Search This Blog

Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer Colds?

I felt it last night
my throat hurts
and, I couldn't fall asleep
even in different positions
while in bed with eyes shut.

I felt like something-someone
is scratching my throat
and, I tried to find the reason why
I have this colds symptom
with teary eyes, now...
Ah, forget this silly idea
I have colds, period.

It just happens
whatever season we have
what can I do but go
to the restroom and blow
my runny nose...
numerous times already
and it's annoying me
my, what the heck
my nose is getting stuffy
and I'm having phlegm
from my soar throat!

Back to bed
and tried to sleep again
sideways, flat on my back
back and forth
back and forth
but, I couldn't get myself
to slumber, why?

This sore throat I have
this colds is bothering me
robbing me of my sanity
to sleep, to rest.

I just lay down
now with body pain
whether I can sleep
or not, and before I know it
dawn is breaking!

I feel tired this morning
but decided to take a shower
a lukewarm shower, and
a quick one, how's that?
just to see if my nose
and lungs are cleared.

But, the cold symptoms
they're adding up...
I'm sneezing again
and having headache
coughing, too, you know
why, I don't know!

Adding to my discomfort
unbearable, the weather is
so hot and humid outside
that the heat index, you know
already in the triple digit, whoa!

Summer colds, anyone?

copyright 2011 by chris alibin quilpa

What a Day It Was Yesterday!

(Note: I was supposed to go to the computer (a laptop lent to me by my young adult son since the middle of May, this year) to transcribe on my blog what I've written on my note pad yesterday while at a Subway restaurant near our place but got preoccupied with something else. Anyway, on my note pad, I started with these lines...)

Thursday, 28 July 2011. This morning at ten, after breakfast (of one-third cup of hot oatmeal with a small amount of organic milk), my wife and I went to Virginia Beach, particularly to our bank (one of three, actually) that used to be along Hampton Blvd. in Norfolk, on your way to Norfolk Naval Station/Air Station, collectively called NOB or Norfolk Naval Base (famous for being the world's largest naval base). With our 1999 Toyota Avalon XL which still runs great, to my knowledge (despite having over 125,000 miles on it!), I did the driving this time. In spite of my chronic lower back problem and having teary-eyed, especially my right eye, I tried driving, though, just to give my wife a break from the wheel.

To go to Virginia Beach (the largest city of "Old Dominion" or Virginia, population-wise, we have to pass by a tunnel. I guess that's the Midtown Tunnel. Or, downtown Tunnel? I tell you, honestly, I'm still confused up to this day which one is which, despite the fact that my family and I have lived here in southeastern Virginia for 27 years, from California. That qualifies me, then, to be called a "transplant," right? Anyway, going back to our road trip to Virginia Beach.

Traffic was smooth. We didn't encounter any traffic problem or accident on the road. I suppose or guess that we got lucky, this time, the fact that there's always heavy traffic going to and from Virginia Beach as you get closer to the tunnel. It's commonplace that traffic gets slower as cars are always bumper-to-bumper as you head to the narrow tunnel. As you may know, traffic gridlock has been a problem over here in Hampton Roads.

Arriving at our destination, we were greeted or helped by, shall I call or say, a "kababayan" or female Filipino or Fil-Am bank teller-receptionist who happened to be in one of the counters/windows in that bank. Her name is Carol. (Listening to the way she enunciates or speak English, I guess that she's from the Visayan region, because of her accent.) Friendly and courteous as she was, she provided us with the information that we need to know. Then, she mentioned about their "sales" promo about a particular product. We got curious and interested that we wanted to know more about it. She, therefore, referred us to one of her fellow female bank employees, but we were told to have a seat in the lounge (where there's a big flat-screen television) in that spacious lobby) and wait because she's busy helping with a bank customer. In a few minutes, we were already seen talking to the designated female bank employee in her office. I presumed she's the bank manager. I guessed I was right. My wife and I inquired about this and that. And, Jenny, the one helping us at that moment, was kind and informative, and convincing enough to clarify and answer our queries. Then, my wife and I have made up our mind to try their sales promo product. Let's see what happens, we thought. Before we bade Jenny goodbye and said Thank You to her, we assured her to be back and see her again, perhaps tomorrow, Friday.

Now, at the bank's parking lot, my wife unlocked the car with her remote and key and then tried to start the car. It didn't start! She tried again. And again, she did. The car didn't start at all. Not a click or sound as she turned the key on the ignition. We noticed a faint light that's flashing on and off by the left side of the steering wheel. And on the dash board were some indication lights that appeared. I did try to start with my key, and try several attempts. Nothing. We're becoming frustrated and a bit worried. We got out of the car. And, it was getting hot and humid. (You know that we're in the middle of summer here in America. And the weather forecast yesterday said that heat index/temperature may be in the triple digit today over here in Hampton Roads area.)

Well, to continue my story, I noticed on my watch that it was getting close to noontime. We waited outside as we sought shelter on a shady shrub with lots of flowers. I don't know what the name of the plant is. But, anyway, we're getting impatient. We thought, if our car doesn't start at all then we have to call a towing company. (We'll surely have the car be checked because this is not the first time it happened. It happened to me before, for the first time. I had it checked, then. After a thorough examination, the auto mechanic, who used a monitoring device or machine, said there was nothing wrong with it. One time, when my young son drove it to his friend's in another city, he encountered the same problem on our car when he was about to go home that late night from his friend's. I came to know the following day that the car was towed and that my wife picked my son up that night. The following morning my wife and I went to the service-gas station where our car was that night. I tried to start the car. It worked!)

