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Winston "Arf-Arf" Arpon
PMA '64


Top Ten Reasons Why Ebdane Bowed Out


Most indications were pointing finally to a recovery from the worst financial crisis to hit the US and the world. Then, the news started filtering in about a moratorium on a $60 billion debt, raising global fears of the risk of a default bigger than that of Argentina in 2001. The culprit: the development arm of the United Arab Emirate – Dubai World.

But not to worry, world. And this includes Inang Bayan Philippines. If credit rating agencies Fitch and Moody are correct, the Dubai World problem will have minimal impact on emerging markets like the Philippines. And another reason, we think, for us once again to look out the window to see and find that the sun brightly shining outside [1].


Two weeks ago, Tiger Woods won the Australian Masters for his 7th victory of the year.  This was the first visit in 11 years to Australia.

Now, he finds himself in a controversy involving the circumstances around a car accident outside of his home in Florida. Ignoring Tiger’s appeal for respect to his privacy on this matter, the tabloids are reporting that this happening can be traced all the way back to Australia. If so, we could have reminded the number one golfer of the world of the ditty, which said in part:

Don’t you go, oh don’t you go to far Australia
Where you may forget your darling far away

That was Zamboanga, not Australia, sorry.


She spoke about her wardrobe – but of course! Sarah Palin did, in her last interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Palin also talked about why the Republican presidential ticket lost.
"The economy,” she said, “changed under a Republican administration. People were sincerely looking for change. They were quite concerned about the road that America was on with its economy. They did not want more of the same. They did not want status quo. And I think, unfortunately, our ticket represented what was perceived as status quo."

We think she could have summed up all of these 54 words in three: Barack Hussein Obama.


This is unprecedented. Someone has finally taken the trouble to find and has come up with a word that POTUS Obama and his White House love to use. An “addiction” of Obama’s White House, the report said, with Obama himself using the word in more than 90 instances and “at least 129 times in everything from major addresses to small speeches, statements, memorandums and proclamations”.

We thought the word was ‘calibrate’ and Cavalier Wilfredo Mejia would think we were right. Wrong.

The word is ‘unprecedented.’

Then again, Obama’s rise to the presidency is, well, unprecedented.


The deadline for filing Certificate of Candidacy for the May 2010 elections in the Philippines expired at midnight last night, December 1, 2009.

We thought we had this 2010 election poster of ours – the second attempt of Cavalier Cleo Erfe ’69 – in good shape, but with last-minute decisions on the part of the principal presidentiables have once again made it necessary for us to go back to the drawing board.


On the way to the Commission on Elections, to file his CoC on the day before the deadline, presidential aspirant Erap Estrada, driving the jeepney, had a freak accident, hitting his head on the mirror. Over the swelling above his left eye, he had to put a bottle.

No, not a bottle of alcohol but a bottle of water. Erap, we think, could find better use for the alcohol.


GMA said that “the people of my home district in Pampanga want me to remain in public life.” So, she “decided to respond affirmatively to their call but only after “much soul-searching.”

She must have found her soul because on the last day, she filed her certificate of candidacy.


Perhaps aware of the controversy the day earlier between CoC filers Manny Villar and Erap Estrada over who had the right to wear orange [2], GMA was in green. Jaded green; we mean, jade green.


Two opponents of GMA – Adonis Simpao, an architect and Feliciano Serrano, an engineer – one can consider builders who can build a case against GMA but that would not be enough to deny GMA the congressional seat.  The third, Filipinas Sampang, an entrepreneur will be hard put pitting herself against an economist.

In one of our issues (2009-07-01/“Independence Day Redux: Where Do We Go From Here?”), we wrote: Yes, boys and girls, it is Randy David versus Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for a congressional seat in the province of Pampanga, a contest between a David and a Goliath. David’s David against Gloria’s Goliath.

This match did not materialize. A couple of days earlier, the UP professor retreatred from his earlier promise to put up a fight against GMA against all odds.

Our David may have lost not only his slingshot. He could have lost his heart too.


Headline:   17 Cabinet running in 2010 polls.

Running or running away?


“My love for chess,” writes Cavalier James P. Ramon ’62 in a letter to the editor [3], “is no less than (my love) for billiards and boxing because I believe that (we) Filipinos could compete with anybody on equal footing in this (sic) sports and expect reasonable success, unlike others (basketball, baseball, softball, etc.) where we are at a disadvantage when facing taller and bigger or heavier opponents.”

To encourage “budding players in all nooks and corners of our country,” he asked the sports editor to publish a blow-by-blow, move-by-move account of the matches in the current World Chess Cup. He was singling out the moves of a Filipino grandmaster in his triumph over other world-class grandmasters – a high school student from Cavite, 17-year-old Wesley So.

So it was written. So it shall be done. We think so and we hope so.


Columnist Ramon J. Farolan was at it again – and at his usual best, writing about one of his passions well known to readers like us: his advocacy of senior citizen rights.

