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Witful Thinking, Wednesday
 Winston “Arf-Arf” Arpon
 PMA ‘64 

Homeless in Washington


Yes, Bj [1], we aren’t wishfully thinking that today is Wednesday. 

But we hope you have noticed this issue’s center-“piece” subject and will understand, as you read on, what a not-so-wonderful week it has been for us.


The year of the tiger, as we postulated in a previous WTWs is not turning out to be a year of Tiger.

Tiger Woods finished almost dead last – 78th – among the 80 best golfers in the world – at the WGC-Bridgestone golf tournament. He held on, however, to his number one rank, courtesy of Phil Mickelson. The world's number two was on the leader board for three straight days but faltered on the final day. Had Mickelson finished in fourth place, he would have grabbed the top spot from Tiger in the world ranking and be Numero Uno for the first time in his career.

Painfully watching Tiger struggle in that tournament, we couldn't help thinking that he had lost a lot of his old self. Among them, his putting, his drive (on this, we ask WTW readers, “no sexual innuendoes, please” – and this includes you, Bj).


How do we explain this to Nasir? Nasir, our grandson, who we think took up golf for the love of Tiger more than the love of the game and despite the high handicap of his Lolo [2].


It was supposed to be a short sale. It was everything but. 

We must have been fast asleep when the real estate industry changed the meaning of short. Think, if you will, of a timeline for this particular sale, or to be more precise, attempted sale – March 9 to August 12. That's not short, is it?


The “For Sale” sign had been in our front yard much, much earlier than March 9, either January or February, when we, taking serious stock of recent changes in life, realized and decided, reluctantly of course, it was time to let go of the home, the only home we had, since March of 1983.

The postman who services our street (has he been the only one doing this in the last 27 years?) knows the house by its address: 10505 Deakins Hall Drive, Adelphi, Maryland 20783-1106. In correspondence with family and friends, however, it was simply – Deakins Hall.


We had flown in from San Francisco into Washington late Monday night for the short sale scheduled Thursday. The settlement, "closing" it is called in the industry, or the "deed," if you saw my wife’s text message, was scheduled for Thursday.

To occupy ourselves for the long wait, we chose a four-hour drive from Fairfax, Virginia to Newark, Maryland, a city we haven’t been to before, stay there overnight, play a round of golf in the morning and drive back when the coast was clear.

A Lexus came in handy, courtesy of its owner a.k.a. my daughter who was out-of-town with the rest of her family [3]. Just a minor problem; we hadn’t driven this hybrid car before and its built-in GPS was either too high-tech for me to figure out or unfamiliar to us – we’re used to the external, stand-alone types, Magellan, Garmin and the like.

But who cares if you have loyal WTW reader and long-time friend Joseph Dasbach who is only an email away? And with his JPS, always ready to come to the rescue of geography-challenged commuters like us. JPS, as in Joe’s Positioning System.

“You are only 10 minutes down the road from Berlin!  And another 10 minutes from the ocean. And a good 4 hours from the other Newark. (We think he meant Newark in New Jersey).”

Say that again, Joe?


The settlement was scheduled for 1pm. Before noon, we got a call that there were "remaining issues" with the buyer's lender still to be threshed out. 

Wowowee! No, that’s not exactly what we said but something like, “Oh no!” Plus a morbid thought crossing our mind, believe it or not, thought of another WTW – Wait Till Wednesday?  And then, Why, That's a Week from today!

Moreover, we were booked to leave Saturday, with a "restricted" ticket to boot. Restricted as in non-refundable. Restricted, as in "use it, or lose it." This clarification, we got unrestricted from an authoritative, unimpeachable source – a fellow Cavalier who works for an airline.


Short was definitely not the operative word for this day as far as we were concerned; the word nowhere to be found today but on the document that showed the selling price – way, way short of Deakins Hall's market value before the US real estate business boom turned to bust.

Even the ride was a long one. It took us over an hour from Fairfax, Virginia to Silver Spring, Maryland where the closing was to take place. Earlier, a storm had hit the county, felling trees and with some roads closed and traffic lights not working, this wasn't a good day to be on the road, especially for drivers with short temper. My decision to hitch a ride with Nilo Diaz and his wife Monina turned out to be a good one.

