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Winston "Arf-Arf" Arpon
PMA '64




The New York Yankees, the champion of the American League and the Philadelphia Phillies, the champion of the National League are in the World Series of US baseball. Both are contenders from the East Coast.

The West Coast, the City of Los Angeles in particular, had two teams in the league championships – the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels. Both failed to make it.


This was the first year that POTUS Obama made the traditional presidential, rather ceremonial, pitch in the All-Star game of America’s national sport. But the two teams from POTUS Obama’s adopted city of Chicago, the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox (he wore a Chicago White Sox jacket when he made the first pitch) and the team from his city of residence, the Washington Nationals, failed to contend during the season.

Fans of baseball and Obama have nothing to worry. American baseball is here to stay. And the POTUS? He has three more years left, seven if he gets reelected, to lend his winning ways.  


UBS, a US investment bank, has upgraded its growth outlook for the Philippines for 2010.

American firms scout prospects in Mindanao.

Medusa Mining Ltd., an Australian mining firm has increased its production target for 2009-2010.

The Philippines leads Asian banks in citing rates to pump-prime the economy amid the lingering global crisis.
Yes, boys and girls, it’s the Philippines they are talking about. And we have looked through the window to be able to see and say, as we did in our last issue, that the sun is brightly shining outside.


Item:   Storm to hit RP late Friday is named Santi.

Santissimo! [1]


Just when we suspected that WTW readers were warming up to our idea of the GRrr growl, for the presidential and vice-presidential tandem of Gilberto Teodoro and Ronnie Puno, the latter announces he is quitting from the race.

Now the beleaguered party of the administration, Lakas-Kampi, is looking for a replacement and the name of Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia has been mentioned.

We don’t know what the party strategists are thinking, but GGgg sounds to us like the sound of a drowning pair.


Puno was wearing a yellow necktie when he made the announcement.

It had to be a coincidence! But knowing Puno, we are tempted to think what many may be thinking.

When the dust clears, if the dust clears, would we find him wearing more than just a yellow necktie, before May next year? Strange things happen in politics and we think even stranger things, when the person involved is Ronnie Puno.


We thought we had a good handle on the principals in the 2010 national elections, with our initial thoughts (09-10-14 WTW/”Initial-Speaking: Presidential and Vice-Presidential Hopefuls et. al.”)

Then Loren Legarda started “agonizing” over which of her “suitors” she would choose and  the spokespersons or handlers of Vilma Santos follows suit with the declaration that she won’t consider being the running mate of Manny Villar. Ronnie Puno pulls himself out of consideration and on the heels of this “bombshell” Chiz Escudero’s own “bombshell,” quitting the NPC Party.

Now our initial thought are in disarray, left with only two – good, old N&M and J&J. It’s goodbye to GRrr, V&V and CHILL? Back to the drawing board…..


Top Ten Reasons Why Ebdane is Running for President: [2]

10.   One more “suitor” to add to Loren Legarda’s lengthening list of presidential candidates [3]


Last week we wrote about our disappointment with the decision of the Comelec to remove the Aging Pinoy from the party list. We mentioned that Ramon J. Farolan, who belongs to the PMA Class of 1956, has written pieces in his column, Reveille, championing the cause of senior citizens.

As if on cue, Farolan’s column this week [4] was on Republic Act 9527, the “Expanded Senior Citizen Act of 2003,” in which he expanded on his thoughts and advocacy of a cause that seems to be close to his heart.

He could not have put it more clearly when he wrote, “…I have always strongly supported the implementation of the Senior Citizen Law, advocating that any doubts should be resolved in favor of the senior citizen.”

Farolan gets our vote, hands down, for an SCY award, Senior Citizen of the Year.


It is the simplest of pre-marital agreements or pre-nups.

My fiancée keeps all that she has.

I keep all that I don't have.


A high-profile bride and an equally high-profile groom. Two celebrities – a popular broadcast journalist, Korina Maria Sanchez and an incumbent senator, Manuel Mar Roxas II. Add to the picture another senator, Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino, a presidential candidate, currently the odds-on favorite to win the election in 2010, and you have a case for saying this has to be the wedding of the year in the Philippines.


