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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Yesterday's and Today's Tale

Good Sunday, everyone! How are you all doing this Fall season? Enjoying the beauty of nature, the changing hues of leaves, and Fall foliage, huh? That's great!

Thanks to God that yesterday after having our continental breakfast in our hotel and eventually checking out in that Suite and Inn at Here/D-ville, we had our van's spare tire on the driver side replaced with a new tire at Here/D-ville Auto Dealership and Service Station. At a cost to us, of course. Anyway, what's important is that our flat tire problem last Friday afternoon (while on the road to Here/D-ville) was solved. Our 2008 van is up and running again!
Yesterday afternoon after five, my wife Freny and I left Here/D-ville for Hampton Roads, leaving behind our daughter Tintin in the company of a fellow college advisor who has become her apartment mate. FYI, Tintin got hired, through Americorp, to work there as a college advisor for one of the high schools in that city.

On the road back to Hampton Roads, it was raining at Here/D-ville, and neighboring towns and cities. But we managed to stop by at a Country Store where we bought local farm produce, a basket of sweet potatoes, a bunch of bananas, a slice of cheese. We also had another stop over at a pizza restaurant and eatery where we took a leak (emptied our bladder, that is!) and bought a medium size pepperoni pizza. As always, for long trips, Freny does the driving. Having a 20/20 vision, she's a cool driver, more experienced, too. (She has been driving ever since her high school days in the Philippines.)

I tell you, folks and friends, I prefer to travel daytime than at nighttime. "It doesn't matter," my wife Freny said. But to me, it does. I want to see things and people around me during the daytime travel or road trip, besides concern for safety and security. How about you, my dear folks and friends? Do you have any time preference when you're on road trip? Any pros and cons for daytime or nighttime travel?

What time did we arrive home from Here/d-ville? Well, it was past 9:00 o'clock last night. Tired but safe! That's how I describe our road trip. Thank you, God, and thank you, Jesus!

This morning, as I was using the restroom in our Master's room (it has become a habit, almost every morning), I listened and prayed along the Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, our Savior, on one of the videos I chose on YouTube. Then, after we prepared ourselves, got dressed up, we participated in the second Mass at our parish, St. Paul's Catholic Church. Freny and I were scheduled to do Cup 1 and 2, respectively. That is, we, as volunteer Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, both shared/distributed the consecrated wine, "Blood of Christ" to fellow parishioners. Our (four clustered parishes) pastor, Rev. Fr. David, officiated the Mass. Prior to the start of the Mass, Father David challenged or invited all the parishioners, especially the men, to sing along with the congregation and the church choir. he reminded us that singing church songs is also praying. He said that he'll be watching us all since he's in front of us at the altar. He was just joking or kidding, though. As usual, as one congregation or family of faith, we sang, prayed, praised, listened to the Gospel readings, asked forgiveness for our sins, and and gave thanks to our Almighty God, our heavenly Father for all of His goodness and love for us.

Now, guess where did we go after today (Sunday)'s Mass? Of course we went to have lunch! Where else but at Seafood Restaurant in Chesapeake, one of our favorite eateries. Yeah, we love fish and coleslaw and "hush puppies" and fries, and sweetened iced tea. But, this time, in lieu of french fries, we opted for vegetable salad instead. Yummy! My tummy surely expanded again, man! What can I say but I'm okay. "I'm full!" Thanks, God, for all of your goodness and blessings to us all!

From the restaurant, we dropped by at Dollar Store where we bought some stuff including books and Sunday's edition of an award-winning local newspaper, The Virginian-Pilot.

Well, this is all for now. Until next time around. Thank you for your time. Take care and have a blessed day, everyone! May God bless us always!-chris a. quilpa, 30September2012

abitadeacon: Because you asked: details on the Novena for our country; religious freedom

abitadeacon: Because you asked: details on the Novena for our country; religious freedom

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Serendipity or Zemblanity?

Happy Saturday, everyone! Hope and pray that your weekend is just as wonderful as mine. Thanks to God we're able to make it to Here/D-ville miles and miles away from home. To assist or accompany our daughter Tintin in her maiden place of employment after college.

Yes, we're in Here/D-ville, where we spent the night (last night) in a nice and affordable suite or inn (and where this blog post is created /written), after yesterday afternoon's wonderful road trip. I kept on saying wonderful because there's always that "wonder of awe and surprise" experience or serendipity (or zemblanity?) that's beyond expectation while you're on the road.

Let me make myself clear, or clearer, my dear folks and friends. Yesterday, after having prayed my rosary, having gone out walking around the neighborhood, and having breakfast at McRestaurant with my wife Freny, daughter Tintin, we three traveled to Here/D-ville, about three-and-a-half hours drive from our place in Hampton Roads. Freny drove our van; Tintin drove her new midsize sedan (our college graduation gift to/for her) while I was on the passenger side. In short, I was riding with Tintin, trying to somehow "guide" her while driving. With us was the GPS. We've decided that since we have the GPS unit, we go first or ahead while Freny followed us. We're kinda like a convoy.

Half-way through our road trip to Here/D-ville, Freny called me, telling me that she had the feeling that one of the tires (front) was flat. There's a lot of road repairs and maintenance going on the long-stretched highway yesterday. Either one of the two lanes was closed or there were traffic road signs that were out there for the travelers to be aware of. Along the way, Freny and I kept communicating via our cellphones. She told me to drop by a any gas station-convenient store that we encounter. That's what we did. Tintin signalled and pulled her car off the highway. Freny followed suit. One of the men we encountered and seemed willing to help came to our rescue. Yes, our van has a flat tire---on the driver side. While the man was figuring it out where our spare tire was, Freny thought of calling or notifying our car insurance and seeking assistance. Even if the man wasn't able to help us, we thanked him anyway. He did try, really, but he couldn't in the end.

The three of us hang around in that gas station-convenient store while waiting for someone contacted by our car insurance to assist us and hopefully change our tire with our spare one. (I remember we had another incident years ago while we were on our way back home from C-ville, where we visite dour two college students that time. We had a flat tire that rainy day afternoon!)

While inside that convenient store, I ordered a foot-long Philly Cheese Steak sandwich while waiting. But we were not able to eat it when, in a few minutes, that guy contacted by our car insurance arrived. We're glad and thankful for Mike that he was able to replace the flat tire with our spare tire. He told us, to Freny to reduce speed while having that temporary spare tire. And, to go to the nearest service station next town. We did, but at Rawling's they didn't have or carry the right size of tire like ours. The man at Rawling's advised us to just go slow and gave us a little assurance that that spare tire could bring us to our destination. At that time, it was raining cats and dogs in the area. Thunder and lightning were heard and seen as we continued our travel. It was already dusk and, you know, if there's no more sunlight it's kinda uncomfortable to be driving out there with that unpleasant condition. Tintin was with Freny while I drove Tintin's. Freny and I  agreed  that I follow her.

Slowly but surely, we found our way to our destination, after one stop at McRestaurant where I took a leak (or emptied my bladder! You know, folks and friends, I don't know if I have this feeling of incontinence, especially in an unpleasant situation that deals with our safety and security as "travelers.")

