Kallautang-Cresencio A. Quilpa


(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




nasayaat a kanito


umang-anges iti nalawa


agpalpaliiw iti aglawlaw





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


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



for the good time


breathing freely

eyes open

seeing all around me



I am here


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.


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