As couples celebrate Valentine's Day on Thursday, Feb 14, one inevitable aftermath of all the romance that happens would be felt about nine months later.
That means a spike in baby births in mid-November as husband and wives or beaus celebrate heart's day by going out on a date, exchanging gifts and sweet nothings, dining and drinking, and capping the night with sex that often leads to pregnancies.
While there is contraception always available, the romantic mood may cause couples to shun using protection for the day or for new pairs who never had been intimate to go all the way for the first time as an expression of their love for one another, which often result in unexpected teen pregnancies.
Besides teens, November births across different age groups are common in the Philippines. Jose Ramon Alberta, secretary-general of the Philippine National Statistical Coordination Board, confirmed that among Filipinos, November is the third highest number of live births in the Asian country that now has a 100 million population.
In 2010, the NSCB had recorded 153,268 babies born in the country on the eleventh month.
He added that February and November are the months when Philippine hotels have the highest occupancy rates in 2010 and 2011, ranging from 57 per cent for all types of hotels to 81 per cent for deluxe hotels.
If many couples are in the mood for lovemaking on V-Day, it can partly be blamed on the chocolates consumed. After all, while chocolates are known to be fattening when taken excessively, it is also a painkilling effect due to the number of chemicals that inhibit the breakdown of the neurotransmitter anandamide, also called the molecule of bliss.
Besides flowers, chocolates are universal expressions of love especially on V-Day.
Here are some chocolate recommendations from experts:
1. Vosges Exotic Truffle - Has unusual fillings such as wasabi and paprika, price is $40
2. Woodhdhouse Assortment gift box - Features flavors such as cinnamon toast and buttery pecan pie which would explode in the mouth, price is $90
3. Ferrero Collection Fine Assorted Confections - Offers crispy interior coatings and crunch nuts that add interesting textures, available even at drugstores for $11
4. Araya Artesan Chocolate - Made with high-quality Venezuelan chocolate in varying cacao percentages with filling such as strawberry balsamic, cherry cognac, acai-pomegranate, cinnamon walnuts and strawberry champagne, priced at $85
5. Mast Brother's Chocolates - Made of craft chocolate bars from single-origin, single-harvest beans available in plain chocolate or combos such as almonds and sea salt, pecan and maple, vanilla and smoke, and black truffle.
6. Whittaker's - Made in New Zealand and includes flavours such as almond, peanut slabs, family-sized blocks, K-Bars and coconut slabs.