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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Just a Thought on Tuesday

Good Tuesday, everyone! Thank you, Lord, we're alive and doing okay.

Here's what I have in mind while still in bed this morning, after praying the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Heavenly Mother and Mother of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, my "Big Brother" and Inspiration:

"To live life and enjoy it (while I can) with all its perks and problems."

My dear folks and friends, the above is all that I have to do. I hope you do, too. With Faith and Hope, it can also be my New Year 2013 resolutions. What do you think? I know, it's just plain and simple. Thank you, good and gracious God, for having this chronic lower back pain, and disability. Not that I wanted it but I've learned to accept it as I continue my journey. And, thank you, Jesus, for always being there with me, truly an inspiration!

Wishing you the best this Holiday Season! May God bless you and your family! And, as always, I pray, "May God bless us all!" Peace!-chris a. quilpa, 27Nov2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Sans Funfare

Good Saturday, everyone! BTW, how's the weather in your area, my dear folks and friends? Over here in Hampton Roads we have plenty of sunshine! But, it's cold and chilly! I like it, though, for it's that time to wear comfy jackets and sweaters, mittens and gloves. Aha, thinking or imagining of winter weather now, huh?

Just to let you guys know, I'm doing okay, in spite of my chronic lower back that's recurring. Especially with this kind of cold, chilly weather. But, I'm managing it with lots of rest, an optimal physical conditioning---walking around in our wooden deck by our backyard, and medication. Though, I must admit, I'm a little bit down, I'm alright. Thanks to God. And thank you, Jesus.  

Saturday sans funfare, that's right! It's weekend after Thanksgiving Day and, as far as I'm concerned, it's just another day for myself to chill out and loaf---not doing anything but let the time pass by while listening and/or watching (videos on Youtube) to songs of praise and gratitude. But, I did prepare something this morning for the family's breakfast (after praying my rosary along with a video on YouTube while still in our bedroom). We had toasted muffin, egg and bacon with hot cocoa, and a slice of pecan pie for dessert (for me). Good breakfast. Thank you, good and gracious God. 

What else did we do today? My son Andrew went out after our breakfast to meet his friends and former classmates. I heard they're having lunch, or brunch, at an Indian restaurant. My sis-in-law went to her part-time job. My wife Freny drove our daughter Tintin to meet one of her friends somewhere in a mall? Actually the two just left while I'm busy with this blog post. Me? Just in our room, with the TV on to a football game. But a while ago, I was watching PBS, particularly on Rick Steves' Travel in Europe? I did read a couple of Catholic blogs before writing this post. Glad and thankful to know that we have six new cardinals in the Catholic Church, including Manila's Archbishop, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of the Philippines.

Anyway, Saturday is one of those restive weekends for me, you know. Lazy Saturday, huh? That's right. But, on the other hand, I'm looking forward to tomorrow, Sunday's Mass, though. Freny and I are scheduled to take part in the Eucharistic celebration or Holy Communion, as volunteer Eucharistic Ministers of Holy Communion at St. Paul's. But as of now, I'm just trying to enjoy a simple yet contented life, my dear folks and friends. This present moment is what matters most to me, you know. Therefore, I have to be thankful to our Almighty God that I'm alive and doing fine. I admit, I have good days and bad, like others, I believe. Such is life, my folks and friends. We're never permanently great all the time. Because we're human. As the season and weather change so do we. And we try our best to adapt to life's changes and challenges. 

Well, this is all for now. Until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful weekend, everyone! As always, I pray, "May God bless us all!" Thank you.-chris a. quilpa, 24Nov2012

Wanna know what I'm thinking after this post? I'm going to eat that fruit---pomegranate. Yes, sir! I've been wanting to eat one yesterday but I abandoned the idea. But now, I will eat half of one. FYI: A day before Thanksgiving Day, I bought three big fist-size pomegranate for five bucks at Kroger's. I don't know about you but I love that fruit, man! There's that unique feeling each time I nibble this kind of seedy fruit. I remember, I've written an Ilokano poem about pomegranate and I published it in, in 2008? Anyway, pomegranate, anyone?

abitadeacon: New Cardinals for the Catholic Church today

abitadeacon: New Cardinals for the Catholic Church today

Friday, November 23, 2012

abitadeacon: No animals at Jesus' birth; Pope's book to spark debate

abitadeacon: No animals at Jesus' birth; Pope's book to spark debate

It's Black Friday Today!

Good (Black) Friday, everyone! Smile and enjoy the day!

The above opening of my today's blog post is "what's on my mind" or my greetings that I posted on my Facebook page, timeline status, today, the day after Thanksgiving Day.

Black Friday, in the United States? What is it? What does that mean? To the "consumeristic" (shopping) and retail-business world in America, they know what Black Friday event is. The phenomenon is, thus, associated with spurring economy, and business industry in America, after Thanksgiving Day.

According to my well-accessed reference source Wikipedia, Black Friday is the "day after Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season." On this non-official/federal holiday, major retailers open their stores early, offering promotional sales, i.e., electronic products, gadgets, clothes, toys, to varied shoppers, thereby kicking off or ushering in the holiday shopping season. In short, it's the day of retailers, minor and major, and shoppers, old and new, longing for bargains and good deals. It's been said that this day is the busiest shopping day of the year in America. Really? Hmmm...

No, I don't think I will go to the malls or any retail stores today. I don't or didn't have that planned. I just wanna chill out, relax and enjoy the day, you know. (Besides, my lower back has been acting up, you know. But I'm doing okay, thank you, good God! This chronic lower back pain is minute compared to others out there. I pray for their speedy recovery, too.) BTW, as far as I know, my son Andrew left the house this morning to be with his friend/s shopping? I doubt if he had time for breakfast, though. Anyway, I say, good luck to him and the rest of shoppers out there today.

As I've been writing this post, I've been listening to a playlist of Church songs and hymns, videos on YouTube, and doing a little research on the singers/musicians and/or American liturgical composers like Michael Joncas, John Michael Talbot, David Haas, Dan Schutte, Michael Haugerty, etc. Now I came to know that there are liturgical composers who are not originally Catholics but their compositions have been adopted by Catholic Church in church worship/ Mass. So impressed I am about these musicians. Thank you , dear Lord, for these wonderful people of faith.

Well, I have to sign off now. Until next time around. Take care and have a blessed day, everyone! As always, I pray, "May God bless us all!"-chris a. quilpa, 23Nov2012

P.S. Before I publish this post, just to let you know that Andrew just arrived home with "good deal stuff" from a number of retail stores he and one of his friends Thomas have visited this morning. And he's mentioning some bucks he has saved from today's shopping spree? Well, good to know, huh?-caq

Thursday, November 22, 2012

As We Celebrate Thanksgiving Today

Happy Thanksgiving, my dear folks and friends!

As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day today in the United States, and elsewhere where other Americans are, let's pray and give thanks, pause for a moment and count our bountiful blessings---blessings of life, love, hope, peace, togetherness, faith, family, folks, friends, brotherhood and friendship, and companionship; freedom, health, material wealth, richness and fullness of body, mind and spirit, God and Jesus, and Mother Mary, and all our Saints, and our veterans and volunteers in our midst, and our dearly departed loved ones...

My thoughts, in haiku form, after having Thanksgiving (turkey) dinner with my caring and loving family this evening, while the TV in our family room is on to football game, and while listening to Josh Grohban's playlist songs on my laptop in our eat-in-kitchen...

Thank you, gracious God,
for all your goodness and Love,
we're alive and well.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I pray, Lord, let there be peace in the Middle East and in our hearts! As always, May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Prayers, Thoughts*

Note: The following article of mine *appeared in the Opinion page of Suffolk News-Herald, Thursday, November 27, 2008. And, I'm happy to share it with you, my dear folks and friends. Thanks for reading...

