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Winston "Arf-Arf" Arpon
PMA '64


Outside, the Sun is Brightly Shining
Or, Is It?


“12 Hour Summary and Analysis.
a. Super typhoon (sty) 22w (Lupit), located approximately 775 nm East-northeast of Manila, Philippines, has tracked east-northeastward at 06 knots over the past six hours. Animated multispectral and infrared satellite imagery show that the mid-latitude trough mentioned in the previous prognostic reasoning message has further eroded the western periphery of the low- to mid-level subtropical Ridge (str) to the northeast of sty 22w, allowing for a more eastward
Track to persist over the past 12 hours. The animated imagery indicates the trough is beginning to move northward and a mid-latitude str is beginning to build to the north of sty 22w. The trough has been enhancing the poleward outflow over the past 12 hours, and in concert with the equatorward outflow has helped to intensify Lupit to a super typhoon. The eye has seen improvement in organization and an expansion in size (currently 25 nm diameter) over the past 12 hours. Position is based on well defined eye visible in satellite imagery. Intensity is based on estimates from pgtw, rjtd, and knes.

“Forecast reasoning.
a. The forecast reasoning has not changed since the previous prognostic reasoning bulletin; however the timing of the westward turn has shifted since the previous bulletin.
b. Ty 22w is expected to continue tracking to the northeast, slowly shifting to a westward track between tau 12 to 24 as the mid-latitude trough fills and moves out to the northeast and the mid-level str builds westward to the north of ty 22w. The str will strengthen and lead to an acceleration of ty 22w to the west towards Luzon through tau 72. As the mid-latitude trough moves northward, poleward outflow is expected to remain favorable through tau 12; this, along with high ocean heat content and a favorable upper-level environment through the forecast period should allow for the system to maintain current intensity through the next 06 to 12 hours and then slowly weaken from a super typhoon to typhoon strength for the remainder of
the forecast period. Model guidance remains in fair agreement, with two notable exceptions: wbar and tclaps keeping the system on a northward track around the str to the northeast and into the mid-latitude flow. Ecmf, ngps gfs, ukmo, and jgsm are all in agreement with a track over the northern tip of Luzon or the southern Luzon strait.
c. Beyond tau 72 Lupit is expected to continue tracking westward under the influences of the mid-level str. Intensity is expected to maintain as a typhoon with a slight decrease as the system tracks near northern Luzon. However, the current forecast expects ty 22w to remain intense through tau 120.”

Cavalier Rogelio “Tinning” Santiano ’84, in posting this the other day to our mailgroup, chose this for his subject: Ma-“lupit.” [1]. We understand.

Cruel, indeed, is this impending super typhoon, Lupit. Cruel, too, is this bulletin.


But are we glad we aren’t meteorologists. This bulletin, issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning, US Navy, was meant for them.

And so, next time we feel that irresistible urge to criticize PAGASA, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services, we will remember this US bulletin and we will be more tolerant and forgiving. 


Incidentally, PAGASA has given this typhoon the local name, Ramil for the international name, Lupit. Meteorologists or not, we think something was lost in the translation. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?


“Why do people hate you?” the boy asked the President.

No, the President was not Gloria Macapagal Arroyo but Barack Hussein Obama; the boy, Terence Scott, a nine-year-old from New Orleans, Louisiana, not from Lubao, Pampanga.

President Obama was talking to a group of young children, Terence Scott among them.


Manny Villar of the Nacionalista Party was only second in the latest Social Weather Stations survey conducted on September 18 to 21, chosen by 37% of the respondents in an open-ended poll for presidential candidates [2]

SAT was coined by Villar spokesperson for Adal Tamano, as the reason for Villar’s showing. SAT, as in Sipag at Tiaga (Industry and Patience).

Memo to Tamano: Don’t overdo this SAT explanation. Remember that two of them, SATsat, translates in Filipino, as you know, to “all talk.”


Meanwhile, in another poll on October 12 to 13, Aquino was 4th, getting only 7 votes of the 153 congressmen that participated. Teodoro, the tail-ender in the SWS poll, got 90; Villar, 25; Escudero, 20.

The papers reported this as the House mock poll. A mockery of the SWS poll?


The recently approved 12 billion-peso calamity fund is in good hands.

Whose hands? Malacanang’s. And the assurance came from – you got it! – Malacanang.


The Philippine Commission on Elections (Comelec) has delisted 26 party-list groups. 