My wife, then, got in the car and tried to start it again. She noticed there's no light flashing already. Lo and behold! The engine started! Thanks God, we exclaimed! This time, she drove it all the way back to our place. But, on our way back home, we decided to drop by at a Subway restaurant, near our house. There, we had a foot-long tuna sandwich with chips and iced-sweet tea. That's where I scribbled the above three paragraphs of this article. We purchased an extra foot-long sandwich, Spicy Iltalian, supposed to be for my sis-in-law and for my young adult son (who may still be sleeping!) While I was about to start writing on my ruled pad paper, my wife called her sister who happened to be out of the house, at that time in a store and, in ten-fifteen minutes, eventually joined us for lunch. Then, the latter decided to go ahead and go home after lunch (bringing with her my son's sandwich), while my wife and I hang around the restaurant for a while. That's when I started writing this "journal" entry, while my wife was reading a free copy of the community newspaper that's available outside of the strip mall where we were.  Later on, we left for home. The car was running good. What a day!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yesterday's Happenings: A Story Within A Story

Early Monday morning at six-forty, my wife, my young adult daughter and I left our house for C-ville, a two and a half-hour drive from our place. My wife and I brought our daughter back to C-ville (where she's having summer internship) after the latter spent the weekend with us. ( Her older brother volunteered to pick her up Friday after the former was done, I was told,  with his auditioning (for a possible movie role?) while in Richmond, which is an hour drive to and from C-ville.)

Our plan was this: to have our van ready, with full tank so we don't need to be stopping by at a gas station early Monday morning on our way to C-ville. That we just go straight with our road trip. It's good that my wife decided, with my approval, to go out and fill up our van that Sunday afternoon around five o'clock. That is, after we've all arrived home and rested for hours from attending the 9:30 AM Mass or church service and having lunch (my wife and her sister/my sis-in-law, and I) at Subway restaurant inside the NEX (Navy Exchange) Store at Scott Center Annex, in Portsmouth. My sis-in-law was the one who treated us for lunch. She also bought extra two one-foot-long Sub sandwiches for her nephew and her niece. I'm referring to my kids, I mean. By the way, my son and my daughter were not with us during Mass because the latter was scheduled to play piano for church service at Portsmouth Christian Church at eleven in the morning. And she gets paid between forty to eighty dollars (depending on what Christian church in the area she is assigned to play piano) for the one-hour church service. Well, her older brother accompanied her and gave her a ride to the church.

As always, we usually stop by either the first rest area or the next, especially if we've been on the road for an hour or an hour and a half, to use the restroom and/or stretch our legs out and, of course, to breathe in fresh air. Or, to have something to eat/drink, like snacks, purchased from those vending machines. I'm glad and thankful that our governor has authorized the reopening of the other rest area that was closed before by the previous administration because of budget shortfall. These rest areas are truly a relief for travelers because they're surrounded with shady tall trees. And, there are also tables in the open that are available for us travelers. All rest areas I've seen and been to are clean and well-maintained. The newer one is actually named Welcome Visitor Center, with displays of newsstands or racks filled with travel/tourism information, colorful magazines and brochures (about cities and historical spots/places in Southeastern Virginia, and they are educational and informative for travelers, visitors, and tourists. Worth-mentioning, too, is the newly-installed art display of the four-letter word L-O-V-E, standing distinctly outside of the building, on the ground or picnic area as you approach the Center or Rest Area. There are ample designated parking spaces for cars and trucks. Cars are parked in front of the Center, while RVs and large trucks, for interstate trip, are parked in the back of the building.

By nine twenty, we arrived at C-ville, proceeded to our daughter's apartment-house (where she's renting one of the six bedrooms for herself for the duration of summer 2011). There, we dropped off her stuff up to her room. After that we drove her to her internship place, in a temporary trailer, not at the university's Art Museum where she's supposed to be but the building is undergoing renovation or minor repair. The area is also near fraternity/sorority houses. I learned from our daughter that she has to be there in the trailer by ten o'clock every morning, from Monday to Wednesday, until two in the afternoon. To save some bucks, she brings her own lunch to her unpaid, volunteer summer "work."After our hugs and "goodbyes" to our daughter, my wife and I were on the road again.

(Note: As I was writing this, my "journal" last night at around 8:00 o'clock (most of the time and not straight to the computer), while our TV set was on, we're having/experiencing thunderstorm and lightning outside, although it wasn't raining yet, despite the hot and humid weather outside---it's summer, you know---but it's hurricane season, too. There were loud intermittent rolling thunder above, everywhere.)

Let me continue my story. On our way back home to Hampton Roads, (we were still around C-ville) we stopped by at a gas station to fill up our van, even if we still have half-full tank on our van. Price of gasoline per gallon, at C-ville, we observed, ranges from $3.63 to #3.69 per gallon. At BP where we filled our van up, it's $3.65 per gallon. With a copy of USA TODAY newspaper, in addition to gasoline for our van, I paid $31.82. We also used their restroom there, prior to continuing with our road trip back home.

(In between writing  these notes on my ruled writing tablet and watching TV on PBS's Nature---about The Orphaned Cheetah, there's a Tornado Warning sign flashed on the TV screen then followed by an announcement by someone from the National Weather Service in Waverly..."A tornado watch in effect for Newport News and Portsmouth areas at 8:24 PM." I discontinued my scribbling, got hold of the remote control and switched channel to WAVY TV 10. This time, I heard the rain falling hard, while experiencing thunder and lightning outside. Meteorologist Don Slater was already announcing, telling viewers to prepare and take cover. Yes, it's raining so hard outside while lightning and the sound of thunder were going on so strong. I thought they're playing bowling up above my roof and somewhere. I wrote on my notepad this: "God, help us to overcome this natural phenomenon (severe thunderstorm). Let your will be done!"  Again, the TV  announcement from the National Weather Service in Waverly was evident: A severe thunderstorm warning in effect for Chesapeake, Hampton, James City, isle of Wight, Newport News, Norfolk, Suffolk, Sussex county until 9 PM. Scattered severe thunderstorms capable of producing frequent lightning and heavy downpour, gusty winds and small hail. It was already 9:37 PM, and WAVY TV 10 meteorologist Don Slater was advising viewers to seek shelter away from windows. In the meantime, my wife was calling me downstairs, asking me how am I doing. She called me downstairs to eat dinner, while the strong thunderstorm was pounding or going on in our area. Before going downstairs, I thought of taking with me our digital camera and a flashlight from our room. I wanted to take a picture of how bad outside was, the downpour was heavy, indeed! (But, I wasn't able to take pictures outside as I partly opened the curtain in our kitchen. It was so dark and the downpour was heavy. Thankfully we have had power or electricity despite the bad weather condition we're encountering!) At that time that we were eating dinner, I remembered my childhood days when we have had strong typhoons in the Philippines. I related to all present on the dining table (my wife, my sis-in-law, and my young adult son) about my family seeking shelter to our nearby barrio chapel before and after a strong typhoon that usually lasts for two-three days. After eating and praying, I went upstairs and continued my writing; I turned on the TV to find out what's happening in our area that's been visited by severe thunderstorm. Then, at 2100 or 9 o'clock PM, there's the scheduled Presidential Address to the Nation by Pres. Barack Obama. It's simultaneously aired in all TV networks, like ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX News, and PBS, Special Report. Well, I have no problem listening to our president updating us on what's going on in America. He spoke, for about fifteen to seventeen minutes, about balancing deficit, budget/spending cuts, raising debt ceiling, etc. He mentioned about default if Congress doesn't tackle raising debt ceiling, and the country's AAA credit rating downgraded by August 2, the deadline for debt default, if we fail to pass a bill raising debt ceiling. Then, after, the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, delivered the Republican Response to Pres. Obama's Speech. By this time, the thunderstorm outside was over or has passed our area. I continued my writing.)

