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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Also Have Dreams

(NOTE: Observing today, Wednesday, 28 August 2013, the 50th anniversary of the protest March in Washington, DC, highlighting civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s iconic and historic "I Have a Dream" speech, I conceived this piece this morning while having brunch and at the same time listening to NPR (National Public Radio) @Tintin's apartment in D-ville, VA.)

I Also Have Dreams

I have had many good dreams
And one of them I've realized it---
With hard work and generous help from others,
With guts, diligence, persistence and perseverance---
I've acquired a good education that liberated me,
Education that freed me from illiteracy and mediocrity.

Refreshing our amazing memory---
I belonged then to a big family
Where none, that time, had a college degree
Except me who trailed the blaze and glory,
Determined to make it in the City
Where there are ongoing wars, here and there,
Wars of words, weapons, rights, ideologies...

I worked that dream to reality
Because I've known life to be that not easy
I went from school to school that had molded and shaped me,
Equipped and provided me with knowledge and skills aplenty.

I have had other dreams, you know
One of them is the American Dream
In due time, it's becoming a reality
As long as I am alive and well, and faith-full, and free.

Copyright 2013 by Chris A. Quilpa

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

We're Imperfect; We Co-Exist

Good Tuesday, everyone! Hope you're doing well as I do. Thank God, we're alive and well...blogging again.

(NOTE: This piece was written at Tintin's apartment in D-ville while I was about to finish eating oatmeal for breakfast @1015 today, Tuesday, 27 August 2013. Initially, I had I See Myself in You as my original title of this piece. What changed? I don't know. It's probably the new title seems more universal, I guess.)

I See Myself in You; We Co-Exist

I see myself in you.
Silly, playful, inquisitive, cautious
Serious, sensitive, moody, grumpy, at times
Funny, hilarious, uninhibited, nerdy, sometimes
Pretentious, clever, observant, sensible
Though you and I are different
Because we're imperfect, we co-exist.

You also see yourself in me.
Reactionary, impulsive, explosive, coy
Dreamy, ambitious, curious, caring
Longing, lingering, secretive, livid
Docile, sectarian, private, factual
Though I and you are similar
We're different in thoughts and ideas
Because we're imperfect, we co-exist.

I see myself in you.
Disgusted, frustrated, dull, down, sometimes
Repulsive, compulsive, hype, hot and cool
Dry, indecisive, careless, meditative
Intuitive, unassuming, judgmental at times
Though you and I are unique
We're the same in name and game
Because we're imperfect, we co-exist.

Copyright 2013 by Chris A. Quilpa

Monday, August 26, 2013

In D-ville, Loafing and Recollecting

Good Monday, everyone! Here we are...doing well and blogging again.
While in D-ville, since Friday night, we thank God for being alive and well...
Glad to be in the place again, spending some summertime remaining at daughter Tintin's.
Saturday morning was unexpected, while Freny and I were about to go to Ringgold's Flea Market.
Once she started our car, Freny noticed immediately on the dashboard (!), besides Maint Reqrd.
So, we drove it to D-ville's Auto Dealership and Service Center where we saw a "kababayan."
Freny said she and Tintin have met him before, when the two were there for tire pressure check.
So, while our car was serviced, we lounged in their waiting area with a number of customers, like us.
With a cup of coffee and a Danish breakfast's Svenhard's raisin-ette, I sat quietly like a good child.
Freny, on the other hand, was busy talking to a newly-found fellow educator, also a "minority."
I offered my coffee to Freny but she said No. So, I finished it while perusing Southern Living.
Wandering around the Dealership's lobby, curious of their flashy, shiny sales on display, I felt good.
Then I had the opportunity to talk to this fellow brother with ease, the one that Freny has already met.
Eventually, as we were in an animated conversation, Freny joined us and we continued our chat.
In about an hour and a half, our car was ready. We left the Dealership with our friend's business card.
On the road, we rolled down to D-ville's Community Farmer's Market and bought beans and fruits.
And visited the table of Cake Lady where we said "Hi, and Glad to see you again" with her hubby.
From there we found our way to realize Freny's indulgence at Ringgold's with minimal purchase.
Meanwhile, Tintin has been busy reading or reviewing a GRE book that unexpected Saturday...
That night was eating and bonding time, exchanging ideas, virtual-touring of houses on the market.
And the night punctuated with a good night's rest and zzzzzzz on our respective comfortable air beds.