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you have a blessed, joyful and meaningful Thanksgiving with your family and friends.

Here's my Thanksgiving Day prayer: Lord, Almighty God, I have a lot to be thankful for. First, I thank You for all the bountiful blessings and harvests you've showered on us. Thank You for our families being together in these trying times. Thank You for the settlers-pilgrims, immigrants, and veterans that brought us (and enriched our) life and freedom here in America. Thank You for our government officials who have worked for the greatness (and common good) of America. Thank You for our religious leaders for increasing (and enriching) our faith. Thank You for our teachers and volunteers, our innovators and pioneers, our doctors, nurses and other caregivers, our police officers, our dedicated and hard-working farmers for all their efforts and sacrifices in making America a strong and great nation. Thank You for our journalists for informing us of what's happening around the world. Thank You for our actors and singers, and writers, and athletes for entertaining us and reminding us that despite the economic downturn and meltdown, and sluggish recovery, we can still manage to celebrate our humanity. Thank you, good and gracious God, for all our Armed Forces, our servicemen and women who are here and abroad, fighting for freedom and maintaining peace and order, and also for their families and the sacrifices they make. I pray, Lord, that our homeless will find shelter and comfort this cold holiday season. May your Light and Love shine before us always! Amen.

Now, let me tell you, I feel so blessed to be in America. I can't thank her enough for all what she's done for my family and me. I sure did realize my dream, joining the U.S. Navy and retiring after 20 years of honorable service to my adoptive country. So on this Thanksgiving Day, I sincerely thank you, America, for helping me realize the American Dream. I thank you for this wonderful, incredible freedom and democracy that my family and I enjoy. As an American of Filipino ancestry, I proudly say how much I love this country where my two children were born. 

Together with my younger siblings, I had my first Thanksgiving Day in the United States 25 years ago at my sister Betty's house in San Jose, California. Although I didn't know much then about this traditional American celebration, I had a good time, because we had that big family Thanksgiving with lots of food and love.

On a personal note, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my sister Betty for being the Big sister in the truest sense of of the word. With Dad and my brother-in-law Dennis, she made it possible for my siblings and me to legally emigrate to this great country of ours, The Land of the Free World, in 1983, and she became our second mother once we arrived here. I'll be forever indebted and eternally grateful to our sister Betty.

May God bless our beautiful and colorful America. May God bless us all always! Again, Happy Thanksgiving to you all!-chris a. quilpa

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Day in America: Then and Now

How did it come to be known as Thanksgiving Day this happy harvest festival-turned national holiday? Here's what I found out, from my research...

In 1621 some rag-tag pilgrims/Plymouth colonists-settlers, in Massachusetts, gathered together to give thanks for bountiful crops or harvests, and to count their blessings for having 47 out of 103 pilgrims (who) survived their first winter in the New World, now known as America. Yes, about half of the little band had died of the harsh winter.

In the summer of 1621, Governor William Bradford, of Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts,  decreed that everyone would celebrate for three days because of the improving situation of the pilgrims.

The pilgrims did give thanks, with celebration. The menu was very special and everyone helped to prepare the feast. They extended fellowship to the native American Indians who reached out to help them survive the winter. The American Indians brought wild turkey and venison (deer meat). The men provided wild geese, ducks, and fish. The women, on the other hand, prepared the food and also made cornmeal bread and succotash (a cooked dish of kernel of corn mixed with shell of beans, especially lima beans, and often with green and sweet red peppers. Meanwhile, children gathered nuts and wood for the open fires, where the meat was roasted on spits. Then everyone sat around large tables outside and feasted, sang hymns of praise, and had a wonderful time. Truly, it was a time of great feasting, wonderful fellowship and cultural exchange.

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, issued the first national Thanksgiving proclamation, which set aside the last Thursday in November, each year, as A Day of Observance, A Day of Prayerful Thanksgiving. The credit really should go to Sarah Josepha Hale of Philadelphia. She's the author of Mary Had a Little Lamb and lady editor of "Godey's Lady's Book (which, at that time, had a circulation of 180,000). During the Civil War, she wrote letters to all governors, as well as to the President, and also many editorials for her publication---all devoted to bringing about a national day of Thanksgiving. Eventually, her wish became a reality.

Traditionally a time for family reunions, Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, to feast, and to have a joyous holiday. There's that televised colorful and magnificent parade during the day in New York and the much-anticipated football games in the evening across the country while families are feasting, enjoying lots of fun, friendship and food---roast/baked turkey with all the trimmings, and plenty of desserts, such as chocolate cakes, pies of different kinds (apple, coconut, custard, pecan, pumpkin, strawberry). It's certainly a Thanksgiving feast for the family, and extended family, folks, and friends, and guests. Thank you, almighty Father for all of these blessings!

As we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, let's pause and reflect, and take time to reach out to those less fortunate than ourselves, especially those affected victims of the past Superstorm Sandy. Let's pray for them, too, that they get their life back and recover as soon as possible. May God bless them! Also, let's pray for our troops who can't celebrate with us or with their families because they're deployed somewhere. We pray to God that they're safe and protected in harm's way.

This Thanksgiving holiday, therefore, let's not forget to give thanks for and count our blessings---good health, peace of mind, food, shelter, freedom of choice, loved ones...May your Thanksgiving be joyful!-chris a. quilpa, 20Nov2012

Giving Thanks to/for Veterans and Volunteers*

Note: The following article of mine was *published in Suffolk New-Herald's Opinion page, four years ago today.

Veterans and volunteers, and volunteers who are young ones, and veterans...they're everywhere.

They're in churches, in clinics, hospitals and nursing homes. They're in schools, in shopping malls and in stores. You can find them in soup kitchens and on field trips, in polling places during election day, and especially on the scene at disasters or natural calamities. They come in different sizes and shapes, different colors and socio-economic backgrounds, too. They are our volunteers, the backbone of our community and our country.

In good times or bad, they're still there. They don't mind sharing of themselves, their time time, talents, and treasures. They love to do things for others. hence, they're worthy of our respect, admiration, and gratitude. 

(Who or what is a volunteer?) Why do people volunteer? What inspires or motivates them to do so? Varied answers and reasons, for sure.

(Edward Linderman, a professor emeritus at Columbia University and specialist in Community Organization, once wrote that a volunteer is a person who acts on his or her own free will. He or she is the uncoerced person. He or she volunteers because s/he really cares what happens to people. that means that he or she is a responding person. That's what the word "responsible" means---responding to need.)

One time, when I visited Portsmouth Naval Medical Center (where I've worked there for eleven years and retired in 2005), I was surprised to find out that Mr. John, 72, was still doing volunteer work there, delivering and distributing donated books and magazines from one clinic or department to another for (out)patients waiting for their turn to be called for care and/or service. I asked him why he's still volunteering when he should have been enjoying his life. " I am enjoying my life," he said. "I love doing it for our patients and other people." Meanwhile, at the Pharmacy, I came across another retired veteran, Bob, who was manning the lines for those healthcare beneficiaries waiting for their name to be called to get their prescription medication. When asked the same question, he simply replied, "I just want to help, man!" 

This past summer, the American Red Cross sponsored the annual Volunteer Program at NMCP. Turnout was overwhelming. When I asked some of the teen volunteers who were assigned duties in pediatrics, NICU, and ICU what they thought of their volunteer work, almost all of them had positive comments about the program. One of them said that it would help her choose a career in either nursing or medicine. Another responded by saying, "I volunteered to try to help patients and to understand what they're going through while receiving care."

Isn't it interesting how often volunteerism and activism work hand in hand? Consider the following scenarios:

Volunteers help raise money for countless worthy causes. The salvation Army, the March of Dimes, the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, United States Marines' Toys for Tots and other community projects all rely on the help of selfless volunteers. (I remember, when I was still active duty, I did volunteer for Toys for Tots, in my U.S. Navy uniform, manning one of the collection boxes where donors donate new toys which will eventually be sorted out and distributed to kids in the community.)