Back to my original story. On our way home from C-Ville, my wife, the driver, thought of us dropping by at Glen Allen for lunch, as we have been doing for almost three or four consecutive weeks. I couldn't say no to her.So, we changed our route for Glen Allen, an hour and a half-drive from C-ville. Prior to having lunch, we drove to Big Lots store where we bought some toilet paper for the house and some munchies. Then, as planned, we had lunch at a Subway restaurant there. After lunch, do you know where we went next? The next store in that strip mall was Dollar Tree Store. You bet, my wife said it's "refreshing" for her to go into a store for a walk or to buy something that it's not that costly. I tell you, folks, I didn't have any intention of buying anything there, but I did. Four new hard-cover books at one dollar each. I know, it sounds so cheap. But, you'll never know what a dollar book can do to improve yourself intellectually. Well, as you know, folks, it's one of my hobbies/weaknesses---buying/collecting books. I don't know about you but I just love to have books at home. As a matter of fact, we have a small library at home, in our family room. The kids have their collection of books, too, in their respective rooms. I have some, too, in our bedroom. Yes, books are almost everywhere at home. There are always reading materials in each corner of our house, which is messy or full of clutter, honestly speaking. I'm telling you the truth, you know. Now, why did we go to that subject, folks? (I do hope I didn't offend someone/somebody.) Let me continue with and finish my story...

So, we arrived in Hampton Roads past four in the afternoon. Hot and humid, outside, as usual. Thanks to God, we're back home safely. But tired, I was, even if I was just a mere passenger.I don't doubt that my wife was, too. Thanks for reading my blog entry. Until next time around, folks. Have a good day/night!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Langauage, My Identity: Ilokano

Curious and observant
and learning Ilokano
though she was born in America
my daughter kept on asking me
why don't they speak Ilokano?
she's referring to people she knows
they are Ilokanos, working in Vigan City
(when she visited my nativeland in 2009)
but they speak "Tagalog" to almost everyone
even to their relatives and friends around.

I told her that that's their choice
to speak Filipino, not Ilokano
although it is not right or wrong
to speak one's native tongue
especially when you're fluent
I'm wondering why, too
these fellow samtoys don't speak Ilokano
and prefer to use "Tagalog" or English
instead of their native language
I guess, it's because of business
to cater to the tourism industry
over there in the Ilocos Region.

Wen, nga agpayso, apay a dida agsao
iti nakayanakanda a pagsasao?
kabainda kadi ti nakaisigudanda
a dila ni Pedro Bukaneg ken Leona Florentina?

Nakakaskas-ang a panunoten
no ti nakairuaman a dila malipatanen
ta apay kadi a saan a maisuro a formal ti Ilokano
iti eskuela, kas kadagiti dadduma dita a pagsasao?

Ammok, a ti asino man kadatayo nawaya
nga agaramid-agusar ti ania man a kaykayatna
ta dayta ti karbenganna kas maysa a parsua
nga addaan nakem, panunot, ken rikna.

Ngem, apayen a dimo usaren
ti nakaisigudam a pagsasaom
uray no agdadata nga ammom
ken saanmo a pakaibabainan?

Wenno mabainka
wenno mainsultoka
kadagiti makangeg no ag-Ilokanoka
apay met a kasta?

Gagayyemko, daytoy ti pudno:
ti lengguahek isu ti kinataok.
saanko ibain nga Ilokanoak.
wen, usarek daytoy a pagsasaok
no Ilokano ti kasangsangok
wenno kapatpatangko.

Here's my plea:
fellow native Ilokanos
our language is our identity
we should use it everywhere
we should be proud of it.

Here's the truth:
if I don't use it, I lose it.
if I fail to use it
I am lost
I am nothing without it
my language, my identity

28 June 2011/@Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel & Conference Center, Glen Allen, VA

copyright 2011 by chris alibin quilpa

Here's an article from the Manila Bulletin entitled "Learning with the Mother Tongue"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The End of the Space Shuttle Program: A Reflection

Thanks to God for the safe return of Atlantis and her crew! Many thanks to the men and women behind the shuttle space program of the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) who have worked so hard to make the program a success.

After 13 days in orbit and to the International Space Station (ISS), the space shuttle orbiter Atlantis has touched down safely at 5:57 AM today at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida marking the historic end of NASA's 30-year space shuttle program. On board with her arrival back to Earth were commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley, and mission specialists Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim, the crew of the STS-135 mission that delivered a year's worth of cargo supplies to the six residents of ISS and brought back their trash to Earth.

It has bee a long journey for the space shuttle program that has been marred by successes and failures, controversies, achievements, and uncertainty for the future of the space exploration program of the United States. We can't forget what happened to the two space shuttles Columbia and Challenger and the 14 crew member-astronauts who didn't make it back to Earth. After a couple of years, after the two shuttle flight disasters, America has to move on. And, we saw or witnessed the continuation of America's determination to space exploration, amidst all that were taking place on Earth---wars, terrorism, poverty, injustice, greed, natural calamities, etc. 

