Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Road Ahead: Setting A Goal and Getting Started

Oftentimes it's hard to get things done when everything seem to be just a plan or a goal to be set in the future. Yes, there are times when we are preoccupied with thoughts that are about to happen in a distant future, but all we do it to keep on rehearsing until it becomes polished or perfect. However, no matter how refined our thoughts may be, nothing will happen with our goals if it's just a thoughtform without necessary action. For years, this has been the reality to most people who are dreamers; setting a goal, but not acting on it until everything is perfect. A certain perfection would mean no room for failure and everything must be smooth sailing.

Whether our intention is directed towards personal development; like for instance developing our self-esteem to finally quit the corporate job and become a freelance professional, such thing brings excitement though a vivid imagination. A dreamed reality is hard to distinguish from a real life achievement, though the latter is the most real and not just pure imagination. Just like a real dream when we thought that it happened already. The moment we wake up seems that it was real and not a dream state. A dejavu or whatever we call it, a dream will remain as a dream and an action will become a reality.

For some, learning to drive and owning a car is a dream. It's not just a luxury these days but a necessity in everyday living. Since a kid, we have been dreaming of driving a car even the most fancy one. Anyway, it's just a dream, but we never realized that it's the simple dream that can make it turn into a reality. Through perseverance, we have worked on this goal and there comes a time when we have achieved it. Owning our dream car has become a reality, and for others it's a fantasy, but that is now their reality. As a Sales Consultant, helping people acquire their dream car is my goal and once they have owned it and drive for the first time, it brings certain level of happiness and excitement to discover the road ahead. It's the imagination of reaching a desired destination that brings joy to self that no matter how tough the journey, still we have the courage to finish the trip.

Another thing is about the journey to entrepreneurship when some may have planted on their thoughts that someday, they'll  run their own business and  manage their own people who will help them achieve personal goals. It takes years of endless planning, but there's no action to start the process of owning it. It's not merely based on fear alone; it's not about lack of knowledge, but it's about the lack of courage and perseverance. How about pursuing post-graduate studies? Do you aspire to get ahead in a corporate world? That's just 2 yrs and you'll have an advanced degree deserved to get promoted and eventually raise in salary. So many dreamed realities that will remain to be a state of inertia unless acted through force. That's a law and the universe tell you otherwise.

Even simple goals have remained as a thoughtform. Is it the goal to achieve physical fitness? Going to the gym and getting rid of some unwanted cellulites? How about hiking and mountain climbing? Was it last year that you have promised to climb a mountain before the year ends? what happened? Simple goals yet so hard to start. I may be like that or you may be like that in some ways. That's my story and you have your own story to tell. It's a popular quotation I always remember that "The best thing to get ahead is to get started" and that must be true. It gives us the courage to make a brand new start. Not to live based on fear and anxiety, but living a life of power and mighty.

So when is the right time for it to happen? in the future? when exactly? well, there's to perfect time, but to act now. I've written something about The Power of Now: Being Aware and Present and it about the present awareness and consciousness of events that are relevant in our lives. Similar to our goals, we have to stop on chasing perfection but rather to enjoy the journey along the way and correct things as it goes... the journey goes on and setting a goal is just a single step, but getting started is when we get ahead in life beyond our wildest dreams and aspirations.

© 2018 Del Cusay

Friday, February 16, 2018

Celebrating Chinese New Year 2018: Prosperity and Abundance

Chinese culture and tradition was preserved by the Chinese-Filipino living in the Philippines from several generations and they have continued to influence Filipinos in many ways. Our lifestyle which includes the food, clothing, belief system and even modern technology are embraced and valued. We are always delighted by the colorful sights and architectural designs and entertained with musical instruments that are classical. These are some of the influences we've adapted for centuries and will continue to exist in generations. Chinese tradition is worthy of preservation since they show us how to love our culture; to show respect to older people and to share blessings to others.