We see them ringing bells in front of chain stores. We also see them manning the pledge phones during Jerry Lewis' Telethon or PBS' Fall Pledge Campaign, etc. We see them in schools, partnering with teachers, helping a kid to read in class, or monitoring students during recess or on field trips.

We see them in libraries, grocery stores, even on battlefields (reenactment, that is). Yes, my dear folks and friends, our volunteers are everywhere. They're (tirelessly) responsible, compassionate and considerate. 

In closing, I'd like to say this: This holiday season, let's give thanks to/for all the volunteers among us. May their tribe increase!-chris a. quilpa, 20Nov2008

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fall(en) Leaves

Watching around and passing by the neighborhood, while on the road/way to the nearest post office with our van, today (a cool and chilly, sunless Monday), I've thought of the leaves that fell from the trees and were now on the ground...

Here's what I've scribbled on my Composition Book today: Fall(en) Leaves

They're on the ground now
leaves cold, dry, crumpled, wilted
leaving the trees bare.

Blanketing the ground
leaves scattered everywhere
wayward and fallen.

How sad to see them
cold leaves fallen on the ground
lifeless and trampled.

(c) 2012 by chris a. quilpa

Praising and Thanksgiving

Good Monday, everyone!

As Thanksgiving Day celebration in America, and elsewhere, is just around the corner, I wish to praise and give thanks always to our good and gracious God for my faith, family, folks, and friends.

What am I thankful for? Let me count the ways...First, I'm thankful to be alive and well. Thank you God, and thank you, Jesus, my Lord and Savior, and Redeemer, and my inspiration. Thank you, Holy Spirit for guiding and enlightening me in what I say, write, and do. Thank you, Mother Mary, our Heavenly Mother. Thank you to all the Saints for having given their life for God, and for inspiring us to live a life of faith and hope and charity.

I pray for and thank my departed parents, and siblings, relatives and friends, for having been there for me when I was young and helpless. I thank my caring and loving family, my wife Freny, my two young adult children Andrew and Tintin, my siblings, Aunt Emilia, other relatives, in-laws, and friends for all that they have done and for helping me to become a better person and God-loving that I am. I thank and pray for all my teachers, living or deceased.

Likewise, I pray for and give thanks to all the people of goodwill who are making a difference in the world, trying their best to help solve societal and world-wide problems. I thank and pray for our farmers, fishermen, seamstress, hospitality employees/workers, store employees, sanitary workers, bakers, bank employees, school teachers and staff-personnel, engineers, healthcare providers, scientists, and all wage earners struggling to keep their life and family intact and stable. I pray for and thank our local officials and employees for their public service. I thank and pray for USA for being good to me and my family, folks, and friends.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for inspiring us all to do good, not only for our selves but for the marginalized and underserved in our midst. Thank you for our world church leaders and government officials, especially those who are working for peace and stability of the world in general. I thank and pray for all of our military personnel stationed everywhere around the globe. I thank and pray for all of our missionaries throughout the world, our priests/pastors, especially Rev. Fathers David, Chris, Jarek, Romy, Michael, Kevin, Robert, Tony, Gaudy, Steve, Alex, etc. Also I'd like to pray and give thanks to all of our seminarians, teachers, students all over the world.

Yesterday, at a Christian church in a neighboring city where my daughter Tintin plays piano for the worship service there every other Sunday (and gets remunerated, I believe), I found this poem/hymn that we read in church appealing to me and very much appropriate to these days, and worth-sharing to you all, dear folks and friends. The author, I learned later, was an English hymn-writer Brian Wren who composed it in 1968 (BTW, does the author ring a bell to you, folks?). I do hope you like it.

With no copyright infringement intended, here's that poem/hymn...

Praise God for the Harvest

Praise God for the harvest of farm and of field,
praise God for the people who gather their yield,
the long hours of labor, the skills of a team,
the patience of science, the power of machine.

Praise God for the harvest that's sent from afar,
from market and harbor, from tropical shore;
foods packed and transported and planted and grown
by God-given neighbors, unseen and unknown.

Praise God for the harvest of alloy or ore,
by mining and drilling, on land and off-shore;
for oil and for iron, for tinplate and coal,
praise God, who in love has provided them all.

Praise God for the harvest of science and skill,
the urge to discover, create and fulfill;
for all new inventions that promise to gain
a future more hopeful, a world more humane.

Praise God for the harvest of conflict and love,
for leaders and peoples who struggle and serve
to conquer oppression, earth's plenty increase,
and gather God's harvest of justice and peace.

Well, this is all for now. Until next time around, my dear folks and friends. Take care and have a blessed day, everyone! As always, I pray, "may God bless us all!"-chris a. quilpa, 19Nov2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Travelers We Are

Good Sunday, everyone!

I have just changed clothes to sleepwear and about to write my blog post, as soon as Freny and I arrived home safely @ 2140, from D-ville (with a total of almost 8-hour driving time, to and from D-ville where Tintin found employment there), my compadre-friend and former Shipmate Roger (who lives in The Golden State) texted me informing me of the unexpected departure of his Dad last night. Immediately I called him, waited for one on the other line answered. So I left him a message, expressing my warm and sincere condolence to him and his family. In a minute as soon as I set aside my cellphone in bed, it rang. My friend was on the line. I told him I'm so sorry for the loss of "Tatay" (his Dad) who I learned was in his early 90s. The tone of our conversation changed from serious to pleasant. (I have had to cheer him up a bit, you know, since we haven't talked to each other for a while, a couple of months, maybe.) I have had to update him, too, about my family especially my young adult children. BTW, he's my "compadre," godfather to my kids. Anyway, I thanked him for letting me know about what's going on with him and what happened to Tatay. At this moment, I pray, "May the soul of all our departed, especially my friend-compadre's Tatay, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen."

Yes, my dear folks and friends, life is short and fleeting, as we know it. We never know when our time comes. Such is a mystery to us, I believe. Consequently, we just have to live the moment as if it's our last. What I mean is that we do what we have to do now, without reservation, and not later on for we don't know if such later on never comes or happens. And, with our faith, we put our trust in our Almighty Father who created us, and the heaven and earth. 

This morning, my wife Freny, daughter Tintin, sis-in-law Rose, and I attended the Sunday Mass, not at St. Paul's (where we're active parishioners) but at St. Mary's in a neighboring city. Our parochial vicar for four clustered parishes, Rev. Fr. Chris, was the main celebrant. In his homily, he re-echoed the Scripture readings and the Gospel dealing with the "end times" or apocalyptic end of the world? And the forthcoming of the Beloved Son of God, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior/Redeemer. After Mass, we went to another Christian church in a neighboring city where Tintin plays piano for their church service there. BTW, prior to the start of the worship service there, I happened to buy four items from the church's arts and crafts bazaar store, a decoration ceramic plate from Spain, a Christmas wreath, a framed painting, and a silver-plated merchandise. Just to help support for their fund-raising efforts that benefit their church project/s.

No, we didn't eat out to day. (We were invited by a couple of church people at UCC for their pre-Thanksgiving Sunday dinner, after the worship service. We thanked them but we decided not to participate because we have to bring Tintin back to D-ville this afternoon as soon as we can so we won't be late in returning (back) home to Hampton Roads. Doesn't she drive already? Yes she does, and she's doing well. But Mama Freny was insistent to pick her up or get her back home every other weekend for Tintin's commitment to that church in neighboring city, where she gets paid $100 for that hour-long church service.) We had lunch at home. We ate of whatever we have in the fridge... left-over food we've had yesterday, most especially from Totoy's Restaurant.

