Flowers, chocolates, cards and romantic dinners are among the most common gifts, but this year, people have stepped things up and are opting for unique gifts.
A Filipino man created an anti-coronavirus bouquet in honor of Valentine’s Day, which was also a response to the outbreak that has now killed more than 1,350 people in China.
Rigel Thomas from Cebu City in the Philippines gifted hygiene kit bouquets to five lucky girls earlier this month after he posted a competition on his Facebook page.
The Philippines was the first country outside China that announced its first fatality from the coronavirus on Feb 2.
Thomas, a video creator, said the anti-corona bouquet that he was created was “just a fun quirky way of celebrating Valentine’s Day and spreading awareness over the virus”.
“Especially here in the Philippines where everyone is panicking,” he told ANTARA when contacted via Instagram.
On his Facebook page, he told his 26,076 followers “to be safe and healthy and virus free”.
“So all you need to do to win the anti-corona bouquet is like this post,” the influencer posted.
“Where are my 5 girls at?” he continued.
In the next Facebook post, Thomas announced the winners of the bouquet giveaway and posted photos of him with the lucky winners.
The bouquet consists of a bunch of flowers, ethyl alcohol, antibacterial soaps and face masks.
Filipino flower shops have already picked up Thomas’ idea of the Valentine’s bouquet.
“When you love someone you’ll protect them in any way. And since the coronavirus is in the news, we got this anti-coronavirus bouquet as a perfect gift this Valentine’s Day,” a florist posted on Facebook.
Meanwhile, in a different part of the globe, the San Antonio Zoo in the US is hosting its first ever "Cry Me a Cockroach" event for Valentine’s Day.
The event is claimed to be the “perfect opportunity to mend your broken heart”.
“You will be able to name a cockroach after your ex, and we will serve it up as a treat to one of our animals for only US$5,” the zoo posted on its website.
And if your ex-lover was a sneaky one, pay $20 more to have the zoo staff name a rat and feed it to a reptile instead.
It does not stop at that. The best part of the deal is people do not have to be at the zoo to watch their ex-turned-pest get eaten up.
San Antonio Zoo will be live-streaming the event on Facebook. They will also send a certificate that people can share on social media, and if they are brave enough, tag their ex-lover on the posts.
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What a really creative idea to celebrate Valentine’s Day!
In Indonesia, where Valentine’s Day sparks controversy for some reasons including religious teachings and social concern, people can still manage to make the best of it.
Instead of the popular gifts such as flowers and chocolates, people can choose something more personal as a present for their loved ones.
A portrait illustration will be a perfect Valentine’s Day gift that has personal touch.
People do not have to worry if they do not have the ability to draw or illustrate, because there are now many artists who offer their service.
Aggata Hestu Putrias is one of the illustrators who began her business in illustration artworks.
She has received some orders for portrait illustrations since November last year, as her side job, besides teaching in a kindergarten school.
“I can finish one illustration in usually around three days,” Putrias told ANTARA.
Using the computer as her media, she draws based on a person or a picture of a couple and makes it as similar to the original.
My first attempt in drawing a caricature. It's a commission for a friend of mine as a wedding gift . . . . . . #illustration #coupleillustration #caricature #couplecaricature #weddingcaricature #digitalportrait #portraitillustration #instaillustration #digitalart #karikatur #karikaturdigital
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Putrias uses the Instagram account of @potatiful_art to promote her artworks. For semi-realistic or caricature drawings she charges around Rp250,000 (US$18) while for simple illustrations she puts prices starting from Rp100,000 (US$7).
Another choice of a handmade gift that probably feels more personal is knitted dolls.
Julanita Linasari, based in Surabaya, East Java, has been pursuing her passion for knitting since college.
She founded Autumn Flower in 2011 to focus on the craft business. Initially, she made baby shoes and tablecloths before focusing on dolls.
Her work is identical to animal dolls, because Linasari wants to introduce animals to toddlers and children.
"I hope children will be more aware that these animals must be loved and protected. Early on, they will realize the importance of protecting the environment and the animals in it," she told ANTARA.
For knitting one doll measuring 20 centimeters and 30 centimeters, Linasari takes two days. However, it can take longer if the animal doll has special characteristics such as the hair of a llama or stripes of a tiger.
Jogja, we're in love ❤ . . . . #atflbyjulan #autumnflowerbyjulan #atflbabies #amigurumibyjulan #jualbonekarajut #rajutanhandmade #crochetphotoproperties #propertifotorajutan #bonekarajuthandmade #crochetplushies #jualamigurumi
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Especially for Valentine's Day this year, she is selling pairs of cat- and bear-shaped dolls, all of which have been sold out.
She even claimed that her sales increased by 70 percent ahead of Valentine's Day.
The dolls are marketed through the Instagram account @atflbyjulan, with the price of each doll at Rp75,000 (US$5).
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