A Graduate of Color–Jeffrey Acido

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Note: To enter into the life of your students is always a sacrament, sacred and special. When a teacher is given the opportunity to see his students spread their wings and fly, and take up the cudgels of the bigger, more urgent struggles for human freedom, that teacher must be humbled by this witnessing. I feel this way, even as I put together my hands for Jeffrey Acido, who in his last year the at University of Hawaii where he took up his degree in religion, came into my class armed with all sorts of questions about social, cultural, economic, and linguistic justice. His questions sharpened my way of looking at things that I was not conscious of. In the summer of 2009, Jeffrey will come back to Hawaii from his graduate studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and will begin his journey as advocate of our rights as people of the Ilokano nation. To Jeffrey, we welcome you to this struggle.

A GRADUATE OF COLOR

By Jeffrey Acido

 

Aloha everyone, as I stand here and look at the proud parents, friends and loved ones I am reminded of my mother.  Right now she is working at a hotel in Waikiki, preparing beds and cleaning toilets for the tourists visiting Hawaii. In about an hour, in which she will finish her first shift, she will take an hour-long bus ride to go to her next job, at a local bank, cleaning toilets and cubicles, similar to the offices of our professors. 

 

I stand here before you as a proud son of a Filipina working-class immigrant mother.  It is her dedication to her children that have allowed me to go as far as I am now. And yet at times, I feel that I would willingly trade this position for a moment of rest for my mother.  It is her dedication to her children that has fueled my dedication for economic justice. 

 

It took my family at least 100 years, starting from my great-grandfather harvesting sugar and pineapple in the plantations of Hawaii to my mother working at a hotel, to see someone in their family graduate with a master’s degree. 100 years of self-deprecation, 100 years of believing that they are not worthy or smart enough to go to school, 100 years of substandard living! 100 YEARS IS TOO LONG TO WAIT! In the words of Rev. Joseph Lowery, a Civil Rights leader, “WAKE UP, YOU CHAPLAINS OF THE COMMOND GOOD!” we must look beyond the walls of our seminaries and get off the Holy Hill and pay attention to those that cannot read our books.  Some days I am convinced that the Seminaries and Universities deliberately try to keep people of color out of their classrooms.

 

   We graduates of color have come a long way but never long enough.  The work is not over.  We are still in process. And we must never stray from the path of our people’s liberation.  

 

I want to reserve a more personal appreciation for my mother when I finally see her in the latter part of the summer.

 

Right now, I want to thank a brother and a sister, brother Michael James and sister Deborah Lee, together they have profoundly affected my intellectual and spiritual maturity here at the Pacific School of Religion. 

 

I’ve worked closely with Rev. Deborah Lee and despite the many mistakes that I have made never has she scolded me and never was I made to feel inadequate.  Her careful

words and poetic sense of justice has showed me a way to create a more just society, a society where everyone counts, no matter what color,  and where everyone is not just unique but also a person of consequence.  For this I am forever indebted to you.

 

I have never met anyone who has placed more trust in the wisdom of the community than Michael James.  You have taught me a great deal in finding god in the most marginal of places and in the most queerest of moments.  The audacity of your words and humility in your actions has shaped the way I better serve the community. 

 

Lastly, I remember filling out the application to apply at the Pacific School of Religion, It asked, “What is your reason for applying to PSR”. I wrote in my letter of statement that I do not yet know what it means to have faith or even what faith means. I said that I wanted to be around people of faith in hope of developing one or at least understand people who have faith.  I can honestly say that with your guidance and care I now have at least a sense of lived faith, a faith that allows me to walk in the uncertainties of the future without fear.

 

Thank you Sister Debbie and Brother Michael for your wisdom and dedication to the larger struggles of the community. May God’s grace make loud those voices that have been silenced. Amen.

Kallautang–Herman G. Tabin

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Nota Bene: Excerpted from the book, “Kallautang–Poetics of Diversity, Displacement, and Diaspora: Ilokanos in the Americas Writing” (TMI Global Press, 2009). Published through a grant from UH SEED, in collaboration with the Ilokano Language and Literature Program, University of Hawaii. Edited, translated, and with a critical introduction by Aurelio Solver Agcaoili.