But for the fact that the groom is a friend, Noynoy, a bachelor, would not have been one of the ninongs [5]. There’s a belief among Filipinos, Noynoy claimed, that single men who agree to be a wedding sponsor would have a hard time getting married.

This, we think, should be the least of Noynoy’s worries. Prospective First Ladies, he will find out should he win the election, won’t be difficult to find.


Serpentina – this was the description that we read in the papers the day before the wedding.

No, this was not a description of Korina but a description of the bridal gown.


The gown had a train, a very long one – all of five meters.

If you saw the train like I did at close range, you may have felt this way too: Gusto ko nang sumakay [6].


A golden paineta in her head.

No, Vrad [7} that’s not Italian for pain. Paineta is a decorative comb that she wore, we think, quite elegantly.


The wedding ceremony started on the dot.

The dot was 4:30pm. One-and-one-half hour later than the 3:00pm on the invitation.


I felt good, very good for my fiancée and myself when I heard it, even without my hearing aid, while walking on the red carpet from the gate to the church door – the cheering from the crowd that were watching by the fence.

Was this our 15-second of fame? When I looked around, it was then that I knew it wasn’t. The cheering was neither for one or both of us. It was for Erap [8]


New WTW reader Connie Macasaet thanked us for last week’s issue; our “mother-in-law” anagram, she wrote, “brought back happy memories of good old Joe Guevarra's (sic) column way back.”

“It'll be something to look forward to weekly,” she wrote of future issues, “no matter the day it comes.”

In fairness to Ms. Macasaet, her tolerance is not the reason why WTW is tardy this week, and, on this score, our special regrets to Blackjack.[9]

When it comes to this issue, as every reader knows, we would like to err on the side of low expectations.  Raising expectations can be counterproductive.


Romeo “Fards” Fajardo, x92, insists that he “would rather remain a silent reader by the sidelines… reading and reacting silently.”

Our response: No deal. Not when he is right, once again, about our errata in last week’s WTW. Adel Tamano, not Adal Tamano. And Cavalier Custodio Parcon ’87, not Custodio Pardon; although, contrary to his suggestion, we think that Cavalier Parcon may need a pardon after almost four years in incarceration.

And certainly not when Fajardo, by his reading and reacting, gives us the assurance that at least someone reads our column.


We have to admit that we hesitate to share this, given the fact that the national elections in the Philippines now less than 200 days away – see our continuing count below.

When rearranged, the letters in ‘ELECTION RESULTS,’ read thusly: LIES – LETS RECOUNT.

Memo to our politicians and the Comelec: Please take note that this is just an anagram; no more, no less. [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 194 days, 4,656 hours, 279,360 minutes, 16,761,600 seconds and 33,523,200 ticks before May 10, 2010, before the Philippine national elections (or non-election).


Happy Halloween!


@arf-arf ‘64
wtw 09-42
makati, philippines


[1] Holy Saint!

[2] Starting with this and the next 9 issues, we join the speculations – largely those in the PMA e-forums, PnC (PlebesaNdCavaliers) and ACF (Academy Cavaliers’ Forum) – on this subject. 

[3] Reason 09 will be in next week’s WTW.

[4] Reveille, Philippine Daily Inquirer, October 26, 2009.

[5] Ninong and ninang, male and female, respectively, are sponsors in a Filipino wedding.

[6] I wanted to ride the train.

[7] Vrad is Cavalier Vladimir Punto ’74. It was he who convinced us to write this weekly column and since then he has been a constant WTW C5 – Contributor, Correspondent, Co-Conspirator, Conniver, Critic.

[8] Former President and presumed presidential candidate Joseph Ejercito Estrada who inexplicably, for us, was one of the invited guests. If he gate crashed, that would have been all over the papers the following day.

[9] We owe a special apology to Cavalier Gregorio “Blackjack” Carino ’69 who noticed that the last two issues of WTW were on time.
“Ahhh, it must be Wednesday,” he wrote of our last issue. “I see a trend developing, we can now expect WTW on Wednesdays…”

[10] Like last issue’s “Mother-in-Law” rearranged to “Woman Hitler,” this is one of many we received from Cavalier Francisco “Mike/Banat” San Miguel ‘51. 

[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.