Well, now I know, there is a reason to celebrate at this very moment---that is the successful and historic mission and coming home of Atlantis---but there is also that bittersweet feeling and sadness to note that it's the end of the era of space shuttle program. That leaves thousands of dedicated and hard-working NASA employees to be out of work and unemployed. Their future is uncertain as a result of this ending.

In life, changes and challenges are inevitable. As we continue living, we encounter, and overcome, obstacles. We grow and outgrow for that is the law or nature of life. That we have to move on and accept the change to come, whether we like it or not. The same thing applies to NASA's space shuttle program. Its mission is complete and done and, therefore, it becomes a part of America's space exploration history. And NASA has to move on to the next chapter of its life story, and mission which is to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research (

Having been a frequent visitor to NASA television channel on youtube, since the final launch of the last shuttle orbiter Atlantis on July 8th, Thursday, I'm glad and thankful that Atlantis and her crew returned safely to Earth today. The truth is, I've been praying for all the crews of Atlantis and the ISS for their good health and safety,  and camaraderie up in orbit, since Atlantis made her final voyage to orbit and to ISS and back to Earth. Each day, I don't go to bed until I've watched, via NASA television channel, on youtube, the latest happenings of Atlantis and the ISS. From this experience, I've come to appreciate and become aware of what NASA has been doing with regards to space exploration. I know that there is always danger and risk involved in any job, especially if that job is going to space. But, with adequate funding, strong determination, cooperation, and teamwork, there is success in every project or mission. Thank you, NASA, for all that you have done for humanity.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On Men and Women

(Note: It's past nine o'clock PM when I started writing this blog from our bedroom. That is, after watching a sort of documentary film, Mail Order Wife downstairs, alone, for I was by myself at home. My wife and her sister, my sis-in-law were in their part-time job, while my young adult son was at his friend's house.)

It's unbelievable what a dollar can do to someone like me. I mean, what a dollar book, a new one, can be that interesting, insightful, informative, inspirational, and educational to me. Yes, I couldn't believe it myself that I was able to read it in one sitting today. If I'm not mistaken, I started reading it at ten this morning and finished it by six or seven o'clock this evening. What's the name/title of the book? Guess what, it's the same title as that 2003 movie directed by Sophia Coppola (her second feature film), starring comedian Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson, and was nominated for four Academy Awards (and it won Best Original Screenplay). Simply put, it's Lost in Translation (How Men and Women Can Understand Each Other) by Dr. Steve Stephens, a licensed psychologist, marriage and family therapist, and popular seminar speaker who has authored more than twenty books.

How, where, and when did I get hold of this book? Well, here's the story behind my possession of this four-year old book that was published in 2007. But it's new, to me, because I just bought it, with other nine new books, a day ago. No, it's not from a bookstore, as you may think. It's from a Dollar Store less than two hours drive from where I live. It's near or a part of Richmond, the capital of Virginia (aka Old Dominion). What exactly the place is? Does Glen Allen sound familiar to you? Probably not. It's a part of Henrico County.

Okay, let me tell you, in detail, why my wife and I ended up there in the first place. From my previous blog entry, I've mentioned the place Glen Allen. Yes, we got used to be familiar with the place when my wife and I stayed there for almost a week. (I accompanied my wife to her conference at Virginia Wyndham Crossing Hotel and Conference Center in mid June, this year.) Now, almost every weekend that our daughter spends her weekend with us. And for early Monday morning, each time we drive/bring our daughter back to Charlottesville (where she's having summer internship and class), my wife and I almost always drive/drop by at Glen Allen, which is like forty-five minutes to an hour drive from Charlottesville. I don't know what got my wife to that place that she wants us to have lunch at a Subway Restaurant there. And, to do a little shopping there after lunch, you know. That's exactly the case. Though I don't feel like going to any store or strip mall each time we drop by at Glen Allen, or any place for that matter, I have to agree with her decision because she says she feels good if she goes to a store walking or "window shopping", even if she doesn't intend to buy anything. But, it happens that I ended up buying one-dollar books of which the book I mentioned above was one them. The rest actually are biographical, non-fiction. I don't know but I'm more inclined to choosing non-fiction over fiction books each time I have the opportunity to purchase a book. Anyway, that's the story behind owning a copy of Lost in Translation, the book.

How glad and thankful I was for having read the 210 pages-book in almost eight hours! I felt good, and, while in the course of reading it, there were moments that I was smiling or laughing to myself because there were parts that were delightfully funny to me. I found the book insightful, informative, and educational. It is sort of a helpful guide for me, as a married man. From it, I learned how men and women are so different in so many ways and it gave me the opportunity to make room for adjustments and have a fresh perspective of understanding our uniqueness and differences. To me, the book serves as a reminder of what it takes to maintain a healthy marriage relationship. Open communication always stands out as one of the keys or elements in a long-lasting relationship. Worth-mentioning, too, are love and respect for each other. Likewise, the book contains passages or quotations from the Holy Bible which, to me, makes it more interesting and inspiring.

In Lost in Translation, Dr. Steve Stephens, the author, listed down the following seven common differences that frequently show up in a marriage: 1) Extroverts and Introverts 2) Leapers and Lookers 3) Spenders and Savers 4) Runners and Relaxers 5) Dreamers and Drivers 6) Collectors and Tossers 7) Planners and Flexers. Furthermore, he wrote, "differences are not only normal and healthy---they're crucially important for a healthy marriage...are a wonderful strength; provide balance and open one's eyes to varied perspectives...challenge our patience, our compassion, our understanding, our humility." He asked us what do we do with all our differences? And, thus, he provided us, readers, with these useful four strategies, the so-called "ABCs (and D) of making the most of our uniqueness: 1) Accept. Sometimes we just need to relax and accept the situation the way it is. He is the way he is; she is the way she is. Things aren't going to change, and it's okay. Everything doesn't have to go our way. 2)Back down. Sometimes we need to admit that our spouses then have good points, and their way might even be better than our way. Then we back down and make changes they prefer, without complaining. 3) Compromise. In certain situations we both need to look for the middle ground and find a compromise...A healthy compromise---both spouses willing to change---can be a strong statement of mutual respect. 4) Discuss. If the previous three strategies don't work, this is the last option. We discuss---not demand---whether the other spouse is willing to make a change. We humbly explain why this is important to us and graciously accept their decision."