Thanks to God, we made it to Here/D-ville, after such mixed feelings I've had (lower back pain acting up, vision that's not 20/20 anymore, anxiety, anger, frustration, etc.). Thank you, Lord, for this life experience I have. Thank you, Jesus, for "calming" or easing my nerves!

Now, this Saturday morning while in Here/D-ville, we're going to the nearest car dealership so they can replace our spare tire with, probably or most likely, a new one. An unexpected expense, for us, huh? Well, as long as our 2008 van is up and running, we're okay. Such is the way it is if and when you have a vehicle that brings you to places, especially to new and uncharted ones, and wonderful experiences that you've never expected to happen or encounter. Hopefully, Freny and I will leave Here/D-ville and Tintin this afternoon for Hampton Roads.  I pray that everything will be okay, all right for her. And for us, too. May she be safe and do good in her work or job in Here/D-ville. Thank you, God, and thank you, Jesus.

My dear folks and friends, this is all for now. Until next time around. Thank you for your time. Take care and have a wonderful weekend, everyone! As always, May God bless us all! Thank you, Almighty God! and thank you, Jesus, our Savior, my inspiration!-chris a. quilpa, 29September2012

We're glad and thankful that we have continental breakfast that our hotel offers or serves in Here/D-ville. Well, you guys are more than welcome to Come and join us! (Just kidding!) Thank you, good and gracious God!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Praying and Reflecting on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary

Good Friday, everyone! TGIF! Thanks to God It's Friday! That's right, man!Yeah, we're pretty sure we're looking forward to a wonderful weekend, aren't we? You betcha! Thank you, God. And thank you, Jesus!

An hour or so ago, I finished praying and reflecting on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Savior Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Mother. Yes, I prayed the rosary along while I was using the restroom in our (Master's) bedroom. Here's the video I used while praying the rosary along.

Would you like to try to watch/and or listen to it and pray the rosary along, too? It takes only 20-21 minutes of your time, you know. It's just like listening or watching a TV show. But it's much more than that if you let yourself be in a state of meditation and relaxation, observing silence and moments of peace while letting the Holy Spirit or the Divine Power takes over you at the moment. What a feeling of relief isn't it? I do hope and pray that you felt something good from thinking about our Savior Jesus Christ while praying and meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, which are: 1) The Agony in the Garden of Getsemany 2) The Scourging at the Pillar 3) The Crowning with Thorns 4) The Carrying of the Cross, and 5) The Crucifixion. These Mysteries are prayed on Tuesdays and Fridays, per our Catholic Church teaching and tradition.

Well, my dear folks and friends, after praying my rosary, I did read a couple of blog posts from a couple of Catholic bloggers (i.e.,, that I read or follow on a regular basis. I tell you this: reading theirs help inspire me to do something good in life and inform me or update me with what happened or what's going on around us. I learn something each day from reading their blogs. Thank you, God, for these people and I pray that you always give them good health and energy, and the insights and good judgement to continue writing and sharing their thoughts for others, like me. As you know, I always look forward to reading their blog posts everyday. In fact, I even try to share theirs to our Facebook friends. The articles/videos they wrote and shared are always informative and educational, like those that I read from publications like National Catholic Register, Ignatius Press, Our Sunday Visitor, Los Anegeles Times, etc.

Now, let me stop here. Until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful day and weekend, everyone! As always, I pray and praise the Lord, "May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 28September2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

On Parenting

Question to all of us, especially for parents. When does parenting stop? Or, is it endless? Does it start the moment you've married the mother of your child/ren to the moment your faculties falter you?

Why did I bring this subject up, you ask? Well, my dear folks and friends, it's paradoxical that we love to interfere with the lives, and even affairs, of close members of our families and others' lives, at times, to the point that we get involved and eventually become influential to them. Nothing wrong with that, huh?

We, parents, try to do our best to love and care for our children. We're so protective of them. We want the best for them. In short, we want them to be successful in life. Now, you ask, what is your definition of success? Do you equate it with material things? What does success have to do with parenting? Is there a connection between the two? Of course, there is. Ask those experts. They tell you. Anyway, my ramblings can go on and on...

When does parenting stop? Honestly, as I see it and based on my observation of other parents, I tend to believe that it doesn't end, especially if the relationships are mutually exclusive. It will only end when you're out of breath, I guess.

Now, this morning, my daughter Tintin and I walked around the neighborhood, strolling while enjoying the clear, blue, sunny skies. As we were brisk-walking, from one village to another, we actively shared our thoughts about this and that, talked about her recent two-day in-service job training at UVa and other stuff in connection with her work, as a college adviser, in one of the high schools in the Commonwealth. Our supposedly half-an-hour stroll became almost an hour. (My left hip was bothering me at that time but I kept going, tried to keep pace with her.) Along the way, we met Gladys, one of two women whom I've become so acquainted already while strolling around the neighborhood almost regularly. I introduced Tintin to her and vice versa. I asked about her friend Josefa. She said, "she has a doctor's appointment." Hopefully she's doing fine. I was proud to tell her that Tintin got a job that's connected with Americorp program, like her brother Andrew, my son.

Tintin and I arrived home about 10:30. That means that we still have thirty minutes to catch up with that breakfast promo of this popular chain restaurant worldwide. So, we hurried up. Immediately after changing clothes, she and I found our way to the nearest McDonald's. Tintin did the driving. We had each two egg-sausage McMuffin sandwiches and free two cups of coffee. Almost noontime when we left the place for a road trip to the Peninsula. Well, I just wanted Tintin to experience driving through a bridge-tunnel the fact that she's "polishing" her driving.

As expected, Tintin's driving went well. We had the opportunity to drop by at her Catholic high school alma mater, met and huggged her former high school teachers including her former assistant principal, now currently the principal there. BTW, it's been almost six years that we haven't been there at that private Catholic high school where Tintin and her brother, Andrew, both graduated in 2008 and 2006, respectively.

While "touring" Tintin's former high school, my wife Freny called me from her school-work. (On school days, or weekdays, she usually calls me before or after 12 p.m. which I don't mind at all.) I told her that Tintin and I were at PC. She said, "say Hi to the kids' former teachers will you, 'Pang?" "No problem," I answered.

Leaving the school, Tintin and I felt good. Going home from the Peninsula, she did continue her driving so she can get used to it. Gladly and thankfully, we didn't encounter traffic on the Interstate highway. In 20-25 minutes, we're back home. Safe and sound. Thank you, God. Thank you, Jesus!

I asked Tintin how did her driving go? She said she feels comfortable. She asked me my honest opinion about her driving so far. I told her it was good. She just needs a little polishing in changing lanes, particularly.

Well, my dear folks and friends, this is all for now. I do hope I made sense in titling this post on parenting. And, one thing more, the videos used here are not mine. They're from YouTube. No copyright infringement intended. I thank YouTube, as always, and the uploaders of the videos above. Thanks to Google and Blogger, and Facebook as well. Thank you, too, folks and friends, and accidental readers of my blog posts who are from different countries. As I keep on saying, I don't mind sharing with you my stories and simple imaginings. If you learned something, or not, from my posts, I thank you just the same.