And to think that this was a day before Friday, the 13th!


The Diazes, a lovely and loving couple, are in the real estate business catering to clients in the Metro Washington area as owners of a mortgage company in Virginia. They had been instrumental in making this sale happen, trying  everything they could in the last six months to make this short sale live up to its name.


"It is not a short sale if it does not take long," Tom, the attorney of the title company, quipped during the signing of the documents.

His remark sounded cute but not funny. His attempt to humor us was quite admirable but somehow it fell short.


When I had signed my last John Hancock, Deakins Hall had passed through us to its new owners, Brendan and Sandra Doyle, a young, outwardly pleasant couple who requested that I pose for a picture with them, to which I obliged.


Goodbye, Deakins Hall.

Tom Hanks, Sleepless in Seattle; Cavalier Virgilio “Bill” Bas ’60, Sleepless in  Talisay, Cebu? To this short list, please add our name and to the lore of “lesslessness,” please add Homeless in Washington. 

Yes, Bj, we are, for the first time in 27 years – Homeless in Washington.

Consolably, we remember that a wise man once said, home is where the heart is. We will take heart from this and find a home.

But pray tell, was that wise man homeless too?


Brigadier General Paray a.k.a. Cavalier Abraham “Abe” Paray ’64 passed away the other week as we wrote in our last WTW. 

“Sir Abe,” Cavalier Randolph “Pards” Espejo ’74 writes, “was one of the best bosses I had in the Army. Happy disposition all the time, hard worker, well liked by his co-workers and fellow soldiers. And a great teammate in Army PMAAA basketball and volleyball.”

Golf enthusiasts are familiar with the Honest Abe in golf competitions. Espejo, in honor of his former bos
s at G6, Philippine Army, Espejo has concocted “Honest Abe,” in honor of his former boss at G6, Philippine Army and “one of the best persons I've met in my short lived career in the Army.”

We thank Espejo and we think that for this, Abe, our classmate, must be smiling his best smile from up there. He always had a smile for everyone. Concy, Abe’s wife, might be with him up there. She may be and smiling too.


The donation to DJLF Foundation for the scholars of LEAP, the Loakan Educational Assistance Project, which we reported in last week’s WTW was raised during the election of officers of the East Coast Chapter of the PMA, the good, old-fashioned way – “passing the hat.” Of course, in this case, according to ECC VP Cavalier Gabriel “Gaby” Riego de Dios ’81, it was the PMA version, “passing the dress cap.” Dress cap is a term for the headgear worn by cadets, including those in the Cadet Corps Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, we are waiting for the formal report from Cavalier Jesus “Jake” Duller ’69 on the meeting on Thursday to establish the Los Angeles FRH, Fund-Raising Hub, of DJLF. Initial reports, however, indicate that there was a pledge among the attendees not just to donate an amount but to sponsor one or two LEAP scholars; not just for one year but four or five years the scholar needs to finish the course. 

We hear them, present and future LEAP scholars saying, ‘There is a God, manifesting Himself in the generosity of these LEAP donors.’ Don’t you?


“Taking a short break to read WTW's embedded wisdom and satire, in the middle of a hectic workweek is energy renewed!

“This time, I would like to give back by offering my 2c on "Filipino or Pilipino". If we recall, our native alphabet – ABKD – does not include a letter "F", so therefore, strictly speaking, we, people from the Philippines are Pilipinos. Thank you.”

Thank you, Sarla F. Duller.


Yes, Ms. Duller, two other WTW readers – Cavaliers Gregorio “Bj” Carino ’69 and Vlad “Vrad-Husband of Jojie” Punto ’74 – have dialed in on the issue of Filipino vs. Pilipino and are basically in agreement with you.


But Cavalier Ramon “Monet” Ong ’63 may have the last word on this. ”I think the spelling controversy in this particular case is settled not by how you and I — and even the PhD linguists spell it. The correct spelling — is the way our Philippine Government spells it.”

Section 2 of Republic Act 7104, Ong cites, provides that “pursuant to the mandate of the Constitution, it is hereby declared to be a policy, of the Government to ensure and promote the evolution, development and further enrichment of Filipino as the national language of the Philippines, on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages…..” (Emphasis ours).