Tawataw

Herman G. Tabin

(ginurigor nga arapaap

kidag a minulmolan

tarigagay a mangadak

iti paraiso-langit

katay-ambing

gutigot-purar

lubong ni Puraw)

naglayag askawmo

panagtawataw a duron

ti sangasakmol sangakur-ay a nguy-a

a dinurogan

kinaantukab dagiti burangen

saongan a didiosen

nangkidkid namagtunglab

agnannana nga ili!

iti umuna nga adak

paraiso’t laud

nga inukopan

di agpakabatubat nga in-inep

nagpayyak dagiti askaw

iti disneyland, hollywood, sea world…

ngem di mapupuotan

a dumteng-pumanaw dagiti agsapa

a waknit kinatangkirang

dagiti agdadata a pagteng:

aglilinnumba dagiti anges

iti freeway

iti estasion ti bus, iti diken ti tren…

sabasabali a widawid

sabasabali a puli

di agaammo, awan biniangan

agmalem, agpatnag

a mangkarukay iti barukong

dagiti nguy-a…

napilitanka a makiinnagaw

a kumaramot

mangpaatiddog gutad-anges:

adda dita ti kina-busser—

parbangonem panagisagana

pammigat iti maysa a hotel

agidasar, agpunno’t maabbatan a kape, gatas, juice,

agkalanukon, agugas, ag-vacuum;

adda dita ti kinaserbidor iti restaurant—

agawat iti order, serbidor, agukkon plato,

agpunas iti lamisaan;

adda dita kina-receiving associate iti wal-mart—

graveyard shift a panagukkuag ginabsuon a karton

agipalunapin produkto iti shelves;

adda dita ti kina-cashier iti 7-eleven

walo nga oras a nakatakder

pagbinatlagan dagiti matay nga urat-gurong;

adda dita ti kina-caregiver—

panagaywan kabaw a lallakay, babbaket

karit kinapasensia

panangugas, panangpadigos;

adda dita ti kina-houskeeper iti hotel—

ag-vacuum, agsagad, agibasura,

agpunas iti sarming ridaw, tawa

ket dita

makitam anniniwan

aggargarakgak—

sika? sika a dati a propesional,

dati nga agkuykuyyakoy iti imeng ti de-aircon

nga opisina ti dakkel a banko…

maysa a mannurat? de adal?

tarimbangonenka!

ngem naunegen ti nakaigarangugongam:

kagatem ti tadem

iti panaglemmelemmengmo:

dika makapagwidawid no awan papelmo

ket kidemam panagpaadipen ken Angkel Sam!

ngem nargaaay ti ekonomia…

nagikkat, nagserra dagiti kompania…

iti ibaw ti panawen—

agregreg dagiti bulong

agminar paragpag dagiti kayo

puraddaw nga aplag ti niebe

ti makakumsial a kagat lamiis

ti ilulutuad ti panagrusing…

yik-ikkisen ti kaunggam—

isublidakon diay ‘Pinas!

ngem kaanonto?

Wanderer

Herman G. Tabin

(feverish dream

motive suckled

by desire to set foot

in paradise-heaven

this tease

enchantment-blindedness

in this world of the White Man)

your steps sailed

this wandering that is pushed by

a mouthful of eking out a life

flattered by the greed of fools

small gods with the pangs

that gnawed and drowned

the country with the festering pus!

in the first step

to the paradise of the west

incubated by the uneasy

restlessness

the steps took on wings

to the disneyland, hollywood, sea world…

but without noticing

the early mornings came and left

that brought out into the open

what the events are:

breathings racing against each other

in freeways

in bus stations

in the rails of trains

a variety of gaits

a variety of races

that do not know each other

not minding each other

the whole day, the whole night

that scratches the breast

of eking out a life

you are forced to compete

to scratch out a life

to lengthen the thrust of breathing:

there you work as a busser–

in the early morning hours you prepare

breakfast in one hotel

serve food, fill up dried up cups for coffee, milk, juice,

gather the dishes, wash, do the vacuuming;

there is your being a waiter in a restaurant–

take orders, serve, gather the plates,

wipe clean the dining tables;

there you work as a receiving associate at wal-mart–

a graveyard shift that requires you to rip open piles of boxes

stock up products on shelves;

there is that cashiering work at 7-eleven

eight hours of standing up

tensing the veins on the legs that die;

there is that caregiving work—

the care of senile men and women

a challenge to your patience

washing them up, bathing them;

there is that of being a housekeeper in a hotel—

you do the vacuuming, sweeping, trashing,

wiping clean the glass of doors, windows

and there

you see your shadow

mocking you—

you? you who were a professional,

you who were sitting back in the comfort

of an air-conditioned office

in a big bank…

a writer? with a college degree?

you feel like you want to wake up!

but you have been put in an abyss:

you bite the blade

in your hiding away from it all:

you cannot act freely

when you have no documents

and then you take it all

your becoming a slave of Uncle Sam!

but the economy went on a downturn…

companies retrenched, closed shop…

in the clutch of time—

leaves fall

the skeleton of trees appear

the white blanket of snow

the stiffening bite of the cold

the coming of spring…

your deepest recesses now cry out—

you have me returned to the Philippines!

but when?

