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Winston "Arf-Arf" Arpon
PMA '64


The ‘Manifesto’ That Never Was


My friend, she was on the side of the barricades opposite where I was, many a time long before EDSA 1 and the downfall of Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986, and to this day, for all the things she continues to do for people and country, she knows, in her heart of hearts, what drives her.

Me? I am content just to drive her. And I only have to make sure I don’t drive her crazy, not unlike Morgan Freeman in that unforgettable movie, “Driving Miss Daisy.”

Daisy is not the name of my friend. But Daisy is a good name – especially if her age is between daisy-seis to daisy-nueve.


On the cover of Newsweek, April 6, 2009:
The Loyal Opposition of Paul Krugman

11 days in January, 28 in February, 31 in March and 6 in April – that adds to only 76 days of the Obama presidency that began on his January 20th inauguration.

What happened to the 100-day honeymoon with a new US President?


Paul Krugman, incidentally, is neither Republican nor conservative.  In fact, Evan Thomas who wrote the Newsweek cover story claims “he has all the credentials of a ranking member of the East Coast liberal establishment.”


Headline, Washington Post:   President Obama Wanderlust?

A trip to Turkey, then Iraq – this, after a week in Europe, to be followed soon by a trip to Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago. This opens up “a new line of potential criticism – he’s traveling too much.”

Who does Obama think he is – Fidel Ramos?

In any case, this wanderlust will last for this ‘wonderboy’ of US and world politics.  Will it last long enough to make a visit to the Philippines likely?

Dream on, Malacanang. Obama’s wanderlust won’t bring him this far.


Item: Erap threatens to run if opposition presidential candidates don’t agree on one standard bearer. You and I know – and Erap knows – there is no chance of one standard bearer for the opposition. So by this threat, by this token, it is a safe bet – make it a sure bet – that Erap will run.

Who said Erap isn’t sharp?


Maundy Thursday this year coincides with Bataan Day.  The Veterans Federation of the US marks this important day in Fil-Am history with a program in Los Angeles, California. Earlier, the CPW, Cavalier Prayer Warriors, a ministry in cyberspace composed essentially of PMAyers of the Christian faith, posted a prayer for WWII veterans. This was chosen by the Veterans Federation as invocation prayer for their program.

Cavalier  Basil “Butch” Moreto ’54, the founder and unquestioned spiritual leader of CPW will do the Invocation.


This did not make it to last week’s WTW “exclusive” -  The PMA Class of 2013: “Something Happened” on Their Reception – for one reason or another:
“The plebes’ barracks, they call it “beast barracks” for reasons known to or dear or at least memorable to those who have gone through the ordeal of a couple of months between Reception Day and Incorporation Day. It was silent last night. At the sound of taps, the first of several they will hear each night for the next four years, the Class of 2013, tired and spent after such a long, hectic day retired to their bunks; no one stirring, not even the legendary Ghost of Loakan.

“Was this the calm before a summer storm? Was Malacanang watching?” 


Others were watching. We knew this from the emails we received from many, old and new readers of WTW alike, reacting to the WTW exclusive and to the ‘manifesto’ of the PMA Class of 2013 in particular. 


From “Tote and Yvette,” a couple in Virginia Beach, Virginia:  “Give us a copy of the ‘manifesto’ of the class of  '13.  It’s overdue. Some things has (sic) to move in that direction soon.  Keep us posted.”


Cavalier Virgilio “Bill” Bas ’60 was incredulous that we knew the score, “You really have that source or you are just being corny again? The plebes of 2013?”

But he was wishful, it seemed, in the trail of his cryptic message, in a fashion befitting the Intelligence officer that he was in his other life, “Anyway if there's something to this new thing, maybe I have to…..”


“I don't also have any info on the manifesto,” Cavalier Orlando “Orly” Cabanlig ’64 wrote us, “however I can only say that the situation here is bad. To think that our own cavaliers are involved and against the doctrines which we have upheld as Peemayers are indeed very shocking.”


Irina, writing to us for the first time and thanking us for sharing our “witful thoughts,” could only wish that “prayerfully, this Holy week will give us some light….PEACE!” But not before she lamented: “The slow progress of our country (for so long now), tests our patience. I can imagine what more for our fresh idealistic youth.”


“I do believe that the PMA class of 2013 is going to make a difference in this country if they will follow the creed that they swore to uphold "BE THE CHANGE."  I've been working for the City of Baguio for 5 months now, and I've seen my share of corruption and bad governance. I do hope that our next leaders in the local and national government would be the change that we need.”

This was no surprise to us, coming as it did from a chip off the old block – Kristoffer Dance, son of Cavalier Bob “Dencio” Dance ’68.


Cavalier Leopoldo “Pol” Aliac ’67, not one to let something like this  pass, may have articulated for us what we were thinking, wishfully or not, when we wrote and “reported” the expose in the first place.

“This is one Wednesday when the fools reigned. 

“And to think that the advocates of Obama reached out to indoctrinate Class 2013, believing that "Yes We Can" could have been the rallying battle cry for the desired changes. Since it was a fool's call the dream diminishes in thin air. Sorry folks! Better luck next time.

“Let's hope that next time WTW sends us this kind of report, it is for real.”


In hindsight, we had no choice of a punchline, except what we actually wrote: Happy Fool’s Day to all.

We heard you, Cavalier Danilo “Dan/danmeljim” Jimenez ’77 when you wrote, “That punchline killed me…… And I thought it was for real.”


For the ‘manifesto’ that never was, but could have been, we find very little comfort, if at all, in what “VicE” said:  Sometimes one just have to be a fool. And it does not have to be on April 1. And in what Cavalier Donato “Donnie” Guzman wrote, “Thank you for the very wishful thinking expressed in the message.”


Was the joke on us on this April Fool’s day? Do we have any regrets?

To both questions, we say no. Not if we are to believe what Ernest Hemingway, in his autobiographical novel, A Moveable Feast, wrote:

“They say the seeds of what we will do are in all of us, but it always seemed to me that in those who make jokes in life the seeds are covered with better soil and with a higher grade of manure.” (Emphasis ours).

Thanks to Hemingway, we will take the soil – and the manure too.


WTW aims to seek and give its readers more reasons to laugh, lesser to cry, for which we promised mirth and merriment in our commentary on the celebration of life (see WTW 09-01-21).

But every once in a while, we take a break from this, as in this instance, to grieve for all those that died in the terrible accident the other day on a mountain slope in Mountain Province that claimed the lives  of crew and passengers of the ill-fated helicopter, including three PMAyers: Cavaliers Carlos M. Clet ’80; Ronaldo S. Sacatani ’94; and Alvin A. Alegata ’96.


@ arf-arf ’64

  wtw 09-14        

  monterey, california