signing our on-line petition to save OFW Jakatia Pawa from execution. Our unconditional support is most needed to save her from execution,” Monterona said.