Kallautang–Corazon Quiamas

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Nota Bene: Excerpted from the book, “Kallautang–Poetics of Diversity, Displacement, and Diaspora: Ilokanos in the Americas Writing” (TMI Global Press, 2009). Published through a grant from the UH SEED and in collaboration with the Ilokano Language and Literature Program, UH Manoa. Edited, translated, and with a critical introduction by Aurelio Solver Agcaoili. 

Agkak Koma ‘Ta Siding

 

Corazon Quiamas

 

Kayatko a pinasen nga agkan

‘Ta agpampannimid a siding

Iti ngarab dayta a bibig; siding

A kas tumamtammidaw nga init

Iti agsapa iti ngatuen ti apagukrad

A petalo ti nalabaga a hibiscus

 

Ngem napaidam dagiti ramay

Ti rabii ta agtukeng a mangilukat

Iti ridaw ni ridep a nagsampagaan

Ti minuyongam

 

Ngem uray no kasta

Agur-urayak latta iti lukib dagiti nakakidem

A matak, umis-isem a mangkepkepkep

Iti agdadagsen nga arapaap a sika ken siak

Agpapasto iti duayya dagiti singin a giteb

Ti naginnakkub a barukong iti siled

Ti saan nga agpatingga a tagainep

 

I Wish to Kiss Your Mole

 

Corazon Quiamas

 

I wish to kiss smoothly

Your mole that looks out

On the edge of your lip; mole

That is like a sun taking a peek 

In the morning on the newly-

Opened petal of the red hibiscus

 

But the fingers of the night

Are selfish for they hesitate

To open the door of sleep

Where the orchard bloomed

With flowers

 

But despite this

I will wait in the eyelid

Of my closed eyes

Smiling while holding tight

My pregnant dream

That you and I shall be satiated

By the lullaby of the entwined throbbing

Of chests in an embrace

In the room of an endless sleep.

 

 

 

Maskara

 

Corazon Quiamas

 

‘Ton rabii padasekto
Manen a luktan ti kumkumotak
A baul a nakaipenpenan ti lagip;

Yukradkonto nga imaskara
Ti maysa kadagiti nakakupin
Nga isem; agsarmingakto iti kaunggan
Ti natarnaw a pusok; sapulekto ti paggapuan
Ti pitik a kubbuar ti barukong
Ket tumpuarto ti rupam iti tengnga
Ti agal-alikuno a tarigagay.
Iti agsapa sakbay a mapugsat
Ti darepdepmo, alistuakto nga ikamat
Nga isilpo ti daniw; maibasanto
Iti arasaas dagiti tumamtammidaw
A bulong, isu a nayurit iti mayam-amloy
A pinanid ti pul-oy; mangngegamto
Manen dagiti maulit-ulit a mayar-areng-eng
A balikas, aglayag iti ayus nabara
A pammateg iti ingget lamiis
a dimmanum a riknam
Ngem ammok nga iti kada
Kusay ti kaud ti panagdaton,
Awanto latta ti lamma a kaimudingan
Ti ruknoy a mabati iti rupa ti danum
Isu a baliwakto manen ti agsubli nga aglayag,
Ituredkonto latta a luktan ti kumkumotak
A baul a nakaipenpenan ti lagip; manen,
Yukradkonto nga imaskara
Ti maysa kadagiti nabatbati a nakakupin nga isem
A paglemlemmengan dagiti dandanin
Maibusuang nga agliplipias a mata.

