Sunday, May 28, 2017

Where is The Divine Light in A Troubled Nation?


It was just recently that President Duterte declared  martial law in the entire Island of Mindanao, southern Philippines due to clashes of the government troops versus the local terrorist group "Maute" which is identified as an ISIS-linked group. That was late evening of May 23rd, this year when the news brought anxiety and fear among many Filipinos especially those who have remembered the negative effects of the 1972 martial law imposed by late President Marcos. Widespread violence and violation of human rights triggered the memory from the distant past; a horrible fate experienced by our countrymen on this kind of rule where there is absence of due process in a civil disobedience act. Every year as we commemorate the People power revolution in 1986, it flashes back the kind of life Filipinos have lived under the martial rule; freedom of expression was suppressed and thousands were victims of cruelty and summary executions under the hands of the military people. 

That was a history! and now the history repeats itself. This time the cause of the declaration is different. Martial law was imposed due to massive civil disobedience back then, but now the declaration is due to rising power and terrorism of the local terrorist group called "Maute" which is gaining popularity in the country and getting recognized by the international terrorist group -- ISIS who is known to be behind deadly attacks in major cities in the world. To date, thousands have been killed including the lives of innocent people; children heavily injured and killed due to conflicts and wars. People got sick and experienced post traumatic-stress symptoms that they will perhaps carry on for a lifetime. Their life was totally a hell on earth that some would have wished to die than to suffer. 

In times of chaos and war, our government's primary goal is to bring back stability, peace and order by protecting its citizens from from harm and its negative effects. It is a tough challenge and putting it on the hands of our national defenders would make a difference in resolving the conflict. However, 
isn't it  that martial law is declared to protect our people? or is it a disguise for a hidden ulterior motive? It's been centuries long of battle against terrorism in Southern Philippines, but it hasn't been totally resolved until the present time. Martial law may be extended even up to a year or might be declared in the entire archipelago, however it will not be the ultimate solution to end this national problem. What really scares Filipino people is when this "Maute" group started to invade the Visayas region just recently when a clash happened in Bohol province. Now, the Government's intelligence reported a plan to terrorize the province of Iloilo. We couldn't imagine what life will be like for the Visayan people who are living peacefully in  a Christian dominated territory. 

Where is God at these times? When people are praying for peace, evil forces are gaining more strength and spreading the darkness. Is God an absolute good? or Is There A Violent God in Our Times ? No one is spared, but anyone could be the next victim of this darkness even those who may bring the light. In moments like these, we need a Divine inspiration -- a Divine light to shield us from evil forces in this world. But why do God allow his people to suffer? The Philippines is a troubled nation despite of its economic development and the invasion of darkness makes us become blind.

We have been fighting for different wars; President's War on Drugs: A Major Mistake already killed thousands of suspected drug addicts and dealers. It is right for the government to protect the good versus the evil and to eradicate them all has never been easy, instead we co-exist with these evil forces all throughout and in our lifetime. While terrorism can't be defeated easily, we desperately call for forces of Divine light to shower in us and to protect our love ones and the entire nation. We can't pass on to the next generation of Filipinos the kind of suffering we are currently living. We cant imagine our offspring to blame us of the problem that they inherit. Looking forward to 2025 or 2030 and beyond, what will be the fate of our nation? How will we live as a Filipino? Will there be a peaceful Philippines in years to come or are we about to start living in our darkest era?  Let there be light on our people; the defender of our democracy -- our leaders and the chosen ones. Let there be Good Governance Towards A Better Philippines and surely we will see the light after a long tunnel of darkness we're going through. I believe that where there is darkness, there is light! There's a healing in every pain and injury and there's a happy ending in eternity as long as we keep on fighting for goodness sake while unleashing the Divinity from within.

© 2017 Del Cusay


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Special: Compassionate Care


Whenever I look back and reflect on my younger days, it always bring back wonderful memories of the kind of parenthood that my mother showed. Being the youngest in the family brought extra level of attention and care perhaps due to vulnerability and immaturity. I felt the love and care of my mother who was there to look after all my needs and would protect me from harm and danger. Though there were times that I would feel grown up already and doesn't need much help from her, I still long for her presence whenever I felt lost and misguided. I thought growing up increases dependence, however I can't help but to rely on strength when I couldn't even take care of my self when I was sick. My mother was there from sickness until regaining strength and back to wellness again.

Growing up is never easy without the role played by mothers. Although it's a right to be taken cared of, the kind of love one gets from a mother is always a privilege. As a grown up adult, I've seen different kinds of parenting from elite families to the underprivileged. Immersing myself on the kind of living of the upper class families gave me a different perspective in life where others are greatly suffering. Some families are living in an extreme luxury while others are sleeping on the streets defying all the security and safety threats and uncomfortable condition. Although it is an eyesore to many passersby, it is the kind of suffering that I deeply reflect. Why do people like them suffer in an extreme poverty? Why do mothers can't give extra level of care and love to their kids? Why do parents allow their kids to go and run naked on the street? A lot of questions about suffering and how they can help themselves let go of suffering. 

In a deeper reflection about suffering, I've realized that it's a natural occurrence in any moment of our lives. Some have lived in a poverty when they started, but eventually have escaped from it and now living their greatest life in abundance and balanced living. People who are lost and helpless will continue to suffer in their lifetime when they haven't learned a lesson from past life until the present time and the cycle goes on. Some people are enjoying a life they deserved based on the amount of energy they possess and the perseverance to live a resilient life -- an indispensable trait. When people starts to give up on us, we remain to be resilient; when we are losing faith on our self, we also remain to be resilient. It is when we are unshakable that we learn to fight the struggles and leave all the miseries behind. When we were young and cant fight for ourselves, then our mother is there on a rescue to stand up for us and become our voice when we can't speak for ourselves. A mother's unconditional love is always felt and an inherent nature to always look after our well being. 

From birth to adulthood and when we are separated by great distance, there's always a feeling of mutual connection. A mother's compassionate care is felt miles away and it gives a feeling of greater love. At any moment in our lifetime, we celebrate this loving connection in a way of giving a special treat; a way of making her feeling loved and cared in return. When we can't express through words, we can always give it through actions and the bonding becomes much stronger than ever. A mother guides us all the way out and will always be with us in our minds and heart -- Mother's Day: A Celebration of Love makes us fully alive because of a different level of love we receive and the compassionate nature that we have learned to give it out to others who may need it most. 