One of those delisted was the Aging Pinoy. And with this delisting, goes our chance to be in Congress [3] Calling a favorite Cavalier Columnist of ours, Ramon J. Farolan [4]

No, sir, you have not disappeared from our radar screen. 


Meanwhile, the Comelec has rejected the application of Alyansa Sabungero [5] for party-list accreditation in the 2010 elections. This is another blow to our Congressional aspirations.

Gabriela, it would seem, would be our next hope. A change of heart, we can handle albeit with some degree of difficulty and reluctance, but are we qualified to join this accredited party-list without undergoing a sex change?
Former Commissioner of Comelec, Benjamin Abalos, maintained there is nothing wrong or illegal in facilitating a friendship with ZTE officials that he said was “borne by a common love for golf.”

Mr. Commissioner: Like many others, we don’t profess to know what’s the real score in the  alleged anomaly in the national broadband network (NBN) project contract involving ZTE and implicating you and the First Gentleman, among others – a final report of the Gordon committee that investigated it has yet to be produced we understand.

But must you, a lover of golf yourself like the First Gentleman, drag this gentleman’s game into the scandal?


A time bomb is ticking in the AFP.

In making this startling statement on the ballooning fund requirement for pensions and retirement benefits of retired soldiers, Senator Rodolfo Biazon asked Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro to form a study group before "this bomb explodes in our faces."

We already had a solution for this, didn’t we, sirs? It was called RSBS? Retirement and Separation Benefits System.  


Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro, reacting to Biazon’s dire warning, suggested funding from the sale of former military bases.

Good luck Mr. Secretary. The last time we looked that money, aka Base Conversion Funds, were missing and we have heard nothing different: they’re still looking since they started two administrations ago.


The Armed Forces of the Philippines recently welcomed 11 soldiers and 10 officers who were acquitted by a military court of charges involving Article of War 67 or mutiny against their commander-in-chief. The 10 included Cavalier Ruben Guinolbay ’94, a Medal of Valor awardee and other PMAyers of earlier classes [6] 

These men, according to Cavalier Romeo “Omet” Brawner ’89, the AFP spokesperson, are seasoned fighters.

Seasoned fighters unseasoned by four years in confinement.


Can the release of another batch of seasoned/unseasoned fighters be far behind – the 17 that remain in confinement, to include PMAyers belonging to earlier classes: Cavaliers Renato Miranda ’74, Danny Lim ’78, Ariel Querubin ’79 and Custodio Pardon ’87?

RHIP. Rank Has Its Privileges. The more ranking you are, the longer you stay in confinement.


Last week, as we wrote here, they were discoursing this: WHERE IS THE DISASTER FUND. Now PnC and ACF, two mailgroup of PMA alumni on the Internet, have shifted to another thread – the 2010 elections, triggered by Halalan, a poem written by Cavalier Danilo “DanMelJim” Jimenez ’77.

No, this does not mean someone has finally found the Disaster Fund.


If you rearrange the word, mother-in-law, what do you get? Woman Hitler. This is one of a good number of anagrams we received recently [7}

Consider us fortunate, my fiancée and me. No more mothers-in-law for any of us, when we tie the knot.  


The World Bank has said it is willing to realign up to $400 million of its loans to help the country’s rehabilitation efforts.

Three rating firms – Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investor Services and Standard and Poor – give fair grades to the global fund issue that is expected to raise $1B for the government.

Investments are expected to grow robust in 2010, particularly in these areas: IT business outsourcing; mining; renewable energy; infrastructure and construction; agribusiness; services (tourism, retirement, health and wellness).

Exports are seen to bounce back in 2010, a positive 7% growth after falling 30% in 2009.

A net inflow of $47M was reported for the month of September, reversing a $443M net outflow in the same month last year; in the first nine months of the year,  a total of 229M net inflow has been recorded.

Remittances of overseas workers rose 2.8% in August. Remittances of $17.1B are projected by the end of December this year; a 4% growth.

Epson sees 10% growth in revenue this year. McDonald’s store network is seen exceeding 300 this year, exceeding the current 293.

International cargo carriers maintain “guarded optimism” over 2010 business prospects [8]

Yes, boys and girls, it’s the Philippines they are talking about.

We just looked out of our window. And yes, boys and girls, the sun is brightly shining outside.

Or is this just wishful thinking, given what is presently on our minds – the super typhoon Ramil poised to ram northern Philippines in the next 48 hours? 