 

 

Mask

 

Corazon Quiamas

 

Tonight I shall try again

To pry open the wooden trunk I have wrapped

Where I have kept my memory;

I shall spread out

And put it on as mask

One of the smiles neatly folded;

In the deepest recesses

Of my pure heart, I shall search

For the wellspring

Of the pulsing that is the fountain

Of the chest and your eyes

Will appear in the middle

Of desire gathering a whirl

 

In the morning, before

Your dream snaps to an end,

I shall run after

And relay my poem

That will be recited

By the murmur of leaves

Eavesdropping, this poem

Written in the caress

Of the breeze’s page;

You will hear again

The word repeated as pleadings,

This flows with the current

Of my warm endearing

To your feeling

That has gone so cold

 

But I know that in every

Stroke of the paddle of love-giving

It remains that there be no trace

Of the worth of my endearment

Left on the face of the water

 

And so I keep on with journeying once more,

I shall be bold in prying open

The wooden trunk I wrap

Where I keep my memory;

Again, I shall spread out and wear as mask

One of the smiles left folded

Where there are the eyes in full watch

Ever-ready to pop out.

 

 

 

 

 

Kallautang–Francis T. Ponce

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Nota Bene: Excerpted from the book, “Kallautang–Poetics of Diversity, Displacement, and Diaspora: Ilokanos in the Americas Writing” (TMI Global Press, 2009). Published through a grant from the UH SEED, and in collaboration with the Ilokano Language and Literature Program, UH Manoa. Edited, translated, and with a critical introduction by Aurelio Solver Agcaoili. 

Agsubliakto Manen

 

Francisco T. Ponce

 

Wen, agsubliakto manen

Ta diak latta maipapas

Ti iliwko iti amin a pakabuklam

 

Napintas ti lugar a nakaisadsadak

Dagiti pasdek, tuknuenda dagiti ulep

Narabuy ken nalangto

Dagiti uggot ti biag

Ngem adda ragsak ken talinaay

A diak mabirokan sadiay

A ditoy nasulinek a lugar

Ti pakariknaak

 

Nadagaang manen ti sang-aw

Ti Abril ken Mayo

Ngem ti panagdekket

Ti pingpingmo

Ken pingpingko

Barukongko ken barukongmo

Kas man addaak ita

A maparparraisan

Iti sakaanan ti pussuak

Ti Gusing Sangbay

A mangdepdep iti bara ti panawen

A diakto pulos samiren

Ta adda ditoy ti dadduma

A paset ti lubongko

Nga innakto sublisublian

A pagpasagan

Umiliw ken pailiw

Kadagiti nadungngo nga angep

Nga umapiras kadagiti parbangon

Ti Disiembre ken Enero

Ti abrasa ken kinangayed ti init

A sumarabo kadagiti bigbigat

Ti awis ti nalamiis a danum

Iti karayan Naguilian

Ulimek dagiti rabii iti narnuoyan

A bituen iti law-ang

 

 

 

Ad-adun dagiti binulong

Ti kalendariok

A pinigis ti panawen a kaaddak

Iti ganggannaet a disso

Ngem kadagiti panagmaymaysak

Kasla naukritan a plaka

Nga agsublisubli dagiti lagip

A napanawak

 

Wen, agsubliakto manen

Ta pasetka met iti amin

A pakabuklak

Ken diakto latta maipapas

Ti iliwko iti amin a pakabuklam

 

 

 

I Shall Return Again

 

Francisco T. Ponce

 

Yes, I shall return once again

For I cannot fully express

My missing the whole of you

 

The place where I found myself anchored

Is such a beauty, the imposing structures

Reach up to the skies, hitting the clouds

The sprouts of life

Are abundant and fresh

But there is joy and peace

I can’t find over here

That I can find

In this remote place

 

Warm is the breath

Of April and May

But in the bussing of your cheek

Against my own

Your breast against mine

I feel like I am showered

With the drizzle

At the foot of the fountain

Of Gusing Sangbay

That makes cold the wamth

Of the season

That I won’t mind

Because over here is that other part

Of my own world

That I will keep on returning to

And take a retreat

To express the feeling of missing them

To have them express their missing me

Them the caring fogs

That touch the dawns

In December and January

The handshake and glory of the sun

That welcomes the mornings

The invitation of the cool water

Of the Naguilian River

The quietude of the nights

Filled with a multitude of stars

In the skies

 

More are the leaves

Of my calendar years

Those have been torn in my residence

In an alien land

Than those years of my aloneness

The memories I left behind

Are like a music record with a scratch

 

Yes, I shall return again,

For you are part of all that I am

And that I shall always

Not succeed in fully expressing

My missing all

That which makes you whole

Kallautang-Cresencio A. Quilpa

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(Note Bene: Excerpted from the book, “Kallautang–Poetics of Diversity, Displacement, and Diaspora: Ilokanos in the Americas Writing” (TMI Global Press, 2009). Published through a grant from the University of Hawaii SEED and in collaboration with the Ilokano Language and Literature Program, UH Manoa. Edited, translated, and with a critical introduction by Aurelio Solver Agcaoili.

