Sunday, July 16, 2017

Resilience of The Filipino Spirit: Dealing with the Impact of Climate Change

The recent environmental issue on climate change is greatly affecting humanity and the world and we are all living testimony of how our lives have changed in many ways; either we adapt to it or have become a victim of circumstances. This is not only about the present situation since we are looking forward to its massive destruction on the succeeding years and generations to come. With the biggest issue on global warming leading to climate change, how can we foresee the future that lies ahead of us? How can we ensure that the next generations will live in harmony with the nature? Is the human race losing the battle and on its way to extinction? We may never know, but one thing for sure is that we are now living on uncertainty due to the destructive Power of Nature and consequence of greediness and negligence for personal gains.

The great debate on climate change started several years back and it has become a major issue confronting several nations most especially the Philippines, which is one of the most disaster-prone country in Asia and the world. This small archipelago of brave Filipinos have suffered tremendously at some point in time due to a major natural calamity; typhoons, landslides, earthquakes and storm surge that have killed thousands of Filipinos. 

Natural disaster may be inevitable, however the Resilience of Filipino Spirit made us stronger and became an ultimate survivor. Our survival instinct enable us to better prepare ahead and to anticipate for a more destructive forces beyond of control. We may have a bended knee, but that's only temporary as we are able to bounce back to live a fully recovered life. 

Philippine Government, NGOs and  even private companies and organizations are doing its mandate in response to their environmental duties and contribution for a more livable community. Media Company, Rappler has been a leader on its humanitarian effort concerning the effect of climate change. Their AGOS project in partnership and coordination with several Government and  Non-Government agencies calls for an action to raise awareness to every Filipino that we can do something in our very own simple ways. Through the power of social media, we can be empowered to send and receive reports about calamities and disaster-related occurrence. The AGOS project introduced a way of making a difference through a practical and achievable 3-way goal which is to "Prepare - Respond - Recover" applicable before, during and after of a disaster or calamity. 

The 2-day AGOS Disaster Preparedness on July 14-15 was a remarkable achievement of Government and Private Organization working together for a common goal to achieve a zero casualty in times of natural disaster. Rappler in partnership with Humanitarian Organizations was successful in attracting members, followers and volunteers who are willing to spend their precious time and devote positive energy for a humanitarian cause. Present on the event is our Philippine Senator, Richard Gordon who is the Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross. He shared about the power of volunteerism and what they can achieve to alleviate the suffering and restoring the dignity of the victims of calamity. Senator Loren Legarda also shared about the environmental law which she has authored since early 90's. Her concept of zero waste management "Reuse - Reduce - Recycle" is her environmental advocacy teaching people to save our environment for further damage or harm. Other invited speakers talked about the role of their respective office or agency to minimize the effect of climate change and our ways for adaptation and survival. 

With Maria Ressa, CEO, Rappler
The initiative of Maria Ressa, CEO of  Rappler together with her whole team is truly commendable as they have proven their leadership in disaster management and their advocacy for a more resilient community.  Maria's approach to public-private partnership doesn't need huge budget, but to empower Filipino people especially the younger generations to become an active change agent capable of influencing others to have their commitments for Enviromental causes. The Summit was very empowering as it inspires us to have a voice even in digital media. Through social media, we can actively communicate ideas and solutions that are beneficial for disaster management. The humanitarian drive creates a ripple effect of goodwill among its followers and will further influence young people for their active involvement in nation-building. The great thing about being a Filipino is that our 'Bayahihan' culture has become digital and its evolution enables humanitarian and advocates to continue on living with a sense of purpose and direction. We have already proven the Resilience of The Filipino Spirit: A Year After Typhoon Yolanda and no matter what unfortunate events may hit us, still we're ready to break the barriers for a smooth-sailing journey to recovery. We join hands together and our soul-purpose will lead us to uplift the lives of other Filipinos who are lost, misguided and victims of this sad fate. A resilient spirit will always be unshakable and always create a ripple.                                                                

© 2017 Del Cusay

Monday, June 26, 2017

Eid'l Fitr: A Moment of Peace

After a month-long of battles between the Philippine Government forces and the local terrorist group, finally our Muslim and Christian brothers and sisters in the city of Marawi in Mindanao have a glimpse of a peaceful hour for today's celebration of Eid'l Fitr or the end of Ramadan a meaningful religious festival to break the 30-day fasting. Though a short duration of ceasefire, it may have given them hope to escape and to live a peaceful life away from their devastated city. 

