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LAST Friday afternoon, more than halfway into the Chinese new year, my grandson Josh and his mate welcomed into the world their first-born baby girl, Ellouise. (Yup, that officially makes me a two-time great-granddaddy.)

To think that it had only been more than a week ago when his elder sister had gotten married, Valentine’s day, which came three days after baby girl’s birth, guaranteed heart day as doubly special.

Safe to say, the addition of both baby Elle and groom Ken to the clan also ensures that, while we will all be busy doting on her as our latest rugrat come Christmastime, hopefully by next year, he and my granddaughter Mikaela might contribute another newborn babe to the Yule crib.

As I have written in a couple of articles long ago that described our large and still-growing family, the compound that we call the mothership just seems to never run out of babies. My mom even once called it a happy house. See, I have even forgotten to mention that my late brother’s daughter had likewise given birth several months ago in Japan, so that’s another plus right there.

While the day of hearts that had just passed may have naturally been celebrated by couples (and singles) everywhere, and also from within the clan, what remained in top billing and also as the most popular topic (with supporting pics and videos, of course) in our family’s daily chat room online had still been … babies, plus added-mention of the rest of the little tykes who grace dad’s mothership on weekends.

In retrospect, this might as well be a part of the real essence that February 14 needs; not the one propped from behind by a gross, mushy mushy, lovey-doody variety which, on a yearly basis, is annually peddled to us, hopeless consumerists, by shrewd market puerzas.

Its real message is always to appreciate all those who are dear to us, and, on a final note, be willing to pay it forward, sharing whatever love had been showered our way. That ought to be the three-point goal of every commemoration of this day.

At least with that, we do away with a pretend celebration that appears to be more inclined at providing opportunities so that businesses can thrive and get back on their feet, especially in these uncertain times brought to us, courtesy of covid.

While there is really nothing wrong with a little jumpstarting of the economy, it is also of vital importance that we get back on our feet, so to speak. What better way than to remake Valentine’s like a real venue where one feels the vibe of positive energy from loved ones.

How to make it so? For starters, minimize the crass and tastelessly commercial depiction of the celebration a little bit. Obvious na kaayo. A compromise might work, who knows, toggling between a little for business and a little for the home team.

The important thing is, with children, that might teach them to realize that “give love on Christmas day” need not be limited to Christmas day alone. Also, wean them from that ‘giving/receiving gifts’ syndrome. As a test run, take any other day, but especially Feb. 14, the day of hearts, as the zero hour, before going on full throttle.

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