Select Page

Winston “Arf-Arf” Arpon '64


Joe Guevara and Conrado de Quiros,
Move Over

Since last week’s WTW (09-03-11), the last several days have been on the road for me and my friend. For me, it was Makati, Metro Manila to Adelphi, Maryland and to Washington, D.C. For her, it was Makati, Metro Manila to Sta. Barbara, California and to Washington, D.C. And finally for both of us, it was Washington, D.C. to San Francisco, California.
No rest for the weary. So, she suggested that this week’s column can be moved.
“If Hemingway had a feast that was moveable,” she argued, “your column, at least for this week, can be moved as well.”
She knows my weaknesses. Among them, Ernest Hemingway and his novel, A Moveable Feast. And the ultimate weakness–masunurin.

At 5:10 a.m. today, Beijing time, by God’s will, our beloved Pilar Arpon – Mom, Iday, Ninang – left us to be with her Creator. Please pray for the repose of her soul.
At 6:00 a.m., I sent this text message— brief but certainly most difficult and painful for me to write and share with family and friends in the Philippines and the US. On that day, Tuesday, March 18, exactly one year ago, I lost a WIFE—Woman, Inspiration, Friend, Everything – of 42 years, 9 months and 24 days.

Cavalier Agapito Heredia ’70, the subject, or to be precise, the ‘owner’ of last WTW’s center-“piece”—Pitong (not Peyton) Place—wrote, “Why me?” wondering what he had done and for which he was singled out.
No, Peythong, (a new monicker, following last week’s WTW), you were not singled out. No, you weren’t called, I admit. But you were chosen, by me and a few other fellow PMAers, including those in your neck of the woods, I mean, Peythong Place.

Item:   Obama signs carryover budget bill.
The budget included approximately 1% earmarks.
If you don’t know what earmarks are, don’t be embarrassed. Many don’t. In the Philippines, in Congress specifically, they’re known as pork barrel.
Hindi ka nag-iisa, Pilipinas.

Incidentally, candidate Barak Obama campaigned against earmarks, er pork barrel.

Joe Guevara – may his soul rest in peace – was a favorite of mine then. My previous e-column, Reveille, Tattoo, Taps/Weekly, Weakly, Meekly was to emulate his Manila Bulletin column, “Point of Order.” 
Alberto de Quiros – may he continue to be alive and kicking, literally and figuratively – is my favorite now.  I can’t put down the Philippine Daily Inquirer until I have read and have had my fill of his acerbic column, “There’s the Rub.”

Sorry, Joe and sorry, Conrado. But you both have to move over.
If you read, as I did, last Monday’s column, “Reveille,” by CC, I mean, Cavalier Columnist, Ramon J. Farolan ’56, you will understand why this columnist-wannabe has undergone a change of heart.
“In a recent column, I had some special notes on PMA icons. I reported that in the history of the academy, only one individual graduated No. 1 in the class, and also served as first captain (baron) of the cadet corps. This was cadet Leopoldo Regis, class of 1951, who died in the crash of President Ramon Magsaysay’s plane in 1957.
“Two days ago, Navy Capt. Winston Arpon, class 1964, sent me a sheaf of his literary work and corrected me, saying that the No. 1 graduate of his class and also first captain was cadet Manuel Arevalo. Unfortunately, the Academy Scribe that lists the Graduation Day awardees for every PMA class has Manuel Arevalo as the Presidential Sabre awardee (No. 1 graduate) but lists the Chief of Staff sabre awardee, which goes to the first captain of the corps, as Jorge P. Agcaoili. But Winston Arpon should know best. After all, he served as a member of the Regimental Staff when Arevalo was first captain.
“Because of this error, I also discovered that there was a third cadet who served as first captain of the corps and graduated No. 1 in the class. Cadet Aristeo Ferraren of the class of 1938 held both positions. That makes three individuals with this rare achievement.
“A wonderful writer—I thoroughly enjoyed reading his notes on “Witful Thinking, Wednesday”—Winston Arpon served at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. as an assistant of Ambassador Kokoy Romualdez. He has his own column for the PMA community posted weekly on the Internet. On graduation from the PMA, Arpon was awarded the following: JUSMAG Military Professional Award, US 13th Air Force Socio-Humanistic Award, DND Press Club Journalistic Award, Chief of Services Award and Philippine Constabulary Award. (This last one is a bit puzzling, as Arpon is a Navy man.)”

Memo to CC Farolan:
No puzzle here, sir. The Philippine Constabulary Award was named after its donor, the Chief, PC. This award was not given to a graduating cadet joining the PC (Class 64 had only three choices – Navy, Air Force and Marines, in that order as far as this Navy man is concerned) but to the one that excelled in Humanities subjects.
And thank you, sir, for crafting this response. Never mind that it comes only after 10 issues of this column – and to some (a WTW reader, Cavalier Urbano “Jun” Fabros ’71, wanted me to explain why my obsession with Reveille and you), only after relentless “stalking” during the last 65 days. 

Thanks to Cavaliers Jaime “Jimmy” Viernes ’72 and Delfin “Del” Lorenzana ’73 for pointing out an error in last week’s WTW, thusly: PnC, created in late 1903 as a spin-off of ACF….”
We meant 2003.
It could not have been 1903, since PMA was founded in 1905. But then again, if PMA was founded in 1898, that would be another story. But you have to ask Cavalier Cesar Pobre ’52. Not us.
@arf-arf ’64
wtw 09-11           
san francisco, california