The greatest give from our mother is to be loving and compassionate and we extend this to other people in our lives. When others lose faith in humanity, we learn to understand and give ourselves a chance to serve and to give unconditionally just like what our mothers are showing to us. No distance can separate us no matter where we are and we learn to give back in any way that they will be more inspired to live a better life they truly deserve. A mother's compassionate care will always persevere and her undying will always be forever in our hearts. 




Monday, May 1, 2017

The Crossroads: Hope in Uncertain Times



Everyday is a journey that we battle. From the road we choose to take and the destination we expect to arrive. Along the way are different noises not only from the physical environment, but also from ones' own mind — the noise from our thoughts. These noises either distract or enable us to give more focus to the filtered thoughts; the good ones creating more fulfillment on that very moment. When travelling a distant mile seem uncomfortable and inconvenient to others; some would feel the opposite thoughts and emotions. Though feeling uncomfortable at times, it is the chaos that sometimes we unleash the power within  our emotional desires from powerful thoughts and intentions. 

That little discomfort is nothing but a struggle and challenges to fight and learn to overcome. When we are overwhelmed with negativity around, we suddenly choose the way to respond. To ignore is never the ultimate way to escape, but to face it with fierceness and boldest intentions to hit it and see the path with the clearest view. The obstacles give us a viewpoint to surrender or to take a deeper breath giving us clarity of mind and rightful decisions. Back to the times when there was a little physical discomfort in a long journey, is an uncertainty of what lies ahead. However, the excitement and a good conversation gave a meaning despite the uncertainty. It is when we are not on our best self when we learn to find balance and soulful healing to others and to oneself. Then we feel some relief and healing from within. 

In an uncertain moment, we may feel disheartened of conflicts in relationships. It may be brought by fears and pains from the past and worries of the future. We can't escape from our own negativity affecting us so deeply, but giving it out on others to have a share of discomfort and misery creates undesired energy pulling us down. When one is in conflict from inside, others would absorb that emotional disturbance giving stress and anxiety. That's terribly a draining energy! No matter how we try to shield ourselves, it would still penetrate on the deepest soul level. Shielding from negativity won't give a lasting solution, but to pay attention to the cause and healing past life struggles and miseries surely will. 

The road ahead: Dealing With Life's Uncertainties is an audit of previous life experience of hope in uncertain times. When false hope gives a false perception of reality, then a genuine hope is giving clarity and ultimate fulfillment of a soulful journey transforming your reality and eradicating fear and uncertainty. The powerful force of self-awareness activates positive hopes and dreams that ignites ones' life purpose — our heart's desire. That's the highest hope we can give to ourselves that will benefit the greater good. As we follow different path in life, the inner compass still ignites and guides all the way out even in the most uncertain moment and in the most unexpected time.

 © 2017 Del Cusay




Friday, April 14, 2017

Holy Week 2017: Leading The Way



Holy week has been a tradition passed from generations of devoted Christians; from Christian ancestors like Peter until the present time descendant, His Holiness Pope Francis. Christians are celebrating the passion, death and resurrection of the Christ who promised the salvation of humanity through the Holy cross where he suffered and died and became a symbol of our Christian faith.

In the Philippines, we have a great tradition in commemoration of the Holy week. It's all about Christ; the center of our faith. Our devotion is directed to Him as he saved us from sins. Like most Filipinos, we honor Christ in many ways. Some would show their faith in deeper self-infliction, similar to the suffering of Christ. Others would celebrate at home in a deeper self-reflection and meditation. We have our ways of showing piety and devotion to Christ and this is the culture to be passed on to the next generations of faithful Christians.

The Good Friday is a symbol of our personal suffering as a reflection of the passion of Christ on the cross. As Christian, we have our cross to carry and overcome the challenges. Life has been meaningful as we remember the sufferings we embraced with Christ at the center of our life. Our savior will always be the Christ as our guiding light no matter what obstacles we are going through; the light of the universe and the light of all.

The negativity of the world is a reflection of individual' thought towards humanity. Conflicts and wars resulting to destruction of life is a major source of stress and devastated self. Inhumane treatment to others is a result of selfishness and greed. The world has never been peaceful even at the early age of time, but the greatest gift we could offer to the world is a little peace inside our heart and soul. We give out peace and we receive peace of mind in return. It's always good to be reminded that the holy week is about getting out of our personal sufferings that we ourselves have created. Our sick mind could manifest into sickness of our soul and physical body. To escape from suffering is to understand the cause of suffering and the way out of suffering.

On this Holy week, we hit the negativity that haunts us, even those that are closer to us. We repel the dark light and replace with a pure light from the Divine. People will poke us of our misdeeds and be the guide Leading us to Jesusour greatest source of strength in our lowest moment in time. We take the path we have chosen and we have the to understand the and accept the Divine power, love and light bestowed on us.

 © 2017 Del Cusay

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Circle of Life: Turning Back Time


Time travel seem to be impossible in a world that is preoccupied with the present and future living. What life may seem to be in ten or fifteen years or even beyond? What's the plan I will execute today that will change the compass of life? Clueless of what's going on enables one to reminisce and daydream forward. Going back or beyond the present time gives a glimpse of a meaningful journey of existence. When life's ups and downs knock you out is not a punitive reaction, but to awaken from a deep slumber of an impossible dream or maybe a worst nightmare.

A 'big bang' once change my life that's like a poke on the head. That was intense and painful beyond the physical level -- that was a different spiritual awakening ever! I couldn't resist, but to follow the inner compass -- a trusted barometer of life's goal and a future self. As I was saved from fiery place is a great redirection like an instant decision without a doubt. The 'big bang' that saved me no matter how painful it has been, may also be the 'big bang' that will help transform others in their own ways; wise decisions without guilt and bold actions that is mighty. No matter what life hits us, always depend on how we react and accept that we are vulnerable to untoward decisions resulting from faulty thoughts.