In closing, I've thought of jotting down some lines, based on the book I've just read. Collectively, I just titled the whole thing as Men and Women. Here it is:

Men and Women

sponges and turtles
space and closeness
suppressive and communicative
butterflies and buffaloes
general and specific
competitive and connective
fast and slow
single-minded and multitasking
deleting and scrapbooking
resistant and desirous
silent and talkative
clams and crowbars
boxes and rubber bands
taker and giver
insightful and intuitive
independent and interdependent
visual and verbal
sexual and emotional
respect and love
traditional and contemporary
men and women.

copyright 2011 by chris alibin quilpa

Sunday, July 17, 2011


for hours and hours
you've been in bed
lying down
in different positions
supine, prone, recumbent
with weary eyes shut
but wide awake
you are
tired but not sleepy
you hear nothing
but the sound of silence
and your slow, deep breath
and the click of the clock
mounted on the wall
in your dim room
while the outside world is quiet
you think
you wonder
your wander
you try to sleep
no, you're not worried
no, you're not in pain
but anxious and curious
why you cannot be
why you're incapable of
falling asleep
while others are
down and still
so silent and peaceful
they are
in their deep slumber
you wonder why
you're still awake
'though your eyes are closed
for hours and hours.

now, it's five o'clock
dawn has broken
you're yawning
you went to the bathroom
before you wrote the lines above
at first, you sat down
in a chair beside your bed
and started writing
in the dark
you've scribbled a few lines
then pause to think
you decided to turn on
the lampshade by your side
and continued writing and thinking
down with your thoughts
about why you can't sleep
while in bed, with eyes closed
for hours and hours.

copyright 2011 by chris alibin quilpa

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Quest for Space/A Collaboration for Further Exploration

(Note: Since the launch on July 8th, 2011 of NASA's space shuttle orbiter Atlantis, the last shuttle/spaceship to orbit the Earth and to dock with/at the International Space Station (ISS), I got interested in learning more about NASA's space programs via the internet, specifically on YouTube. Yes, I somehow got hooked on knowing/watching the latest happenings of the Atlantis and the International Space Station, specially now that the latter has six residents on board. The Expedition 28 crew of ISS are Russian cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko (commander), Sergei Volkov (flight engineer), Alexander Samokutyaev (flight engineer), Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa (flight engineer), NASA/American astronauts Ronald Garan, Jr. (flight engineer) and Michael "Mike" Fossum (flight engineer, who will be the next commander of ISS- Expedition 29). It's unbelievable what cooperation and collaboration can do! Together is the future, as NASA stated.

Reading/researching and watching more about NASA on newspapers and in the internet, I came to know that this final flight of Atlantis also culminates the end of the space agency's shuttle mission program that has been in existence since 1981. This 135th shuttle flight is, therefore, historical. The NASA/American astronauts that made up the STS (Space Transport System)-135 crew of Atlantis are US Navy Captain (Retired) Christopher Ferguson (commander), US Marine Colonel Doug Hurley (pilot), and two mission specialists Dr. Sandra Magnus and US Air Force Colonel (Retired) Rex Walheim. Their mission to ISS, according to NASA, is to "deliver the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module containing supplies and spare parts to sustain the orbiting station or outpost's operations once the shuttle retires" and to bring trash back to Earth. After 12 or 13 days in orbit, Atlantis is scheduled to be back to Earth on July 21, Thursday morning. And, thereafter, the spaceship becomes a museum piece/exhibit like the other space shuttles Enterprise (at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York), Discovery ( at Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, and Endeavor (to California Science Center in Los Angeles, CA. The shuttle-orbiter Atlantis will be housed or on display at Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Complex in Florida.

On the other hand, NASA's abandonment of the space shuttle program doesn't mean the end of space program for the United States. On the contrary, private/commercial companies, such as Virgin Galactic (by Sir Richard Branson, founder and CEO of the Virgin Group), Blue Origin (by Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of, and Bigelow Aerospace (by Robert Bigelow, owner of Budget Suites of America hotels), will take over the building and flying of space vehicles, and building of private space stations for space "tourists or travelers" while the National Aeronautics and Space Agency will focus/concentrate on sending mankind to an asteroid, and again to the moon, and other planets like Mars. Yes, the quest for space exploration continues. Indeed, collaboration and cooperation, togetherness, unity and harmony are the keys to a successful space exploration. Hence, I wish NASA and its partners all the best in their future endeavors for humankind!Thank you to all of our world's astronauts, cosmonauts, scientists, engineers, and explorers, past, present, and future, for your undying vision and mission of venturing into space and beyond the next frontier. Hail to you all heroes of space exploration for all your efforts, contributions, and sacrifices! And to those who have gone before us, leaving their legacy of awe and wonder, excitement and discovery, for the sake of Science, may you rest in peace! May your legacy live on and on...

Capturing the moment in the history of space exploration, I have scribbled the following lines for posterity's sake.)

Space Exploration Collaboration
Russia's Sputnik started it
then America followed
the quest for space
and the challenge was set
thus, space race began
with Yuri Gagarin into orbit...
followed by Alan Shepard and John Glenn
of Project  Mercury, and then
Guss Grissom and John Young
of Project Gemini...

Then the Apollo astronauts went to the moon
Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins
and others, the rest, like Sally Ride
the first American female astronaut in space
they all made history
in the name of space exploration...

Early on, USSR and USA in spotlight
two powerful countries became enemies
two rival powerful countries became friends
partners to collaboration and teamwork
Mir and Skylab in joint partnership
then, Soyuz and space shuttle missions
from dreams to reality
fifteen countries in unity
working and sharing together
hopefully, forever and ever.

