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Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Few Thoughts About True Love*

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Following are some of my thoughts about the power of love, via the raw English translations of my original Ilokano poems, originally published in, in 2005.

Faces of Love**                                      Nadumaduma a Ladawan ni Ayat***

1. Two birds                                             1. Dua a Billit
two flying creatures                                    tumatayab a dua
singing sweet notes of love                         nasam-it kankantada
(morning music to the ears)                        (samiweng ti agsapa)
as they stick together                                 nadekket, agkuykuyogda latta
they go wherever...                                    uray sadinot' papananda.

2. Priest or pastor                                      2. Padi wenno Pastor
entered the seminary                                  simrek ti seminario
heeded the call of the Almighty                   dinengngegnat' awag ti Apo
to serve His flock of humanity                     tapno agserbi kadagiti tao
enlightening the path of so many.                 a mangiwanwan danada a killo.

3. Nun or Sister                                         3. Madre wenno Sister
entered the convent                                    simrek ti kumbento
in the midst of innuendos                             iti baet dagiti lailo
and temptations of a troubled world            ken sulisog ti Lubong a nagulo
to serve Him, her Savior.                            tapno agserbi ken ni Apo.

4. Pen pals turned Happy Couple               4. Pen friends turned Happy Couple
longtime pen friends                                    nabayag a nagsinsinnuratda
haven't seen each other the first time            uray saanda pay pulos a nagkitkita
'til love, trust and hope developed               ket nabukel ayat ken arapaapda
for a beautiful world, secured family.           napintas a Lubong ken pamiliada.

5. Expatriate or Overseas Worker              5. OFW wenno Balikbayan
left country-home for employment               immadayo tapno agtrabaho
to eke out a decent living                            tapno maaddaan disente a panagbiag
enduring separation, work condition            ket inanusannat' adu a rigat
for his future and his family.                         para't masakbayanna ken pamiliana.

6. Seller or Vendor                                     6. Agtintinda wenno Aglaklako
peddling and selling stuff                              aglaklako iti sida                    
food and other commodities                        makan ken uray aniad'ta
just to provide and support a family             tapno laeng maisakadnat' pamiliana
out of poverty, out of love.                          iti baet rigat ti biag, palalo nga ayatna.

7. Farmer                                                   7. Mannalon
at dawn, you're in the field                           nasapa pay addan iti talon
toiling, tilling the soil, doing farm work          mangsukay kadagiti bunubon
plowing, sowing, cultivating until dusk          agarado,agmula agingga't agmatuon
envisioning a bountiful harvest.                     masirmatanat' nabuslon a taraon.

8. Teacher or Educator                               8. Mannursuro (Maestro/Maestra)
early morn, you're at school                         nasapa pay addan eskuela
eager and ready to teach and inspire            nakasaganan ti isurona
so students will learn and grow                     tapno dagiti ubbing makaadalda
and their dreams come true.                         ket arapaapda matun-oyda.

9. Writer                                                     9. Mannurat
creates a story out of words                        agputar kadagiti balikas
beautiful, sweet, powerful words                  a nasam-it, nangayed, napintas
informative, entertaining, revolutionary          makapakatawa ken mangiwanwan
making life meaningful and wonderful.           ti biag a napnuan kaipapanan.

10. Healthcare Provider                               10. Doktor ken/wenno Nars
in hospitals and clinics, you're there               addada iti ospital wenno klinika
treating, caring for the sick, saving lives         masakit agasanna, biag salbarenna
focusing on health and well-being of all         salun-at tao ipangpangrunana
so life-world continues to exist and spin.       tapno ti Lubong aggaraw-agtayyek latta.

11. Blessed Mother Teresa                          11. Blessed Mother Teresa
you didn't mind your frail stature                   linipatna ti narapis a bagina
so you could serve the Almighty Lord           tapno agserbi Kenkuana
loving, caring for the sick, "untouchables"      kadagiti "untouchables" a pinarsua
that troubled world ignored, abandoned.      a binaybay-an ti lubong ta awan gawayda.

12. Retired Couple                                      12. Retirado nga Agassawa
two chosen, fortunate, loving people             dua a napili, napagasatan a parsua
sitting unperturbed on a park bench              nakatugawda ti maysa a bangketa
exchanging glances, hugging, locking lips       agbinbinnisongda, agin-innarakupda
smiling happily, feeling contented, no worry.  naragsak, kasla awan dukot-problemada.

13. Volunteer Worker                                  13. Volunteer Worker
though how busy you are                              uray kasanot' ka-"busy"na
at work and/or with family                            ti trabaho ken/wenno pamiliana
you always find time to spare and share        adda latta kanitona nga ipaayna
to all those who need assistance or help.       kadagiti makasapul tulongna.

14. Parents and Grandparents                      14. Nagannak ken Grandparents
lots of sacrifice and compromise                   adu a rigat, sakripisio ken kompromiso
patience, endurance, hard work                    anus, salukag, kired panagtrabaho
just so their brood and tribe taken care of     tapno annak, appo mataripato
that family and the world rejoice.                  ket pamilia ken ti lublong agrag-o.

(c) 2014 by Chris A. Quilpa

-CHRIS A. QUILPA, a Suffolk resident, is a retired U.S. Navy veteran. He was one of the top five Iluko writers for in 2008. E-mail him at

*Appeared in today's edition of the award-winning city newspaper, Suffolk News-Herald in its Opinion page, Thursday, February 13, 2014. SNH is Suffolk's news and information source since 1873. For more information, visit its website at

**Raw English translation of my original Ilokano poem, "Nadumaduma a Ladawan ni Ayat,"*** originally published in on 3/6/2005.

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