It was in 2013 when I first experience Chinese new year in Binondo. The street was not as crowded as the celebration in 2018, yet people enjoy the scenes and the Chinese cultural presentation. Celebrating the Chinese New Year 2013: A New Beginning is something worth reminiscing since it awakened my curiosity and facination with Chinese history and culture and their massive influence in Filipino culture. Today, Binondo is not only a great cultural hub, but an important economic center in Manila. The district is vibrant and creates a nostalgia as the wold's oldest Chinatown. Centuries of cultural and economic ties that have formed great friendships and closer relationships. There's a certain bond that unites us and by embracing each other's culture and beliefs, we're leaving a legacy to the future generations of the lasting friendships we have formed through the years. 

Celebrating Chinese New Year 2017: An Auspicious Celebration was about optimism and higher hopes of what's about to happen or a prediction of fate. Truly a magnificent celebration becomes surreal and it does wonderful thing about present and future living. With Chinese zodiac, prediction has become magical and brought a wondrous surprise. Being hopeful to the highest degree attracts opportunities and that was a turned reality in 2017. Something wonderful happened and another chapter has opened which is bigger and brighter. 

The year 2018 was also welcomed; full of hopes and aspirations for more abundance and a prosperous living. A comfortable life that we have been dreaming of and a simple life that is dedicated for service. No matter what influences we have embraced, still we are a Filipino in words, in deeds and thoughts. We will continue to be more optimistic about what is unknown and does not live in fear, but the courage to face the challenges with perseverance and a positive attitude. Like the Tsinoy or the Chinese-Filipino, they have succeeded in life because of their minset of abundance; of having enough and always asking for more so that they too can share what they have. Prosperity is about receiving and acknowledging the blessings that are coming into our life and taking a part of it to give back and become a blessing to others who are in need. May the year 2018 gives a meaningful life; a prosperous and abundant life and dreams coming true in the years to come. 

© 2018 Del Cusay

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Never Chase For Happiness: You can Create it

Some people say that to be happy we need to be successful at what we do; we have to reach for our dreams, our destiny and not the imagined reality. Well, that sounds true to some, but happiness starts to ignite from within. It is not to be chased and it is never a destination. It may be a journey that we create that even on the crossroads we still find that little spark of happiness.

There was a guy who was never content of his present life. He finds his world as dull and unexciting. Full of doubts and negativity, he always find happiness in the presence of group of friends and is dependent on them. He is not fully in control and tend to worry in the absence of his friends with whom he considered as his own family. He has a lifestyle that others couldn't afford and felt happy for having a group of friends who share the same personality and lifestyle. The guy wanted to win his friends by bragging about the new things he own and that makes him happy when he is praised or idolized. It's a kind of narcissistic personality that is too expensive for someone to possess. Wherever he goes, he has to compete with others and doesn't want to get left behind. For him, he can be happy if in the presence of friends but can't motivate ownself. Happiness is something he has to chase from others to get comfortable and secure and felt down when alone.

Happiness is something we create and not entirely dependent on others' opinion of us. There is happiness in solitude even more than the presence of a group or team. Happiness comes from security of oneself and the confidence to own a personal battle. Wherever we go we find happiness from even small things that are meaningful. Certainly, we create our own reality and we can always survive a journey of a thousand miles if we can rely on ourselves. Happiness comes from within and  is projected to others. We create a wave of happiness that is contagious and that improves our feelings and intrapersonal relationships. Happiness is everywhere, but all along it can be found first not from afar or a specific type of person or a group. It is when we recognize our soulful desires that makes our heart feeling joyful leading to eternal happiness we truly deserve.

© 2018 Del Cusay

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Pasinaya 2018: Love for the Philippine Arts

As a Filipino, it is always our duty to uphold loyalty and patriotism to our country. When we were conquered by foreign invaders, we have adopted their ways; language, arts, music, culture and tradition. For hundreds of years until the present time, we have these influences on our lifestyle; our way of living. We have embraced colonialism and we have slowly neglected our original identity of being a Filipino. Although, we are considered to be of mixed races by blood, still our identity will be the soul of our nation and as One Filipino, we will take pride of our culture wherever we are and in whatever that we do.