Now, the birth of the ISS
the International Space Station
the largest artificial satellite on Earth
so far an orbiting laboratory
a product of ingenuity
and unity for all humanity.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration
the Russian Federal Space Agency
the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
the Canadian Space Agency
the European Space Agency
they all have joined together
and with others, hopefully, forever
to make the ISS a beauty in the sky
an object visible to the naked eye
over two hundred miles above the Earth
orbiting every ninety-two minutes
continuously, without stopping
day or night, night or day
working and exploring
testing and researching
for peace, for a better life
here on Earth and beyond
the outer space...

copyright 2011 by chris alibin quilpa

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hello, Goodbye*

hello, goodbye
welcoming, departing words
the alpha, the omega
the beginning and the end
how glad, how sad
to come and go
leaving something for others to know.

hello, goodbye
but, why?
there's got to be
a reason why
we live, we die
only to be born again
to be forgotten in the end...

hello, goodbye
but, why?

copyright 2011 by chris alibin quilpa

*Appeared in Skipping Stones 2005 (an anthology of Hampton Roads, Virginia poets, artists, & photographers), published/produced by Chesapeake Bay Poets.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On Summer Safety

Now that summer is in full swing in the U.S. and other countries in North America, like Canada, there is this important issue that you and I are concerned about. It's Safety! Yes, folks, SAFETY is the keyword to enjoying our summer (vacation), whether we're vacationing somewhere or having fun out there under the sun, sea-surfing and/or swimming in/outdoor.

Word of caution, my dear folks. If you're out there under the sun, on the beach or in the park, please cover your head and body (no pun intended!) if you have something available, i.e., a ball cap, a hat, or whatever, a newspaper or magazine, maybe. Have that bath towel handy to cover your shoulders. But if you have an umbrella, that's much better. I know what's in your mind, folks. But, why pay attention to what others may say when they see you in that para sol umbrella? After all, that is what it is for anyway. likewise, if you have sun (tan) lotion, just apply it over your face and whole body that's exposed to the sun. As you know, prolonged exposure to the sun is dangerous. You may get skin cancer or melanoma, as what dermatologists used to say. Furthermore, to protect yourself from being sun-burned, wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirt. If you don't cover yourself, sooner or later, you'll look older than your age.

Many agencies, associations, organizations have posted lots of safety tips or information, in their website, that we can observe while enjoying our summer (vacation).
For water safety, while swimming, the American Red Cross issued the following safety guidelines: 1) Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards. 2) Always swim with a buddy, even at public pools or life-guarded beaches. 3) Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and learn-to-swim courses. 4) Never leave a young child unattended near water and never trust a child's life to another child. 5) Do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings and do forbid swimmers from have breath-holding contests. 6) Avoid alcohol use, as it impairs judgement, balance, and coordination; affects swimming and driving skills; and reduces the body's ability to stay warm.

For boating safety, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers these safety tips: Life jacket must be worn at all times when on boat or near bodies of water.  Also, when having fun in the sun, apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater that protects you against UVA or UVB rays.

Moreover, the American Red Cross recommends the following safety precautions:  1) Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Eat small meals and eat more often. 2) Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun's rays. 3) Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. Postpone outdoor games and activities. 4) Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat. 5) Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles. Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

Among the heat-related emergencies that we need to be aware of are the following:

1) Heat Cramps---these are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen. They are caused by exposure to high heat. heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat.

2) Heat Exhaustion---typically involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity. The signs, or what to look for: cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness, and exhaustion. What to do: a) Move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. b) If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 911 or the local emergency number.

3) Heat Stroke---also known as sunstroke, this is a life-threatening condition in which a person's temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself. The signs or what to look for: hot, red skin that may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting; and high body temperature. What to do: a) Heat stroke is life-threatening! Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately! b) Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person's body by giving care as you would for heat exhaustion. If needed, continue rapid cooling by applying ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the wrists, ankles, groin, neck and armpits.

For more information, please visit and/or Have a safe summer, everyone!

Monday, July 11, 2011

On Summer Reading

For all of us in the U.S. and in North America, we're undoubtedly encountering or experiencing the summer heat, literally. Thanks to God that our centralized air conditioning (AC) unit in the house is functioning well. That adds a lot to the comfort of our home. (I do hope and pray that it continues to work for the duration of summer until early fall or autumn.) And, what a nice feeling to sit down on a quiet corner of the house, with a book or any reading material on hand! This brings me to the topic on summer reading, my friends.  By the way, I'd like to know what (book/s) are you reading this summer, if you won't mind?

It has been customary for me to have something to read while using the restroom at home. Just this morning, I happened to get hold of this PARADE magazine, a supplementary publication to Sunday's edition of The Virginian-Pilot or any designated daily newspaper that comes out Sundays in newsstands. In the front page/cover of PARADE, July 10, 2011 issue, it reads, in bold letter SUMMER READING! It shows a picture of a book with a pair of shades. "What to read on the beach, in the airport, or by the pool" That's what's printed on the front cover of the book, in upright position, with the sand with seashells and a towel on the background depicting the beach. Aha, that gave me the idea and here it is...writing about the topic from the above-mentioned magazine.

Being a neophyte then in the use of Facebook, I still recall/remember a quotation I shared with you, my FB friends, on my FB page wall/status in mid May this year. That quotation by a University of Oxford (England)-educated, English essayist, poet, and statesman Joseph Addison (1672-1719) reads, "Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body." It is such an inspiration to me, and I love it. The fact is, I try each day to practice it just as I do pray daily. The quotation is quite self-explanatory, you know. Just as our body needs physical (fitness) exercise, i.e., engaging in sports, walking, running, jogging, our mind needs exercise and nurturing, too. That means that we need to stimulate our brain to be able to use its full potential. Our brain has the capability to do so many things productively. And, reading is one way of exercising our brain power.

Three years ago, I had  a short article published in Suffolk News-Herald, July 24, 2008, entitled "The Joys of Summer Reading which I'm happy to share with you. Sit back, and relax as you peruse it, with hope that you'll be inspired to keep on reading, even for fun, like me. Here it is...

Have you ever thought of spending your summer reading, while enjoying (or trying to enjoy) your summer?

