I WAS 18 years old when I received my first bouquet of flowers. It was my birthday and I was walking to the Social Science building of the Ateneo de Manila University to go to my History 165 class when there he was, my very good friend Titan, standing by the hallway entrance with a bouquet of red roses resting on his left arm and a bunch of balloons held on the right hand. He gave me a big tight hug and it was the most wonderful feeling in the world.
I would have never known the feeling of receiving flowers from a loved one, a partner, or a friend if it were not for Titan. He was one of my closest friends back in college. He died a couple of months after that in a tragic car accident in Sorsogon. We miss you, Titan, to this very day.
On Valentine’s Day over 110 million roses are sold according to Wikipedia… and for good reason! There’s a special message of “I love you” and “You are special” that comes along with every bouquet or even just a single flower. That is why flowers are always the number one choice when it comes to expressing ones affection not only on the 14th of February but on any special occasion.
Today, expressions of love are posted all over social media. This is where couples flaunt the gifts they have received from their partners. And this is also where the single people vent out their bitterness in the guise of humor and vulgarity. This only proves the kind of effect flowers can have in our lives!
Which begs the question: Is it the flowers? Or is it message it brings? I think the answer is clear. All of us really want to know that we are loved and these flowers merely validate that for each of us. To many, it does not matter if they get a single rose or come home to a room filled with a thousand flowers. It’s really the thought that counts.
With Titan gone, who’s going to send me flowers? To him I am forever grateful as he was the first to make me experience how wonderful it feels to receive flowers. And by his story, the lesson to be learned is that time is precious. We do not know when it is our time to go. So let’s not wait to tell the people we love that we love them — through either an honest expression of love or a single long-stem rose. Your choice.
In loving memory of Christian “Titan” O. Santiago, 1979-2001…