So, at around 1340, Freny and I and Tintin left the house for D-ville. As usual, my wife Freny did the driving throughout the whole trip. She's loving it! She's truly a pro. 

Below, you'll find my simple thoughts (I'm sharing them with you), which I've scribbled on my Composition Book, while on the road to D-ville, in haiku-style format...

We've been traveling
in the open, night and day
to find our way Home.

In our journey
searching for the Truth and Life
we meet challenges.

As we travel on
The Road to Recovery
we may see new Life.

(c) 2012 by chris a. quilpa

This is all for now. Until next time around, my dear folks and friends. Take care and have a nice day, everyone! As always, May God bless us always!-caq/18/11/2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Journey, As We Travel

Note: Below was composed while at D-ville (miles away from home, since yesterday). This piece was written while just hanging around  in my favorite hotel at D-ville where my wife and I spent the night. We just had brunch at the hotel's lounge an hour or two ago. Now, we're getting ready to check out and roam around the city to explore the area, with our daughter Tintin, prior to going back to Hampton Roads this late afternoon.

On the road again
traveling with open mind
learning something new.

Road trip can be fun
when you have an open mind
with more conviction.

Life is a journey
with awe always traveling
along the way Home.

(c) 2012 by chris a. quilpa

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Something about Mary and Missionaries

Happy Thursday, everyone!

For the past two days, I've been engrossed with the videos on YouTube uploaded by Kecharitomene7, a.k.a. Sean, a lay missionary of La Salette. I came to learn something about him as I kept on watching and listening to his videos. What I can say is I'm impressed at what he's doing---constantly and consistently praying the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, and Mother of the Church. I thank God for having someone like him, in our world, praying for us all. This prompted me to learn something about Grenoble, in France, and eventually led me to the Apparition of of our Blessed Mother Mary at La Salette. With further research, I also learned something about the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, and the Ina ng Pag-asa Province, the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette in the Philippines.

I must admit, I didn't have any prior knowledge of this religious apostolic congregation mentioned above, despite the fact that I've attended and graduated college at Divine Word College, a private, Catholic, co-educational college run by SVD (Societas Verbi Divini) or Society of the Divine Word priest-school administrators. BTW, Divine Word Missionaries was founded in Steyl, Netherlands by a German-born diocesan priest, Arnold Janssen, who is now Saint Arnold Janssen, canonized by then Pope John Paul II (now Blessed John Paul) on October 5, 2003, at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy. Saint Arnold, pray for us! Blessed John Paul, pray for us! (At this time, I remember a holy man of God, a very pious Fr. Taschner, an SVD priest, from Austria who spent many years in the Philippines and was instrumental in my travel to Rome, Italy in 1980. May the soul of the departed Fr. Taschner, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. I won't forget you, Fr.)

Here's what I scribbled (haiku-style thoughts) on my Composition Book today while listening to the video rosary-praying of Kecharitomene7, reading a comic-strip book The Mountain of Mystery or The Mystery on the Mountain,  and doing a little research on Wikipedia...
Marian Haiku

La Salette shepherds
Maximin and Melanie
Mary's witnesses.

Fortright, unshaken
Maximin and Melanie
La Salette shepherds.

Mother of Jesus
Notre Dame de la Salette
intercede for us!

Our Mother Mary
Lady of Guadalupe
pray for us, sinners!

(c) 2012 by chris a. quilpa

Well, this is all for now, my dear folks and friends. Thanks for your time. Until next time around. Take care and have a cool but pleasant Thursday, everyone! As always, May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 15Nov2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Untitled Composition

Here's another sort of haiku-style composition which I originally wrote in Pilipino today...

nandito ka na
hindi pa kami handa
daho'y hulog na.

And here's my English version:

you're here with us now
though we're not that ready yet
and leaves have fallen.

(c) 2012 by chris a. quilpa

Haiku 'Kano?

Here's what I have scribbled on my Composition Book this morning, a poetic thought in its original Ilokano version.)                              

dagiti mangeg
dagiti makita ken masay-op
mangbaliw rikna.

(Here's my English translation of the above Ilokano poetic thought.)

those that can be heard
those that can be seen and smelled
can change our feelings.

(c) 2012 by chris a. quilpa

P.S. Thanks to those who have accidentally read this blog post. Do appreciate it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day Deserves More Recognition

Good Monday, everyone! For those observing it and having a day off today, Monday, Happy Veterans Day! And for those working today, like my wife Freny, Happy (Working) Veterans Day, everyone!

Yesterday, November 11, was the 94th anniversary of the culmination of World War 1. At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month or 11:00 am on November 11, 1918, WW I formally ended with signing of the armistice between the Allied troops and Germany. Thus, on November 11, each year, we commemorate or celebrate Armistice Day, now commonly known as Veterans Day to honor all who have served in the Armed Forces of their country, dead or still living, active or retired. Compared to Memorial Day (which is an annual federal holiday in the U.S., observed nationwide on the last Monday of May to honor all of our deceased or fallen Service men and women), Veterans Day became an official legal holiday to honor all U.S. veterans. Other countries observe celebrations such as Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, Remembrance Sunday to commemorate the end of WW I.

Since November 11, Veterans Day, falls on a weekend or Sunday, observance of the federal holiday is held on Monday, today. That's why there are Veterans Day closings like banks and other financial institutions, public libraries, courts and municipal, and state offices, including post offices and DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), public and schools). But not all of them, especially schools and colleges, universities. There are schools in Hampton Roads area that are open today. (My wife's school is open. That's why she has classes today.) I'm very sure others in other states have, too. Other recreational centers are closed, too. Likewise, there are no garbage collection today, for those scheduled trash pick up on Mondays.

The following short article of mine (for Letter to the Editor) appeared in the the Opinion page of Suffolk News-Herald on Tuesday, November 13, 2007. It's just a wishful thought about Veterans Day's federal holiday's observance. You may or may not agree with me. But, as I have said, this is my personal opinion, not that I am a veteran myself. Thank you...

"Veterans Day should be observed and celebrated with as much respect and fanfare as July 4th. There should be no school or classes in colleges and universities so that we all can pay tribute to our veterans by attending/participating in parades and ceremonies, visiting our beloved fallen heroes in veterans' cemeteries, and remembering the good old days with our loved ones.

I do believe that, as a nation, we are strong and powerful because of the services and sacrifices made by our veterans, our men and women who have served, and are still serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. i do know that on Veterans Day, there are closings like post offices, public libraries, courts, banks, garbage collections, and some schools are closed. other school systems in Hampton Roads and elsewhere are open. Why? I don't know.

But, as I've said, I wish that Veterans day will be nationally/federally observed, like Fourth of July, because of its impact and significance to our U.S. history and world history in general. 

(My poem To Our Fallen Heroes, followed next. It's the same poem I posted on my blog yesterday. If you feel like reading it, go to my blog post yesterday. Thank you.)

Well, my dear folks and friends, this is all for now. Thank you for your time. Until next time around. Take care and have a great day, everyone! As always, I pray, "May God bless us all!"-chris a. quilpa, 12Nov2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

abitadeacon: Veterans Day 2012

abitadeacon: Veterans Day 2012

To Our Fallen Heroes on Veterans' Day

On Veterans' Day

Physically, you're gone
But not forgotten

Like the rest of us
You had dreams
Lofty goals and ambitions
And clear visions of a better life-world.

You served and volunteered
To protect and to defend us
Our freedom and our liberty
Our nation and the Constitution
With hope and honor
Pride and power
Valor and vigilance
Without fear and reservation.

Yes, you endured the pain
The sun, the wind, the snow, the rain
You enjoyed the game
Of life, of love, of fame.

You endured the agony
Of a war-torn country
You suffered tremendously
To the end...

You left us everything
But images and memories
Dusty ribbons and uniforms
Faded jeans and shirts
Letters and photographs
To cherish and treasure.

