Olsim: Valentines in the valley

TOMORROW, for me, is my birthday, not Valentine’s day. When some people have already buried February 14 in their calendars to oblivion, I am (un)fortunately mandated by my own being to celebrate the same. The fact is, my name came from ‘Val’entines day, which further added ‘Red’ to (intentionally) highlight the color of the heart. “Adu la angot!” expressed my unmarried friend whose name is “Mary.”

The Valentine season as they say is a time of victors and victims for those who volunteer and vie for the cupid’s arrow. Depending on who you ask; it is either a valuable volition, or a virulent vexation, usually a failure to honor a verbose vow, or simply a violation from the romantic villain. For the veterans of the game who have endured such vicissitudes of fate brought by said valentine madness, it is just another vacant day not in vain. Since, as “V” said: “the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.”

Obviously, such fad is economic more than cultural. February is the gain season for our rose and flower farmers in La Trinidad, the better time for our coffee shops and restaurants, and an opportunity for many of our local gift shops to exploit. Money is meant to be used and shared after all.

For those who want to spend a romantic time in the valley, you can hike and have a picnic at Mt. Yangbew, or at Mt. Kalugong eco-park. You can also visit Jeffrey Visaya’s garden in Barangay Bahong/Alapang and spend the day with their plants and flowers. Of course our town is teeming with great coffee shops. Hunt them all from Km.3, Km.4, Km.5, Km.6, to Barangay Poblacion. For those who prefer to go out at night, La Trinidad has a cowboy bar lane in Km.6 (from Oldwest to Cowboy town).

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The “Eternal Student” book published to cap my 30 years of existence (kuno) is out. I dedicate them to my supportive kapamilya and friends. I planned to consign copies to local bookstores and offer them for a cause – following a tradition that calls for us to share what we have in order to welcome more "blessings."

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The La Trinidad Coffee Festival this February 27-28, 2018 bears the theme “Brewing Unity through Coffee.” The activity aims to give recognition to the town’s growing coffee industry and pay tribute to our coffee farmers and the town’s coffee stakeholders as a whole. The mini-fest includes a farmers’ forum, coffee products display, cupping and roasting, unlimited coffee at the gym, and many other activities. We are grateful for DTI-Benguet and Henry and Sons Inc. for providing the event’s coffee pavilion. But before that, we wish to see our Media friends at the Strawberry Festival 2018 Kapihan (Press Conference) to be held at the La Trinidad Municipal Park on February 21, 2018. La Trinidad will also join the Panagbenga parade on February 24, 2018 to show our support to our closest sister city.

A Happy Panagbenga! A happy Coffee Festival and Strawberry Festival to all!