Going back in time, one has realized his potential and lived his greatest life because of right choices; no blockages along the way. As smooth as it flows, life has moved as fast and furious like there's no way of turning back. It was the best way of reaching ahead as fast as possible -- no distractions and defying limitations. Reaching the peak has some valleys that are tricky to navigate. Lost along the way may be challenging, but regaining oneself gave a hard-hit lesson not really to follow 'fast but sure' policy, but ones' own pace of living.

Back to the days when life seems rough gives courage to become braver to live in the present time. This is the  moment in time that is more realistic giving less stress than dwelling on the past and a future dream that is overwhelming. As I turn back time, it creates either wonderful or sorrowful memories that may be carried over a merit to the present and the future. The past may be ignored, however it could be the key to understanding the present reality. Having been somewhere doesn't mean the end of further exploration of what more it has to offer. One has to come back numerous times and enjoy a different perspective of living.

The circle of life is an amazing journey of giving in and giving up. Giving in to right thinking and decisions and giving up to unwanted thoughts and impulsive actions. By turning back time, I recall the good and the bad days where I learned and persevered. Keeping the challenge helps to correct and improve the knots; when untangled becomes a linear direction one has to go through. Reliving memories creates a nostalgic experience and it is in those times that we learn to grow and become better than ever. The circle of life is wonderful and the experience of turning back time is even meaningful and blissful not only in the present, but for a lifetime.

© 2017 Del Cusay


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Heart's Desire: Living A Humanitarian Life



This day marks the beginning of a new journey to life; the start of a soulful experience of a higher self beyond the physical realm of existence. This day also marks the re-discovery of true self beyond ego and lower emotions. When the lost soul wanders, it surely will find its place to regain self and follow the guiding light.

The lost chapters may be out of sight, however those darkest moments find a way to escape leading to a brighter and fulfilling journey. Through a deeper self-reflection, one has to find the right path and live with its soul purpose -- the so-called dharma.

The darkest moments in life are the unheard hopes and aspirations; the endless sufferings and blockages towards living a better life. Being redirected on a long tunnel is to experience the reality of the negative side of the physical world. To experience not just the good but also the unfavorable things beyond personal control. To be human is to experience suffering. Learn from it and continue to seek for the answer; find the truth and be the guiding light to those who wander. When you've been there, it will be easy to relate to the suffering one is dealing with and you become a master of your life -- your thoughts and emotions.

Those years when I started to discover another dimension of life, was a great spiritual experience and of personal transformation. It wasn't easy at the beginning. You have to undergo self-restraint and sense of control in thoughts and emotions. It was only then, lower emotions are defeated through enlightenment of the nature of man's suffering -- an endless suffering.

The initiation towards the path brought significant change not only to self but to a greater world. Being called to serve humanity and the world revealed the spiritual powers vested on me and it became a way of living.  Understanding the nature of  humanity requires certain values one must learn to live.  It was then I've learned to unleash love and compassion  that is innate and the core of our being. I couldn't have given it to people without deeper understanding and loving of my self. I have loved myself and had given it away.

Truly, humanitarian service is the greatest expression of love and compassion. To regain myself is to continue the lost journey. It will be a challenging task, but hopefully will be a rewarding journey ahead. Following Our Heart's Desire serves as a guide to live one's purpose and for me, service to humanity through education and personal development is the path -- the soul purpose to live and master not only today, but for a lifetime.

© 2017 Del Cusay


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The State of Philippine Justice System

Image source:  http://news.mb.com.ph/2017/02/07/senate-panels-begin-joint-public-hearing-on-death-penalty-bills/
The recent issue about the reinstatement of death penalty was brought up to legislative body and this has awaken the moral consciousness of the Filipino people who are in-favor and against capital punishment. The debate on death penalty is significant since it involve the present and future welfare of the Filipinos. We have been giving impulse statement or deepest insight as a symbol of freedom of expression on the moral and social implications of major decisions to be imposed for all Filipinos.

Our Nation's Justice System

Corruption is still evident in our political and justice system. Through the years, we have been dealing with corrupt practices of our leaders resulting to bad governance. Today, after many generation of living with a corrupt government, the justice system is still tainted with corruption issues and this has become a cancer of our society. In a country where the elite and rich are more powerful, only poor Filipinos are victims of injustice -- unfair judicial process. Those who have nothing can't stand up and speak up for themselves against opponents who have everything to escape from judicial execution. Unjust judicial system are in favor of them and the poor usually are the victims of oppression and impartiality of the judicial process.

Moral Dilemma 

Revival of the death penalty will only lead to a bigger problem. Our society will suffer from moral dilemma brought by corruption and loopholes on the judicial system. Those who are law offenders deserve some fair punishment through judicial trial once proven guilty. They are criminals, but they are also human being who happen to be directed to a wrong path in life. They can also be a victim of immorality and injustice and they have been trapped on this for years. Our society of millions of Roman Catholics believes on the teachings of the holy church. However, we are now becoming divided on this issue due to our spiritual disconnection. The recent War Against Drugs: A major Mistake  is brought by moral dilemma in our consciousness. We believe that man is good in nature, but we have become impatient and irrational on our social and spiritual beliefs. We have despised the church on their stand against any injustice and we ridicule our spiritual and political leaders who protects the moral and social welfare of everyone.

The root cause of crime

Solving root causes of heinous crimes must be the ultimate goal to accomplish. This will also correct impartiality in justice system. Everyone, rich or poor; old and young can commit a crime due to several circumstances. For instance, social justice is corrupted where equal opportunity is tarnished can lead to committing a crime. Poverty due to lack of resources and social services can lead to frustrations and faulty mindset leading to criminality. Most Filipinos are losing their moral and ethical values and that they're losing spirituality. The mindset that is corrupted with anger and vengeance will not correct our social problem, but it will only create a disastrous and chaotic society of lawless and violent citizens.

Some Filipinos are shouting for the revival of the death penalty due to conflict on their ethical and moral self . They have forgotten their spiritual nature of being a just and morally-upright human being. Most people are living in mental and spiritual torture carried away by lower emotions of hatred, anger, revenge and evil thoughts against humanity.