Until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful Thursday, everyone! As always, I pray "May God bless us all!"-chris a. quilpa, 27September2012

Praying the Luminous Mysteries of the Holy Rosary

Good Thursday, everyone! Hope and pray that we're all doing well. Thanks to God the Almighty!

First, I'd like to say that I just finished praying the Luminous Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Heavenly Mother and Mother of Jesus Christ, Our Savior. (It's Thursday, hence the Luminous Mysteries which are as follows: 1. The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan 2. The Wedding Feast at Cana 3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God 4. The transfiguration and 5. The Institution of the Eucharist.)

Here's the video that I used in praying along the rosary (while I was using the restroom in our Master's bedroom.) The video is from YouTube and, therefore, I'd say No copyright infringement intended. I thank YouTube and the uploader of the video. Thanks Google and Blogger, and Facebook, too.
Well, I have to stop here because I've  decided to take a walk this morning. (I just woke up my daughter Tintin so she can come with me. She didn't show any hesitancy so we'll go out and do some strolling around the neighborhood, while trying to enjoy the beauty of nature surrounding us. See you guys later. And thank you for your time with me.

This is all for now and until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful day, everyone! As always, May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 27September2012

What a Wonderful Wednesday!

A wonderful Wednesday to all of you, dear folks and friends! With a gorgeous Fall weather over Hampton Roads, it's such a great or perfect time to be out there, enjoying a 30-minute stroll around the neighborhood this morning at about 9:00 o'clock. Nice, mild weather, with clear, bright, sunny skies, is so conducive to good health, doing even simple physical conditioning such as stretching and brisk walking. Amazing feeling! That is, after praying the Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

After my stroll this morning, I accompanied my daughter Tintin to do her driving so she'll get used to her new car and rules on the road, prior to going to her new job assignment in another city in the State this weekend. As I've previously mentioned in one of my blog posts, she needs a little polishing in her driving. She needs to do a little practice driving around so she'll get used to it. BTW, she has had her driving license since third year college. But she didn't have a need to drive around their Univ campus because she lived in one of the college dorms.

While on the wheel, she got a word from me to drop by at the nearest McDonald restaurant. There, we had breakfast. After breakfast, she resumed her driving with my guidance. She drove to Interstate highway, practiced changing lanes, etc. While on the road, my wife Freny called informing me she has just left school and now on the road (because she took a half-day off just so she'd accompany me to an appointment in downtown). In about 20-30 minutes, TinTin and I arrived home. Freny was by our driveway, still in the car, with engine on. She was taking a nap! She was surprised when I woke her up.

After taking a quick shower and getting dressed up, I, along with Freny, went to my appointment in downtown. Tintin decided not to join us.

What an another learning experience for me to have gone to that appointment downtown today! First, Freny and I got to see the new building in downtown for the first time. (It's good that we were in the old building early this afternoon, only to be redirected to go to the new building. We were never notified of the closure of the old building.) Secondly, I realized I wasn't the only one who had that appointment, but some showed up to take care of something, too. Third, I became more aware of something that involves slowing down, not speeding, while retired, and taking time or trying to enjoy life in the fast lane or busy world we live in.

Arriving home after the appointment, we're glad to see or have two packages from my sisters in California. One of the packages contained bags of glutinous rice flour, main ingredient for baking "bibingka" or rice cakes. For the other package, we have vegetables like string beans, squash, okra, banana-type(?) pepper, bitter melon or "ampalaya (Filipino) or "paria" (Ilokano), and eggplants, long (Japanese kind?)  and small or mini,   for "pinakbet." All the California produce were wrapped in local Philippine newspapers in the Bay Area. Neat!

For all of the goodies we received today, we called our sisters to inform them that we've received the packages, and, of course, thanked them for their thoughtfulness, goodness and generosity. Thank you, gracious God, and thank you, Jesus!

Well, this is all for now. Until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful day, everyone! May God bless us all, always!-chris a. quilpa, 26September2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Seasons Change; Fall is Here!

We have cycles and seasons in life. We have sunny days; we have rainy days. We have dry season; we have wet season.

In the United States and other North American and European countries, and some parts of Asia, we have winter, spring, summer, and autumn or fall. We have snowy days; we have sizzling hot, humid summer weather in which we enjoy outdoor life so much with those summer activities and fest events. Then, we have mild temperature that requires us not to turn our centralized AC (air conditioning) unit or heater on. That means we're free to open up our windows, with or without scree, and let the fresh air come in. And then comes the bitter cold, chilly, and snowy winter which prompts, or requires, us to wear our thick, but comfortable, jackets and/or coats, and mittens or gloves, and scarves. Our winter heating bills certainly go up, while our income remains stagnant or frozen like icicles dangling on our rooftops and sticking to branches of trees.

And, then, after the celebrations of Christmas and New year, and the remaining months of winter comes springtime! That is, everything starts to come out again: leaves of trees sprouting, flowers starting to bloom. The sun begins to smile and send its warmth again. And, thus, our life undergoes renewal, revival, and rejuvenation.

Now, my dear folks and friends, it's undoubtedly Autumn or Fall! That means that our days are getting shorter, gray and wet at times, while our nights are longer and colder, inviting to romance and deep, relaxing slumber. The temperature is mild to cold and breezy with early morning mist or fog.

On the other hand, we observe the leaves of most trees are starting to fall, or have started falling one by one, eventually. Some have started to change colors from green to orange to gold or yellow to brown to red. All of these are Fall colors. To see the foliage this season in some mountainous areas or regions of Virginia, such as the Shenandoah Valley, is such an amazing, moving, overwhelming experience; truly a fantastic journey, and a real treat for hikers, mountaineers, and nature-lovers in all of us, I believe. Yes, I've seen these fabulous foliage before and I'll surely see them again this year! In fact, for the past weeks, I've seen some already. Thus, I can't help but appreciate the beauty of nature! And, thank our Almighty God for all the wonderful goodness and blessings in and around us!

I tell you, it's such a relief to be around these trees with their leaves so crispy clear, colorful, and beautiful. It's truly a wonderful, magnificent feeling to be out there appreciating and admiring the beauty of nature in Fall colors. Believe me, it is a refreshing, relaxing, and relieving or soothing feeling to be out there in the open,  under the sun, enjoying the serenity and exquisite beauty of these trees coloring (and covering) our hills, mountains green. What a healthy and amazing feeling! Thank you, God, for these trees!

Let's take time, therefore, to be out there strolling, stretching, walking or jogging, running or biking, or doing other forms of simple physical conditioning. If others can, we can do it, too. (BTW, thanks to YouTube and the uploader of the video I embedded with this blog post of mine. No copyright infringement intended. Thanks to Google and Blogger, and Facebook, too.)
Well, this is all for now. Until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful day, everyone! As always, May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 25September2012

Post Script:
The above short article of mine appeared in on 09/25/2008.

When You Hear (A Poem)

When You Hear

There's joy 
that radiates
on your face
when you hear
"You're special!"

