It was Valentine's Day again and rather than write about why the Clairvoyant and I didn't necessarily celebrate this cheesy day I am writing about ideas on dating. Call it unsolicited advice but it seems that in this age of materialism and malling, of social networks and android phones, old fashioned activities like taking a stroll along the park or going somewhere except the mall is lost to many of the current generation.
We are quite fortunate that we have advanced means of communication. Couples who are geographically apart such as those with loved ones abroad no longer have to sulk as they wait (eagerly) for a letter, a greeting card or an expensive long distance call. With the internet and advanced telecommunications, there are so many options now for long distance relationships (LDR) to be established and nurtured. Among the more popular options now include Facebook, Skype, BBM, and the various promos (e.g., Unlitext, Unlicalls, etc.) now available for texting and calling offered by the competing telecom companies. Yet there is still a need to have actual contact (face to face? EB or eyeball?) rather than the relatively impersonal chat online.
It's sad that Metro Manila and many other cities in the country have few parks where people can enjoy the outdoors. Most people now go to the malls. Likely, this might be to window shop and during summers, perhaps to enjoy the airconditioning of the mall. In the smaller towns in the provinces, the town plazas are still the places for a stroll. And there are some cities that have taken steps toward walkability including Marikina (Riverbanks area) and Iloilo (river front). Quezon City prides itself with the Quezon Memorial Circle, Parks and Wildlife and the La Mesa Eco Park. Manila still has Rizal Park, the promenade stretching along Roxas Boulevard and parts of Intramuros (Fort Santiago). But these examples are more the exceptions than part of the norm. We need more parks and other open spaces where people could take a walk or just find a place where they could sit and perhaps spend some time reading a book or simply doing nothing. I read somewhere that parks and open spaces serve as lungs for a city.