Archive for the ‘Kagay-anon’s Voice’ Category
Friday, February 4th, 2011
During the earlier days of Christianity, sometime within the third century, a priest named Valentine was sent to prefect in Rome. Affable as he was, Valentine was well loved by the Romans. In fact, a crowd of people would often gather in the temple where he was assigned to listen to his preaching.
The affable St. Valentine
Everything ran smoothly during those times in Rome. However, there was one major drawback that would eventually alter the peaceful state in the city in a major way. The place was run by an ambitious and overbearing ruler. His name was Emperor Claudius II. Knowing that his city was one of the biggest metropolises in the world, the emperor grew very protective of his territory. It came to a point where he would force all men in his population to join the army in battling against Rome’s rival states and enemies. However, a number of men, especially those who were married, would refuse to become war soldiers; mainly because they did not want to leave their wives and children.
Seeing this, Emperor Claudius decided to pass a law prohibiting marriages. Naturally, a number of people opposed to this law; and that number included the affable priest Valentine.
Believing in the sheer importance of the matrimonial sacrament, Valentine continued to perform marriage ceremonies for young couples. However, this time, the ceremonies were held in secret. These thoughtful secret ceremonies, though, were short lived after Valentine was caught one night. The priest was then thrown to prison.
Having noticed how well spoken and wise his prisoner was, the Emperor begun to bargain with the priest. The Emperor wanted Valentine to become a loyal Roman and renounce his faith. But the priest refused to yield to the king’s demand resulting to his condemnation to death.
But even while he was held captive, Valentine was continuously flocked by visitors. People would often throw flowers and letters into his cell. Even his jailer, Asterious, sent his daughter Julia to his cell in order for her to pick up a few valuable lessons.
During her visits, Valentine would tell her stories and teach her about both religion and arithmetic. However, their lessons and time together was cut short as Valentine’s execution date drew nearer.
When that day (February 14 270) finally arrived, Valentine was beaten using clubs and was brutally beheaded. All that was left of him afterwards was a short scribbled note addressed to his last student Julia, of which he signed: “Love from your Valentine.”
-Mara Jayne Tismo-
(Photo taken from valentinewallpapers.org)
Friday, February 4th, 2011
Valentine’s Day is one of the most celebrated festivals in the world. Although it is greeted and celebrated in different ways due to vast cultural and religious diversities, the main point of the event remains universal and that is to celebrate the spirit of romance and love.
Just like Christmas and New Year, Valentine’s Day traditions vary from country to country – and it is interesting to know how this ancient festival has remained popular over the years. Given that it’s one of the oldest yearly celebrations embraced by the world, Valentine’s Day traditions have evolved. Some parts of the world have even started to adapt traditions from other cultures.
Here are some examples of how people from varying parts of the world celebrate love, romance and even friendship on Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day, or “Dragobete” as they call it, is celebrated during the 24th of February each year. For Romanians, Dragobete is celebrated as a two-day event. While the exchange of gifts, flowers and greeting cards is also observed, common Romanian Valentine’s Day traditions mostly include craft-making and the preparation of mouthwatering dishes.
Compared to the rest of the world, it’s the Japanese who are very particular about their chocolate. Instead of buying one from the store and giving it to their loved ones, the Japanese choose to prepare chocolates in their homes. Doing so makes it even more special.
Also, Valentine’s Day is celebrated twice every year in Japan (Feb 14 and March 14). The making of homemade chocolates is done during February 14. But mainly, it’s the task of the Japanese girls to do so. They then give it to their beloveds and on the 14th of March, their beloveds are supposed to return the favor by giving them gifts or white flowers.
Just like in most parts of the world, Danish men would go through the effort of buying their loved ones flowers and gifts. However, they do it with a twist. In order to confuse their muses, the Danish men send their flowers and gifts unsigned; leaving the women guessing the identity of the giver. Women then make their best guesses, and once they guessed right, they will be rewarded with an Easter egg.
In England, most specifically in Wales, people express their affection for their loved ones during Valentine’s Day by carving out symbols and decorations on wooden spoons and then giving it to their partners. Some of the most common decorations are keys, keyholes and hearts. These three decorations metaphorically means “You unlock my heart”.