Sunday, we all went to 9 a.m. Mass at D-ville's one and only Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Had coffee and pastries and cookies, and fellowship and friendship here and there, after Mass.
Met fellow "kayumanggi," with awe and joy, and came to know a middle-aged FilAm couple.
While still in the church ground, we found out Doc's wife is from Ilocos and can still speak Samtoy.
Lively and lovely, friendly and heart-warming gestures reciprocated as we bid each others' See you...
With thanksgiving to God for welcoming and receiving Jesus in our midst, we're elated and euphoric.
Having met and befriended a young white man wearing a gray NAVY shirt at a fast-food restaurant.
After identifying myself a retired U.S. Navy veteran, I learned he just attended his buddy's wedding.
He's from Redding, California; an ET at Gunston Hall, and has an expectant Sailor wife in Italy.
Probably in his mid-20s, Elyk seems unassuming, unpretentious, determined and responsible Sailor.
So we talked and talked as we tried to enjoy our ordered fast food, on a sunshiny Sunday in D-ville.
Finally, we exchanged numbers after I invited him to our place for weekends if he's off-duty.
(After all, we're brothers in the Service, trying to take care of our own, and help out others striving.)
I'm sure, Freny and Tintin agreed with me on this...especially when it comes to being a Christian.
We reiterated for him to call us so we can pick him up and share him a part of our cultural heritage.
We can only hope and pray that he does and that he and his wife and their future baby are doing well.

Back at Tintin's apartment, Freny and I agreed that I'd stay for a while in D-ville to rest and relax.
She went back to 757 alone, yesterday afternoon, because they're back to school-work already.
Only they, not their students, she informed me. Students will report after September 2, Labor Day.
So here we are writing this blog post, recollecting our thoughts in D-ville, while alone but not lonely.
Listening to classical music that inspires me, at this time, to do what I like to do---loafing & praying...
Eating, observing outside, reading, writing-blogging, speaking to people, stretching, and watching, etc.

This is all for now. Thank you, my dear folks and friends, for having visited my blog. Until next time...
May God bless US and keep US safe from harm always!-Chris A. Quilpa, 26 August 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Yesterday's 8.20.2013 and it's Tintin's Birthday!

NOTE: Since I woke up early this Wednesday morning at 0249, and unable to go back to sleep or fall asleep again (was it because of that medium-size coffee with cream and sugar I bought at Quick Stop on our way back to 757 last night?), I thought of utilizing my time productively by blogging. So here I am...writing and recalling what transpired yesterday while Freny and I were still in D-ville. And it was Tintin's natal day yesterday.

Yes, my young adult daughter Tintin celebrated her birthday yesterday. Simply but happily. And religiously, I believe. No, she didn't take a day off from work for she went to work yesterday. As a college adviser, employed by UVa. But during her lunchtime, she joined us. At Sacred Heart Catholic Church, in D-ville, where we, three---she, Freny and I---participated in the 1210 Mass in the church's chapel. Celebrating with us and about a dozen older, regular parishioners, I think, was Rev. Fr. Anthony Marques, Sacred Heart's pastor. Btw, one of the participants at the Mass was quite familiar to me already because, the fact is, we've attended/participated in Sunday masses before. His name is Chuck, or Charlie(?), a member of the Knights of Columbus there who, I remember, invited me to join their council one time when we first met. Another Mass attendee who, I recognized (facially) as a realtor, was there yesterday in church (because of my constant browsing of a copy of the latest edition of D-ville's Home magazine. Any clue as to why I have been perusing this magazine by a reputable realty in the region?). Her name's Carmelita, or Carmen? (I found out later that it's Carmen, not Carmelita.) Anyway, what's important is that we had the opportunity to be in communion with others at Sacred Heart yesterday. Thank God for the opportune time to receive Jesus again, via the Holy Eucharist.
Mind you, how much I've wanted to capture the mood of yesterday's Mass at Sacred Heart, with my camera on hand. I did try, though. (See photos below.)

Tintin went back to work, after Mass. She informed us she would be home in her apartment about 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. That's what she said. So, Freny and I decided to order Chinese. But the lunch special they have at Great Wall restaurant. For late lunch/early dinner. That's what we did. We also ordered shrimp lo mien with steamed rice and a spring roll for our beloved Tintin, our birthday girl. While waiting for our food, I took some photos there. I also tried to communicate with a lone diner at that moment. Instinctively, I know for sure that he's of Mexican descent. He took time to respond sheepishly to my limited Spanish greetings that went this way, "hola, mi amigo. Es comida muy bien?" (Fyi: I've taken the required four semesters of Spanish in college, in mid-70s in PI, but, shame on me for I didn't do well, I guess. The problem is, with our foreign language learning/acquisition not constantly in use everyday, verbally or in writing, we tend to lose it, I theorize. And I tend to believe it's true. I may be wrong, who knows.)