In today's time however, there is a need to preserve our culture through the arts. The latest generation of Filipinos would have to appreciate the richness of the Philippine culture and pass it on the next generation. Culture and tradition should never stop and it must continue to exist and evolve, but not to obliterate. Hence, we can truly preserve it not only in literal form, but also in our minds and hearts. 

To appreciate and preserve our culture through the arts, the Cultural Center of the Philippines has been celebrating its annual Pasinaya Festival, the term which means to 'inaugurate' or the 'opening' of something that is grand and festive. The Pasinaya festival, on its 14th year is gaining a much deserved attention from those who love arts and culture. It is a 2-day festival dubbed as "Palihan at Palabas" where art lovers can enjoy workshop offering on various arts like dancing, singing, acting, writing and theatrical performances. This is followed by a great showcase of artistic talents and renditions before thousands of viewers who appreciates and loves art. 

This is my 4th year to experience the Pasinaya Festival and it never failed to amuse and entertain. It's the great feeling of being a Filipino to see performers from different art genres who came from different parts of the country. The viewers continue to grow every year and they are joyful with the presentations which they may have not seen before. The elegance, graciousness and glamour of ancient Filipinos only shows some refinement with their way of living. So today, in our time we take a glimpse of how modern Filipinos can take us back to the early days where life seem to be simple.

The CCP Resident companies are always on the spotlight. The classical pieces of Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra; The modern pieces of the UST Philharmonic Orchestra;  the gracefulness of Ballet Philippines and Tanghalang Pilipino and the Bayanihan Folk Dance Company and other performing groups have shared their timeless pieces that are truly a product of class and elegance.

Last year's Pasinaya 2017: Arts for Peace  was a great experience and the viewers were moved by the years' theme when Filipinos can be united through arts despite the unending conflicts. Arts for peace is significant in years to come as we battle to achieve everlasting peace and harmony. While on this year 2018, is a calling to show our deepest love for arts to revive our pure sense of patriotism.

Cultural preservation and fascination through arts will go a long way if we are united and show deeper love and loyalty to our national identity. Pasinaya Festival will be one of the greatest gifts that we could offer to the future generations as they continue to reflect deeply on who they are and what they can show and contribute to the world. This is just a beginning of igniting our artistic abilities to prove ourselves and show to the world that we are a Filipino with a soulful desires and greatest love to our nation through cultural appreciation and rendition. 

© 2018 Del Cusay

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Power of Now: Being Aware and Present

Living in a fast paced world as we are now is like a marathon; a race with uncertain outcome. People are always in a hurry, but end up arriving late in the destination. Along the way, we bumped with each other in an attempt to get ahead. There's a lot of shouting, screaming or even crying. No matter how hard it seem to be, still a determined soul can conquer obstacles and overcome defeat. There's no way to quit, but to continue the race towards the peak.

Unhurried life isn't a thing nowadays even in a rural village. We are all connected by the power of technology and we seem to get the latest information in real time, at the particular moment and as needed. Through an upgrade in transportation and communication, everything is quick and instant; as fast as teleportation if it's real. Getting towards a destination excites us and the journey becomes a cherished expedition. Years ago, life isn't that complicated and people enjoy much on the present moment of  their lives. As compared to the present time, most people are living in their past when they can't leave their worries behind. Others may be living in an uncertain future and become anxious of what lies ahead. That's life! truly complicated.  Whatever comes in the head are noises that are unfiltered coming from different sources and even our own prejudice.

Living in the past and in the future is inevitable. When the mind wanders mean lack of focus and awareness of the present; not truly conscious -- not being aware. A complicated living of being not present in the moment has its consequences. We become distracted and less productive. Our worries, fears, uncertainties are enemies to productivity and consciousness. Though it is a result of previous traumatic experiences, we are still in control and has the power to bring back to a normal state of being; where we enjoy the present moment and truly living. As we go through the next level of spiritual existence, we learn to ignore or filter those noises that will not benefit our being. We become alert and more focus on what we are doing and the result is fascinating  a stress-free living.

