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by Totoy Rivera

Here are a few interesting statistics about the "fabled, controversial, rebellious, hard-headed, unorthodox, unconventional, etc." PMA MATATAG  Class of 1971:

109 graduated in March 28, 1971 although one (1) joined our Creator just before graduation due to LEUKEMIA. Deceased MATATAGs is 11 and they are Willy Tapia, Frank Brawner (Army), Nonito Dallo (Army), Ambet Costales (Navy), Rey Doria (Air Force), Tates Nartatez (Air Force), Nolan Ramos (Air Force), Jun Sarmenta (Air Force), Benjie Casabar (PC), Edwin Cuenco (PC), and Tony Duran (PC).

Two (2) foreign Academy graduates joined the class namely Maj Gen Narsing Abaya from West Point and former Customs Commissioner Bing Alano from USNA, Annapolis. Today the actual strength of the Class is unknown since there are inactive adopted members not attending Class activities (pati regular members di nga uma-attend) and some of their whereabouts are unknown (Nakalimutan na nga kung sino-sino sila). The most active among the adopted members are Al-Tetet Dagudag and Obet-Susan Pagdanganan.

In the ARMY, 17 are still in the active service having 10 generals (Narsing Abaya, Rey Alcasid, Al Dagudag, Romy Dominguez, Caloy Garcia, Cesar Gopilan, Jake Malajacan, Rey Rivera, Rudy Vasquez, Ed Purificacion) with 9 in waiting (Levy Zamora, Marte Chioco, Cesar Gopilan, Alex Lasan, Ernie Lumang, Dong Tabamo, Jerry Albano, Tady Claravall). There are 5 foreign based MATATAGs namely; Estan David, Rolly Degracia, Doy Francisco, and Ruben Gange excluding of course Ging Cagurangan and Bob Sacramento who still enjoy the company of Filipinos in Cavite and Subic, respectively. Most distinguished Army member of the class is Senator Gringo Honasan.

Of the 10 that joined the NAVY, only three (3) remain in the active service with 100% holding star rank and they are Aris de los Reyes, Ruben Domingo and Jack Tan. Aris Delos Reyes is recently promoted to Rear Admiral and holding the position of J5 at GHQ. In about a year, one of them is expected to hold the reins of the PN. Wency Cruz is still with Ayala. There are four (4) foreign based namely; Archie Almario, Soc Brazal, Jun Fabros and Bob Laciste. In limbo are the looks of Cesar Pabuayon and Pewee Peralta.

The AIR FORCE  has only 12 active service members (out of the 38?) with six (6) generals namely; James Canatoy, Bert Sillona, Boy Castellano, Bong Ebuen, Danny Francia, and Nelson Eslao. They have the most number of foreign based Mistahs numbering 9 with the looks of Edwin Abello, Tex Balmaceda, Danny Belonia, Philip Espejo, Ernie Fernandez, Rolly Malinis, Ed Maranon, Miles Millena and Dan Perico. Members who have been unseen for quite sometime are Narsing Dauz (Manager of Valley Golf Club in Antipolo), Bobby Navida, Manny Resplandor and Nick Varona.

The PNP has the most number remaining in the active service totaling 23 (of 33?) , Rex Piad holds the highest rank (3 stars), eight (8) hold two-star ranks namely Rey Acop, Egay Aglipay, Vic Batac, Cata Cataluna,  Jimmy de la Cruz, Efren Fernandex, Dick De Leon, and Rey Velasco. Sixteen (16) are 1-star and they are Joe Ayap, Ben Cabagnot, Cutes Cataluna, Dick de Leon, DA Domingo, Tiboy Fusilero, Rolly Garcia, Virtus Gil, Ed Matillano, Ed Mana-ay, Reynor Gonzales, Joey Lalisan, Atot Paredes, and Twiggy Zubia. Ping Lacson, who once held the highest rank (4 stars) in the service, is now a Senator together with Greg Honasan. Fines Finones whereabouts is a mystery. Regie Regalado and Teody Viduya are unsure of their star-rank fate in the service. Enjoying their stay abroad are Jun Paynor, who is Ambassador to Israel, and Ariel Domingo.

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