Gone you are now
But not forgotten
You, our fallen heroes
Of war and peace
Our inspiration in life
Today, yesterday,and tomorrow!

(c) 2012 by chris a. quilpa

(P.S. The videos embedded in this blog post are not mine. They're from YouTube. Hence, no copyright infringement intended. I thank YouTube and the uploaders of the above videos.)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Williamsburg's 2012 Experience

Happy Saturday, everyone! (Note: I'm writing my blog post at The Williamsburg Hotel & Conference Center's cozy and elegantly-decorated lobby, while Freny was attending those sessions in the different rooms in the hotel, next to the auditorium. We'll be checking out shortly, since hotel's check out time is twelve noon.)

Today, Saturday, is the third and last day of this VAST(Virginia Association of Science Teachers) 2012 PDI(Professional Development Institute) being held in the historic(al), Colonial Williamsburg, VA. 

Last night's sessions at the hotel's auditorium was amazing and awe-inspiring! Two prominent scientists, Dr. William Kelso and Dr. David Way, did great with their presentations dealing with Exploration Past, Present, and Future. The former spoke about Jamestowne Colony's Exploration while the latter talked about NASA Langley's Curiosity Project (the rover that's already exploring targeted spots in Mars.

After those two presentations, what followed next was fun, fun, fun, lots of it! There was Auction, Music, and Networking at the hotel's auditorium. A group of teachers performed the sensational Gangnam Style! Freny's former co-teacher Venecia was there, too, and again this morning at the breakfast session. 

(I've got to interrupt my blogging, at this time, because some of our Service personnel, who've been housed at the hotel for a couple of days?, are checking out. I talked to one of them a few minutes ago and learned something about their story. I did wish them good luck. Prayed for them, and their safety. May God bless and keep them under your care and protection!)

While still in the hotel's main lobby, I visited Facebook page, clicked Like on a couple of pictures of our California folks, greeted my bro-in-law a Happy Birthday and Happy Veterans' Day (for tomorrow), then sent two messages for our folks/ friends via my Facebook page.

Well, prior to checking out, I thanked a couple of the hotel's employees, especially the ones cleaning the rooms in the fifth floor where we've been staying. Did give them something for their snacks.Then, downstairs, I handed in our room keys to the front desk people like Emma and Carolina before twelve noon. I thanked them, too, for their help and excellent hospitality service. Now, at this time , I'm still in the lobby waiting for Freny. Venecia and I had just had a lively chat when she passed by. In fact, I also asked her a favor by taking a picture of me and Tracy, one of the hotel employees who, I just learned today, also retired from the military. Not in the US Navy but in the US Army.

About our stay in the hotel? Great! I had fun, so far and have had a good time. I have all praises for the hotel staff-personnel who have been very helpful and accommodating. Food was excellent. I had a good time last night. Food was excellent at Harvest Grille/Williamsburg Cafe. Enjoyed our stay at The Williamsburg Hotel & Coneference Center. Like that hotel in D-ville, hotel (cost) accommodation was reasonable. Not bad at all, considering the discount we've got. I've got nothing to complain. Overall, I'm satisfied at our hotel experience.

This is all for now, my dear folks and friends. Until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful weekend, everyone! As always, May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 10Nov2012  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Out of Curiosity

Good Friday, everyone! TGFI, yehey! Thank God. We're alive and doing well! Thank you, Jesus! Aren't we  all looking forward to a wonderful weekend, guys? I bet we are. Anyway, I do hope, and pray, that you're in the pink of health. I'm good, as far as I'm concerned. Thank you.

Yes, I, along with my wife Freny, already prayed the rosary this early morning. Thank you, dear and loving God. Thank you, Jesus! Mother Mary, pray for us, always!

This morning, after having breakfast in the hotel, I posted this info on my Facebook page for our FB friends that today, Friday is my "2nd day at the VAST 2012 PDI, with Freny, in [the historic(al), Colonial] Williamsburg. And, loving and enjoying it!" After two to five minutes, a couple of our friends and relatives responded immediately by liking it (the message). And I did acknowledge and thank them, too.

Now, while I'm in the lobby at Willimsburg Hotel, writing this blog post,  Freny is busy attending those sessions she chose to participate. Usually, one session lasts for an hour. And that three or four sessions are held simultaneously in different rooms. For a larger audience, session is held in an auditorium or a spacious hall. especially if the key speaker/presenter is well-known educator-professor or a distinguish scientist. Observably, we see these "casually or semi-formally-dressed" participants everywhere in the hotel's first floor socializing, while sessions are going on. Others (who were booked in other hotels somewhere here in Williamsburg) have just come in to the conference/convention hotel by groups of two to four or eight, from different school systems across the Commonwealth. Almost all of them have their conference bags and tags on around their neck, signifying or indicating that they're participants to this VAST (Virginia Association of Science Teachers) 2012 PDI (Professional Development Institute). Some of them were carrying each a cup of coffee, maybe. Nope, they're not automatons. Or robots. They're engaging, doing blah, blah, blahs..(You know what I mean!) as they enter the main entrance to the hotel. Shhh...they're actively babbling. They're as loquacious and very much opinionated as I am, I think so! (Oppppsss...just kidding!) 

Yeah, you tell me, we all love to talk, at times, even at the same time! OMG! No one wants to listen, people! Yeah, that's right. Each of us can't wait to say what we want to say ASAP, for Pete's sake! There are exceptions, of course. There are a few, who probably have just woke up and are not "perked up" or "caffeinated" yet! I guess. But I don't want to judge them, for I know that if you're a teacher-educator, you're always talkative. You have to be. That's one of the requirements to be a teacher---to be effectively communicative orally or verbally, most especially. Fluency in (speaking) the instructional language is a must! Especially in the field of education, I believe. That's definitely the most important requirement to be able to teach a multi-diverse population. (Flashback: When I was younger, back in the Philippines, I was bashful, shy, that is. But I overcame my shyness and developed my confidence when I was in or got into college, and into the teaching profession. Honestly, I became bubbly verbose. But, I talk with (common) sense, don't I? With interaction from people of different cultures, and constant practice, and developed speaking skills, I gained confidence and maturity. Much more so when I joined in the U.S. Navy and eventually retired. So, my point is, our speaking skills can be learned, enhanced and developed for good use in our community or structured society.But, of course, we learned that communication involves the message, the sender or messenger and the speaker or responder, the processes of listening and speaking. It also entails the non-verbal processes, i.e, a smile, a nod, a gesture, those signs and gestures learned in public speaking and debate, you know. In a competitive, free and liberated world we live in, we can't be playing silent or dumb-mute, especially here in The Land of the Free World where almost everyone loves to talk, and only some prefer to listen.(One indication is the innumerable talk shows in the TV land and countless DJs in the airwaves! OMG, it's unbelievable!) But, of course, with a few exception/s. Those who have speech defect or disability by birth, and/or due to accidents. I've encountered one or two of them while doing substitute teaching in one of the public elementary schools in a neighboring city many years ago. (At that time, I was questioning myself about the effectiveness of teaching (on my part)-learning processes in the case of this "handicapped" child, or can I say, "mentally-challenged" kid, a child of God, nevertheless? Well, at that time, it's good that the kid had an adult assistant and personal caregiver.) This is one exception to the rule, as far as speaking or language proficiency in teaching is concerned. 

Well, moving on...What came to mind this morning, since I'm surrounded by science educators around the hotel? Curiosity. Yes, the word "curiosity" which is so important and very much relevant to today's event at the conference hotel we're in. Haven't I told you that curiosity has led me to other places, like Hawaii, Hongkong, Singapore, Florence, Rome, Italy, Guam, etc. Yes, curiosity has led me to where I am now.

