It’s that time of year when a man’s thoughts turn to … chocolates and jewelry and roses.

Or at least they do if there is a woman in his life and he has even half a mollusk’s brain.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

But the great thing about America’s holiday dedicated to romance is that modern ladies also gift their men with, well, forget the flowers and chocolates, dear, but a new watch or, oh, a BMW motorcycle would be nice. Or a box of cigars.

As nice as our Feb. 14 is for lovers, we have to admit that in Asia they’ve added an interesting twist – White Day, March 14. It started in Japan in 1980 and has spread to South Korea and Taiwan, and is now taking hold in Hong Kong. On the traditional red Valentine’s Day, ladies gift the man in their lives with chocolates. One month later, it’s the guys’ turn and they’re expected to do sanbaigaeshi, or triple return – the gift a male gives is supposed to be three times the value of the gift received initially. So the better chocolate she buys … what a deal!

Whatever holiday you’re shopping for this year, HILuxury has you covered with lots of gift ideas for him and her.

And because in Hawaii Valentine’s Day signals the real start of our spring, we turn our fashion eye to what’s new for spring from Nordstrom, the store that some of us have been waiting to see open in Hawaii only since about 1982. “Better late than never” has never rung more true.

We also offer in this issue some good reads – Noel Pietsch’s travels through Jordan, a visit with Oriental antique collector Robyn Buntin, a conversation with the son of Ben Bridge, and a trip into the kitchen of one of San Francis-co’s hottest chefs, Nancy Oakes of Boulevard.

And I hope you’ll let us know what you think about HILuxury, or what you’d like to find in our pages, at my e-mail address below.

OK, I have to go now. Time to light the Valentine candles.

Editor’s note: In our December/ January issue, Governor Ben Cayetano was mistakenly identified as the recipient of the March of Dimes Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award for Distinguished Community Service. The correct recipients were Keith Vieira of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii and Nobutada Nagai of Kyo-Ya Company, LLC. HILuxury regrets the error.

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