Ditoy America, Adtoyak

 

Cresencio A. Quilpa

 

ditoy America

adtoyak

nakatugaw

mangur-uray

nasayaat a kanito

dumdumngeg

umang-anges iti nalawa

nakamata

agpalpaliiw iti aglawlaw

agpampanunot

nakatugaw

adtoyak

mangur-uray

maysa a gundaway

napintas ken nasayaat

naisangsangayan a kanito

panangaklon kinarukop numo

ken pannakipatpatang iti Namarsua

ti imbilang a napudpudno a gayyem

wen, ditoy America, adtoyak

nakamata-nakatugaw

agpalpalned-oras ken tiempo

mangur-uray ti napintas a kanito

pannakabukel-putar daytoy a daniwko.

 

 

In America, Here I Am

 

Cresencio A. Quilpa

 

here in America

I am here

seated

waiting

for the good time

listening

breathing freely

eyes open

seeing all around me

thinking

seated

I am here

waiting

one moment

beautiful and good

the moments extraordinary

accepting my weakness

and my speaking with the Creator

who I regarded as my true friend

truly, here in America, here I am

eyes open, I  am seated

waiting for the hour and time

to come to pass

waiting for the good time

for the writing of my poem

 

 

 

 

 

Biag ditoy America

 

Cresencio A. Quilpa

 

narigat a nasayaat

nanam-ay ken nawaya

namaris ti aglawlawna

napintas ken naranga

adda linteg a sursuroten

adda hustisia para ti amin

nangato man wenno nababa

amin padapada

addaan karbengan

nga ilalaen ken saluadan

adda urnos ken talna

adda met gulo, no kua

maysa wenno dua

ngem nadur-as ken nangayed latta

nalamiss ken napudot

no dadduma, nabara.

 

wen, kastoy ti biag ditoy America

nanam-ay ken nawaya

ngem nasayaat a narigat

ta awan aldaw, malem, ken rabiina.

 

 

 

Biag ditoy America

 

Cresencio A. Quilpa

 

It is difficult and good

It is easy and there is freedom

All around you are the colors

They are pretty and verdant

There is the law you follow

There is justice for all

Rich or poor

All are the same

We keep tab of our rights

And protect them so

There is order and peace

And sometimes chaos

But this comes once or twice

Despite this there is beauty

Sometimes it is cold, warm

Sometimes, the hot sun

 

Yes, this is our life in America

Life is easy and there is freedom

But it is good and difficult

Because there is no day,

Afternoon and night.

 

 

 

Diak Mailibak, Kayumanggiak

 

Cresencio A. Quilpa

 

Ganggannaetak iti America

Wen, saanko mailibak dayta

Ket Perlas ti Daya ti nagtaudak

Ngarud, diak mailibak, kayumanggiak.

 

Ammok, adu ti umapal kaniak

Adu pay mangum-umsi kaniak

Ngem, baybay-ak laeng ida

No kasta’t pampanunotda.

 

 

Asinoak koma a manghusga

Iti kinatakneng kababalinda

Dagiti amin a padak a pinarsua

Ken ganggannaet met iti America?

 

Wen, diak kayat mangsair riknada

Ta diak met kayat a masair riknak.

 

 

 

I Cannot Deny, I am Brown

 

Cresencio A. Quilpa

 

I am a stranger in America

Truly so, this I cannot deny

And I came from the Pearl of the Orient

So I am brown, this I cannot deny.

 

I know, many are those who envy me,

And many are those who despise me

But I do not mind them

If that is what they think.

 

Who am I who should judge

The other people’s dignity

Them who are also creatures

And guests in America?

 

Verily, I do not want to hurt their feeling

I do not want to be hurt the same way.

 

 

 

I am a Stranger in America

 

Cresencio A. Quilpa

 

I am a stranger in America

I came from the place of my birth

Called the Pearl of the Orient

The abode of my parents and relations.

 

I came to America out of my will

This place where many people come to

Here is where my two children were born

A place of power, beauty, full of hope.

 

Truly, I left the place of my birth

So I can get a relief from hardships

And fulfill my long-time dream

A life of freedom I have desired.

 

Freedom—that is my vision for so long

For all people, especially for my family

With no fear, doubt in doing good

Enduring in facing the challenge of Fate.

 

Despite my being here in what they call as America

I always remember the place I came from

The past and my life experiences

Are all part of me, mind, and emotion.