Being present and aware at the same time is a gift to ourself or to someone dear to us. When we are aware and conscious of someone's presence, they feel being accepted and loved by us. However, when we ignore their presence, they will feel neglected, abandoned and uncared for; that's miserable and unacceptable. But in today's world, there's another side of the story, we oftentimes focus on our own; our personal intention and goals to achieve. We go on our own without the validation from others. That's consciousness from the personal level. We go for a healing when our soul finds its peace and beingness.

The power of now is so powerful that we experience and practice mindfullness. We do not allow a mind that wanders, but we focus our intentions back to our present reality. We choose to be peaceful and live a stress-free life leading to our health and wellbeing. The power of now is a spiritual gift to people that surrounds us. When we are at peace with ourselves, we are present in our dealing with people no matter what happens and we deal with life peacefully as it happens. That's the power of presence and awareness  the power of now!

© 2018 Del Cusay

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Pit Señor 2018: Celebrating Pajotan de Sto. Niño

Devotion to the Holy Child Jesus or popularly known as Sto. Niño has been celebrated in the Philippine archipelago yearly particularly in the month of January. This is not just a tradition among the faithful, but it is a meaningful celebration of being a youthful and cheerful servant or believer of the Holy child. The image which was brought by the Spaniards was the reason of our celebration. Since then, Christianity has spread in the Philippine Islands and our ancestors have embraced Christ; our Lord and savior. Several generations have passed and we're still allured by the charming image of the Holy infant. In the Philippines, there are several parishes whose patron is Sto. Niño. Cebu City, being the recipient of the first Holy image given as a gift celebrates the Sinulog festival on the third Sunday of January. In Iloilo City, they also celebrate the Dinagyang festival on the same week as of the Sinulog. These two festivals have become one of the biggest religious event in the country and have attracted thousands of followers who are witness to to the grandeur of this festivity.

On this day, January 21, I have witnessed once again the devotion to Sto. Niño. From the old commercial district of Pajo in Caloocan and passing along the Parish of San Roque, thousands of devotees including children have shown their faith through a long procession of the Holy image. Devotees have been creative and vibrant in showcasing their images. Some parents would carry their children on their shoulder as they dance through the beat of the drums. Truly, the significance of this celebration is the innocence of the child who is full of wonders and giving a sense of happiness and joy to the parents and to everyone. It was in 2013 that I have witnessed one the the biggest celebration of Sto. Niño in Luzon. Celebrating The Feast of Sto. Niño de Tondo gave a meaning to a personal devotion; a reflection of one's faith to the Divine. 

In 2016, Celebrating Pajotan de Sto. Niño was another chance to witness and take a glimpse of this celebration. Two years after, it became more upbeat and alive. Unlike other religious procession, this is not the solemn type since they would carry the image and have it move or dance. This however is a personal devotion and belief. In the end, it is our faith that matters. Just like the Holy child Jesus, we must show innocence, but our faith must not be stagnant, it must keep on growing and flowing. We keep on expanding our faith so as to reach people to keep on believing and have faith in God no matter what challenges they are facing. 

© 2018 Del Cusay

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Heart's Desire: Path to The Divine Light

We seek the power of the Divine light whenever we encounter unpleasant events in our lives; the darkest moments that blocks our path to see the light. We seek for Divine protection when we feel weak and needs comfort when we are in deepest pain. We may have struggled and endured the pain, but one thing is for sure that there is a meaning in suffering. As we go along with our personal battles, we may experience the presence of Divinity in our community; the church, the parishioners, the servants, the followers and the believers. We belong to a community that is Divinely inspired and committed to serve on its Divine purpose.

It is through our heart's desire that we envision a greater community of the faithful.When one is called to serve his purpose, it will become a reality through the support and cooperation of the chosen community. Our wish; our desire is the presence of Divine love to all; regardless of one's creed, societal status and character. Our merciful and loving God has called its people to renew their faith no matter how sinful one has become. Greediness, hatred and lack of compassion may have degraded our character, but our spiritual nature cleanses and heals our flaws making us a stronger faithful. There is a Certain Holiness in You no matter how sinful one may have become. At some point, we are bound to fail and stumble upon the dark. When the soul is in the dark, there is surely a light that would shine to serve as a guide and to lead the rest towards the Divine path. 

