Agog over Alice in Wonderland

By Alex P. Vidal

“May we agree that private life is irrelevant? Multiple, mixed, ambiguous at best-out of it we try to fashion the crystal clear, the singular, the absolute, and that is what is relevant; that is what matters.”—May Sarton

MOUNT Kanlaon has already erupted. A Black woman has been chosen as the first-ever Miss Universe Philippines 2024. The US dollar is now equivalent to 58.73 in Philippine peso. And the senators are not yet done with Alice in Wonderland?

The Philippine Senate has a new president. Bato has cried again. Marcos Jr. has returned from another junkets in Brunei and Singapore. Volodymyr Zelenskyy has visited the Philippines. China has rapidly flexed its muscles in the South China Sea. And the senators are still scrambling to pin down Alice in Wonderland?

Filipino Japanese golfer Yuka Saso has won the U.S. Women Open Championship. Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks will now clash for the 2024 NBA championship. China’s Zhilei Zhang has demolished Alabama’s Deontay Wilder in brutal 5th-round TKO.

Narendra Modi has won the Indian election. Mexico has elected a new and first female president. Donald Trump has been convicted on all 34 counts of felony charges. And the senators are still agog over Alice in Wonderland?


At the rate the Filipinos scuffle with the grueling realities of life in the Philippines, we can’t afford to stagnate or be buried deep in one mundane subject matter with no hope of major breakthroughs in sight.

Was her preventive suspension from office not enough? The damsel and her distress should be the least of the Filipino nation’s worries.

So many important news; so many updates in world and sports events; so many strange and violent incidents in the sky involving commercial flights linked to climate change; so many economic and political issues that affect the Filipinos’ day-to-day life that have hogged headlines, and our senators still can’t get over Alice in Wonderland?

Alice in Wonderland and the POGO conundrum are not the only “important” issues the senators, as well as other legislators, need to tackle, prioritize and resolve immediately.

The list goes on; the real and more urgent problems in society transcend beyond the question of Alice in Wonderland’s real identity and citizenship, or why and how did POGO mushroom in Luzon.


Alice in Wonderland is only one character in the bewildering web of scandals involving criminal activities perpetrated mostly by foreign (not just Chinese) nationals.

Our senators should have already put exclamation points on the issue weeks earlier or days after the Ombudsman lowered the boom on Alice in Wonderland.

They should have moved on with the other agenda.

But apparently the senators are willing to tarry, bob and weave in the issue as long as it is being showcased in the social and mainstream media, never mind if it has become irrelevant and overkill.

Damsel in distress, by the way, is also notably used in a 1755 translation of Don Quixote when a priest disguises himself as a damsel to win a favor from Don Quixote.

As the example from Don Quixote suggests, damsel in distress, while indeed used in earnest, is also often a conceit to expose the follies of men.


I would like to thank Uniqlo for another free pass to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Midtown Manhattan at 4-8 o’clock in the evening on June 7 (I was able to actually obtain three passes. One for me and the two for my friends Victor “Vic” Segundino, 68, and Marlon “Boy” Doronila, 67).

Vic said he wanted to see The Starry Night “before I die. It’s a dream come true for me.”

I will have the opportunity to again visit Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, which has been a visitor favorite at MoMA since it first appeared in MoMA’s Van Gogh retrospective in 1935 and then was acquired in 1941.

It’s said that to become acquainted with the heart and mind of its maker, there is no better source than van Gogh’s letters.

Those to his brother Theo, in particular, reportedly reveal his deepest aims and convictions, and his pleasures and anxieties, especially during the last year-and-a-half of his life, working in near-isolation from an asylum in St.-Remy.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)


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