Liberty’s Behind

To test the power of a monument or a statue as a symbol, photograph it from behind. Do not give it a face.

Deny it the personality it should have by now outgrown.

See if it moves you.

(New York, 2009)

Impeachment trial causes riot at taxi stand

A riot erupted at the taxi stand of one of the bigger malls in Cebu today, resulting from confusion as to who should get the next cab first.

A man who was second in line insisted that he should go first, citing the House prosecution panel’s preferred order of trial, and explaining that this would, moreover, produce reform in the administration of taxi lines at malls.

The woman who was first in line refused to budge, saying that this violated due process and “fare play”.

The mall manager intervened, ruling that the the woman should get the cab, but a member of the mall’s board of directors insisted that the question should be put to a vote.  The board sustained the mall manager’s ruling.

This should have settled the question but another man, who was seventh in line insisted that he should get the next cab after the man who was second in line.

Trouble ensued when the third, fourth, fifth and sixth in line protested.

Mall management has enlisted the services of their janitorial services department to settle the dispute.  The latter have now taken to calling themselves “janitor-judges”.

Image: Idea go /

It’s now

The blog has a new name.

Originally, the blog was based on “Breakfast at Noon”, a regular column (OK, my editors then thought I was really stretching the definition of “regular”) which first came out in early 1998 when Cebu Daily News first saw print.  In 2004, the column moved to SunStar Cebu and ran until 2005, when I had to stop writing and start running.

Recently, I found out that sometime in 2006, an American author published a book with the title “Breakfast at Noon” and had taken the domain  To avoid confusion, this blog is now known as

Which is just as well, since the original meaning behind the title 14 years ago has been lost. Nobody my age really wakes up at noon anymore, even if we wanted to.  Age is an alarm clock and it doesn’t have a snooze button.

What changed my mind about CJ Corona

Image: suphakit73 /

I thought I would never change my views on the impeachment of CJ Corona.

I had refused to sign the complaint (or that paper which they assured us would soon be attached to the complaint they assured us was already there), and I thought that was that. No to impeachment.  Not the daily barrage of reports in print, on radio and broadcast could move me.

Then the text messages came.  From numbers my phone book did not recognize (nor would anybody else’s, I would concede). From 09158868540, 09158868607, 09276145226, 09163012628, 09173443057, and a few others,.  All anonymous, to be sure, but didn’t the truth sometimes reveal itself anonymously, like in a jungle, for instance, by way of a marsupial-like creature that can get from here to there with the flick of a finger? (That was what I was told, not anonymously by a marsupial, but then I was also told that the truth sometimes revealed itself non-exclusively by way of a non-marsupial.)

The text messages, which have kept coming despite my recent conversion, all reveal one thing: That CJ Corona is evil, and that all institutions of government, and the social fabric itself, would crumble if he is not convicted.

I suspect the text messages are just being modest and that it reasonably may be inferred that the non-conviction of CJ Corona would accelerate the Mayan Calendar, so that the world would end if CJ Corona is not convicted, or on December 21, whichever came first.

Ever since my epiphany, and I embraced the truth contained in these text messages from unknown numbers, I have felt an unusual peace with myself.  I have also reaped some unintended benefits:

1. I learned that my cell number was entered in a “U.K. international lottery” and I had won 1 million GBP, and that I could get it by simply giving up some minor personal data like credit card numbers.

2.  My number even won, I learned, in a local lottery, because it was apparently entered by someone who wanted me to win 1 million pesos, which I did. I just have to deposit 10,000 pesos to the account of this wonderful bearer of good news.

3.  It turns out I don’t have to take all my doctor-prescribed medicines. Some unknown number sent me a text message of this herbal pill that cured everything. I just had to buy an introductory pack for 9,000 pesos.

And there’s a lot more.  Who knew that the Anti-Corona texters would change my life forever?


Peeing with Paulo

If they really wanted to make it easier for our bladders to let go, they should have put up huge pictures of waterfalls.  Or pictures of huge waterfalls, for those who have particular difficulty going with the flow.  The Niagara.

In restrooms all over NAIA Centennial Terminal, inspirational quotes are hung over urinals.  It’s like Paulo Coelho wagging his finger at you while you’re trying to hold your own, so to speak, or — if you’re among the lucky ones — finally done with it, and wagging success with your fingers.

But Paulo Coelho is for a different kind of rut, like when you don’t know what to say on Twitter.  For help with what doctors call, shyly, “urinary hesitancy”, I believe words — even if they tell you it’s your destiny to be right there at that particular urinal at that particular juncture in time — hardly work.  Pictures are better.

Better yet, sounds. Restrooms should pipe in ambient sounds as a mandatory accessibility feature, right up there with handle bars.  Especially those that approximate the shwishing sound your mother made when she tried to coax your hesitant stream when you were a child.

I still remember those shwishing sounds.  I can still hear them now.  And now I really have to go. . .

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