In his PDI column, Reveille, the other week, he was advocating for the application of the 20% senior discount on green fees. The language of RA 9257 (Expanded Seniors Citizens Act) apparently is not clear on this.

As our favorite Cavalier Columnist has asked, we join a fellow senior golfer in shouting, as much as our failing vocal chords will allow us, Fore!


Beauty, as we know, is in the eye of the beholder.

My fiancée’s beauty?  It's in the eye of a beholden – and that’s me.


Based on the number of CoCs filed, 80 want to be CinC to succeed GMA after June 30. With the withdrawal of former Public Highways Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr., the only military officer among the 80 potential Commander-in-Chief  is David T. Alimorong, PMA Class ’62. 

Ebdane’s boss could still be CinC, Congresswoman in Chief; that is, if she wins her congressional bid and, as anticipated and/or feared, she is chosen as Speaker of the House.


Ebdane joined other presidential wannabes turned presidential wannomores with his withdrawal at the last moment from the “fight we could not win” which was a blow to the bulk of his core supporters, the members of the party, Partido ng Mangagawa at Magsasaka.

These workers and farmers, they have learned to labor, with or without Ebdane. Now, they may have to learn to wait, till their champion finds a fight that he can win.


We didn’t know if what we had learned was true – that a Manifesto was in the making to be unveiled when Ebdane filed his CoC. Now, we may never know.

But like Ebdane’s party of workers and farmers, we think we too can wait.


No, we can’t come up with 10 reasons why Ebdane quit the presidential race.

As this is written, we have just learned that Ebdane has filed his candidacy for Governor of Zambales.

No, we won’t come up with 10 reasons why Ebdane, perhaps imitating his former boss at Malacanang, did this detour or downgrade from the presidency.


But now, we have no choice but to discontinue our ‘Top Ten Reasons Why Ebdane is Running for President,’  a series that we started four weeks and four reasons ago and planned to complete in six weeks and six reasons. What a waste! And to think that we had a couple to add to what we had already published [4]

Oh well… But here they are anyway, for whatever it’s worth:

06.  Talking of the three Es – Estrada, Escudero and Ebdane. Estrada is too old; Escudero, too young;  Ebdane is just the right age [5]

05. Anyone who has been the distinguished President of the PMA Class of 1970, the Magiting [6] class,  for four straight years is distinguished enough to be President of the Philippines for six years [7].


Our thanks to all those that weighed in on our segment in a previous issue (2009-11-18 WTW/ “7th Heaven or Cloud 9?”) on the US commander-in-chief aka POTUS Obama not rendering a salute nor putting his hand over his breast during the Veterans Day celebration at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

“I don’t know,” VicE wrote us, “if this is more revolting than a civilian Commander-in-Chief rendering a salute?”

On Obama’s bowing before the Japanese emperor, Cavalier Nebuchadnezzar “Nebu” Alejandrino may have read our thoughts and spoken for us when he wrote: “The age of kings and emperors have (sic) been buried in the bowels of the past……Why bow when we are all equals?”


Yes, boys and girls, we have been outWTWed, we mean outwitted, on this one, but again we don’t mind at all: [8].

Senior citizens, they are the leading carriers of AIDS. Just consider these: Hearing aids; band aids; Rolaids; Walking aids; Medical aids; Government aids.

And most of all, monetary aids to their children!


Using “How Many Days Oh Noble Cataline?” a plebe knowledge [9], we are continuing the countdown we started several issues back: 

Sir, there are 159 days, 3,816 hours, 228,960 minutes, 17,737,600 seconds and 27,475,200 ticks before May 10, 2010, before the Philippine national elections (or non-election).


@arf-arf ‘64
wtw 09-47
makati city, philippines


[1] A center-“piece” subject of an earlier issue (2009-10-21 WTW/”Outside, The Sun is Brightly Shining; Or Is It?”).
[2] Both candidates were in orange attire
[3] Ramon shared his letter with us through the mailgroup, PnC, PlebesaNdCavaliers
[4] The four that we had already published: 

10. One more “suitor” to add to Loren Legarda’s lengthening list of presidential candidates.
09. The Man from Zambales Loves The Man from La Mancha and Karaoke: This is my quest… to follow the stars…no matter how hopeless…no matter how far…” (A contribution of Cavalier Victor “Vic” Erfe ’69).
08. He has the proper credentials, initial-ly speaking. H.E., for Hermogenes Ebdane; H.E., for His Excellency.   
07. As former Secretary of Public Works and Highways, he will find ways to get things done: His way or the highway! (A contribution of Cavalier Vladimir “Vrad” Erfe ’74).

[5] Escudero, like Ebdane, has withdrawn, leaving the 72-year-old Estrada in the race
[6] Magiting, in Filipino, means distinguished 
[7] A contribution of Cavalier Irwin Ver ‘70, a former class president himself and class valedictorian
[8] Thanks to WTW reader Larry “Lar” Leviste who shared  this with  us
[9] 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.