The problem with death penalty

Capital punishment is inhumane and immoral which is against the law of God and of man. We should not put criminal justice on our hands but it needs moral and just verdict in accordance with the rule of law and correct justice system. There is a need to cleanse the justice system to provide equal justice to all who have sinned against the law. We deserve social justice and as a civilized country, we must live according to moral and ethical decisions and actions. Our leaders must have a deeper insight on this issues and not for personal interests. Good governance is guided by right mindset and our leaders must be enlightened to speak for the welfare of all Filipinos. We don't want to see our leaders to be impatient, unjust and corrupt on their thoughts and actions. We must  choose to be on the bright side of life by helping people to regain themselves when they are lost and misguided.

A Moral and Just Society

Filipinos may be losing its identity and our leaders are becoming unjust, but we shouldn't give up on them. We have the obligation to speak up and remind them to practice good politics so we can achieve Good Governance Towards A Better Philippines. We deserve a nation that is lawful and morally-upright citizens and a government that will protect and win his people, not only today but for a lifetime. We will not give up on our nation that this will soon rise up to be a champion in human rights, human dignity and social justice. 

© 2017 Del Cusay





Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Evolution of The Mind: Path Towards Right Consciousness

I was in mid 20s when I decided to live a different path of human consciousness. It's not an ordinary life where freedom is absolute, but it was a life full of challenges and sacrifices. At first it was not so easy until I have discovered my capabilities and unique qualities that are beyond the limits. I struggled... I endured the pain and I persevered the uncertainties that comes my way. During those times I have pondered on the meaning of my existence and my role in service to humanity and the world.

I am blessed with being born from a loving and supportive family. My parents have raised us well and able to send us to good school to get the right education that eventually gave us a comfortable life. My parents valued  the education of their children more than what they have accomplished. For them education is an opportunity to succeed in life; although it may not be a guarantee, still they pushed us to get the education that we wanted. 

I graduated with bachelor's degree in nursing and became a registered nurse. Back then, I was fully supported by my family for what I would become -- to live my life as a nurse. Perhaps I would have become a bedside nurse abroad and live a more comfortable life just like other Filipino nurses that are enjoying the greener pasture. But those were just a missed opportunity and a fantasy to my vivid imaginations. I did not become a  nurse and I remain to live in my country. It was a failure since the goal was not hit and it diverted my attention to other things that can satisfy my senses and provoke my creative imagination. I started to think and asked questions about the future. What do I want? What will I become?  I needed a rescue out of the blue. Clueless about the future, I couldn't  think but act like a happy go lucky; no destination ... nothing to see. It was dark and I needed a guiding light.

Mid 20s is when I started to rewire my inner dialogue. Connecting the missing link that helped me to regain my life for the greater opportunity. That was the time I entered an ashram. A school of initiation for higher consciousness. I developed several intelligence that are not attained by ordinary people not devoted to spiritual journey. It was in the ashram that I learned to become a trainer and a public speaker. I decided to improve my skills both intrapersonal and interpersonal and it led to a magical journey -- I couldn't believe the things that I am capable of doing. I envision to be the best version of my self, upgraded my skills and learned to decipher reality from obsolete beliefs. The learning was truly indispensable and that made me who I am today -- renewed and transformed. 


To evolve in consciousness is to change self-limiting beliefs and habits that doesn't give meaning to higher existence -- universal service through spirituality. I meditated, chanted and used special mantra to achieve sense of contentment and bliss. It changed my personality and reached certain level of maturity through service. It was then I have learned to appreciate the tagline "Live Your Greatest Life." I thought living a good life is just enough, but then to live one's life to the fullest is something that is more meaningful and substantial -- truly a spiritual bliss. Then, going beyond esoteric practice is "Serving Humanity and The World." It was the ultimate realization and fulfillment of my goals. I discovered to unleash my hidden potentials and increased my self-worth. I became stronger and firm with my philosophies and elevated my personality to connect with stronger souls. If I didn't, then I wouldn't survived from the start. My inner compass would have directed me towards the path. 

I traveled and lived in India for more than a year and reached out to different groups. I became one with the people. I dressed up and maybe started to sound like them too. I met various groups; from the elite families and well-known personalities down to the grassroots level of the society. The experience gave me serenity and sense of purpose. I gained wisdom from eastern philosophies with an integration of western practicality and that contributed to confidence in exoteric teachings. In India, I taught different subjects that are mostly of spiritual origin. It was very fulfilling and memorable. My greatest achievement would have been the construction of "Third Eye" which is spiritually guided. It was then I felt the Divine guidance that intervened my being. I feel empowered and did extraordinary things. My life back then  may not be a common path to some, but being enlightened to some degree gave me a better perspective about the kind of life that one must live. Service to humanity is truly a benchmark or man's existence. Service to improve their lives and for them to search for a brighter meaning of their so called 'dharma' or soul purpose. It was in India that I became a master of my own thinking. I challenge my own self based on my choices, and persuade others for what they believe in that's not aligned with the universal truth revealed in the ashram.

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How could I thrive years of service when I started to bring back my old self? I strive to become better, yet couldn't see the light. Perhaps I challenged myself even more, then I realize that service to humanity is everywhere; in the community where we live in or in a place where life have brought us. Wherever we go is the place to leave a legacy. Maybe unknown to many, but popular to those whom we have touched lives. Our own 'dharma' is our legacy that is inherent to us. We may be wrong with our choices at times, but we can always choose to regain ourselves and become wiser and live a better life. We have been ridiculed, but our principles could help us to hit our target. There may be times when we no longer tune in to lower vibrations, yet we thrive to live an extraordinary life just like the old days -- deeper soul connection. 

Now that everything has change, I am still evolving towards the right path. I am still uncertain about the future, but with the evolution and integration of Divine energies, nothing can be greater than our renewed self. We continue to develop and we keep the spark to give some illumination to others. Our evolution will be for a lifetime and when the time comes that we need to look back to assess our old versions, then we can say that 'I did my best' and now  the path that I am taking is the path towards the right consciousness -- not from a selected group, but a universal consciousness that everyone deserves. 

©  Del Cusay




Monday, February 6, 2017

Pasinaya 2017: Arts for Peace


Preservation and restoration of the Philippine Arts and Culture has been a significant cause of Filipino artists and nationalists. Through the years, we have been slowly transformed into following a western lifestyle where we have accepted and embraced the modern way of living. Our entertainment has become westernized through modern music, dances and other performances. We have somehow lost our cultural identity of being a Filipino by heart.