There's light
that shimmers
on your face
when you hear
the words "I love you!"

There's life
that emanates
on your face
when you hear
"You're my everything!"

(c) 2012 by chris a. quilpa

You (A Poem)


You're the reason
for living,
why I'm singing;
I'm in pain,
why there's rain.

You're my hope
for loving,
why I'm giving;
I'm in fright,
why there's a fight.

You're my inspiration
for sacrificing,
why I'm praying;
I'm in agony,
why there's animosity.

(c) 2012 by chris a. quilpa

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Monday McBreakfast

Good and beautiful Fall day, Monday, everyone! Yeah, the temp is cooler nowadays amidst a bright sunshiny day! Thank you, Almighty God, for all your goodness and blessings to us all!

I don't usually get up that early. But this morning I had to. I went to the nearest DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) office to ask inquiry about something. This is the beauty of being there that early---not many customers or people lining up to be helped! If I were to count, I think there were five or six people, including yours truly, sitting quietly and waiting patiently for their number to be called! In less than ten-fifteen minutes, my number was called. And before I knew it, I was done! Done!

Next, I drove to First Team to have Tintin's car inspected, though it's still pretty much brand new since it has only less than 700 miles on it. Even if I walked in, or I didn't schedule for an appointment, one of the front desk receptionists or support personnel gladly accommodated me. (Somehow, a couple of people there in the reception desks are familiar to me and I to them. ) One thing, I did tell Kevin, the one who checked in our car, about that right passenger mirror that it can't be adjusted to suit the driver's. He noted it on his computer and then let me signed the work order papers. Then, I was told to wait at the waiting area or lounge while my car is serviced. In about thirty minutes, Tintin's "new" car was done. Kevin said that they've adjusted the right passenger mirror.

From First Team, I went to take care of something at the bank that financed one of our cars. You know, I usually go there personally to pay that monthly car payment for one of our older cars. Thanks God, our 2008 van was fully paid! We only have three more cars to pay. Actually, it's just those two new cars that we gave each as graduation gift to our two young adult children when they graduated (from) college. Done.

Well, now, from the bank, I have thought of dropping by at McDonald's. Yeah, why not? I said to myself, I haven't been there for a while. I deserve to treat myself for breakfast there. That's exactly what I did! I had that promo they have: 2 for $3 egg and sausage McMuffin sandwich and a free cup of coffee (good through Sept 23 to 29?). While enjoying my McBreakfast (wow, I didn't know I made this up), I did try to read news articles from a free copy of that regional military newspaper (which was available at that time there). But, of course, I did pray before and after my meal. Felt good, you know. I can't complain. Life is good. Thank you, God. And thank you, Jesus!

Back at home after my McBreakfast, while in our backyard enjoying the beautiful sunshiny Fall weather, I got a call from Sis Betty. In fact, I told her that I was planning to call her but she already did first. Never a dull moment with my sister, each time we talk to each other. We always share that kind of loving sibling relationship. (As you know, we grew up together with our grandparents while in the Philippines.) Anyway, she told me that she and my bro-in-law Dennis are preparing to send a package of some small bags of glutinous rice flour for us to use to bake that sweet desert rice cakes. She mentioned about one of their two grandkids who has just had his well-baby check up immunization. On my part, I related her about our busy schedule lately and Tintin's new job miles away from Hampton Roads. Again, I reminded her of my invitation to come visit us here in the east coast. She said she'd love to come but they're gonna be tied up with their grand Baby Boy for a while. Well, that's understandable, I know.

After my long distance conversation with Sis Betty, I did try to fix that one slat of wood that was missing in our wooden fence. Done.

Well, my dear folks and friends, this is all for now. Until next time around. Thank you for your time with me, via this blog post. Take care and have a wonderful Monday, everyone! May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 24September2012

On the Road, In-Between...

Yesterday, my wife Freny, our daughter Tintin and I visited another place in the State; one that we haven't been before. With GPS, it took us three and a half-hour drive to reach the place where Tintin will be working and staying for a year or two, I guess. Thank you, Lord God, for the opportunity.

What a joy and a pleasure to have met Tintin's new friend and apartment mate. We thanked her for helping and accommodating our daughter, even though the two just met yesterday for the first time. But they've been virtual friends already, Tintin said, the fact that ever since she has accepted the job there, the two have been communicating via e-mail and cellphone. FYI, the two are both UVa graduates who are with Americorp program, like our son. I learned that this year's the second year for Tintin's new friend and colleague, like our son. This is Tintin's first year. One thing different, though, is that Tintin and her friend won't be working in the same school. They're assigned to two different schools, we learned.

The school where Tintin will be working, starting October, as a college advisor to third and fourth year students (juniors and seniors) is quite big. And the school campus is spacious and sprawling, I observed. Yesterday, we witnessed a band competition at the campus where there were over twenty high school bands from the State competing for awards and trophies.

Anyway, we're glad and thankful that we've seen the place yesterday. Giving priority to our faith, each time we visit a place, especially for the first time, we always try our best to find a Catholic church. Lo and behold, we got lucky to have someone (from the only Catholic church and school in the area) who graciously volunteered to give us a tour of the church and school! We're quite impressed about the church and the school buildings that are interconnected as if it's one big building. You could get lost, like a maze, if it's your first time, like us, to visit the church and the school. At least, we found that place of worship where Tintin can go each Sunday, if she so decides.

It was late at night when we got back to Hampton Roads. Tired, but relieved that we did see the place where our young adult daughter will be working, probably for ten months in a year. We hope and pray that everything will be all right. I know, she would be encountering challenges along the way. This, being her first employment experience since she graduated college months ago, this year, will certainly be a learning experience for her, like a newcomer in the workforce. We wish our daughter well and we pray that she'll be fine.

Sunday morning, we attended Mass at St. Paul's Catholic. Rev. Fr. David, our pastor, celebrated the Mass with us. After Mass in our parish, we found our way to another church, a Christian Church where our Tintin was scheduled to play piano for the church service there. Surprised we were to see Betty, whom we met last week at Seafood's in Chesapeake. It was a good feeling to know that she found her way to the church the fact that when we first met or came to know her for the first time, she was asking for a Christian church where she can attend and worship. Glad and thankful to see the pastor and his wife, Joanne. And some congregants like the Shaeffers, and a number of others who were familiar to us. As usual, we felt comfortable there, singing and praying and praising with others in attendance in that church. Before, I used to sing for them before the start of the church service. And Tintin used to accompany me on the piano. I feel honored and delighted to be sharing whatever God-given talents I have for them. At least I learned some of their church songs that are quite similar and yet different, to a degree, to the Catholic's.

After lunch at one of our favorite seafood restaurants in Chesapeake, my wife and I brought our daughter Tintin to C-ville where she said she's going to have two-day training, Monday and Tuesday, at UVa about college advising, etc. Prior to going there, Tintin has made arrangement with her friend and former dorm mate  in one of the students' residential halls where Tintin used to stay, three out of four years while in college there.

