I couldn’t help myself from having a vertigo while I walked the streets of downtown Iloilo. Sure, when you’re sick of a busy crowd and busy streets, downtown would be the last thing to consider. I can tolerate both but today it was extra crowded, extra busy, extra intolerable. But it was not the crowd nor the busy streets humming with fumes of carbon monoxide and impatient street walkers that made the Downtown beyond bearable for me. It is the fact that today, of all the days I needed to be in Downtown, is what majority of the population call, Valentine’s Day. What? I mean, duh. It is just an extra chilly Tuesday of February. Just an ordinary day for ordinary people with ordinary lives having ordinary stories. Okay that was too much of being ordinary. But for some people who feel special in one way or another, this day is the most-awaited moment in their lives to let their loved ones feel extra loved and extra special in an occasion when love and romance are everyone’s national anthem. Uh, wait not really everyone but a considerable percentage of the populace. Hearts here, hearts there. I saw a parade of bouquets of flowers and mini stuffed toys wrapped with a ribbons and hearts and chocolate coated cupcakes aligned for people to indulge themselves in. Love songs and sweet melodies filled the air and swayed the inner romantic in me. The fragrance of red roses snuggled its way up to my nostrils and settled in my throat. Damn, I was suffocated. Couples held each other’s hand, linking them like the criminal’s hand cuffs. I was never disgusted like this before. I feel my pores tightening as if I am choked. As I walked down an alley, my eyes bulged when I saw a girl and a boy eating each other’s mouth. I felt like I was going to vomit. Aren’t hotels being accommodating and affordable this time of the year? I walked faster like I was trying to escape a crime scene. But then I realized I was surrounded by these people. When I entered a shopping mall all I can see are flocks of smooching love birds. If I could just turn my head 360 degrees, I would be witnessing smooching at its finest in 360 different angles. Gosh, that would be awful. My head started to spin and my throat felt like it was made of sand paper. I was getting nauseous. I decided to flee to the exit. I run like I was caught doing some nasty things. I slammed my butt on a jeepney seat and tried to calm myself. I haven’t even blinked my eyes when couples came rushing in like raging battle warriors. Damn, this is not good but of course I cannot tell them to stop and get the hell out of the jeepney so I tried to feign innocence as if this whole thing is not a big deal. Gosh, they talk like they’re about to undress each other and they link hands and the girl was a hugging an over-sized teddy bear wearing a smile from esplanade 1 to esplanade 2. I knew then that I was cursed. Instead of going continuing my adventure for today, I decided to walk my way home and never leave the house until it’s February 15. I binge-watched some movies – no not romance genre, zombies- and after posting this, I’m going to hug my pillow and snore like I’ve never snored before.