The Pasinaya Festival 2017 which is the largest multi-arts festival aims to regain our Filipino arts and culture in all genres and they have been successful over the years in attracting followers and viewers on this festival.  It is through this initiative that we regain the glorious days of the past as experienced in our modern time. It brings a nostalgic feeling and an even past life regression to some extent. It's a vivid imagination of a refined and wonderful days of the past.

This year's theme is about bringing peace through arts and culture. When we are having national issues in peace due to political and cultural divisions and beliefs, we Filipinos are pulling the strings that connects us together -- as one nation. Our dear brothers whom may have different philosophical and political beliefs may have caused damage to our cultural identity as they may not have helped our government in cultural and arts preservation. We have been divided through years and we struggle to fight for a peaceful nation of strong yet gently people. This year's theme: "Arts for Peace" is a symbol of unity through diversity. We may have different voices; various faith and religion, yet we can become one nation through arts and culture. Filipino artists and viewers from around the country and the world convene together to witness and celebrate our national identity. That we are a Filipino and we are proud to say that I Am A Filipino in words, in deeds and thought.


The Pasinaya 2013 was a previous experience where Filipino-Chinese culture was embraced. We can live in harmony and camaraderie by sharing our culture no matter how different it is. We can appreciate and embrace it as part of our culture and tradition. This year 2017 is no different from previous Pasinaya event. The message is always clear that we can not move forward if we fail to deeply understand our national identity through arts, culture and heritage.

I am an advocate of the Arts, Culture and heritage preservation of our country and we deserve a national identity that is truly Filipino. As we work together for peace and progress, let's not forget our culture and heritage. This will be passed on to the next generation of heroic Filipinos. The future generation that is braver and stronger. A citizen who will continue to raise the voice to the world that we are 'One Filipino' in words, in deeds and thought -- today and forever.

© 2017 Del Cusay



Saturday, February 4, 2017

Good Governance Towards A Better Philippines


Our nation, our beloved Philippines has been on the spotlight of controversies since the beginning of Duterte's presidency. We have become a global newsmaker due to negative events that took place in our society brought by governmental policies both national and foreign. We have been condemned by the international community due to our president's undiplomatic approach to governance and communications. We may be enjoying the attention gained, but we may also be suffering the consequences brought by the madness and impatience of our President to solve the social problems of our time; poverty, corruptions, crimes... What is wrong with our President's government policies? Is he just being misunderstood or he himself is confused and incapable of leading the nation of more than a hundred million people? How could our President exercise good governance by being undiplomatic, irrational and showing violent social behavior? 

       Image source:   https://twitter.com/edangara/status/826980193172549632

PROBLEM IN COMMUNICATION

Our people, the Filipino people deserves a straightforward and seriousness in communication most especially from the president whose messages and major pronouncements are so important. What the president has to say to the Filipino people must be relevant and not subject for several interpretations from his communications team. Since the beginning of his presidency, we have observed some vague statements which later on were interpreted by his secretaries to defend him from further embarrassment. There's a circus in communication and that has caused confusion to the Filipino people. Is there something wrong with the president's way of communication? 

The Filipino people deserves a clearer communication from our leaders. Chaos due to misunderstanding happens when we are playing with words that we don't mean. We can decipher the truth from a false statement. We do not only hear, but instead we listen and try to understand every singe word coming from the most powerful man of our land. 

Great power bestowed to our president comes with greater responsibility to his people. He is responsible to his words, thoughts and emotions. Now, what is happening to our society is due to miscommunication from our government leaders most especially the president. We are now suffering from a major mistake in communication. For instance, the president has been clear from the beginning that the war on drugs will be bloody. We have been hearing the statements like  "I will kill you" and the non-stop cursing which is highly unacceptable and unbecoming of a statesman.

The President has planted a negative seed of thought  to his men -- to the law enforcers on his war on drugs. His thought forms suggest that extra judicial killing is a must to eradicate crimes due to illegal drug use and trading. He even mocked that he has killed drug addicts in front of policemen when he was a mayor in Davao city, southern Philippines. 

Now, what is the effect of the president's communication style? That negative seed of thought planted to the minds of our law enforcers are being corrupted and it has already materialized. We have the extra judicial killings happening everywhere in the country. We have the "tokhang for ransom" and "tanim droga" which is proven to be existent. These unfortunate events are caused by the false empowerment made by the president. The war on drugs accompanied by a due process is good, however abuses like extra judicial killing is not tolerable. We can't tolerate a lawless society and it will never lead to a peaceful country that we would want to achieve. 

PROBLEM IN CORRUPTION 

Corruption is a never-ending political and social problem that our country has been facing. It is like a cancer of our society and it has never been eradicated just like our problem with illegal drugs and criminality. The President has to focus on solving the root cause of our societal cancer and he has to set as an example of a leader who is just not only in words but also in deeds and thoughts. He should not corrupt the minds of his people. Corruption is not only in the form of money, but it is also on our moral and emotional and spiritual beliefs. 

The President has been tough to our church leaders who are consistently fighting for injustices and immorality in our society. He has cursed our priests, bishops and even the Pope. The President has corrupted our principle when he embraced China against our territorial right in the West Philippine sea. The President has corrupted our good relationship with our long-time ally, the United States. The President has corrupted the minds of the Filipino people in his stand about morality and justice system.  

VALUES EDUCATION, MORAL RECOVERY AND SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION

In school, we have taught our children the right values. However, there is a need to strengthen this approach and there must be an active participation of the family. Values education enhances ones' character and personality. If we can raise a  well-disciplined and responsible citizen, then we can have a better world to live in. 

We can envision a society free from conflicts and wars. For years, we have been on war; and that is war on poverty, crimes and now the war on drugs which is not the ultimate root cause of our social problem. We have to eliminate poverty consciousness and replace it with an abundance mindset. We will get tired of fighting our social problem if we will not go back to the basic. What is really happening within the family? What about our upbringing? Whatever happened to the teachings of our parents and of the church? 

