Love, sex and Valentine’s Day

Eddie Ilarde - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Love and sex are interesting subjects, but to the prudes, they border on impropriety; wrapped in euphemism however, they make good copy. Celebrating Valentine’s Day — conceived since the heyday of Pagan Rome — has made their place secure in the behavioral assumptions of society, however, one looks at it: You can have sex without love, but can’t have love and without sex.

History and the scriptures of all traditions are full of sensual characters — love teams, if you please — started in the Garden by Adam and Eve, followed by Abraham and Sarah and Hagar, and later by Samson and Delilah, then David and Bathsheba and so on. And not to be outdone, our modern showbiz landscape has been cluttered with less religious “love teams” since then, thanks to the creativity of naughty ad agency copywriters (and entertainment editors) who make love, sex and Valentine the purveyors of commercial windfall for motels, hotels, printer of cards with mushy love notes, flower shops, candy and chocolate stores — chocolate having been found to enhance “exhilatating feelings of love and passion.”

There are many stories about how Valentine’s Day started, mostly believed to be the product of man’s fertile imagination. Fake or genuine, they evoke interest precisely because they tell of love and gratification of physical appetites. One historical account says a pious man named Valentine was executed on Feb. 14, in the 5th Century AD by Claudius, a Roman Emperor, for exposing his wanton sexual perversions; the man was proclaimed a martyr and later was made a saint by the church. The death of Valentine saw the birth of Valentine’s Day — a church invention but never made a religious holiday — which today, is celebrated by a lot of promiscuous (read: courageous), and more sexually endowed “Claudiuses”: Feb. 13, is reserved for “the other woman,” Feb. 14 for the wife and Feb. 15 for “the other one.” Some extend it further but that’s another story. Another account says Valentine’s Day started as an offshoot of a festival for bountiful harvest. Look how bountiful birthrates have become because of it!

The creativity of man is limitless, from historical to biblical to literature to entertainment. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Anthony and Cleopatra to real-life Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning. In history, who can forget the true and genuine love of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun who committed suicide together just like “Romy and Julie” and in this country, the non-literary and less historic love teams of “Bobby and Amalia,” “Vi and Bot,” “Guy and Pip,” “Nestor and Nida,” “Pepe and Pilar,” “Manny and Jinkee,” Eddie (that’s me) and Baby (that’s her) etc.; and in Hollywood, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton; Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner, given a diamond ring by Frankie, dipped in her champagne glass; and other examples of love and affection such as building “monuments to love” by “incurable romantics” — Filipino playboy Virgilio Hilario building the first high-rise on Ayala Ave., Makati, for his wife Armi Kuusela, the first Miss Universe from Finland; Pres. Ferdinand Marcos building the San Juanico Bridge, the longest bridge in the Philippines linking Visayas to Mindanao for his beautiful wife Imerda; and the most famous of them all, the Taj Mahal in India, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his third wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Meantime, we are more amused by Brgy. Kinumot’s love teams “Jal and Gil” and “Bud and Ding,” who are eagerly awaiting Senators Hairy and Nairy to file the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in this country. Happy Valentine’s, Dudes!

(Eddie Ilarde is a former Senator, author, freelance writer and independent Radio-TV host and producer. He is the founder-president of Golden Eagles Society International, for the welfare and dignity of senior citizens in the Philippines, Maharlika Movement for National Transformation, and Lifetime Achievement awardee for Radio and Television. He can be heard in his radio program Kahapon Lamang, over DZBB 594 KHZ AM band every Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.)




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