 

Yes, I will never forget the place I came from

Barrio Naguilian, the place filled with meaning

I wove, vended, farmed, fished in the river

And the days and nights, the difficulties I went through.

 

I will always love the place I came from

And I will always miss the familiar

Siblings I love, friends, relations

The place where I learned the true life lessons.

 

Whatever comes I will not refuse

I will never be afraid in facing Life

For now it has been molded in my mind and heart

From the experiences in the place I came from. 

 

 

Ni Ilokano ditoy Hampton Roads, Virginia

 

Cresencio A. Quilpa

 

Ditoy historikal a lugar ti Virginia

Nangisit ken puraw ti adu a tattaona

Ken adu pay a puli a nadumaduma

Mangted buya ti aglawlawna.

 

Lugar a napnuan pakasaritaan

Lugar dagiti presidente ti America a nagkauna

Waloda a nayanak ditoy Virginia

Kas ken George Washington ken kakadua.

 

 

Ditoy Hampton Roads a maysa a rehion ti Virginia

Umok met dagiti puli a nadumaduma:

Intsik, Hapon, Koreano, Filipino

British, Greco, Mexicano, Italiano, ken Puerto Ricano

Dagiti pay naipasngay manipud Russia ken India

Agsisinnabat, aguummongda amin a padapada

Tunggal puli inna iparaman ken ipakita

Ti etniko a potahena, sala, ken dagiti tradisionna

Wagas ti panagbiagna ken pammatina

Panangrambak iti panagkaykaysa ti pamiliana

Ken panangselebrarna’t kinapateg ti wayawaya

Respeto ken panagkikinnawatan ti tumunggal maysa

Kastoy ti biag ditoy Hampton Roads, Virginia.

 

Agarup uppat a pulo kanon a ribu

Ti bilang dagiti agnaed ditoy a Filipino

Wenno Amerikano ng addaan Filipino a dara 

Ditoy Hampton Roads a rehion ti Virginia

Ket isuda naanus ken naandurda.

 

Saan a pagduaduaan kinagagetda

Naregta, nasaldet, ken nareggetda

Nga agsapul pagbiagda

Ta ayat ti familia ipangpangrunada

Ken ibturanda’t pakarikutanda

Agtrabaho igaedda ken ipasnekda

Ta nairuamda’t rigat biag a naggapuanda

Ti kail-iliwda a Perlas ti Daya

Lugar dagiti nagannak ken ap-appo ti tumengda.

 

Kaaduan kadagiti Ilokano ti agindeg ti Virginia Beach

Addada pay iti Portsmouth, Norfolk, Suffolk, Chesapeake

Kasta met iti siudad ti Hampton ken Newport News.

 

Ngarud, awan umasping ken Ilokano a napudno

Ta ti galadna pagdidinnamagan uray sadino a disso

Ket ti naganna ket nabileg, kankanayonto a maital-o

Aglabaston ti panawen, dinto pulos agkupas ni Ilokano.

 

 

 

 

 

The Ilokano Here at Hampton Roads, Virginia

 

Cresencio A. Quilpa

 

In this historical place of Virginia

Black and white are its people

Other ethnic groups of various kinds

Give a view to its surroundings.

 

A place of history

Of early presidents of America

Eight of them were born in Virginia

Like George Washington and company.

 

In Hampton Roads, a region in Virginia:

A nest of various races:

Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino,

British, Greek, Mexican, Italian, and Puerto Rican

Also those born in Russia and India

They meet each other, they gather together

Each ethnic group has its food tasted and shown,

Its dances and traditions too

Its life ways and faith

Its manner of celebrating the unity of the family

And its celebration of freedom

Respect and understanding for each other

This is how life is lived in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

 

They say there are now around forty thousand

The number of Filipinos over here

Or Americans with some Filipino ancestry

Over here at Hampton Roads, a region in Virginia

And they are patient and enduring.

 

We do not discount their industry

Vibrant, diligent, and motivated

To look for ways to live

And their love for their family is foremost

And they carry their burdens patiently

Where they come from they are used to it

Their missing the Pearl of the Orient

The place of their ancestors and their grandchildren.

 

Many of the Ilokanos reside in Virginia Beach

Some in Portsmouth, Norfolk, Suffolk, Chesapeake

And also in the city of Hampton and Newport News.

 

Now, thus, no one equals that of the true Ilokano

For his attitude is good news wherever he goes

And his name with power, he will always be first

Even when time has come, he will always last.