SINGAPORE - Miss Tabitha Lee, a teacher working at a childcare centre, received what she called her "sweetest gift ever" on her birthday last December.
She and her secondary school sweetheart, Mr Sharath Chandra Singh, an undergraduate at SIM University, were visiting Titans Of The Past, the ongoing dinosaur exhibition at Science Centre Singapore, when he did something unexpected.
The 23-year-old surprised her with a stack of love letters he wrote almost daily for almost a month.
"He wrote about how grateful he was to be with me, and what I did on that particular day that he loved," said Miss Lee, 23.
She was so touched, she wrote about it in her entry for The Straits Times' Valentine's Day Contest, which called for readers to share the most romantic thing that someone has done for them.
Eight readers stand to win vouchers from TungLok Seafood and Dr Martens worth $2,000 in total, courtesy of our partner Orchard Central.
Miss Lee's entry was among more than 200 entries received for the one-week contest that ended last night.
Some stories were about marriage proposals, complete with elaborate set-ups and in holiday destinations as far as Europe.
Teacher Noor Ezaida Abdul Rahman, 28, recounted how her "unromantic" boyfriend, Mr Azmi Danuri, 28, a video editor, got down on a knee in the crowded Piazza San Marco in Venice, and offered her a ring. The couple will get married this November.
Other stories are about homemade gifts and personal sacrifices.
Project manager Edwin Goh, 39, wrote about his wife, Michelle, 34, a dating practitioner. Mr Goh wanted a child of their own. Despite her low pain threshold, Mrs Goh gave birth to their son, Isaac, who is two now.
"To this day, I still remember the pain she suffered for me."
Valentine's Day this year is twice as special as it falls on the same day as Yuan Xiao Jie, known as Chinese Valentine's Day.
Some 245 couples are set to solemnise their union today, said the Registry of Marriages. The last time the two occasions fell on the same day was in 1995.
Winners of the Straits Times contest will be announced on Friday on http://www.straitstimes.com/ valentines-day-2014
The microsite also contains stories such as the meaning of roses and their colours, inexpensive date ideas and popular dating apps for couples.
Their most romantic moments
HE ARRANGED FOR OUR PARENTS TO BE PRESENT, THEN PROPOSED
He came over to my house, prepared the ring, arranged for his parents and mine to be present. That's when he proposed. Of course, it was a yes.
- Bindiya Nandwani Fam
MY HUBBY MAKES BREAKFAST FOR ME EVERY MORNING
Early every morning, I see you getting busy; In our little kitchen, getting breakfast ready. Though you may fumble, and it may not be that tasty; That's the sweetest thing, you can ever do for me. I love you, my dearest hubby.
- Feng Jiewen
HE HELPED OUT AT MY MUM'S FOOD STALL
When my husband and I were dating, he spent every weekend evening helping out at my mum's food stall just to be with me. We did not go out like other couples. It touched me that he did not mind getting himself sweaty and dirty.
- Diana Koh Beng Choo
MY HUSBAND LEARNT SIGN LANGUAGE FOR ME
Chee Siong, knowing that I am mute, used to communicate with me using pen and paper, but the most romantic thing he did was to master sign language and now he's teaching it to our kids.
- Chew Mei Ching
MY MANLY HUSBAND WHO RODE A PINK LADIES' BIKE
I was touched when my husband Eddy bought a pink ladies' bicycle for me. He rode it from Yishun to Woodlands on a rainy day on my birthday last year. He was so wet! The funniest part was that he was covered with a huge red plastic bag.
- Sharifah Nadira Syed Mohsen
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