Couple at Manila Bay in a heart.
Photographs ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

The Back Stories to Those “Valentine’s Day” Photographs

No, nothing nefarious or sensationalistic — just the simple back stories.

Every year around Valentine’s Day, I usually run a fictional article called Is Love Possible at 35,000 Feet in 2021? — with minor edits and changes each year as well as some deals of which to take advantage — with photographs; and I thought that for this year, I would give the back story behind each photograph while Super Bowl LVI is currently being played between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Back Stories to Those “Valentine’s Day” Photographs

I was strolling leisurely in Manila along the promenade between Roxas Boulevard and the South Harbor of Manila Bay not long before sunset; and hundreds of people were out and about, enjoying that sultry late afternoon. I was taking photographs during my walk; and one of those photographs was of a young Filipino couple who was sitting along the edge of the bay as they faced west.

An old candy box shaped like a heart was masked; and the photograph of the couple was inserted — creating the composite photograph which is seen at the top of this article.

Hilton La Romana
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

I really was not paying much attention to what was going on in the background of the photograph shown above, which was taken at one of the large swimming pools at the Hilton La Romana in the Dominican Republic — the main subject of the photograph was that deliciously frosty virgin piña colada which was to be used in a future trip report pertaining to my stay at the resort property…

…but afterwards, I saw the man with the sunburnt back discussing flavors of soda — think brands like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Sprite as examples — to whom I thought might be his significant other; but the conversation itself seemed like they were first getting to know each other, with her awkwardly trying to avoid him.

No, I was not trying to eavesdrop. Rather, the effervescent conversation was loud enough that it was difficult to avoid without leaving the swimming pool area altogether.

I never did find out the fate of the relationship — if any — of that couple; but I will say that at least one reader of The Gate contacted me, who thought that the photograph was “creepy” and “obnoxiously suggestive” due to what the man appears to be doing to the woman at first glance…

N Seoul Tower Korea flowers
Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Along the way near the main entrance of the N Seoul Tower in South Korea were these colorful purple and yellow flowers, which were in wooden containers that were shaped like two hearts.

There is nothing more to this story. I simply took a photograph of them.

Final Boarding Call

I have decided not to run the aforementioned article this year for a number of reasons — one of them being that good Valentine’s Day deals are scarce this year; and another being that I really need to find a new photograph to use — so I may run it again next year with more changes to the stories, better deals of which to take advantage, and a new photograph.

In the meantime, I hope that your Valentine’s Day — which is tomorrow, Monday, February 14, 2022 — is one which is filled with love and happiness.

All photographs ©2014, ©2016, and ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

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