GOOD GOVERNANCE IS FOR ALL

It's about time to consider what is the most important. According to Senator Angara, good governance also means good politics. Since we see something wrong with  our leaders' political stance and strategies, then we have not yet achieved good governance. It is for everyone and not just to our leaders. Even ordinary citizen has to contribute towards good governance. For years, we have been fighting for freedom of expression and today's generation are empowered to speak up for truth backed up by good values and character. We deserve a better Philippines and we should not wait for our leaders. We can also do it! As we work together for peace and progress, we can leave a good legacy to the next generation and they will enjoy a just and clean society that they deserve. 

© 2017 Del Cusay


Thursday, February 2, 2017

President's War on Drugs: A Major Mistake

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President Duterte is embarrased and disappointed with the corruption in the Philippine National Police and this resulted to halting of 'Oplan Tokhang' -- a term for searching and killing of those involved in illegal drugs use and trade. Illegal Drug users, drug lords and the so-called 'narco-politicians or protectors are not spared from the massive campaign on war on drugs. The declaration was made on the election campaign for May 2016 presidential election when Duterte said that it will be a bloody war on drugs to eliminate crimes. Filipinos who are convinced of eradicating heinous crimes due to illegal drug use supported Duterte and that made him win the presidency. That was his winning campaign promise to the Filipino people -- a promise giving false hope to the people.

About six months in office, it was reported that at least seven thousand alleged drug offenders were killed by policemen through the 'oplan tokhang' and this is considered as extra judicial killing since no due process of law was done. The scheme of killing instead of arresting was empowered by the President who vowed to protect and even pardon those policemen who might be sentenced guilty of extra judicial killing. But who empowers the policemen anyway? Who gave a go signal to protect the injustices and lawlessness act of our policemen?

Image source: http://frame.inquirer.net/2694/la-pieta/

Now that the morale of the Philippine National Police is low due to the killing of a Korean national who's alleged to be involve in drugs, the policemen are on the spotlight and the subject of blame and corruption by none other than his excellency.

If not due to the false empowerment made by the president, they wouldn't be a victim of the failure on the war on drugs. It is a failure due to the reason that the 'oplan tokhang' cost thousands of lives lost due to greediness and abuse of power by those in the authority. On this day, February 1, 2017, it was reported by the Amnesty International that Filipino cops are paid the amount of 8 -15 thousand pesos for every person killed due to drug involvement. As a prominent human rights organization, they have made a fearless report on the current status on the corruption in the Philippine National Police who are supported by higher office in the Philippines.

The extra judicial killing will continue until the end of Duterte's administration and we can expect that the number of people killed will increase significantly in the years to come. The war on drugs is not a 6-month game plan as promised, but it will continue to haunt for more greediness and corrupt practices if not corrected on the basis of lawful decision and action.

In due time, Filipinos will rise up from being a victim. People will decipher the truth from false leadership. Filipinos will again have a real voice and the power to stop the madness. Endless suffering will continue if we choose to be blind with the reality that is happening in our society. We deserve a peaceful country by not stepping on the human rights malpractices. A lawless society is cancerous and we are currently living on it. The power to cure an ill society lies not on the leaders alone but to every Filipinos who can be more vigilant, empowered to speak for the truth.

A major mistake is hard to forgive and  to correct especially when we are dealing with people's lives. So this must be stopped. We can start again by correcting those corrupt practices and false ideologies. It may be challenging, but we have to learn from this biggest mistake the hardest way.

© 2017 Del Cusay

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Celebrating the Chinese New Year 2017: An Auspicious Celebration


For centuries, Chinese immigrants from mainland China have established closer ties with the Filipinos. Since then, we have mutually embraced religious traditions and appreciated the rich culture and heritage that remains to be strong and lasting. Chinese merchants in the Philippines existed during the early years of civilization and became a great trading partner contributing to the robust economy and fortifying stronger relationships. Chinese people who have chosen to live and work in the Philippines were accepted by most Filipinos and they have brought massive influence to our culture and way of living.

Embracing the Chinese culture made significant impact in our lives. Their beliefs, wisdom and character is worth emulating. Chinese people have taught us how to live based on their life principles from the teachings of their religions. Buddhism which was brought to China, became a foundation of wisdom, humility and compassion. These traits which is embodiment of Buddhist philosophy are the same guiding principles on how to live a meaningful and fulfilling life; a better life worth living. 

Looking back, celebrating the Chinese new year 2013 was a memorable experience in Binondo, Manila. Known as the oldest Chinatown in the world, it has shown great transformation and preservation of Chinese-Filipino culture. The old and preserved houses and commercial buildings are a symbol of love and respect to its culture and heritage. For years, Manila Chinatown has given positive energy and vibrance to visitors and traders and they hold on to their beliefs that are passed on from generations to generations.

The graceful Dragon and Lion Dance 

Good luck and prosperity is attributed to the colorful dance presentation where dancers has to mimic the movement of a lion and a dragon; a mythical creature. Both symbolizes strength, wisdom and power in Chinese ideology. These dances are more popular during the Chinese new year, but it is also presented in various Chinese cultural, religious and political events. It is also a belief that these creatures ward of evil spirit and bring luck and fortune in business and life. Dancing graciously in a form of Chinese martial arts is a skill and it has entertained visitors for its graciousness.


Lighting of firecrackers and fireworks

Lion dance with firecrackers lighting up on the street makes a joyous and wonderful celebration. During the new year's eve, the street lights up with colorful fireworks and fireworks creating noise that is believed to drive away bad luck and attracts prosperity. The noise which irritates some is the same noise that brings wealth to the believers on new year. This kind of activity which originally enjoyed by the Chinese was also adopted by Filipinos and the world — such great influence they had.


Ang pao as a symbol of wealth and abundance

On the busy street is a parade of generous people giving away 'ang pao' to the visitors. This small red envelop with a money on it gives luck to the receiver. Financial abundance is significant to the Chinese and a year filled with financial prosperity is a blessing from God. Being poor is a mental disease and an abundance mindset is a key to success  a belief that brings prosperity in our lives.


Chinese people hold a lot of beliefs for personal, career, business and life in general. Some beliefs include collection of round shape fruits for a never ending prosperity. Tikoy which is a gelatinous delicacy is very popular and symbolizes sweetness and closer relationship with the family. Restaurants offering authentic Chinese foods including noodles, dumplings and other delicacies is a must for good luck. What else on the list? feng shui for prosperity and Chinese martial arts are some of the many influences brought by years of Filipino-Chinese partnership.

