Select Page

Winston "Arf-Arf" Arpon
PMA '64


Intimacy, Hidden Or Hayden:
Ay Naku, Ay Na-Kho!

Very often, when we are faced with challenges that overwhelm us – poverty, climate change, corruption – we feel inadequate, almost paralyzed into inaction. We think “What can I do?”

Indeed, what can one person do to make a dent in these deep-rooted, widespread, often global problems?

Many years ago, I watched the movie “The Power of One”. It was about a young white boy in Africa and how he was able to stop the discrimination against and the abuse of black Africans in their own community. I would recommend it to anyone who despairs of the situation in our country and in our world. 

No, sir, I did not write the foregoing paragraphs. It is an excerpt from the first issue of the column, “One Voice.” The columnist is my friend.


Today is Friday and we know this column is tardy.

In the Philippines, it’s Saturday. It’s a thought, changing Witful Thinking, Wednesday to Witful Thinking, Saturday. But we can’t run the risk of this column being called Witful Thinking, Satardy. It’s too big of a risk with those wordsmiths and punsters out there; the likes of Cavaliers Vladimir “Vlad” Punto ’74, Randolph “Pards” Espejo ’74, Harold Ochoco ’81, Manuel “Nonoy” Carranza ’69 and Patrocel “Pat” Duque ’65, not to mention the tandem of WTW readers and friends, Joe and Mona Dasbach..


From somewhere in San Francisco, we do not know where but possibly from a golf course, Evelyn “Boots” Doria, NORCALista a.k.a OAO of Cavalier Claro “Larry” Doria ’74, shared this with us, reminding us, unmistakably but ever so subtly, of our tardiness:

Boss: You consistently come to work late. Didn’t you say you were in the military?
Bill: Yes, I retired from the US Air Force. And proud of it.
Boss: Air Force rules were pretty rigid on tardiness, weren’t they?
Bill: You bet!
Boss: So, what did they say when you came in late?
Bill: They always said, Good morning, General.

No, my name is not Bill. I retired from the Navy not the Air Force. I did not make it to the rank of General.


We read his last column posted on the Internet as we have read a number of the products of his prolific pen in newspapers, magazines and books. We knew enough of what he had done in his life; so, of this, we are certain: this week, the United States, the country of his birth, the Philippines, his adopted country and all of humanity suffered a great loss in the passing of a great human being. Father James B. Reuter, S.J.


General George Casey, chief of staff of the US Army, says the US is prepared to leave fighting forces in Iraq for as long as a decade despite an agreement between the United States and Iraq that would bring all American troops home by 2012.

POTUS Obama may go along, especially if he forgets, conveniently, what CANDIDATE Obama promised during the presidential campaign.


Close to one-half of the 100 million votes cast for the 2009 American Idol contest reportedly came from Arkansas. Kris Allen, the American Idol winner is assumed to have gotten most if not all of the 38 million votes. Allen hails from Conway, Arkansas.

Memo to Hillary Clinton, the New York senator from Arkansas, loser to Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential primary:

If you still covet the presidency, as we suspect you do, you may wish to consider this:

Forget New York and run for senator from Arkansas, the state where you and Bill Clinton lived for years before moving to the White House. And have fellow Arkansan Kris Allen on your campaign staff. He is a winner that you weren’t in your last run for the presidency.


Item:    The purchase of the computer equipment for the automation of the election in the Philippines is considered a must for the 2010 presidential elections.

The Comelec is doing the bidding.

It seems the Comelec is bidding its time, hopefully, not on the bidding of Malacanang. 


There are disturbing, if conflicting, reports from Manila that Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante, tagged as the “brains” of the P728-million fertilizer scam has been virtually cleared by the Philippine Commission and Audit and likewise will be cleared by the House Committee that conducted the investigation into the scandal.

Jocjoc off the hook.

This may rhyme in yours but we think it has neither rhyme nor reason in our book.

Yes, boys and girls, we think there is more rhyme and reason on this:

To Jocjoc, throw the book
By hook or by crook.


Dateline, MANILA, Philippines – The House committee on constitutional amendments voted 19-6 to endorse a resolution urging “members of Congress” to meet as a constituent assembly (con-ass) to consider Charter change (Cha-cha) even without the participation of the Senate.

They say:  Cha! Cha!

We say:     Tsk! Tsk!


Elected Government Officials. EGO.
How fitting the acronym is to those that continue to harbor inflated egos and false sense of self-importance.


Non-Government Organizations. NGO.

We think NGO is, but NGO-NGO is not okay.


The report on the horrific traffic leading to Fort del Pilar, the route from the Baguio Export Processing Zone to PMA has gotten some attention – thanks to the combined postings of Juny LaPutt, former PMA instructor and recent visitor to PMA; Joy Lumabas-Tio, current PMA instructor; and, Cavalier Carlos “Chuck” Agustin 59/60, former PMA instructor, PMAAAI bigwig and NDCP President, among many other titles.

Now comes this suggestion:  why not Country Development Fund, a.k.a. “pork barrel,” of Cavalier legislators (there are a number of them) to help fund the road project and to solve the traffic problem?  

Pardon our optimism but we really think that Cavalier legislators will be receptive to this good idea


But Loakan, we may have a problem…

CDFs or pork barrels of congressmen cannot be rolled over to other districts. There is no problem with those of senators – the whole country is their constituency – but the last time we looked Cavalier/Senator Lacson reportedly does not use his CDF.