Summer reading is a wholesome, mental activity that can make your summer (vacation) more interesting, challenging and, quite frankly, stimulating to the brain or the mind.

Reading is fun, and it helps sharpen our mind and makes us more knowledgeable about current events, issues affecting us and our livelihood, stories that are inspiring and entertaining, and educational.

Let's indulge ourselves imagining, wondering, especially when we're reading a travelogue or an article about this or that place. While reading, say for example, a newspaper, like Suffolk News-Herald, The Virginian-Pilot, USA Today or The New York Times, we learn not only the latest news, and events, in our community or country but also gain insights and understanding into other people's lives, their thoughts and ideas. Likewise, when we're reading a biography, for example, we come to know how and when that person lived and what legacy or contribution/s s/he made. Let's read anything that helps exercise our mind to think, to analyze issues, to be critical and judgmental, to be active and proactive.

While reading an article by Michael Kelly of Albany Times Union, I found this 2008 Kids and Family Reading Report by Scholastic (a children's book publisher) alarming and shocking. It states that children are reading less and less for fun while many kids now are reading for fun on the Internet!

Kelly offered the following ways or tips to get our kids to read for fun: 1) Read to your children. 2) Praise your child for reading. 3) Find out what your kids are interested in, and help them find books that match up. 4) Factor reading time into your children's schedules. 5) Help your child find a book series he or she enjoys. 6) Encourage kids to read at a young age, when they're most enthusiastic about reading. 7) Set aside time yourself, and read in front of your children. 8) Urge your kid/s to start a book club with friends. 9) Stick them in the library. 10) Use a book list to help your child choose age-appropriate, interesting books.

(Even though I have two young adult children already, I still read, aloud, most of the time, especially when reading newspaper in our kitchen table. Somehow, I feel like I have to do this reading aloud activity not only for me but for others in my family, you know, especially my wife if she's around the kitchen preparing food. Even when I'm all alone in the house, I read the papers aloud. But, of course, not as loud as disturbing the neighbors or that creates a nuisance, you know what I mean.)

It's obvious what reading can do to/for us. In a split-second, it can change us and our whole perspective of life and things around us. It can motivate us to do positive things for others. It can illuminate our narrow viewpoint of life and, therefore, open our eyes to new horizons, new possibilities to improve our lot and our world. It can help transform us and our world.

You and I will be amazed at the power of reading, whether reading a book or via the Internet, or on Kindle. It will ultimately transform us into a well-informed and concerned citizens who have the power to change our lives for the better. Thanks, and keep on reading, folks!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Home Alone on Independence Day, Three Years Ago

Happy Fourth, everyone!

As the United States of America celebrates her Independence Day (from Britain), 235 years ago today, I remember vividly what happened to me on July 4th, three years ago...

My wife and our college-bound daughter were at our friend's house attending the Fourth of July party. My young adult son was picked up by one of his college friends to go to their friend's house in the Peninsula to watch fireworks. My sister-in-law, who flew all the way from Hawaii to attend my daughter's high school graduation in late May, and has been with us since, was picked up by our "comadre" and "compadre" from Chesapeake a day before the Fourth to spend a week with them. (That's what comadre and compadre said.) So that all members of the family household was out on the Fourth of July. Except me!

You bet, I was home alone on Independence Day, while everybody was out there with their family and friends celebrating July Fourth. I never anticipated/expected to be home alone, watching fellow Americans partying, picnicking, enjoying, and having fun outside. Via our television set, that is. What happened, you ask? Well, it's not that I wanted to be home alone.Nope, I'm not that antisocial. On the contrary, I consider myself a people person, you know. C'mon, folks, who wants to be home alone, left out when there's this Big Party nationwide, out there, where everybody is proud to share his/her freedom and liberty, and patriotism, and bountiful blessings (received and enjoyed) to everyone, strange or familiar, small or tall, rich or poor?

I didn't have a choice but to stay home alone. I know, it's not fun. Not cool, either. But, I have to be home alone, though. I have to stay home for a reason. Or a couple of reasons, maybe. But why, you ask? Dare or not to ask, I tell you anyway.

I've been sick before and after the holiday. Frankly speaking, I'm still in the recuperating mode/mood? No, please, I don't need your sympathy (or empathy?). It just happened that I got sick with this unseasonal, or unseasonable, flu syndrome and acute sinusitis infection. Thanks to God that I, along with my wife, went to the hospital two days before the Fourth and was given antibiotic and other medications. But, man, I tell you. It's no joke to be sick, or kinda bedridden, especially if it's summertime. I don't like it! I hate being sick, especially on a national holiday such as the Fourth of July. Who would dare miss that feeling/experience of camaraderie, watching the display of spectacular fireworks live with family and friends? I missed having fun, being out there under the morning sun, doing my routine, walking, stretching out, and doing my physical conditioning. I tell you, how I love to be outdoor, close to Nature, appreciating the beauty and wonder of God's creation. Be it on the way, in the parking lot, at the grocery store or chain store, I love to meet people from all walks of life, young and old, black or white, yellow or brown, talking with/to them and sharing with them my thoughts and ideas. That's just me. That's my nature, matter-of-fact. If you aren't convinced, why don't you ask my wife or my children to find out. They'll quick to tell you about me, you know. I'm not kidding nor trying to brag or boast. As I've been telling to others, what you see (in me), is what you get. Plain and simple.

Anyway, I don't regret having been ill or sick, or not feeling good/well before and after the Fourth. In fact, I take it as a blessing. I do believe that it was God's will. I really do. Truly, I didn't have ill feelings. On the other hand, I thanked God for the opportunity to be home alone, on the Fourth, resting and trying to regain strength and health. As we all know, our body is like a machine and, constantly, it needs maintenance, check up, and repair. Just as we need relaxation and fun and entertainment, we also need rest and long hours of wholesome sleep for our body to recover. Yes, we need time to replenish our energy, especially if we're constantly on the go always. (I remember those early summer breaks my family and I have had in June. We went to western part of Virginia, to Farmville, to Natural Bridge, to Charlottesville, and spent a couple of days/nights in those historical places of interests.We had a lot of fun, notwithstanding meeting new friends and learning something more about those places we visited. Probably, it's exhaustion or fatigue, or that smoke from that Great Dismal Swamp fire that lasted for over a week? I don't know. But what I do know is that my body and mind were telling me to slow down. Yes, I felt so tired after those road trips/travels, especially if I have chronic lower back problems and other medical conditions.)