But if you expect us to admit a mistake, as we did when Cavalier Victor “VicE/MVE” Erfe ’69 corrected us [4], please don’t.

There is only one situation when you should admit you are wrong, even if you are right — that's when you are arguing with your wife, in which case these two rules apply:

1 — The wife is always right.

2 — In the rare situation when the wife is wrong, apply Rule #1.

Thanks to Cavalier Ramon “Monet” Ong ’63 himself who also shared with us these 2 Rules for Happiness in Marriage.


Monet was an impressionist painter, to be sure. He wasn’t an impassioned marriage counselor, was he?


He who works rules. That's the rule.

In our case, it's not he but she. Moreover, I remember saying during our wedding and putting it in writing [5] that she is the law.

I happen to be law-abiding. So, please understand why the move from Maryland to California; from Deakins Hall to Marlin Cove.

Leave happily. Live happily ever after.

End of argument. But who said there was an argument in the first place?


Aquino Administration Watch [6].  We continue what we began several WTW issues ago – our countdown of how long the present administration has been in office, using “How Many Days Oh Noble Cataline?” a plebe knowledge [7]. 

Sir, 42 days, 1,008 hours, 60,480 minutes, 3,628,800 seconds and 7,257,600 ticks have passed since Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III assumed office as President of the Philippines.


President Aquino received his first paycheck amounting to 63,002.17, Philippine pesos. At .0221 US dollars to a Philippine peso, the salary is equivalent to $1,392.35.

The good news: His salary is ‘significantly higher’ than what his predecessors received.

The bad news: It is much lower than that of the President of Kenya who receives $35657.17, the highest salary among the world’s heads of states.

The good news: It is higher than the $342.17 that the Prime Minister of India receives, the lowest monthly salary. Incidentally the US President receives $33,333.33 [8].


dateline: newark, maryland

@arf-arf ‘64
wtw 2010-13
volume 065


[1]  They say "Yes, Virginia;" we say "Yes, Bj.” Bj for Blackjack, moniker of Cavalier Gregorio Carino Jr. '59. 

The wit one may find here comes from “wit-hin and wit-hout.” From without, Bj, like his fellow WTW C5s (Cavalier correspondent, contributor, conspirator/conniver and critic), his classmate, Victor “VicE/Marami Vice” Erfe ’69, among them, has not failed us with a wit or two each week

[2]  Grandpa, in Filipino (Pilipino?)

[3]  There is no truth to a suggestion from Cavalier Avelino “Lino” Nobles ’63 that Judge – yes, boys and girls, that’s how we call our oldest child – decided to leave town when she got wind that I was blowing into town.

[4]  Erfe maintains that Pilipino is the language, Filipino is the one who speaks the language

[5]  See 2010-01-06 WTW/"Yes, Vlad, I Did It"

[6]  A segment of WTW is dedicated to a commentary on events and issues involving the administration of Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III who took office on June 30, 2010 which coincidentally was a Wednesday, the same day that we post Witful Thinking, Wednesday.

[7]  A ‘plebe knowledge’ is a collective body of composition, poems, rhymes, verses, definitions, etc. that plebes in military academies, like the Philippine Military Academy, are required to know and recite verbatim, a requirement that is aimed at sharpening their memory skills while adding to their knowledge (a good number of plebe knowledge, like “What is a Kiss?” or “How is the Cow?” are funny and frivolous, but some, like The Origin of Coal, contain factual information that are good to know and remember).  In this plebe knowledge, How Many Days, Oh Noble Cataline, we are doing what the plebes would have done in a countdown of the number of days POTP Aquino has been in office – compute the days and convert them to hours, minutes, seconds and ticks, a laborious computation by long hand, be
fore the slide rule, calculators, computers and spreadsheets.

[8]  Raila Odinga, Kenya's prime minister, receives $430,000 a year, the highest-paid political leaders in the world. Manmohan Singh, the prime minister of India, “reaffirms his reputation for saintliness by taking a modest sum from Indian taxpayers.”

Witful Thinking, Wednesday