Education is lifelong


Pleasant discoveries sometimes occur even in the most unlikely of circumstances. Whatever it is that may be wreaking havoc on people’s lives, the less stern stuff can either get disoriented altogether or allow the baffling situation to overturn their lives completely.

We chanced upon one recognition and awards ceremony of a local university in Dumaguete. It could have been just one of your usual, commonplace ceremonies, except that one honoree stood out. It was not because he was the lone male, but rather, because of the total number of awardees, he was the most senior.

At 52, we may say that age is just a number for Primo Arbon Jr. III. Despite his many accomplishments, his insatiable thirst for learning has not waned. Because of the nature of his endeavors, his completing and, consequently, graduating from a particular degree has been set aside momentarily.

“I studied Accountancy at Silliman University for two years, but left to join the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), where I spent another two years in Fort Del Pilar in Baguio City. Things did not go as planned, so I left the PMA and worked thereafter in military-related assignments and supervised some businesses, too, for big companies,” Arbon related, vividly reminiscing those years.

In between these pursuits, he managed to earn an Aikido/Japanese Martial Arts Authority-to-Instruct from the Philippine Combat Aikido in 1995. It is primarily because of his interest in this form of martial arts that Arbon earned an Aikido Book Copyright in 1998 that could easily make him the first and only Filipino Aikido instructor-author in the world. Two of the 14 books he has written on different topics are on Aikido, sold nationwide.

It was Arbon’s stint at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Dumaguete, where he worked for approximately 15 years, that his fervor to serve the country grew more intensely. He made an impact as chief of law enforcement and traffic adjudication services, helping collect and remit unsurpassed amounts and collections, even up to now, to the national government. He was rated by the LTO national office under then Assistant Secretary Arturo Lomibao, retired PNP Director General, as topnotcher (number 1, to stress the point) in the first-ever and only region-wide road management strategy seminar.

“While in active government service, and in coordination with other law enforcement agencies, I volunteered or, at times, invited to be a confidential agent of the Army”s Intelligence Service,” he shared.

It was through a generous offer by an aunt, who happens to be a faculty member of Silliman University, that he thought of enrolling anew in the University. As he recalled: “This was in 2016. I have always been interested in foreign affairs and diplomacy, and it was perfect timing that the B.S. in Foreign Affairs degree program opened.”

Due to the demands of the course, Arbon confessed that he is not on a full academic load. “I want to be thorough in my readings so that I can make an intelligent analysis of certain issues. I need to read and understand fully what our professors are asking from us,” he intimates. Thus, except for academic-related endeavors, he distances himself from extra-curricular activities by his own choice. When not attending his classes, he does farming at home.

At present, Arbon is setting his attention on his application for the first-ever Undergraduate Fulbright Scholarship Program in any university in the US. His eminent professors, all of whom have very good words for him and his aptitude, have vouched for his capability to tackle the challenge.

“I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to realize this and eventually qualify for the scholarship. I hope to use whatever insights I would learn from the experience to benefit the community and the country in general,” Arbon articulated. | NWI