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Winston "Arf-Arf" Arpon
PMA '64


Two to Tango,
One to Cha-Cha
(And Where Are You, JA, Sir?)

In case, you haven't noticed, this is the fifth of Witful Thinking, Wednesday.

Vrad, are you happy now and has WTW "regaled" you so far?


These two items in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (page A2; Jan 24, 2009) caught WTW's eye.

Headline: P9.6-b pork fishy, says Alan

And below it, another headline: But pork is still safe to eat–DOH

9.6 billion! That's a lot of pork in any language, in any market. And a lot of cholesterol, to be a danger to anyone's health.

But with the endorsement from the Department of Health, don't expect Congress to give up on pork.


For eight years, it was Chelsea Clinton. In the next 8 years, the Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara and for the next four, Malia and Sasha.

If you are counting like I am, that' s a total of 20 years, and, a total of five First Children in the White House.

All girls!


"What is happening to this country?"

This plaint, persistently and patiently patented through perennial postings by Pards, I can almost hear across the miles, from New Jersey.

Pards is Cavalier Randolph Espejo '74, a dear and dominating voice among the members of the NorthEast Group of PMAAA Overseas that I call the reNEGades. Pard's was NEG's first President.


We must put a stop to this inequality of the sexes. The silence of the ACLU notwithstanding, we need to have a woman in the Oval Office and boys in the living quarters of the White House.


Sarah Palin is a woman, pretty and attractive at that, and she has two boys, Track and Trig, brothers to three sisters.

Do I hear Palin for President 2012?


Then the US can have a First Gentleman whose name is not Mike Arroyo. .


Of course, if President Barack Obama ably demonstrates success in translating 'Change We Can Believe In' to 'Change We Did,' (see WTW 09-01-21) then all of my bets on Sarah Palin are off the table. I will join the chorus of "Four More Years for Obama."


It takes two to tango; only one to cha-cha.

For Cha-Cha, Charter Change, either Con-Con or Con-Ass, that is, Constitutional Convention or Constituent Assembly.


Take your pick: Con-Con or Con-Ass.

House Speaker Nograles or Michael Arroyo, LAKAS or KAMPI, have their preference, but I'll pick Con-Con anytime.

Con-Ass sounds like the pejorative expletive, My A__!


GMA's party, LAKAS-Christian Muslim Democrats, is saying that charter change is dead in the water.

But what if there are millions of signatures for charter change come up all of a sudden, like they did in 2004 which "forced" GMA to change her mind about running for President?

The prospects of charter change can change, no pun intended.


In any case, are we being suckered into a Con-Con or Con-Ass?

The answer is yes, if you ask die-hard critics who claim that constitutional change is but a pretext to extend the terms of office of the President and members of Congress.

A con game, these critics say, being played in and by a Con-gress without a con-science, in con-nivance with con-sentidors at the Palace.


It was toward the lameduck days – or was it months or years – of the FVR presidency that the Cha-Cha train was on its whistle stop campaign through Manilatown and into the countryside.

On board was a close, trusted adviser of FVR, the best mind and strategist, arguably, that ever occupied the post of National Security Adviser, pre- and post-EDSA.

Then and now, suggestions were rife that he was the brains behind Cha-Cha in FVR's time.


We may never know what this adviser did or did not do.

But this we know: During his watch, Cha-Cha went nowhere, going away like a bad dream. And to his lasting credit, the final outcome couldn't have been more desirable: no harm, no foul.

No harm, no foul to Malacanang – No President FVR Forever.

No harm, no foul to to Congress – No Congressman or Senator for Life.

No harm, no foul to Country – no Juan de la Cruz Suffering Ad Infinitum.


Sorry, Chito Feliciano, this Cha-Cha is not for you.This one is for Joe Almonte.

Yes, we need you now, Joe Almonte, Sir.

You can teach us a Cha-Cha step or two, sidestep, if you will. You can help us keep the Cha-Cha music from playing, the Cha-Cha train from rolling and ensuring no harm, no foul to the holding of elections in 2010.


I don't know about Cavalier Benny Lomotan '59 who currently chairs it, but I myself would go for a charter change, I mean, chapter change.

I propose BIRCH not BIRC or BIRCI, as the acronym for PMAAAI's Business Industry and Retired. Cavalier's.


Then, he can, if he so chooses, rally his troops with this, to be sung to the tune of the song, A Thing Called Love:

A Chapter Called BIRCH

Let me tell you about the birch, that's not a tree But of Business, Industry And of all Retirees Loyal sons of P-M-A!

The other stanzas? Hey, this is an e-column, not a jukebox. And yours truly is a columnist wannabe, not a songwriter, okay?


A reader, Thelma Vatthyam, from Michigan wrote she "enjoyed reading" last week's WTW and "now I can be updated with what's happening in the Philippines with wit."

She also wanted to know if she would be billed for receiving this weekly column. Of course, the answer is no.

But WTW won't mind a donation to DJLF Foundation, Ltd for LEAP, the Loakan Educational Assistance Project.

LEAP, launched in 2005 (supposedly the year of the PMA centennial by most accounts, including this column's) is on its fifth year supporting college scholars in the Philippines.

DJLF is a non-profit organization incorporated in the state of Maryland whose members, 82 as of last count, are former PMA cadets, Loakaneers, now residing outside the Philippines.


For this week, the WTW sworde (star for wordsmithing excellence) comes from – no surprise to this column – Cavalier Harold Ochoco, the witty techie not only on Wednesday (when he uploads WTW to its blog, thank you), but every day of the week.

And the word is:

premature e-jaculation (pej) – the act of hitting the SEND button before your email is ready.


I have been doing a lot of these pejs lately as I am still getting familiar with my new Motorola cell phone.


On the Maza-Ilagan bill in the House banning AFP and PNP retirees from positions in government, we wrote that we had a better idea – a bill banning permanently any member of Congress who files bills that are not only ludicrous but unconstitutional (see WTW-09-01-28).

Now comes Cavalier Augusto Morales "MarQ" Marquez, Jr. '84 who has another idea. Do not ban retirees of the AFP and the PNP. They were on the side of the government. Ban instead the "retirees" of the NPA. They weren't.


Incidentally, Representatives Maza and Ilagan might be interested to know that Career Executive Officer, Rank VI from the Civil Service Commission is one of Marquez's credentials.

And yes, Gabriela, this qualifies Marquez to be a Department Secretary under Civil Service rules. Of course, he can't be hired as a clerk under the Maza-Ilagan bill.


WTW joins in mourning the passing of Cavalier Rosalio Magsino '73, CSUPT (Ret), due to lingering illness.


As this is written, the celebrated swimming champion that emerged from the Beijing Olympics with an unprecedented eight gold medals, Sports Illustrated's Atlete of the Year and idolized by many in the US and throughout the world has confirmed and apologized for what the British press reported: he was smoking marijuana in a recently published photo.

His name is M. Phelps. M, for Michael, not Marijuana.

"Marijuana Phelps" on boxes of Wheaties would be a nightmare for all.


@arf-arf '64
wtw 09-05
makati, philippines