Dear folks and friends, you may be wondering why we've been giving a ride or lift to our daughter, each time she has an appointment or a commitment somewhere, one that requires long driving. Well, although she's got a driver's license way back when she was already third year college, she didn't have or wasn't given more opportunity to drive especially for one like her who has lived in Univ campus dorms. Plus she didn't have her own car 'til after her graduation. In short, she needs polishing as far as her driving alone is concerned. She seemed confident to be driving alone by herself already. But for us, her parents, we tend to believe that she has to do a little practice on the wheels.  Not that we don't trust her or that we're not that confident of her ability to drive but we feel that she needs a little practice driving. That's all. That's why we're sort of trying to guide her and let her drive so she'll get used to it. Especially now that she got a job in another county that's 3 1/2 hours drive, one way, to and from Hampton Roads.

Well, as usual, my wife Freny did all the driving because she's the most experienced among us. And she loves it, I tell you. She certainly deserves a pat on the shoulder for being the best and safest driver that we can possibly have in our family. With that, I thank her so much for being the loving and caring wife and mother, and teacher that she is. Thank you, God, for having her in my life, first and foremost. And, thank you, Jesus! My wife and I arrived safely back to Hampton Roads from C-ville two hours before midnight. Yeah, we're on the road almost every day, you know. Thanks to God, we're doing well. I do hope and pray you're doing well, too.

My dear folks and friends, this is all for now. How I wish I would be more detailed in my narrative but I have to sign off now. (I, personally, am kinda tired, at this moment, from being almost always on the road for two consecutive days.) Until next time around. Take care and have a nice day, everyone! As always, I pray May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 23September2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Water of Life

Good Friday, everyone! BTW, before I proceed, I declare or state that I don't own the videos embedded here on my blog post. They're from YouTube. No copyright infringement intended. I thank YouTube and the uploaders of the videos used here. Thanks also to Google and Blogger, and Facebook and Wikipedia.

This morning, I just finished praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Heavenly Mother. Here are the Five Sorrowful Mysteries (prayed every and Wednesdays and Fridays): 1) The Agony in the Garden---for true contrition 2) Scourging at the Pillar---for the virtue of purity 3) Crowning with Thorns---for moral courage 4) Carrying of the Cross---for the virtue of patience 5) The Crucifixion---for final perseverance.
Prayer, to me, is just like water that nourishes and gives life, especially my spiritual life. It gives me the courage, energy and strength to live and face life's challenges and uncertainties. It helps me to stay focused on what matters most in my life---foremost is my faith, my family, folks/relatives, and friends. It inspires me to do good in life, for myself and others. It helps me to get connected with the rest of humanity.

Well, speaking of water, the liquid (and solid and gaseous or water vapor) clear chemical substance, made up of 2 atoms/molecules of hydrogen and one oxygen (H2O or HOH), I tell you how beneficial is to me, especially in the morning. I've made it a point to always drink water in the morning, with my medicine, just after I rise up from bed. After an hour or two, maybe, I have my regular BM (bowel movement). That's daily routine for me already. It's proven to be effective for me, as far as I'm concerned.

Now, let's get serious about the wonders of water. Here are some of the many overlooked health benefits of water, according to U.S. News & World Report: 1) Hydration---"We know this seems obvious, but the truth is, your body can't function at its most basic level without ample amounts of will you know when you're running low on H20? According to the Mayo clinic, if you're thirsty, constipated, tired or are producing less urine, you may already be dehydrated." 2) Feeling full---"Drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help you practice portion control. This is a great tip because many of us, even those who aren't dieting, tend to overeat." 3)Flushing toxins---"Staying properly hydrated is the only way we can effectively purge out bodies of toxins." 4) Staying regular---"This is closely related to flushing toxins...but there are other benefits to having regular bowel movements than ridding the body of pollutants. People with chronic constipation are more likely to experience numerous diseases and conditions, from diabetes to colon cancer." 5) Sweating---" Sweating may be embarrassing sometimes...but it's a necessary function, as it regulates and cools your body temperature. It's a huge boon whenever you're exercising, but if you're not properly hydrated, you won't be able to sweat as much as you need to." 6) Helping in exercise---"Not only does water keep your internal heat gauge in check when you're running laps or shooting hoops, but it also physically assists you while you do those things (and any other physical activity). Water lubricates your joints so you can move easily, and it hydrates your muscles to prevent cramping." 7) No better alternative---'Water has zero calories and a host of benefits...Even if you're not trying to cut calories, swapping water for soda can still have a positive effect on your health. Just look at the ingredient list on almost any brand of cola and you're likely to find chemicals such as phosphoric acid (shown to lower bone density in a study conducted by researchers at Tufts University) and caramel color ( a carcinogenic substance that the Center for Science in the Public Interest tried to persuade the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to ban)."
Water, anyone? Please, no soda pop for me! Occasionally, yes, but even then I'd always prefer water since I started to get to know more about the health benefits of water. Most of the time, I'd rather choose water over other beverages during mealtime. I do hope you do, too, my dear folks and friends.

Again, I thank YouTube and the uploaders of the videos used here in my blog post today. Likewise, I thank U.S. News & World Report for the information about health benefits of water.

This is all for now. Until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful Friday and weekend, everyone! Thank you. And as always, "May God bless us all!"-chris a. quilpa, 21September2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jesus in Haiku, Etc.

Good Thursday, everyone! Hope and pray that we're doing well. Thank you, God. And thank you, Jesus!

This morning at about five, I was awaken by the call of the restroom. I had to take a leak or empty my bladder, that is. That's the time that my wife came up to our room from downstairs where she always lounges after dinner, doing her school stuff as a high school Chemistry teacher. She said that she has taken naps or sleeping in between doing or preparing her lesson, etc.

Back to our bedroom, I tried to go back to sleep. But a thought came to mind. While my wife Freny was already in cloud nine, I think, trying to get at least an hour or more sleep before she goes to school, I rose up. I turned on the lampshade on my bedside then grabbed my pen and my Composition Book. Now here's what I've scribbled and am delighted to share it with you, my dear folks and friends...

Jesus in Haiku

You are the reason
a sign of contradiction
you're a catalyst.

You became human
brought love and peace to all men
you saved us from sin.

You transformed the world
fulfilling the Word of God
dying on the Cross.

You're a catalyst
transforming sinners to saints
the reason to hope.

(c) 2012 by chris a. quilpa

I didn't have more to add to the above so I went back to sleep after turning off the light and setting aside my Composition Book. My wife was in  deep slumber already. But at six, I heard our alarm clock-radio always set on NPR and already on, airing news on its Morning Edition co-hosted by Steve Inskeep and Rene Montagne.

Freny didn't rise up 'til probably 6:30 a.m. She has to leave the house for school-work before seven. She has to anticipate traffic on the road, you know. I was informed her first period class starts at 8:05 a.m.? Anyway, I continued snuggling my blanket. You know, this is the beauty of being retired. I don't need to wake up early; I can stay in bed for how long. Not bothered by deadline. Just taking it easy.