The year of the fire rooster in Chinese astrology will bring positivity to everyone. A hopeful year starts with having a positive mindset and clearing off negative past experiences that prevents us from moving forward. Faith is essential for success and all the symbolism can bring prosperity if accompanied by hard work and perseverance.

The Filipino and Chinese friendship will remain to be strong in years to come as we build trusting relationship with camaraderie and warm acceptance regardless of one's cultural upbringing and philosophical beliefs.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

What Can We Learn From President Donald Trump's Inaugural Speech

Image source:  cnn.com
The day when Donald Trump sworn to the millions of Americans and viewers from the world, marks the beginning of a new leadership that will truly rock our world; not just Americans, but perhaps the entire universe.

Jan 20, 2017 is yet another milestone in the history of the United States and of the world when a person not having any political background will be serving the most powerful nation the world has known. What could be his deepest intention for running for the most powerful position on the land? What could be running on his mind in solving the biggest problem and controversy? What can we expect from Trump presidency?

It was past midnight in the Philippines when I was able to watch the live telecast of the inauguration of Donald Trump in Washington DC, USA. As a Filipino, it is never unusual for us to follow American politics and affairs since American culture had been ingrained on our ways of living. As a former colony of the USA, we have benefited on so many things that makes us globally competitive and competent due to their massive influence.

After Donald Trump took his oath of office as the 45th President of the United States, I am enthralled by his inaugural speech not only for the American people but also to a Filipino like me. I haven't heard full speeches of him before and all I have listened to is negative story and news about him brought by the power of the media and some well-known personalities who may be against him. However, upon hearing his speech on a live telecast, I was impressed and I could feel the positive spirit covered on his personality. His message was clear, concise and full of positive hopes and dreams for the Americans. His message on the "American first" policy was so nationalistic given the economic policies and principles of the previous administrations. Like any nation in the world. every country must strive to protect and defend its own interest first before meddling on international affairs. The United States, as the most powerful nation has been consistent on its political and economic agenda in all its trading partners and global allies including my country, the Philippines. Our very own President, Rodrigo Duterte has been very vocal on his insights regarding the presence of the Americans in our land and whether they are really a true ally or just there to advance their own interests.
Image source:  cnn.com
"What truly matters is not what party controls our government but that this government is controlled by the people."

Trump would want bring back the real power to his people. When other countries like the Philippines gained wealth from the Business process outsourcing industry, that could soon be brought back to the minds and hearts of the Americans. Its an act of patriotism considering thousands of jobs that is lost on his own people who are also struggling for a better living. Though it will surely have a negative impact for Filipinos on the BPO industry, still I believe that we Filipinos will remain to be resilient even if we lost it to the Americans. They own it and we're grateful to have been given the opportunity to be of service to them; even temporarily. 

"We are one nation, and their pain is our pain, their dreams are our dreams, we share one nation, one home and one glorious destiny."

Trump believes on his own people and shares common goals and dreams. A leader who shows trust and confidence that his people can make it no matter what happens. A leader who shows his own dream for the future of his country. A visionary leader is very rare, but we may have seen how strategic he is even on personal business matters. He is a man who is fortunate to gain wealth with all his powers and the greater power he believes in. He assures unity and solidarity when he started to see where the division is coming in his country. This trait I hope will be instilled on the minds of our leaders in the Philippines -- not to cause division, but unity and camaraderie for all. I must believe that a great leader is an excellent protector of the interest of the common people and not just the interest of elitist and people of the highest stature. 

"Do not allow anyone to tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. We will not fail, our country will thrive and prosper again."

When all seem to fail, nothing beats the power of positivity; that everything can be accomplished and achieved no matter how difficult it seem to be. When we are being challenged by our plans and decisions, we can never go wrong if it is within our moral conscience that is Divinely-inspired. Like us Filipinos, we always aspire to be excellent in our dealings and becoming world-class citizens. We aspire to have a positive impact in this world and to be recognized as one of the world's best people. We can't allow anyone to destroy or put hindrance on who we are and what we may become. With confidence, we allow positivity to flourish on our soul making us 'titanium' and truly unbreakable. We are what we think and we believe on ourselves when nobody else was.

"Your courage, goodness and love will forever guide us along the way."

Like a compass, it shows us the right direction. Just like virtue of compassion and good-will, it can guide and direct us towards the right path -- a blissful living. Courage is a fuel that drives us to excel. When we are weak, there's an absence of will-power and to regain it is a challenge to take. The Filipinos must learn to build up strong political power like the United States does. Through the years, we have seen weak leaders who are afraid of implementing social and political changes, until recently that we have elected a leader with a strong will-power whom others compare to Trump in political stance and behavior. Although will-power is a must have virtue a leader must possess, still it is to be taken with great responsibility. With the right mindset, an open and big heart and the will-to-good principle, we can never go wrong and we can soar high above and beyond.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Dalai Lama on What Matters Most

Image from: https://goo.gl/images/yn5RG5
The world we are living at the moment may be full of chaos, suffering and never-ending conflicts and global problems that are hard to solve. We are living in this world as an effect or consequences of past life struggles and miseries that are carried until the present times. The "Law of Karma" which originated in Buddhist philosophy applies this scenario of the rebirth or a cycle of violence, intolerance, war and suffering that we see and get to experience in our time.

What could have happened from the past that the humanity continue to suffer at the present time? Why does humanity experience the ill-effect of wars brought by the differences in beliefs? What shall the humanity need to do to stop the cycle of suffering for the benefit of the next generation? These are some questions to ponder on the nature of humanity and the world and how Buddhism plays a major role in this modern world.

Buddhism is not just a religion, but  considered as the science of mind. It is philosophical in nature and tries to answer even the most difficult question about life; man's nature and reason of existence. The Dalai Lama, known as the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhist, is a living Buddha of compassion. We can learn from his philosophy and insights about what truly matters in our existence to this world -- the role we need to play for a better life and a better world.

Noriyuki Ueda, a Japanese Anthropologist was one of those who would want to seek for an answer about the nature of the humanity and the world. He had an opportunity to meet The Dalai Lama in Dharamsala in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. He spent two days of quality discussion and interview with The Dalai Lama, and that was truly an inspirational moment to have been granted a great privilege to sit with a Holy man. It was even more wonderful when the output of the interview was made into a book entitled: The Dalai Lama on What Matters Most.