At Tintin's apartment, Freny and I ate our Chinese food. With left-over food, afterwards. At the designated time, Tintin arrived and she ate a portion of her shrimp lo mien. And a slice of her cheesecake. I ate one slice, too. Freny didn't because she was busy preparing her stuff for home. Yes, we finally decided to leave D-ville for Hampton Roads. Btw, she's scheduled to report to her school-work Wednesday, today, at 8 a.m., their first day back to school. Only for teachers/faculty and staff, not students. I learned their students won't be back to school til after Labor Day, September 2. Anyway, at about 6 p.m. yesterday, we left Tintin alone in her apartment. On her birthday. Well, initially, Freny and I thought of traveling early Wednesday morning at about 4 or 5 a.m. But it would be a tight schedule for Freny because she has to report to her school-work today.  There's a possibility that she'd be late on her first day at school, that she would miss the first faculty meeting. That's why we left D-ville at about 6 p.m. Thank God, we arrived in 757 safe and sound, before ten last night.

Well, our alarm-clock-radio at home is set at 6 a.m. and I must say this is all for now. until next time around, my dear folks and friends. Take care and have a wonderful day, everyone! Enjoy the embedded photos below...

In closing, I pray, "May God bless US and keep US safe from harm always!"-chris a. quilpa, 21 August 2013

Copyright photos 2013 by Chris A. Quilpa

P.S. Half-way on our way back to 757 last night, I composed a simple poem entitled God Knows and as soon as Freny and I arrived in 757, I posted and shared it to our Facebook families, folks and friends, and eventually posted it on my blog. Hope you had time to peruse it. Thanks, everyone, for visiting my blog.-caq

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

God Knows

(Note: The following simple piece was composed by yours truly late evening (from 2000 to 2030) while my wife Freny and I were on the road back to 757, aka Hampton Roads, from D-ville. I just posted and shared it to our Facebook families, folks, and friends, near or far, a few minutes ago after we've arrived in HR safe and sound. Thank God, we're alive and well...)

God knows
Where I wish to be
To share peace and harmony
With others like me.

God knows
I long to be free
To live my life as a retiree
After having served in the military.

God knows
My angst and heartaches
My pains and problems
That He wants me to move on...

God knows
That I believe in Him
Even if I have doubts/questions
About everything, my existence.

God knows
Where He wants me to be...

Copyright 2013 by Chris A. Quilpa

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tintin's Pre-Birthday Celebration and Back to D-ville, After a Night and Day in 757

Hello, everyone! Good day/night to all of us, wherever we are in the world!

Sunday in 757. My favorite day of the week! Btw, I've mentioned this in my previous blog post. With reasons-explanations, of course. In short, Mass/church attendance-participation and dining out with available members of my family and friends.   

Freny and I, with our daughter Tintin, left D-ville in the morning for 757 Saturday; we arrived in Hampton Roads at about 1 p.m., after a couple of drop off: to the post office to pick up a week's mail on hold (for being out of town), then to our bank, then to NEX/Commissary, and to our friends Mike and Myrna's where I had the opportunity to play with their new friendly dog. Likewise, we had Nom, nom "sotanghon" and bread sticks prepared/cooked by Myrna. Thank you, Mike and Myrna, for your hospitality. You guys are amazing! God bless you and your family.

Sunday morning. Mass at St. Paul's Catholic in downtown Portsmouth. A visiting priest was the celebrant. Sad to know that our pastor, Rev. Fr. David's Mom passed away. Our heartfelt condolence to Fr. David and his family for his Mom's uneventful and/or unexpected passing. May the soul of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

I believe, God understands us when we left St. Paul's while the Mass was still in progress (because visiting priest-celebrant took over an hour officiating the Mass and Tintin has a piano commitment at a church in Norfolk at eleven). On the other hand, I did my job, matter-of-factly, trying to greet everyone who came in to church this morning at St. Paul's. I felt good doing it, for God's glory.

Had a wonderful time attending-participating at the church in Norfolk where Tintin plays piano, every other Sunday at eleven (unless otherwise noted/notified). 

After church, Tintin, Freny and I drove back to our area where we had lunch at Chili's in Chesapeake, with our friends Mike and Myrna. Had a a good time there, enjoying food and friendship...See photos below.

          Copyright photos 2013 by Chris A. Quilpa

Well, our luncheon at Chili's was a pre-birthday celebration for our daughter Tintin whose birthday will be Tuesday. God bless her with so many more...Thank God, we're alive and well...

At about 5 p.m., Tintin, Freny and I were on the road to D-ville, with loving wife Freny on the wheel. (Tintin has work tomorrow, Monday, so she has to be back in D-ville; whereas Freny is still having a few days left to enjoy her summer vacation before reporting to her school-work next week. But I learned that their students won't be back to school til after Labor Day, September 2, Monday. As for me, I'm okay...trying to live and enjoy life in the present moment. That's what retirement is all about: no set of schedule to follow, no deadline to meet, no regret of the past...)

 Thank God, we arrived in D-ville safe and sound. Thank you, Jesus!

Well, this is all for now. Thanks, everyone, for visiting my blog. Until next time around. Take care and have a nice day, my dear folks and friends. May God bless US and keep US safe from harm always!-chris a. quilpa, 18 August 2013