Again, I woke up to the call of the restroom. This time it's the real thing, you know. I took the opportunity to pray the rosary, following the one on the video on YouTube. Since it's Thursday today, we have The Luminous Mysteries (I remember the late Pope John Paul II, now Blessed John Paul, added this to the original 3 Mysteries, which are The Glorious Mysteries (prayed on Sundays and Wednesdays), The Sorrowful Mysteries (prayed on Tuesdays and Fridays), and The Joyful Mysteries (prayed on Mondays and Saturdays). Again, these are The Luminous Mysteries: 1) The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River 2) The Wedding at Cana 3) The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God 4) The Transfiguration 5) The Institution of the Eucharist.

Embedded in this blog post of mine is this video (from YouTube) on praying the Luminous Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Heavenly Mother. No copyright infringement intended. I thank you YouTube and the uploader of the video. Thanks to Google and Blogger, and Facebook, too. I invite you, guys, to pray the rosary, too. Thank you.

Well, this is all for now. Until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful day, everyone! May God bless us all, always!-chris a. quilpa, 20September2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Pictorial Me-Not Completely Bald-Headed, After All

Photographs and memories...of a kindred spirit-not completely bald-headed, after all! Thanks to all the generous and loving people who gave me the shirts I've used in the pictures below.
The pictures above were just taken today, in our master's bedroom (19Sept2012)
Me, in my church attire, taken in our family room (16Sept2012)
Me and my wife Freny, after participating Sunday Mass at St. Paul's. Taken inside our car parked in front of a Protestant church, while waiting for Tintin and her Aunt Rose (16Sept2012)

Me, ready to go out and take a walk around the neighborhood, taken in our dining room (13Sept2012) 
Me and my daughter Tintin, in our family room, showing off our shirts given to us by my bro-in-law Dennis from California (11Sept2012)
Me and my wife Freny, in our eat-in kitchen, getting ready to go to church (09Sept2012) 
Me and my wife Freny, taken at a Welcome Center in Northern Virginia, on going back home to Hampton Roads, after visiting our son Andrew in DC and Maryland (03Sept2012)
Hey folks and friends! Silly me to have this "what you see is what you get" attitude. I have no intention other than to share with and update you, my dear folks and friends, about me and a number of people in my family. Now, here's me these days, God! So, what can I say but welcome to see me through my photos herewith. Thank you. And have a nice day, everyone! may God bless us all, always!-chris a. quilpa, 19Sept2012

On Praying and Beyond

Happy Wednesday to us all! How are we doing so far? That's good that we're doing well. Thank you, God! And thank you, Jesus!

This morning, with my rosary beads and laptop on, I prayed the Most Holy Rosary of our Blessed Virgin Mary, our Heavenly Mother. I was in sync with the video and following the praying of the rosary, with Glorious Mysteries in mind today. Know what? I'm not proud to tell you that I was using our restroom when I prayed the rosary. Well, there's no better place than the restroom in our master's bedroom upstairs, for me, to pray the rosary. I don't know why but each time I have the urge to use the restroom, especially if I've just drunk water in the morning (mind you, I do believe in water therapy!), I think of praying the rosary already. That's kinda automatic for me. In less than 20 minutes, I'm done. Just like this morning. It was relieving and liberating. That's my feeling. This morning. (BTW, I should state that No copyright infringement intended for using the video which I embedded with my blog post today. As always, I thank YouTube and the uploader of the video used here. Thank you, Google and Blogger, and, of course, Facebook.)
Now, why I do have to pray everyday, you ask me? My dear folks and friends, I believe in the goodness and healing power of prayer, be it short prayer or long, a simple "thank you" prayer or a prayer asking God to forgive me and my sins. I confess, I pray everyday. I pray not only for myself but also for others. I pray for a good or better life, a better, safer world we live in; I pray for our departed, be it my family members or distant relatives. I pray for those victims of different local, national and world events. I pray for our sick and injured and wounded in our midst, everywhere around the world. I pray for my family, folks/relatives, friends (personal and virtual), even my enemies, if there's any (which I doubt or don't think so because I don't want to have enemies, as much as possible.). I pray for peace in my heart. I pray for world peace. I pray for the homeless and poor among us. I pray for those who are up there for their safety and well-being. i pray for our church leaders and world leaders, and the ordinary people, like me, who are trying to make a living and succeed in life.

I can't keep this thing forever in me but I have to tell you this: I have seen a number of the fruits or what I call "products" of my devotion in praying to God, to Jesus, to our Mother Mary. I'm not convincing you to believe me but I believe that my previous prayers have been answered, consciously or unknowingly. Man, I've seen and heard a number of people recovered from their injuries, surgeries, and hospitalizations. I prayed for them as soon as I heard, or found out, that they're in critical condition because of different reasons, such as traumatic brain injury, attempted assassination, random shooting or violence, etc. Some of these patients have been beyond treatment or recovery, scientifically and medically-wise. As a believer, or specifically a Catholic Christian, I believe in miracles just I believe in mysteries. Yes, miracles do happen, I know. I firmly believe that as I've said. In my prayers, I've asked the intercession of a number of our Venerables and Blesseds, and Saints. And, ultimately the intercession of our Savior Jesus Christ.

In my years of existence on Planet Earth, I've come to the realization that there are things that science can't find answers to questions or phenomena that are beyond explanations by experts or so-called authorities in such and such field of knowledge. You know that and I do, too. There are unexplained circumstances, with unexplained good news results, especially on a case-to-case basis. And, I believe and am aware that we have a physical and spiritual life. We live, we die, physically. But spiritually? That's where our belief comes in. Our faith in God is what keeps us altogether, in Heaven, in His Kingdom, when we die physically on Earth. I do believe we'll be reunited with our beloved 'loved ones and Our Almighty Heavenly Father, when it's time for us to go. But when it is not yet time, we have the opportunity to make peace with ourselves and others, to make amends, to rebuild, repair, restore, reform our stained or tainted life that have gone astray or wayward because of environmental-social influences and our abusive, excessive undoing and learned lifestyles. Yes, when it's not time for us to go where we hope to be, we're given the chance to become like the newly-born babies who are pure, innocent, adorable and loving, but helpless and hapless. That's where we rely on the love and goodness of our Lord and Jesus Christ through the people whom we come in contact with and eventually rely to take care of us when we're in dire need of help.

Well, my dear folks and friends, this is all for now. Until next time around. I thank you for your time with me. Take care and have a nice day, everyone! As always, I pray May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 19September2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Praying the Rosary, Visiting First Team, and More

Good Tuesday, everyone! BTW, how's the weather in your area? Forecast over here in Hampton Roads is that we'll have a wet and windy weather! Well, my dear folks and friends, let's try to live and enjoy the moment well.

 Before I go on, I have to declare that I don't own the video that I embedded on my blog post today. It's from YouTube. No copyright infringement intended. As always, I thank you, YouTube and the uploader of the video I used here. Thanks also to Google and Blogger, and Facebook.

This morning, prior to using the restroom, in our master's room, I turned on my laptop and logged on to YouTube. With my rosary beads with me, I began praying the rosary, following the video on Youtube. It took me about 20 minutes to finish my rosary. I'm thankful to God that I did.