Jamaicans mainly gather at the Montego Bay to celebrate Valentine’s Day. In fact, people from all over the world also fly to Jamaica in order to experience their lively beach parties on this day.
Of course, there are various other ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day. In fact, if this list included all of the options or the various Valentine’s Day traditions and its details, it will probably go on and on. These are just glimpses of how romance and love is celebrated in some parts of the world. If you were to choose one tradition, which one would you like to follow?
-Mara Jayne Tismo-
Happy Valentine’s, CDO!
Friday, February 4th, 2011
When Valentine’s Day comes to mind, people usually think of red roses, chocolates and (if you’re lucky) extortionately expensive gifts. But have you ever wondered how this special day came about? There are actually a number of legends that surround Valentine’s Day. Might I add that some even trace the origin to pagan times? Other legends, however, link Hearts Day to the early Christian Church. And would you believe that V-day is also thought to have originated from birds’ mating season?
Read on to find out more about popular and interesting legends of Valentine’s Day.
Feast of Lupercalia
The Roman goddess Juno
Many historians tell us that our friends of ancient Rome partied every February 14th to honor the goddess of women and marriage, Juno. The next day, Feb 15th, the fertility festival called the Feast of Lupercalia would start. Other than protecting humans from deadly wolf attacks, this feast was for honoring the Roman gods of agriculture – Faunus and Lupercus – as well as Rome’s founders – Romulus and Remus.
So what does this have to do with Valentine’s Day? Well, during the Lupecalia Feast, all the young single ladies of the city would place notes with their names in a huge urn. Then, each of the city’s bachelors (eligible or otherwise) would take a note out of the urn and would be paired up with the lucky (or not so lucky, who knows?) girl they randomly picked out for the rest of the year. Now this might not sound surprising, but a lot of these paired couples would fall in love, eventually marry and live happily ever after. Sigh, sweet love.
This “love lottery” practice was put to an end when Christianity took over Rome. Apparently, the powers that be deemed the tradition un-Christian. However, when Pope Gelasius declared Feb 14th St. Valentine’s Day in 498 AD, many connected the day to the Feast of Lupercalia due to the similar date and fertility theme.
Legends of Saint Valentine
According to the Christian Church, there wasn’t one, but two saints named Valentine. What’s more is that many scholars believe that there were seven, (yes, seven) saints that all shared the name Valentine or Valentinus. If you think that’s surprising, all these saints apparently died on the same day!
Below are the most popular legends of St. Valentine.
Saint Valentine of Rome
One very popular legend tells of a priest named Valentine who secretly married couples during a time when Emperor Claudius II banned all engagements and marriages so that the empire’s soldiers could focus on bloody wars and battles. This “bizarre” emperor believed that soldiers weren’t willing enough to go to the battlefield because of their attachments with their wives and families.
When Valentine was finally caught red-handed, he was locked up and beaten to a pulp. On February 14, circa 270 AD, Valentine was put to death.
And so, for his dedication and martyrdom, Valentine was declared a saint after his death. By the Middle Ages, the saint’s popularity was unperturbed, and he became a great symbol of love and hope throughout France and England.
Then, in 498, February 14 was declared St. Valentine’s Day by Pope Gelasius. At the same time, the Church tried to end all pagan-ish celebrations.
The Other Saint Valentine of Rome
Another image of St. Valentine
According to another Saint Valentine legend, the priest was a Roman and early Christian. During his time, the empire hissed at Christianity and even killed Christians to make Rome Christian-free.
Undaunted by the strict law, Valentine refused to believe in Roman gods and still practiced his faith.
Enter our “bizarre” Emperor Claudius II.
Enraged after learning about Valentine’s “unlawful” activities, Claudius II had the priest sent to prison. There, our hero suffered from rigorous imprisonment for a year. On the bright side, since Valentine was very dear to kids, children sent him flowers and notes through his cell window, which may explain our present tradition of exchanging cards and flowers on Hearts Day.
As for Valentine’s eventual death, some scholars say that he died a heroic death. Christians back then were being tortured for following their faith. Valentine helped imprisoned Christians escape, and so he was punished and killed.