As far I know, I've always been a curious child. Perceptive, and presumptuous, too. My curiosity has led me to places I never imagined and dreamed of. I'm sure you've heard of this cliche or quote: Curiosity kills the cat? I don't even know what that means, figuratively. But, as I continue to live and try to enjoy life, with not-so-perfect health condition, I become more curious, anxious and aware of everyone, everything around me, sideways, both ways, up above and below, here and there, everywhere...

BTW, according to Wikipedia (a very much available/accessible reference in the Internet, notwithstanding other (more reliable?) sources out there, I think and am aware), curiosity is from the Latin curiosus, "careful, diligent, curious," akin to cura, care." It is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning, evident by observation in human and many animal species. It can be an emotion of curiosity itself that "represents a thirst for knowledge, and it's a major driving force behind scientific research and other disciplines of human study."

I am as curious as anybody else in the entire universe. Don't get me wrong, my dear folks and friends. I know what you're thinking. Why didn't you become a scientist, a doctor, maybe? Well, we all have interest, passions, vocations, or calling, in life. As we continue to encounter changes and challenges, we become more curious in and about life to the point that we change (and continue to do so) and try to adapt to changes we'made. In short, our career, profession, vocation is not fixed or permanent for as long as we live. Nothing is permanent, except God, I believe. Our calling, therefore, is a product of so many considerations. In my observation, our being, mood of doing things, thinking, all of us...we're all influenced by so many factors, out of curiosity, in life. You and I can attest to this notion, I think so.
 (Note: While engrossed in my blogging, I got temporarily halted or interrupted when  one of our friends and Freny's former co-teachers passed by the lobby, on her way out of the hotel, and saw me. She said, "Hi." I reciprocated, saying it with a smile, "Hi, Venecia!" She mentioned she talked to my wife a while ago in one of the sessions they both were attending. "That's good," I quipped. Freny and I have been to other professional conferences/workshops  before, in other cities, with Venecia and a couple of their colleagues in the Science Department in their school. She's always that easy-going lady and jolly, you know. In fact, as I remember, she's originally from D-ville where my daughter Tintin currently works.)

My dear folks and friends, I better sign off now. Inquisitive we are, I have to do a little roaming around the hotel. You'll never know what to encounter, huh. Anyway, talk or see you later, people of goodwill. Until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful weekend, everyone! As always, may God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 09Nov2012.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Williamsburg Revisited

Happy Thursday, everyone!

At first, I thought of writing my blog post in Ilokano this time. But then, I abandoned that idea. 

At the outset, I'd like to let you know that I am writing this blog post while sitting comfortably in one of the chairs in the lobby at Williamsburg Hotel where the VAST(Virginia Association of Science Teachers) 2012 Professional Development Institute is now under way or ongoing. BTW, Freny is now attending in one of the sessions, after lunch break at the hotel. 

My wife Freny, who has been teaching Chemistry in one of the high schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia for more than a decade now, is a registered participant in this annual conference. I'm just her guest, so to speak. (Yes, we've Williamsburg a visited a couple of times years back, watched a reenactment, dined at one of the fine restaurants there.) She and I have attended this event years ago. But in a different venue. In fact, when I was still active duty in the US Navy, I used to go with her to any professional development workshop or conference she's registered. But at my own expense. As long as I know the conference date in advance, I put my chit for, say, two-three days off, from work. And most of the time, my leave request is always approved or granted. Aware of the importance of attending/participating in professional development programs and further in-service training, and continuing education, we've been to other cities, and states like Atlanta, Tennessee, etc.  Believe me, it's always a learning experience, for me personally, to be out there somewhere in other places. There's always something new to learn from these educational conferences, institutes, workshops. 

Now, you might ask me or may have this in mind: Why do you always go with her each time she attends a conference or workshop, especially if the venue is out of town or state? At first, my plan was to finish 20 years in the Service and I was looking forward to working in the public schools after retiriment from the military. In 1999, I already obtained my 5-year teaching licensed, with endorsement in English, from the state's Department of Education. Though I was still in the military that time, I was already trying to accumulate my CEUs (continuing education units) for my recertification. In the course of time, I was able to renew my teaching license, after having accumulated more than the 150 points needed for recertification, even if I weren't teaching or using it yet because I was still in the military. (Just to remind you that I used to be a classroom teacher and English college instructor way back in my native country, the Philippines, in the late '70s. That's prior to emigrating to the United States in early '80s and subsequently joining the US Navy in 1985.) But, things changed. Life has changed, for me, especially my health conditions. Along the way, while fulfilling my obligations in the Service, delivering quality patient care to all military healthcare beneficiaries from one duty station to another, naval medical hospitals to clinics to hospitals, there were events that happened unexpectedly. And, I've come to realize that there are plans we make that don't materialize for reasons that are beyond our control. But, in the end, I finished 20 years of honorable military service that entitled me to a lifetime of retirement pay and other benefits. Thank you, good and gracious God. Whatever happened to me, I can now accept my fate for it's your will, I believe. Hence, no more productive employment for me, though I didn't abandon my passion to educate or to teach or share my knowledge, ideas and skills. I'm just trying to enjoy life, each day. But I can still make a difference in others' lives, I tend to believe. After all, I haven't completely abandoned my desire to help or to be of assistance when needed, despite my physical disablity (chronic lower back and fibromyalgia, etc.). 

Anyway, I'm with Freny at Williamsburg. Just to be out and about. We may stay here up to Saturday. Or not. The fact is, she didn't make our hotel reservation ahead of time. We inquired at the hotel's information/front desk personnel if they still have available room. Nope. It's fully booked, they said. We might go to nearest or neighboring hotel/inn. We'll see what happens. We can always commute, though.

Well, Freny's done with her registration and her first session. Tomorrow, Friday, is a busy day for the science educator participants. 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, 08Nov2012 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post-Election Day Thoughts

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Thank you, good and gracious God, for all your blessings and goodness to us all. Congratulations to and God bless the United States of America!

Amazing how technology plays a vital role in the democratic process! I'm talking about the Election Day in the US of A yesterday. Just imagine, while the votes were still being counted or tallied, in some states across the country, a major TV network organization has already projected/announced/declared the re-election of the incumbent President Barack Hussein Obama. (BTW, congratulations, Mr. President!) Wow! That's amazingly unbelievable! Thus, as I keep on saying, technology continues to amaze me everyday. As I have more work to do in catching up with it, I'm so thankful to all people involved in the Information Technology industry. You guys are unbelievable! Kudos and keep up the great work, especially in the quest for a peaceful, safer world for all of us earthlings!

I personally congratulate all the political candidates, their families, and their campaign people who worked so hard in order for their candidates to be elected or re-elected. Finally, the most expensive election in the U.S. history is over and done, and gone! Winners and losers, for the majority part, were already known or have been proclaimed last night before midnight. New U.S. senators and representatives were elected. Others were re-elected. Same thing in the state and local governments. Some new mayors elected; incumbents reelected.

Like one of the Catholic bloggers, Rev. Fr. Austin, that I've been following, with his daily prayer posted in his blog, I do pray for "one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all." Yes, Lord, I pray for unity for all of us, Americans, irrespective of what we look like, what we believe in, what we do in life, for the sake of the United States of America, and the world. I like this part of his prayer, and I quote and like to share with you my dear folks and friends: "Help us remember that neither winning or losing excuses us from your command that we love one another with peace in our hearts and kindness in our speech...If I am in the winner's camp today, Lord, keep me from being proud and haughty, snide and snarky...If I stand with the losing side today, Lord, keep me from being mean-spirited and bitter, from any self-indulgent spite...In the quiet of my prayer, Lord, humble my pride, tame any anger, strengthen my resolve and deepen my faith and trust in You...Send your Spirit of peace to reign in our hearts and help us work together, Lord, to serve the needs of all..." Amen, I say loud and clear! As always, God bless us all! And, God bless the United States of America! (I prayed my rosary while still in bed this morning. Thank you, God, for I'm alive and well. Thank you, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!)