You ask, why do you still use the video on YouTube when praying the rosary? You know, folks and friends, I'd say that it does help heighten my praying and my meditation.
Thank you, Lord, and thank you, Jesus, for the inspiration. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death! Amen. What a feeling of peace and relief I have had afterwards!

After praying the rosary, I listened to Andrea Boccelli's songs (playlist) on YouTube. With his operatic voice that can be soothing and relieving, in spite of his blindness from (genetic) glaucoma, he's such an inspiration, too. I learned that he has sold over 65 million records.

Before noontime, I went to the automobile service station to have them (auto mechanics or technicians) check that thing (sort of that exclamation point sign) appearing on our van's dashboard. (I've noticed this sign since last Sunday on my way to St. Paul's for that Sunday Mass. I thought it has to be about tire pressure check. Not enough air on them, that is.) It wasn't long after I checked it in at the front desk the that they took care of it immediately. Thanks God that it didn't take long for them to figure or fix it out. My front tires' insufficient air pressure was the culprit or cause. When the young man, who checked our van, explained it to me what's wrong with it, and then handed me the key, telling me that it's taken care of, I asked him how much do I owe him. He said, "nothing!" "Really?" I asked kinda surprised and smiled. "Absolutely," he replied as he went in back to the front desk. Well, I thanked him for fixing the minor problem. FYI, we bought all our four cars there and all the periodic maintenance and/or repairs of our cars are done there.

From the auto dealership/service station, I drove to the nearby Neighborhood Grocery Store where I bought a two pound- bag shrimps (which I had them at the Seafood section steamed and seasoned with Old Bay seasoning). While waiting for my shrimps, I walked around the store and bought milk, two loaves of bread (buy one, get one free offer), two boxes of 8 variety pack doughnut (buy one get one free), ten pieces fried chicken, bananas, and that four-small bottle pack red wine.

Now, guess who I encountered at Neighborhood Grocery Store? That young man who took care of our van, with his girlfriend, or wife maybe. He was carrying the store's grocery basket. "Hey, man!" I said as we crossed path. He smiled and said, "so you're here, too, for your shopping." "Yeah," I answered. I thanked him again for my van. "No problem, man! Anytime," he said as he disappeared with his girlfriend.

Outside at the store's parking lot, it was already drizzling while I was loading my groceries to our van. Rain continued to pour out and was getting stronger as I drove my way home. In ten minutes, I was home, a little wet, of course, for I didn't bring an umbrella with me when I went out this morning. Anyway, my feeling that moment was that I'm hungry. Hence, I had a late lunch, but early dinner. Thanks to God, I was home before I came to find out that we have a thunderstorm watch in effect in Hampton Roads area!

Well, my dear folks and friends, this is all for now. Until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful day, everyone! As always, I pray, May God bless us all! Thank you.-chris a. quilpa, 18September2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Thoughts

(Introductory Note: I don't own the videos embedded in my blog post. They're from YouTube. No copyright infringement intended. I thank YouTube and the uploaders of the videos used here. My thanks to Google and Blogger, and Wikipedia, too, for their accessibility and availability.)


None can give you more
None can make you listen
None can take you there
None can explain you better
Than National Public Radio.

None can be more engaging
None can be more entertaining
None can be more enlightening
None can be more trusting and believing
Than National Public Radio.

(c) 2012 by chris a. quilpa

This morning while I was listening to NPR, I thought of what it does to our population in general, how it helps us get informed of what's happening locally, nationally, internationally; up, down, in between, and beyond space and time. It helps us to think, to act, to decide, to feel happy and sad or mad, to feel big and small, free and human, etc.

Likewise, this morning, when I went downstairs to get something to eat, I turned on the radio that's set on NPR. I heard that the topic under discussion by one of the radio program's hosts was about homelessness in America. My mind immediately switched to an original notion (that was unreal and untrue) when I arrived here in the U.S. for the first time in the early '80s. My flawed thought was that there was no poor in America, no homeless in America. I thought that all people was materially rich or wealthy. I thought that all people in America are homeowners. That when they build their homes, they've been already paid for by the sole owners. I didn't think about paying monthly mortgages, etc. Ah, I was wrong, as I continued (with the rest of my fellow immigrants) to work my way to realize my American Dream! I was completely wrong, and dumbfounded when I found out the truth of the matter and the reality of being and living here in America.

Lots of questions bombard or puzzle me or disrupt my immigrant's way of thinking and living, with the education and life experiences I've had or learned way back in my native country, the Philippines. I must tell and share with you, my dear folks and friends, that I learned life the hard way. I know what it means (to live) to be poor. I know how it feels to be poor because I've been there. I've lived and experienced it.

So what are these questions that keep bugging me? Here they are: If America is known worldwide to be the most powerful, the richest country or nation on planet Earth, why do we have homeless in our midst? Why are there homeless, poor, marginalized, underserved among us in the United States? Is it because America the Land of the Free World? Yet, it has this sobriquet, too, being the Land of Milk and Honey? I know, we have rights and responsibilities, as human beings. And we have choices, too, because we're free to do whatever we want, even to the point of breaking (or challenging) the laws of the land and the Natural Law and laws of God (if we are believers)?

I know, that compared to other countries in the world, America is better off in many ways. But, I don't understand why we have homeless and poor, despite the many opportunities we have to succeed here? Look around us: we are deluged with consumer goods, have lots of disposable stuff that we use everyday, yet we have homeless and poor in our midst? Does it make sense? We have some or many overweight and obese people in our cities and states, why? Why, o why, do we have lots of people taking drugs, and medications? Why do we have problems here that are persistent in other developed and developing countries? Is it because problems are universal, like feelings? Does this mean that poverty and other social and societal issues are rampant everywhere around the globe, and America is not spared to have some? Does this mean that America is no different than other countries or nations in the world? I'd like to find answers to these questions. I'd like to be enlightened, you know, so that I won't be wondering all the time.

My dear folks and friends, these are my Monday thoughts. Thank you for your time with me. And, until next time around. Take care and have a blessed and wonderful day, everyone! As always, May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 17September2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday with A Benedictine Monk and More

Good Sunday, everyone! Hope and pray that everything  is alright and well with you, dear folks and friends. May God bless us all!

My prayer thoughts for today, Sunday: Thank you, Dear Lord, for I'm alive and well. Thank you so much for all your goodness and blessings. I ask your forgiveness for my sins. Make me an instrument of thy Love and Peace. Help me to do your will. Amen.

Well, here's my Sunday story...My wife and I participated in today's Mass at St. Paul's Catholic Church where we're scheduled to do volunteer work as Extraordinary Ministers for Holy Communion. Our assignment today was to do Host B (she) and C (that's me), that is to administer or distribute the Eucharist (the consecrated or sanctified Body of Jesus Christ) to our fellow parishioners.