The foundation of the church is stronger as it is built with love and compassion. People from even the farthest location are called to follow and to serve. There's no hindrance to a spiritual path when one is called to serve and believe. Doubts and uncertainties are inevitable, but a stronger community will surpass the negativity and support each other bringing more light to the path. There's no big or small contribution as long as it is wholeheartedly given through Divine inspiration and guidance. Individual and group contribution will go a long way making the church and the spiritual community a leader whose obligation is to spread the message of hope and peace and love to all. 

The church is built closer to its people; we continue to make it bigger and brighter for generations to come. When the unknown future creates fears and doubts, we call for the Divine, just like when we call our mother when we are frightened and helpless. Our merciful and loving mother would rescue its child and save him from harm and danger. We are always being heard when we call for Divine help; when we can't stand alone on our battles and easily defeated by the dark. Until we call for Divine guidance, we remain to be weak and helpless. Through the spiritual community founded, we are one for all and we feel the warmth - - the Divine presence.  We become clearer with our plans and decisions, we are guided with our personal intentions and we become a servant to those who needed help. Years may have passed by and the church that was built by the faithful will continue to become a haven for everyone: the lost and wandering souls and those seeking the path towards Divine love and light. 

© 2018 Del Cusay

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year 2018: Beyond The Limits

That was a tough year 2017. A roller coaster of unforeseen events and unexpected triumphs; an opportunity that was never lost but continuously on a cycle. When I looked back to the previous year, I am still overwhelmed of the circumstances experienced and feeling grateful of what I have achieved in any ways. What I have learned through the years is that when the door closes, certainly a window will be opened for another milestone and breakthroughs. The year 2017 ended with a positive spirit and gratitude to the Divine while looking forward for a great life it has to offer for the year 2018 for myself, my family, friends and everyone whom have made a significant impact in my life.

To celebrate New Year means a celebration of a new life full of hopes and optimism for a brighter future. I always look forward for the brighter side and taking away the negativity that may become a hindrance towards future success. Looking forward doesn't necessarily mean inability of looking back from past living; where struggles, obstacles and defeat are always inevitable. It's always good to look back for self-realization leading to stronger determination. Whatever we have gone through will not change but we can always learn a lesson for a positive change and renewal. To celebrate a New Year is just a start of another challenges to take and hindrances to break. New Year 2016: A New Beginning was a liberation of the mind and grounding back to reality. Attainment of higher consciousness will always be instilled on the mind and will be the guide for a greater living beyond the physical plane.

A thousand miles journey will be needing a guide; a GPS that will lead towards a destination. It's the will that can complete the journey no matter how far it may seem. Time will be the barometer of success; either we arrive on time, behind the time or ahead of time. New Year 2017: A Hopeful Journey was about having the faith and perseverance that things will be better ahead of time; that another life is waiting and it will be something bigger and still significant. Truly that was a greater opportunity given and will continue to persevere no matter what challenges I may face. Time has come that I don't have to be on the same level of fight, but to understand and find a meaning on every challenges encountered. I ended the year 2017 with a bigger fight of optimism that things would become better and healing would eventually take place for the benefit of the a greater whole.

A New Year celebration with the family is always a source of joy; to be reunited and gain positive insights about living. When things go wrong, it needs to be fixed in a different perspective. We may have been defeated and put to test, but we can always reconnect the dots and rewire the broken lines to become full and complete again. The principle of higher consciousness is beyond our lower emotions; beyond our limits. We can always stand up again and face the world with greater heights and clearer view of the path. The road ahead is always about advance thinking and ability to see the next episode of life. The year 2018 is welcomed with a greater energy. The light from above will serve as a reminder that things certainly become brighter even in the dark. We can rise up from the challenge and will emerge as a champion —  a winner in life.

© 2018 Del Cusay

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