Well, my dear folks and friends, this is all for now. Thank you all for your prayers for a successful Election 2012. Now we can all have the time to rethink and ponder at what's good for the USA and for the world as a whole. Peace to all of us! Let's all work together responsibly, non-partisan aside, with God's abundant and amazing grace and blessings, to do what needs to be done in order to rebuild, recover and make our country great again, and to achieve a peaceful, safer world.

In closing, I pray, "May God bless all those families affected by Superstorm Sandy. Dear God, restore their power and hope so they can see Light and have Life again! May they have a speedy recovery! All of these I pray through the intercession of Mother Mary, Blessed John Paul II, Venerable McGivney, and Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen." Until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!-chris a. quilpa, 07Nov2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's Election 2012 in the USA Today!

Good Tuesday, everyone! Hope and pray that you're doing more than okay. I'm doing well, thank you.

Yesterday, I wasn't in the mood to write my blog post. The truth is, I got lazy. Well, you know, my dear folks and friends, that there are times when you feel like not doing anything at all, except to pray and to just loaf, letting the day go by, unmindful of time and what's happening around us.

So, what did I do yesterday? I did actually do something. I prayed my rosary, prepared my bills and mailed them to the nearest post office, and went to the bank to take care of some stuff, and endorsed the check my wife Freny gave me for our anniversary Saturday (which was spent out of town). Back home yesterday, I prepared/cooked something for dinner, using that vegetable ("tabungaw" in Ilokano) that Freny's FilAm friend at school gave her. With it, we have a vegetable stew(?) with sliced onion, leftover sausage and beef, with a can of salmon, and spoonfuls of olive oil and oyster sauce. With steamed rice, of course. For dessert? We have that one medium-size aluminum tray of glutinous rice cake that my sis-in-law Rose ordered from her co-worker and friend. Yummy! And, of course, I always eat after cooking. That's just me. I always savor first what I myself cooked. (By that time, Freny was on her way home from school-work.) After dinner, it was soap opera time for me, on YouTube. From the kitchen, I continued my watching videos upstairs. In our bedroom, that is, where I could just relax and rest until my eyes were heavy and tired. Thank you, God. And thank you, Jesus.

That was my Monday, yesterday, another blessed day for me..

Now, today is Tuesday, it's Election Day in the US of A. This morning, I wrote on my Facebook page, this note: "Encourages all fellow Americans, of all colors and creeds, to get out and vote today, Election 2012," after using the restroom, and praying and meditating the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our heavenly Mother and Mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Afterwards, I got stuck on YouTube, listening to Church songs and hymns and music of such composer-musicians/priests/theologians/monks as David Haas, Marty Haugen, (Jan) Michael Joncas, Gregory Norbet, and John Michael Talbot. (As I'm writing this blog post, I've been listening to the latter's music playlist, via YouTube. Thanks to YouTube and to the uploaders of those videos I watched and embedded in this blog post. No copyright infringement intended.)

As far as voting is concerned, I have to wait for Freny when she gets off from school-work this afternoon. We've planned to go together to cast our votes in the designated voting place, our closest is the elementary school which is just a stone's throw away from our house. BTW, our daughter Tintin has already voted last week, she said, on absentee ballot. Meanwhile, for our son Andrew, I learned last night that he's coming home, after work, this (late) afternoon from The Capital just to exercise his suffrage. I don't know if he's gonna spend the night with us. I just heard from Freny that he's going back to DC after casting his votes. What a trip, huh? Well, I understand he's focused in his work. That's good.

Just a thought, this morning: I wonder why is it that on Election Day, especially General Election such as today, there's school and work, for all employees and workers (salaried, especially). If government officials are concerned about voters turnout in the polls, why can't the powers that be declare a special holiday on Election Day to encourage more electorates' participation. My point is that, there's no reason, excuse or alibi why registered voters did not or were not able to vote. Do I make sense here? Of course, I do. If maximum participation of the population is expected, then, by all means, we should have a day off from work, I believe. Except for those states' Election Board registrars, supervisors, canvassers, employees and volunteer poll watchers, if there's any, because this is their show and they have to man polling places and count or tally votes afterwards once the polling places are closed. I understand we have this so-called freedom, whether to vote or not. But as American citizens (by birth or through naturalization, as in my case), we know that it's our duty to select or elect our leaders. We're fortunate to have this right of suffrage, and to exercise it. Not everyone, on Earth, can exercise this right because of varied reasons. There those who committed crimes and have paid their dues for what they did in states, and back to society for their integration but cannot vote. Their voting rights were not restored because of their criminal records. As for me, I personally believe that they should be given a second chance to participate in the election by casting their votes.

Well, my dear folks and friends, I have to sign off now. As an undecided voter, up to this time, I need to do a little praying by asking our loving God to help, guide and enlighten me. My faith, as I've said, comes into play as I cast my vote this afternoon. I am for Life! I hope and pray that I'd make the right decision to elect the right people to lead our country and our city, when my wife and I go to the polls this afternoon.

I know, change is inevitable in life. That's the fact of life. We have to embrace change to be able to live in a digital world. Despite all the changes and challenges we face, we have to move forward if we want to get better in life. Our country undergoes changes to meet/suit the needs of the electorates and the world, as a whole. On the other hand, we believe that nothing is permanent, on Earth, except God, our Almighty Father and Creator of Heaven and Earth.

This is all for now. Until next time around, my dear folks and friends. Thank you for your time with me. Take care and have a wonderful day, everyone! Again, to my fellow Americans, let's get out and vote today, Election 2012. Thank you. As always, May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 06Nov2012


Finally, this afternoon, after forty-five minutes of waiting, in a queue of varied voters inside a school gymnasium, Freny and I did cast our vote. Our son Andrew, who drove all the way from DC, arrived home and did vote, too. Now, let's wait and see about the results. We do hope and pray that whoever wins will deliver his/their promises. Congratulations, America! Democracy is alive and well! Thank you, God. And, God bless America!-chris

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Haiku To and From D-ville

After church worship
off the road to bring Tintin
to D-ville for work.

To and from D-ville
rolling down the dark long road
finally, at home.

Freny on the wheel
especially on long trips
for she loves to drive.

I get tired at times
when I drive long distances
and my back suffers.

Traveling by land
there is danger on the road
there is fear and fun.

(c) 2012 by chris a. quilpa

Saturday, November 3, 2012

27 and Counting!

Good Saturday, everyone! Here's me sharing with you my unceasing gratitude to our Almighty Father, our good and gracious God, for giving me life and a caring, doting wife Freny whom I've spent my life with for 27 years and counting. Thank you, my dear God, for having blessed us with two lovely children, Andrew and Christine, both college graduates (of UVa) and have been working and trying to make a difference in others' lives. Thank you, Jesus, for being my inspiration and Savior, always there for me, through thick and thin, with my wife. Happy 27th Anniversary, to me and Freny! Please, by all means, join us in our humble celebration by praying for us, and praying for all of our families, you, my dear folks and friends, and our accidental readers, included. Thank you very much.

Yes, Freny and I are thankfully and happily celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary today, Saturday, November 3, out of town, and on the road, with fond memories of our 1985 nuptial way back in the Philippines. With our daugther Tintin with us in one of the best hotels in D-ville where we spent the night last night, we're glad we made it this far. (How we've wished our son Andrew is with us, too. But he's in DC! Anyway, what counts is that he didn't forget us. In fact, he already greeted us when I phoned him yesterday, while we're on the road to D-ville to visit/pick up Tintin for this Sunday's piano playing in a Norfolk church.)