As usual, we prayed, professed our faith, worshiped Almighty God, our Heavenly Father and His Begotten Son, Jesus Christ; sang church hymns and songs, listened to the Scripture readings and the Holy Gospel, and our pastor/priest's homily (or sermon), and received the "Body" and "Blood" of Christ, with the faithful members of the congregation, and visitors/guests of the parish, if any, and we gave thanks to Our Heavenly Father for all His grace and blessings.

A visiting priest, Rev. Fr. Paschal, a Benedictine monk, celebrated the Mass with us today. He had a lively and inspiring homily. Observably, I found him to be an excellent preacher. From him, we learned that one of our two priests/pastors in our four clustered parishes was out of town. That's Rev. Fr. Chris H, our parochial vicar, who is on vacation.

At church, we had an opportunity to see and talk to our friends, Mike, Myrna, Jenny and her two-year old daughter Emily. Just after the Mass, that is. We also did shake hands with our visiting priest-celebrant, Rev. Fr. Paschal, who was in front of the church, after the Mass. We did continue our brief conversation with the Rileys, after the Mass, by the facade or outside of the church building. Likewise, we did say Hi to our fellow parishioners, like Jim and Martha, as they were coming out of the church. Moreover, we engaged in a brief talk with a  couple of black women who were dressed up and still outside talking with their friends, too.

After Sunday Mass at St. Paul's Catholic Church, my wife and I went to pick up our young adult daughter Tintin and her Aunt Rose, my sis-in-law, who accompanied her to play piano for church services at a Baptist church in neighboring city. We, two, decided to just leave our van in front of St. Paul's. BTW (or by the way), earlier this morning, my wife gave a ride to the two to the Baptist church (while I was still at home preparing myself for the Mass. And yes, I had to drive our van alone to the church today.) As you may know, my wife and I agreed to just meet/see each other in church, hopefully before the start of Mass. That happened, thanks to God! We didn't encounter any busy traffic along the way. We almost arrived to St. Paul's at the same time, twenty minutes before the start of Mass. That's amazing.

Back to St. Paul's at the place where I parked and left our van, from that Baptist Church in another city, I drove our van, alone again, while my wife drove our mid-size car with Tintin and Rose. We all agreed to meet at one of our favorite Sunday hang-outs, after Mass, Seafood Restaurant in Chesapeake. Apparently, we almost arrived there again at the same time, but without Rose because she's already at her part-time work. According to my wife, she dropped her sister off to her work already because it's almost 1:00 p.m., her time to report or start work there. Anyway, she thought of just dropping by her sister's to give the latter's packed lunch. That is after our lunch at Seafood's.

While at Seafood's, my wife Freny, daughter Tintin, and I met Betty, happenstance. The latter was also there  to dine, alone. She overheard us talking with two of the regulars there at Seafood's, Mark and his wife whom we've become acquainted with each other. They just had lunch and were getting ready to leave the place. (We exchanged pleasantries and Mark's wife even commented that she likes my tie.) We were talking about churches, telling them that we had two separate vehicles out today because of our two separate church schedules. That's when Betty got in to our conversation, just as the couple were on their way out. She told us she was looking for a Christian church in the area. That opportune moment, we invited her to and mentioned our Catholic church. We also mentioned the Christian church where our daughter Tintin plays piano for the church services there every other Sunday. Since Tintin forgot the address of that church, she called the pastor. She graciously informed the pastor that there's a woman we've just met today who was looking for a Christian church to go and worship. Eventually, Tintin gave her cell phone to Betty and the two (Betty and the pastor) started talking.

In the course of our friendly and animated conversation with Betty who sat on another table next to us, while enjoying our food, we got to know more about Betty. And she got to know more about us, too. We found out that she's from the same subdivision where we live. Betty, now 72, said that she's staying with one of her eldest military sons and his family, after losing her husband. She informed us that she has seven children, with over twenty grandchildren. She mentioned about her family and their "make out" experiences in different parts of the country, notably their long driving to Alaska. She used to be an elementary and middle teacher, she said. And she had a stint, too, at Samaritan House. Now, she admitted, her work involves helping out her Navy son and his family at home.

Betty thanked us and we did the same when she was leaving Seafood's. She seemed to be bubbly and a very good conversationalist. Imagine, we've talked about our subdivision and a couple of its rules and regulations that we're critical about. Especially the annual increase of our monthly Homeowner's Association dues or fees but at the same time the stagnant or decrease of services that our Association provides for the residents in general.

My dear folks and friends, we never expected to meet someone like Betty. But it happened today. At Seafood's, of all places. Our meeting and interaction today was sort of convivial and personally interesting. I believe, we shared that one commonality, like everybody else who shares our family values---our being human, respectful, and understanding of others, irrespective of our race, color, culture, religion, belief, etc.

Well, this is all for now. Until next time around. Take care and have a blessed day, everyone! May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 16Sept2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The "Dalits" in our Midst

Today, I was watching videos uploaded by catholicnewsagency on YouTube and I got stuck on one particular video "Christianity Changing Lives of India's "Untouchables." I remember Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She did what others couldn't do, taking care of the sickly and poor in our midst. (Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for us!)

Having been interested in social and societal issues ever since I was in Ms. Rabaino's class way back in third year high school (in the Philippines), issues that pertain to education, immigration, social and economic mobility, poverty, human trafficking, discrimination, etc., and being touched by the topic of the video mentioned above, I found myself  scribbling something in my Composition Book. Here, I'm sharing it with you...

The "Dalits" in our Midst

I ask myself, Why are there "Untouchables" in our midst? 
Who created the existence of their title? 
Why are they called "Outcasts?"
What have they done to deserve such title?
Why are they marginalized?
If they are human beings, like us, what rights do they have?
What role, if any, do they play in society?
I wonder, What can we do to elevate their status?
What can we do to alleviate their sorrows and sufferings, their pains and problems?

As for me, I can pray for the Dalits: 
May God, our Almighty Father, bless them
and keep them safe from harm!
May they know Your Love
as true and saving grace.
May they continue to believe in their abilities 
and capabilities to change their lives and our world.
And may the church leaders and government leaders 
all over the world, in solidarity with all people of good Faith,
do whatever they can to emancipate them and liberate them 
and to help them restore their dignity as fellow human beings. Amen.

Regarding the videos I used to embed herewith my blog post, I'd like to note that No copyright infringement intended. I thank YouTube and the uploaders of the videos. I also would like to thank Google and Blogger. And to Wikipedia and Facebook, of course, for being so accessible in information dissemination. Thanks to all people of goodwill. Lastly, I thank you, God our Almighty Father and His Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, for my life, faith, family, folks, and friends.

Well, this is all for now. Until next time around. Take care and have a blessed weekend, everyone! May God bless us always!-chris a. quilpa, 15September2012.

The Nicene/Apostles' Creed

My dear folks and friends, today and always, let us pray The Nicene/Apostles' Creed (New Translation):

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate
of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
he will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is
adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Thank you, God, for having given us Life and the many goodness and blessings, like my faith, family, folks, and friends here and elsewhere around the world. Thank you, Jesus, for sacrificing for and saving us! To our heavenly Mother Mary, pray for us, now and forever. Amen.-chris a. quilpa, 15Sept2012