Romeo “Fards” Fajardo, x92, was right in pointing out to us that we fell short in our issue last week (09-10-14 WTW/”Initial-ly Speaking: Presidential and Vice-Presidential Hopefuls”).  Indeed, N&M, initials for the tandem of Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas, is a letter over, not short, of M&M, a favorite on the candy shelf. 

Fajardo knows his alphabet, to be sure. Or maybe he’s just sure N&M is sweeter than we dare to think?


Acknowledging our tribute to Manila Bulletin columnist Joe Guevara in that same issue, Cynthia Guevara-Gale wrote us: “Thank you for remembering him with fondness. My father must be smiling up there. I too am smiling here in Portland.”

A feedback like this brings a smile on our faces too. Thank you, Cynthia.


Surprise! Last week’s issue wasn’t tardy.

Cavalier Harold Ochoco ’81 could not believe it; he thought it was Friday when he received a copy of WTW. It was Wednesday.


Cavalier Gregorio “Blackjack” Carino ’69 was more clinical than Ochoco, saying, “You need to give allowance to your Pavlovian subjects. We do get the tendency to be dazzled, confused, bothered and bewildered when we get the unexpected.”

He could have stopped there, but didn’t.

“Reminds me of a former boss who admonished a habitually tardy employee…you always come late, try doing something different like leaving early.”

We thought he was hinting that after 40 issues, it was time for WTW to leave the scene; a depressing thought for us, knowing that Carino has been one of our more loyal readers, tolerant of our tardiness in the past.
No, Blackjack, this is not goodbye. We are staying put. And not only because you kindly assured us that we can stay. 


Cavalier Rolando “Rolly” Malinis ’71 wrote to ask where he can get a copy of our book, Laughter in the South/Footnotes to the Southern Philippines Conflict, which we mentioned in that issue. Malinis, “writing a long article about our class story,” wanted to know if our book mentioned the exploits of the Matatags, [9] most of whom “were assigned on flying missions in Mindanao.”

The unpleasant thought of a big inventory of unsold copies of the book and of rejection consumed us, the only way to avoid it was to print only the number of copies that were ordered in advance. And that’s exactly what we did.

Now we can say, truthfully, that the book was sold out, as we have told Malinis. [10] 


Using “How Many Days Oh Noble Cataline?” a plebe knowledge [11], we are continuing the countdown we started several issues back: 

Sir, there are 201 days, 4,824 hours, 289,440 minutes, 17,366,400 seconds and 34,732,800 ticks before May 10, 2010, before the Philippine national elections (or non-election).


@arf-arf ‘64
wtw 09-41
makati, philippines

[1]  Malupit, in Filipino, means cruel.

[2]  Noynoy Aquino was on top, chosen by 60%; and  following Villar:  Joseph Estrada, 18%, Chiz Escudero 15%; Gilbert Teodoro, 4%.

[3]  The Philippine Constitution, in order to ensure representation from marginalized group, provides that 20% of the members of the lower House should be reserved for these sectoral representatives from the so-called party-list groups. The Comelec accredits these groups.

[4]  Farolan, who belongs to the PMA Class of 1956, has written pieces in his column, Reveille, championing the cause of senior citizens.

[5]  Alliance of Cockfighting Aficionados 

[6]  Juanario Caringal 82; Francisco Domingo Fernandez  ’91; Frederick Sales ’94; Ervin Divinagracia ’99 Jacon Cordero 2001 Ritchiemel Caballes 2002.

[7]  Thanks to Cavalier Francisco “Mike/Banat” San Miguel ’51 for sharing this with us.

[8]  Maritime Review, May-June 2009 

[9]  Matatag, to mean Steadfast, is the motto of PMA Class ’71

[10]  Our response to Malinis: You can Google "Laughter in the South" (title of book). "Footnotes to the Southern Philippines Conflict" the sub-title gives you an idea of the book: of events, anecdotes if you will, and the people involved. In fact, the Index of the book is composed only of names, like no other book I have come across. Class 71 members are in that Index.
My intent was not to dissect the conflict, leaving that to others, like my boss, Admiral Espaldon. My hope, however, was that the reader would get an idea of the conflict, what we were faced with, from the incidents and the people in the book.

[11]  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 do in  the countdown to the Philippine national election  – compute the days and convert them to hours, minutes, seconds and ticks.