While in the hotel, this morning, Freny and I exchanged hugs and kisses, and gifts for one another. Our daughter, occupying another bed, gave us a hug, too. (Actually before we retired last night, Tintin took us pictures, and even this morning again, when we got dressed for breakfast downstairs, next to the spacious lobby.) I enjoyed all she gave me. I got a ball cap with this inscription: "RETIRED, No clock, No phone, No money?, No worries." Moreover, she gave a gray sweater with diamond prints, cologne and lotion, a well-meaningful My Husband anniversary card, with $100 check. Thank you, dear, loving wife! What presents did I give her? Do you really want to know, my dear folks and friends? No? Yes? Well, I don't mind sharing it with you. She has a matching earrings and necklace, another necklace with a pendant NAVY WIFE in it, and a Happy Anniversary card (with $100 cash), and some chocolate bars, all bought at NEX (Navy Exchange) store. Thank you, God, for all of these presents we both received today from Thy bounty. Likewise, thank you for my faith, family, folks, and friends all over the world.

The first thing I did this morning after waking up was to thank God and Jesus for my life. Then, the three of us prepared for breakfast. I wore the comfy sweater that Freny gave me, and splashed cologne on the upper part of my body.

Downstairs, in one of the hotel's lounges, we had that so-called complimentary continental breakfast, with the rest of hotel guests and visitors. I don't know but we've been very happy and proud to tell our fellow diners that we're having fun, celebrating our 27th Wedding Anniversary today, November 3rd. They all congratulated us, especially those folks, the Harrises from Tennessee. I had a good time talking with them, sharing with them my piece of mind, too. I learned that Mark and his parents have been working for Goodyear Tires for years. His parents are both retired. His Dad has worked for Goodyear for over three decades. Mark, on the other hand, said that he got relocated in D-ville last year. That's why his parents are in the area visiting Mark's family. His wife is not with the, at the breakfast, because, according to his Mom, Mark's wife is helping out there in a free dental check up. Mark's young daughter is with them at breakfast.

After breakfast, I wanted to start writing my blog post but I got a call...I decided to pray the rosary, while in the restroom. Freny and Tintin were in the room, with the TV on CNN. Afterwards, I did start my blog.

Well, my dear folks and friends, I have to sign off now. I may as well continue my blogging downstairs, in one of the lounges where we planned to just hang around, etc. prior to going back on the road and eventually back home to Hampton Roads in the late afternoon/evening. Until then, have a nice day, everyone! Wish you all a wonderful weekend! Take care. As always, I pray, "May God bless us all!"-chris a. quilpa, 03Nov2012

We had a good time at D-ville. We went to a couple of museums there. We did a little shopping; bought souvenir T-shirts at a community market. And, finally, we attended Mass at Sacred Heart Church where the pastor, Reverend Fr. Anthony blessed us, after learning of our 27th anniversary today. Thank you, God, for all your blessings and goodness to us.

Thinking of (and Praying for) our Beloved Departed

Good Friday, everyone! TGIF (Thank God, It's Friday)!

(NotaBene: As I'm writing this blog post, I'm having late lunch. At home. (I dropped by at Totoy's where I bought lunch to go.) Why? Well, I just came from the church, my parish St. Paul's where I attended Mass in honor of our beloved dead loved ones. As you know, it's All Souls' Day today, November 2, also the first Friday of the month. Yesterday, I did attend the Mass for All Saints' Day, at St. Paul's. Reverend Fr. Chris, our parochial vicar, celebrated the Mass with us. There were more people who attended the Mass yesterday compared to today's Mass con-celebrated by Rev. Fr. David and Rev. Fr. Chris, our pastor and parochial vicar of four clustered parishes, respectively. The four clustered parishes are St. Paul's Catholic Church, St. Mary's, Church of the Holy Angels, and Church of Resurrection.)

This morning, while still in bed, I prayed and meditated on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Heavenly Mother and Mother of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior and Redeemer. Then, after, I had an urge to use the restroom in our room. You know my regular (daily) routine. That prompted me to rise up from bed. (At that time, my wife Freny was already gone to her school-work.)

After using the restroom, I went back to bed. I thought I could still get some more sleep. But, no, not a chance because our alarm-clock-radio has been on since 6:00 o'clock this morning! So, I rose up, and guess what I grabbed? My laptop. Logged on with the intention of checking out the different soaps that I've been watching or following on YouTube. Nope, there was no current uploads. So what I did, I went to Blogger. I visited my blog, undecided whether to write my post for today or later. I ended up reading a couple of Catholic blogs that I'm following or that I read on a regular basis, because they're informative and inspirational to me. I grabbed my Composition Book because I thought of something. This is what I wrote on my Composition Book:

Today, I pray...

                       for all those who died in wars or in the battlefield for whatever reasons.
                       for those who had surgery but didn't make it.
                       for those victims of suicide, for whatever reasons.
                       for those (babies) who were aborted, for whatever reasons.
                       for those victims of calamities, man-made or natural, who didn't have the opportunity to say their last goodbyes to their families and friends.
                       for those who ventured into space for the sake of Science and humanity but didn't make it to Earth.
                       for all those who were gone before us and became our inspiration and role models in life.
                       for those who prayed before us and loved peace eternally with our Lord.
                       for those victims of drug abuse/overdose, of torture, poverty, injustice, discrimination, and those collateral innocent victims of different wars.
                       for those who didn't grow up into maturity because of fatal accidents and/or terminal diseases and illnesses.
                      for those who committed a crime and eventually died for whatever reasons. 
                      and for those missionaries who were persecuted because of their Christian faith, and love of God and Jesus...

May they rest in peace. Amen. 

Then, after a while, I went back to YouTube, did type All Souls' Day and I saw a video about this topic. Listened intently to the discussion. Afterwards, I checked on another video, by another uploader, but with the same topic. That's when I revisited Fr. Robert Barron on his Catholicism 101 on wordonfirevideo. I was listening to him while preparing myself to go to church to pray for all of our deceased loved ones, all the departed all over the world.

(Note: I just finished eating my lunch. Thanks to God. And thanks to those who prepared/cooked my food at the restaurant.)

I have to sign off now, my dear folks and friends, because I've got to prepare my stuff, etc. My wife and I are gonna be out somewhere on  the road this afternoon, after her class-work. Looking forward to a wonderful weekend, especially for tomorrow, Saturday, November 3rd. What's up with November 3rd? I'll let you know on my next post, God willing. So, stand by...

Well, again, this is all for now. Until next time around. Take care and have a nice day and a wonderful weekend, everyone! As always, I pray, "May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 02Nov2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

On the First of November

Happy First of November, everyone! And, Happy All Saints' Day, too!

On the first of November, we Catholics and other Christians worldwide traditionally celebrate the feast day in honor of all Saints. It's a holy day of obligation, for us Catholic Christians. And so I wish you all today Happy All Saints' Day! (Here's a video from YouTube about The Litany of Saints. No copyright infringement intended. Thanks, YouTube, and to the video uploader.) To all Saints in heaven, pray for us!

On the first day of November, this morning, while still in bed, I prayed my rosary and meditated on the Luminous Mysteries. Mother Mary, pray for us!

Here's something for all of us to ponder, too. It's taken from the Gospel of St. Matthew (chapter 5), collectively known as The Beatitudes:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven."

On the first day of November, I thank God for my faith, family, folks, and friends far and wide. I thank our Lord Jesus Christ for being an inspiration to all believers like me.

On the first day of November, let's pray for all those hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy and all of our state's National Guard, civilian and military personnel involved in the rescue and recovery efforts. Let's also pray for those victims and their families.

This is all for now. Until next time around, my dear folks and friends. Take care and have a wonderful day, everyone! As always, I pray, "May God bless us all!" Thank you, Jesus!-chris a. quilpa, 01Nov2012