“The buzz on the news is all about the steamy videos posted on YouTube showcasing Dr. Hayden Cho, the May to Dr. Vicki Belo's December (though she could very well pass for a June and gather as many distracted eyeballs) and starlet Katrina Holily.

“And the matter has reached the attention of the Philippine Senate, the Department of Justice and the lackeys of that building by the Pasig River, with each one denouncing this "scandalous act", no matter if other scandals of horrific proportions continue unabated in the corridors of power.”

This is according to Cavalier Alfonso “Pansy/Pension” (Ponca, to WTW) Alvarez ’83, author of a blog we have found very readable and interesting, if irreverent, especially to the in the “corridors of power,” as he puts it…


Since hearing and reading (not seeing, trust us) the celebrated sex tapes of celebrity Paris Hilton long ago, never have we been at a loss for words as we are now with this tape of Dr. Koh.

Ay na-Kho! Ay naku!


Intimacies in the bedroom are better hidden from view, we think. Intimacy, the Hayden view, is not for us.

To Hayden, the bedroom may be a den of hay; to us, it will remain a den of privacy. With lock and key’ and, no cameras.


Our response to Dr. Kho.

A flat-out “Dr., No!”


Alec Baldwin and his insensitive and demeaning remark on so-called Filipino mail-order brides recently got the ire of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla. This time, Dr. Kho is on the cross hairs of Revilla.

This, we think, will get the senator to be a favorite of women, that is, if the former movie star and matinik, we mean, matinee, idol is not already one.


But we also think that the pundits are completely out of line and wrong in suggesting that Malacanang is behind this sex tape, that the khontroversy, we mean, controversy was khontrived, we mean, contrived to occupy the minds and divert the attention of the Filipino people from the President and her problems. 

No, this is not a Khonspiracy, we mean, conspiracy. That would be giving too much credit to GMA and Dr. Kho. 

But if you are referring to the other tape, the so-called “Garci” tape, that is another story altogether. You are singing to our choir.


Cavalier Warren Lee ’97, delving into the motive of whistle blower LtSG Nancy Gadian, presented another ‘dynamic’ to last week’s WTW center-“piece” subject  (09-05-20 TW/”Balikatan/Baliktaran: The Dynamics of Whistle Blowing”).

He also asked if there is such a thing as a “clean whistle.”

Quite frankly, we don’t know; on this, we may as well be whistling ourselves. Whistling in the dark.


The reaction of Cavalier Joel Deleon x85 to the subject, we think, deserves quoting in full, to wit:

“I totally disagree with you on this one.

“Sergeant Joe Darby, a U.S. Army Reservist who served at Abu Ghraib prison was the whistleblower. He was on 60 Minutes.

“U.S. Army Major General Antonio Taguba did not make any public disclosure of the alleged 2003 Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse. The General, who was given a very difficult assignment to conduct an investigation of the scandal in 2004, became one of its casualties. He was put in a situation, not exactly, but kind of between a rock and hard place: Career future was at stake, did the right thing, and paid a big price – forced into retirement. It took a lot of guts to put out that report.

“In 1942 his father, Tomas Taguba, was captured and taken prisoner by the Japanese. His old man endured the infamous Bataan death march, managed to escape and joined the underground movement. Maybe this is part of the reason why the General had a lot of guts to put out that report.

The General is a straight arrow. His commitment to personal responsibility clearly distinguished him apart from his fellow generals who were mostly arrogant and selfish careerist. He is a source of pride to many Filipino-Americans here in the United States.”


Public disclosure, as proposed by DeLeon, or clean motives, as proposed by Lee, are interesting additions to the dynamics of whistle blowing.

Whatever the case, we are not against whistle blowing per se no matter how it is perceived or considered by others, especially the entrenched establishment. On the contrary, we admire the courage it takes to blow that whistle.

The WTW center-“piece” was meant to be an acknowledgment of whistleblowers; a salute, if left-handed, to the three we cited, General Taguba included.

Incidentally, we are fully aware of the record of the general. We have met him and his wife. We are his "fans" among those much older than him. 


Cavalier Wilfredo “Willie” Mejia noting, perhaps rightfully so, that it was a “slow news/issued week,” wrote that he was amazed with our “journalistic” versatility and depth, our ability “to come up with a posting that is both informative and entertaining.”

And all along we thought, we were the only ones preoccupied, guilty of, if you will, of witful, er wishful, thinking. Evidently, WTW reader and fellow Cavalier Mejia is thinking wishfully too.


On the other hand, Cavalier Eriberto “Bert” Varona ’66, suggests it’s “already time for WTW to graduate into a regular column of a major newspaper.”

Thank you, Admiral, but yours, perhaps, is a mother, if not the mother of all wishful thinking, for a couple of reasons.

One, we are not disposed to graduations; we happen to think that graduations mean leaving – leaving a place where you are and we are completely happy where we are.

Two, the world of major newspapers is already well covered by a fellow Cavalier, Ramon “Mon” Farolan ’56, and his “Reveille.” The space  may be too small for both “Reveille” and WTW.  


@arf-arf ’64
wtw 09-21   
deakins hall, maryland