Somehow, I came to the realization that I was not the only one, after all, who didn't go out with family and/or friends to enjoy/celebrate the Fourth of July. I thought of those who have been sick or ill, like me, in their homes, at the hospital, or in the battlefield. I prayed for them. Likewise, I thought of those who worked that day, holiday, rendering service to others and to our country, keeping us healthy and free, safe and well. Yes, I thought of those who are/have been working to keep America going and moving forward.I realized how blessed we all are, as one nation; how great we are a free nation, despite the insurmountable crises/problems we're facing, i.e., economic downturn, rising cost of fuel and food, housing slump/foreclosures, severe weather, fire, flood, etc.

I do believe that I was destined to be home alone on Independence Day. No pun intended, though. No, I didn't watch that Macaulay Caulkin's movie "Home Alone" nor Will Smith's "Independence Day." Anyhow, I celebrated the Fourth watching The Capitol Fourth on PBS and partly that Macy's 4th Of July Fireworks Spectacular on NBC, on our television set at home...alone. One thing worth-mentioning, though, was that I saw the manifestation of greatness of our freedom in all those performances. I did enjoy, in all humility and honesty, the holiday celebration despite my unpleasant condition, and the thunderstorm outside. (I wonder if the weather that day/night commiserated with me?)

There you go, folks, my detailed recollection of my Fourth of July "home alone" celebration, three years ago. This year, my family  and I are well, thanks to God. Yes, we're all together having a simple celebration or observance of Independence Day. A simple luncheon/dinner, (consisting of baked pork chop and beef steak, baked milkfish, pizza, and steamed rice, and "pinakbet" prepared by my wife Freny), with a short prayer of thanksgiving. And, surely, we'll watch the concert celebration, on our TV sets, when it's time for the display of fireworks in designated areas.That's all, folks. Again, Happy Fourth to all! May God bless us all, and May God bless America!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

On the Fourth of July

Since July 4th, this year, falls on Monday, it is definitely a three-day holiday weekend here in the United States. That means that many residents or American travelers/vacationers are on the road again. Yes, they're on their way to their summer destinations, either to join in the celebration with their families and/or friends in other cities or states, or to spend their summer getaways somewhere. To others, they may have already made hotel reservations, in advance, especially to those areas near the beach or oceanfront. I won't doubt at all if the rows of hotels and resorts at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront or at Nags Head in North Carolina are already fully booked up. Apparently, people love the waters so much especially now that it's summertime! Believe me, you'll be amazed to see the city parks and beaches filled with beachgoers, visitors, guests from other states, and even from other countries, again.

The entire nation celebrates with pride and patriotism the 235th U.S. Independence Day. As expected, the Stars and Stripes, or The Old Glory, with its distinct colors of red, white, and blue, is proudly displayed everywhere. Outdoor festivals and festivities, programs, parades, and/or concerts are held to celebrate the greatness and independence of America, the Land of the Free, and to commemorate the bravery and the patriotism of the men and women in uniform who sacrificed their lives fighting for and preserving our freedom and liberty we now cherish and enjoy.

Lately, while perusing a volume of Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, I came across these information: Independence Day, in the U.S., is an annual celebration commemmorating the formal adoption by the Continental Congress of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia. Although the signing of the Declaration was not completed until August (the first draft was written by Thomas Jefferson, who later became the third president of the United States of America), the Fourth of July holiday has been accepted as the official anniversary of the U.S. Independence (from Britain) and is celebrated in all states and territories of the United States, including Guam and Puerto Rico.

Furthermore, the holiday was first observed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 8, 1776, at which time the Declaration of Independence was read aloud, city bells rang, and band played. It was not declared a holiday, however, until 1941. The Fourth is traditionally celebrated publicly with parades and pageants, patriotic speeches, and organized firing of guns and cannons, and displays o f fireworks. Early in the 20th century, public concern for a "safe and sane" holiday resulted in restrictions on the general use of fireworks. family picnics and outings are a feature of private Fourth of July celebrations.

Therefore, as we celebrate America's Independence Day, let's pause for a few moment and pray for, and give thanks to our valiant veterans, dead or alive, for our freedom  and liberty we now enjoy. Amidst the funfare, and holiday festivities, let's observe safety and vigilance, folks. Happy Fourth, everyone!

Fourth of July*

I was born on the Fourth of July
Each year I celebrate my Freedom,
My Independence and Liberty
Cherished and enjoyed by all
My people of different colors
From all corners of the world
Who desire to live with me,
To share with me their hopes,
Their sentiments and frustrations,
Their dreams and aspirations
To make our world a better place,
To let others live and be free,
United and liberated like me---
The United States of America!

With pride and power
Valor and vigilance
I celebrate my birthday
With fond memories of my past,
My history that I inherited
From my forebears and forefathers;
The history that I wrought
For all my generations to keep.

With spectacular fireworks all around
And parade of colors here and there
My Independence reigns everywhere
And I exult with glee and jubilation;
With open arms and loving heart
I welcome all who seek refuge,
Who long for peace and brotherhood
Offering each and everyone my Freedom,
Justice, Liberty, and Equality,
Power, Prosperity, and Security,
Pride, Beauty, and Democracy;
Wishing all a fair and equal share
Of all my blessings from Above!

Today is such a special day
To commemorate my Independence;
A day of unity and victory,
A day of remembering our men and women
Who have sacrificed their lives
From wars fought and won,
From crises overcame and resolved;
A day of sincere thanksgiving
To those who served and are serving me,
Protecting me and others' lives,
Keeping me strong and always ready
To watch and lead our world!

copyright 2011 by chris alibin quilpa

*Appeared in Sandpointer, a newsletter publication of then Naval Station Puget Sound, Seattle, WA, July 1991. The above poem was registered in The United States Copyright Office, The Library of Congress, Dec. 23, 1997.