Yet other scholars say that Valentine’s good behavior and kindness impressed Emperor Claudius II, which was why the emperor gave the priest a deal. If Valentine would start worshipping Roman gods, then he’d be a free man. But, not only did Valentine refuse, he also tried to convert Claudius II to Christianity. You can just imagine the emperor’s fury. Thus, our dear hero was beheaded on February 14th.
Birds’ Mating Time
In the Middle Ages, the people of France and England had this unusual yet popular belief that birds started searching for a mate (bird dating) on February 14. Over the years, this notion was strengthened further until people started to dedicate a day in the middle of February for love and lovers. The idea blossomed into something more, and then people started to give glowers and stuff. And the rest is history.
So there you have it, folks! Stories upon stories abound about the legend of Valentine’s Day. No matter which ones we choose to believe, though, what’s important is that we continue the tradition of loving and giving, not just on February 14, but for the rest of our lives!
(Photos taken from georgiachurch.org, valentinewallpapers.org and enotes.com)
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
Christmas is over, yet the malls and department stores are flooded with sales and promos for this special gift-giving season, Valentine’s. Let us take a peek at how people look at Valentine’s Day as a special day of giving. Let’s also try to find out what it truly means to them.
The Happy-Go-Lucky Crowd
What most people weren’t able to get from their aunts, uncles, godparents and Kris Kringles last Christmas, they try to get during Valentine’s Day. Hence the following gift requests that can be considered odd during this season:
Kristine Anne Nique, SMSI Media Marketing: I want a PSP!
Aldwin Villafuerte, Psychology student: If there’s someone generous out there, I would like to receive money so that I can invest it.
John Sabuga, software expert: An hourglass that can last for a year.
John Pimentel, Manager: GeForce GTS 450
Catalina Purugganan-Tiu: A book.
The Generous Ones
While couples have their own sweethearts from whom they will give and receive a gift, that option is not open for those who are single. However, this does not stop other people from giving out little tokens to their friends and family. Perhaps you know people who are like this.
John Magkilat, IS graduate: I used to give out little cards and mini-Toblerone chocolates to all my female friends back in college.
Dixie Patay, law student: I give gifts when I feel like giving someone something.
The Singles Society
Not all of us are fortunate enough to have someone special to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the traditional way. There are other ways for single people to celebrate the day, though. Who says only those with girlfriends or boyfriends/husbands or wives are the only ones who can enjoy themselves, right?
Anthony Daposala, freelancer: coffee, smoke and a good book ^_^
Dianne, a recent graduate: Before, I [used to] stare dreamily at couples while enjoying a “pity date”. haha.. meaning, I just date those good looking friends of mine who are single….Now though, I go out with my boyfriend.
As everyone knows though, there’s more to Valentine’s Day than just another gift-giving season for couples. It is all about love — love for your life partner, family, and friends.
Cai Cansino – Valentine’s Day is for everyone, attached or not. I think it’s overrated when people celebrate it just because they are with someone. Valentine’s Day is more than that. It’s about grace…gratitude… Usually, I celebrate Valentine’s Day with my friends. I cook dinner for them to show my appreciation for them…a way of thanking them for loving and accepting me for who I really am.
Elena Dalla Corte, Italy-based culinary student: I like to celebrate it either with friends, family or just by myself. [But] it’s always the thought that counts… that you are loved and remembered.
Evan Villadores, Call Center Agent: I just spend the day with my single friends.
The Bottom Line: What People Truly Want for Valentine’s Day
If we think about what people truly feel about this day, including those who pretend to be vindictive about the whole affair, it appears that each person has a special wish in his or her heart. The season ignites a spark of romance in us and no matter how much one hides it, it will still find a way to express itself.
Elena Dalla Corte: This year, for Valentine’s Day, I have no clue what I would like to receive. Maybe Valentine’s Day greetings from my friends or family…to feel love from my friends and family.”
Cai Cansino A letter. Not the generic ones…or a poem or story written especially for you if it’s from a beau or something. It helps you remember the love, the friendship, the bond.
