The Sweetest Thing

Inside every tough guy lies a true sweetie. Don't believe us? Here are some real-life love stories that will certainly make you swoon!
Compiled by Nina Carlotta, Lora Gahol, and Angel Rodriguez

A Love Story

I thought I'd be having the same old boring Valentine's Day I normally have every year. I wasn't expecting anything from anyone, but early that day in school, I was surprised to see a single rose resting on top of my chair. It came with a folded piece of paper with my name on it. One part of a story was written on it, but I had no idea who wrote it because the paper was unsigned. The story was about a boy who longed to be an angel, so he went to a genie to wish for it. The genie then asked him why... and the story just ended there.

After recess, I got the second part of the story through my teacher who announced to the entire class that he was asked to give me a rose. The second rose came with the second part of the story where the boy answered the genie's question. The boy wanted to become a guardian angel because he wanted to guard the world. The genie then asked him why he wanted to guard the world... and the story ended there. During lunch break, I finally discovered that the roses were from a good guy friend of mine. How? He surprised me with the third rose and the last part of the story which read: "And the boy said to the genie, 'Because Jaymee is the world to me.'"
—Jaymee, 16

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My best guy bud and I had a huge argument over something so silly. I refused to talk to him for almost a month, and totally avoided him in school and in our village. I thought he'd given up on trying to mend ties with me, until breakfast one morning. On my usual spot at the dining table was a plateful of pancakes, with orange gummi bears (my ultimate fave) spelling out "I'm sorry." He had prepared it for me! I gave him a call, and we patched things up. Who says only boyfriends do the sweetest things?
—Mikka, 15

Love Trip
Right before I left for my annual US vacation, I was pretty depressed because I'd be leaving my boyfriend behind. Two months without him seemed unbearable! The night before my scheduled flight to LA, my boyfriend and I went out on a date. When I got into his car, I was surprised to find a big box on the passenger seat. In it were DVDs of our favorite movies, a pack of Soft Batch cookies, and 60 rolled-up Post-It notes–a message for each day I'd be away. Awww! Leaving didn't seem so torturous after that.
—Still in Love, 18











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Katherine Go A day ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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