Like Noriyuki Ueda, I am also delighted to learn more about Buddhist philosophy and The Dalai Lama's perspective on what truly matters. In 2013, Meeting with His Holiness The Dalai Lama in Dharamsala was a blessing. It was truly a memorable and meaningful moment in my life to have met a compassionate man and a living Buddha. It was only in his book when I first get to know who he is and what are his greatest contribution in this world.

What Can Buddhism Offer? Cultivating a compassionate nature. This is where we are attuned with a caring, loving-spirit and an open heart to everyone regardless of race, creed and social status. We strive to build an altruistic society despite our differences in faith, cultural and even political beliefs. This is very notable in today's time when we reach out as brothers in times of difficulties. International aid in times of wars, conflicts and natural calamities; we have seen how humanity is united beyond borders. When we offer humanitarian aid, we do not think of our personal, religious or political differences. We provide help to everyone: muslims, hindus, buddhist and christians. We are one and we think of the survival of our dear brothers without hesitation and not through religious affiliations. An altruistic society is brought by a compassionate nature where one has an open heart to help and to serve.

Compassionate anger, is another virtue worth cultivating. It may sound negative, but it is a positive approach towards peace and detached world. Nowadays, people are becoming attached to materialism. People may desire for more; becoming rich and achieving more power. However, attachment to these may lead to suffering. Wealthy people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet may be one of the world's most powerful in terms of financial assets, however they use philanthropy to solve some of the world's problem like poverty. They give massive amount of their wealth to charities and even pledged to give entirely when they die.  Gaining wealth and giving it away for the benefit of the humanity is truly commendable act of sacrifice and altruism. When many people started praying, these wealthy people are already giving away with an open mind and a big heart.

Love is something we give without any condition; hence the term unconditional love to people and everyone who are good and bad. Showing love to enemy, may not be a bad thing or a wrong move. It is a  result of having an open heart and a greater attachment to peace of mind. In times of trouble when we are no longer able to ask help from the people who used to be closer to us, it may be an enemy who will provide the answer to our prayers. Love really works in mysterious way. Those who were persecuted, abandoned and considered an enemy are most likely grateful for the turn around of events. There's always a blessing in disguise even with our worst enemies. Jesus would not have been the center of Christianity without the role played by Judas, his fallen disciple and Pontious Pilate who ordered his death. Also, The Dalai Lama is grateful for the pains and sufferings he experienced since he became stronger, even more powerful and became a global inspiration. For love is unconditional, we give it to all; even to those whom we think doesn't deserve at all.

'Enlightened Buddhism For A Modern World' is a calling to humanity. It's not about religion, but a philosophy that may be universal -- applicable to all. Back in 2013, Land of The Tibetans in Dharamsala: Closer to Heaven was my first encounter with the Buddhist people who may have achieved some enlightenment or perhaps on the path of Bodhisattva. I am a Christian, but I aspire for some enlightenment through the teachings of Buddhism. The virtue of peace, love and compassion is very relevant in today's world and these are the core teachings of Buddha for the humanity. Being enlightened is a spiritual gift and we learn to share it to others. What truly matters is our intention. With an open heart, we can achieve global peace and peace of our mind, soul and spirit.

© 2017 Del Cusay

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Nazareno 2017: Devotion to The Feast of The Black Nazarene


"Upon my reflection, it's not wonder why Filipino devotees would flock on the feast of the Black Nazarene. The image of the passion of Christ is a symbol of our suffering and unending challenges. The pains brought by the desire to touch the rope is a symbol of our sacrifice and hope that 'everything will be alright' after the chaos or suffering."


The feast of the Black Nazarene is known to millions of Filipino devotees and faithful who are witnesses to the miracles of the Holy image of Christ. The image which came from Mexico and was transported to the Philippines on the 17th century gave meaning to our lives as a symbol Christ's passion and suffering on the cross. Though the flocks of devotees started in 1950s, it remains at the present as one of the most revered Christian event in the Philippines. Since then, Filipino devotees strengthened their faith through the healing powers and blessings brought by the Black Nazarene into their lives.


This year , the traslacion took 22 hours, almost a day of sacrifice to venerate and be able to hold the rope that is attached to the carriage of the Holy image. This tradition has been consistent every year, though many devotees defy any terror threat and a little discomfort as an act of sacrifice. What could be the significance of this event to the millions of devotees? How could this belief strengthen their faith? What miracles does it truly give after their sacrifice? These are some of the questions that needs spiritual reflection and answer from a true devotee.

Back in 2013, I've witnessed the massive gathering of the faithful. The Feast of The Black Nazarene 2013. That was my first time to attend the live religious event of the Black Nazarene. I didn't witness the traslacion, but I solemnly pray my intentions inside the Minor Basilica, known as the Quiapo church. That was a memorable experience and since then, I had a devotion to celebrate it on its feast day wherever I may be.

Last year, Celebrating The Feast of The Black Nazarene 2016 was fulfilled. That was my second time to attend the live event as I missed the two consecutive years. It was a peaceful gathering in the vicinity of  the Quaipo church where devotees pray for intentions and blessings. Beyond the experience is the religious awakening and being one with the millions of Filipinos who are hopeful of achieving a meaningful and fulfilled life.

This year 2017, I haven't attended the live event, however I continue to follow and keep an update of the celebration. Upon my reflection, it's not wonder why Filipino devotees would flock on the feast of the Black Nazarene. The image of the passion of Christ is a symbol of our suffering and unending challenges. The pains brought by the desire to touch the rope is a symbol of our sacrifice and hope that 'everything will be alright' after the chaos or suffering. Thus, we believe in miracles. Something that God can give in a mysterious way. When we are defeated. When people suffer and becoming sorrowful, comes an open hand and a grateful heart to receive God's intervention when we rely to his power. What God can do to us is limitless, and we Filipinos believe that no matter how hard life seem to be, still we can make it if we surrender everything to God's loving mercy. The feast of the Black Nazarene inspires people to be committed and devoted wherever life will take us and whatever we do in life. For God loves us, and we give back love to the Lord, our God in return.



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