Dianne: I’d like to get a beautiful ring *sigh…* NOT MARRIAGE, oh my God. Just a ring.
Anthony Daposala: A gift or a simple tête-à-tête [with] anyone special in my life.
KC Curay: Something that I don’t expect, something creative but not expensive.
Dixie Patay: I’d like to receive my fave heart-shaped Ferrero Rocher box! weeeeeeeeeeeee! Hey, it would only cost you Php575 for, I think, 12 chocolates. That won’t hurt!
June Dela Paz: Roses.
Gail Dela Paz: Roses as well. I used to ask my ex to give me roses, yet he would insist on giving me chocolates or stuffed toys. Bad!
Evan Villadores: A road trip with my friends!
Cherra Luna: A phone call from my boyfriend who’s currently abroad.
Luthien Tinuviel: Simple lang. Bouquet of flowers with a kiss and the common words, “I love you”.
Cliff Richard Fortich Cabanlit: The presence of my loved one is the most important gift for me…aside from chocolates and a rose!
Grace Garcia: Chocolates!
Mara Tismo: A pair of rabbits.
Ann Austria-Pamplona: What I would like to have from my lalabs on Valentine’s Day are a bear hug, wet kisses and a soothing moment together while star gazing.
Gabriel David Medina: Isang matamis na kagalakan ang makilala ko’t makapiling ang babaeng ihaharap ko sa dambana at mamahalin ko habambuhay. (In other words, “to find the woman of my dreams.”)
What about you? What does Valentine mean to you? What Valentine gift do you want to get?
-Compiled by Jay Bual-
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
Basically, proms hold a similar function to the old traditional night time dances known as debutante balls. During the 1900s, proms were just simple tea dance parties and nothing like the proms we have now. Seniors were only required to wear their Sunday clothes and drink tea and mingle with their peers. However, the way prom was celebrated somehow changed over the following decades and these simple tea parties started to become elaborate gatherings.
Although the ways have evolved over the years, proms still serve the same purpose as the old days. Despite the increased extravagance of these events nowadays, proms are still considered as the first adult social event for teenagers, as well as the first dress up affair. It is even considered as a rite of passage.
No matter how much the significance of proms has evolved over the years, one thing has remained the same: people still go through the exciting process of voting for their batch’s respective prom king and queen.
The announcement of the prom’s king and queen is undeniably one of the highlights of the prom. Traditionally, prom kings and queens are voted upon by their peers and batch mates. So looking at it from a superficial point of view, this old high school tradition seems nothing more than a popularity contest. After all, it seems that every one in school is judged according to their clothes and stuff. But then, is it really all just a ploy to gauge one’s popularity?
However, setting all prejudices and bitter thoughts aside, voting for a prom king and queen doesn’t sound so bad at all. I would like to think that the idea of having to choose two people to represent a batch started out with good intentions in mind. I mean it was probably established to simply acknowledge the best dressed couple of the night, or to acknowledge that pair of seniors who exude great leadership qualities and well, charisma.
For some schools, the Prom King and Queen have similar responsibilities as student ambassadors. I know of one school here in Cagayan de Oro that includes a question & answer portion in their selection of the Prom King & Queen. Now, isn’t that something else?
Assuming that all students voted properly, or the people in charge of choosing have done so without biases, then being given this title would qualify as a great recognition. However, these honorary titles can only be given to two people. And in my opinion, that’s where all the negativity comes in.
In a way, being voted or chosen as Prom King or Queen may be a reflection of your popularity. But the thing is, you don’t really get to be popular if you haven’t done something. That kid who got voted as Prom King just might be the most active senior around. He might be involved in a number of sports and school activities, while that girl who won Prom Queen just might have the same level of participation in school activities as the Prom King.
The thing is, the entire tradition doesn’t need to be a personal thing. Instead of moping around and feeling like an outcast, it’s better for everyone to just join in the celebration. After all, part of the reasons for having the prom is to bring the batch closer to each other and not to create a barricade or set a hierarchy among students. Sure, that happens; but that was not the main point. So instead of focusing on categorizing yourselves into a certain sub group, a student’s best bet is just to become friends with everybody and enjoy prom night.
-Mara Jayne Tismo-