CIRCULATED online during Valentine’s Day Friday were images of couples braving a long queue at a downtown hotel/motel. It wasn’t just the waiting that was daunting; it was the exposure at an open sidewalk, with amused onlookers watching them endure the line and publicize the urgent compulsion to get a room.
The economics of the motel business runs on the groove of two mantras: (1) people have to eat, wear clothes and make love and (2) people have immediate, short-time needs. Thus, the fast-food shop, the RTW store and the drive-in or drop-by motel, all designed for the quickie. For Valentine’s Day, many lovers usually put on new clothes, buy packed food and hole in a motel room.
The busy traffic to love trysts, evidenced by the numbered-card beeline, wasn’t decongested by the threat of the imported virus. Fr. Jerry M. Orbos, SVD priest and columnist, alluded to Cupid having not gone around to do his work of spreading love because he was quarantined (Feb. 16, 2020, Inquirer). The horde of lovers queuing up for a motel room apparently no longer needed Cupid’s prodding. Talk about the threat of spreading germs instead of love and the need for face masks had turned out to be hollow threats.
Infidelity or what
A fact of hotel/motel business—that the surge in demand for rooms is month-long and not just for a day—tends to confirm the suspicion that infidelity is widespread.
It is often joked about: Men and some women having to spend their Valentine’s Day on days other than the day itself.
Usually practiced by the philandering husband, the cheating wife, or the prolific bachelor.
Or the same the high demand for fast food and RTW dresses may also explain the soaring demand for short-time trysts. The Valentine’s Day hype may just be a booster.
 EXPIRY OF ABS-CBN FRANCHISE. Atty. Vincent Isles points out that ABS-CBN’s franchise expires not at midnight of March 30, 2020, but at midnight of May 3, 2020. (Check out his Facebook post of Feb. 14.) The basis: The law granting ABS-CBN’s franchise was enacted on March 30, 1995, but took effect on May 3, 1995, as noted in the Supreme Court decision of Quezon City and the Treasurer of Quezon City vs. ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. (October 2008).
Interestingly, though, both House Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano and Senate President Tito Sotto said publicly that ABS-CBN may continue its operations while the bills seeking the renewal of its franchise are still pending until the 18th Congress adjourns in 2020. It is supposed to be based on a practice observed by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Congress.
But what if NTC won’t issue a temporary franchise and the congressional leaders will say they were wrong or have changed their mind?
 QUARREL OVER T-SHIRTS. Some Cagayan de Oro Press Club personalities are tangling on Facebook over T-shirts donated by the provincial government to COPC directors for a sports activity. “Separate T-shirts” were also given by the provincial information office to COPC members. The “misunderstanding’ about who should get which T-shirts set off an exchange of harsh words. (Bencyrus Gerona Ellorin post of Feb. 13.)
Alcover at the door
Voice at the door of Cebu City Councilor Nina Mabatid’s City Hall office: “Knock, knock.”
Mabatid: “Who’s there?”
Mabatid: “Alcover who?”
Former councilor Jun Alcover, who’s not one of her best friends: “Aylcover your pretty busy mouth.”