As I reflect on the significance of this religious celebration, we are in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters who sacrificed their life to achieve a peaceful living. Islam as a religion of peace brings a message of hope and not to instill fear and terror among fellow Islamic faithful; may be opposite of the current events where a fearful people cries for justice, unity, solidarity and peace they deserve. As a Christian in faith, I condemn the evil acts of terrorism and wars brought by greed and selfishness. Even the religion of peace would have condemned the same adversity that they have experienced for a long time. A never-ending conflict and war in the region resulted to political instability and has affected the social and moral welfare of the people. The psychological traumas in children and even adults will forever leave a permanent scar in their being. Unless they rise up to adversity, they will continue to suffer until the end of their days. 

We are not certain of what the future will bring to the people of Marawi, but we are one in prayers for their rehabilitation  their hopeful journey to recovery. It may be a spiritual test, but part of the recovery is to understand the nature of the Divine. A Violent God in Our Time would punish his people for the greater good and eventually achieve a heaven on earth living. Everyone can become a victim and a sacrifice for the future of humanity. It may be unjust, but that's the present reality in this world. People can kill others for the sake of wealth, power and influence; a dictator can order a massive killing of his own people; countries may bombed a non-allied nation. There's really evil in this world that is trapped in the hearts and minds of the radicals. 

People are getting anxious, fearful and powerless. Nations are getting upset and always on fire. The world is getting so chaotic that we sometimes ask, Is There A Divine Light in A troubled Nation? This might give clarity and answer to the untoward events that are happening everywhere. In situations like this, we remain steadfast and faithful to the most powerful force in the universe. When human being has lost its divinity, we again go through the process of purification to regain the divinity that is lost. With perseverance and faith in God, we can become whole again if there's a belief that There's A Certain Holiness in You. Humanity has to regain the lost beingness, so we can live in harmony and camaraderie with our brothers and sisters with different faith. We are one nation that belongs to one world with universal feelings and emotions. We can always make a difference in other people's wellbeing through our loving and compassionate nature. No matter what race you and I belong, our spiritual nature guides and directs us towards our purpose  to live and reign peace and harmony in our hearts forever.

© 2017 Del Cusay

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day Special: The Greatest Gift

I remember the times when my father would give us practical advice about living our life based on our choices. An ocean deep of insight that he might have gained through personal struggles and miseries on his early days of fatherhood. As I grew up, I have heard several stories that are inspirational and worth emulating; would have pushed me to follow his path and was almost there.
His life stories in a form of wise sayings, cliché and hyperbole created a deep impact in me that will be forever in my heart and my mind. 

It might be hard to emulate his ways, but what I have learned from my father all through these years is to be generous and be kind to people. As a public servant, he has the heart to serve the people in our locality and that he is driven and committed to give back to the society in any way he could. His kindness may have created a ripple effect of goodwill and that people are easily drawn to his personality. His values and character makes him win people's hearts and it is his best weapon in staying on the ground and remain to be strong. As courageous as he is, I have learned to be tough yet gentle and always do my best to be on the good side -- never to allow defeat when fighting for the right. His way of handling issues are never complicated, he gives an outright advice that will inspire and move your spirit.

My father may have won several battles, but he is brave enough to surrender to the Divine all those things that is beyond his control. As a wise man, he believes and surrenders to God his challenges and he can surpass all those trials through his faith. As our provider, he is 'leading the way' and is always responsible in his role as a father to our family and our community. He always think of the welfare of other people and would think of ways on how to be of service to a greater whole. I may never know what the future holds, but what I know for sure is that I will continue to follow the path he has shown and will cultivate kindness to others. 

It is always a challenge to me how to become a better person and it would take a commitment and perseverance to become a better version of oneself. It's a choice we make and when our soul purpose would ignite the sleeping giant within, then we can move the mountains if we just keep our faith on a higher level. His journey to life is never easy as he is confronted with obstacles that made him stronger. As he punch the barriers, he can envision limitless possibilities that we can achieve. He may have started to be a nobody, but with his determination and will-power, he has achieved a milestone that we are all proud of. I will forever be a follower and I will continue the path that was started. After all, the greatest gift is not through materialism, fame and riches, but the gift of everlasting joy and fulfillment through service. 

© 2017 Del Cusay

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