Monday, June 26, 2017

Eid'l Fitr: A Moment of Peace

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

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

We are unsure what the future will bring to the people of Marawi, but we are one in prayers for their rehabilitation  their hopeful journey to recovery. It may be a spiritual test, but part of the recovery is understanding the nature of the Divine. A Violent God in Our Time would punish his people for the greater good and eventually achieve a heaven-on-earth life. Everyone can become a victim and a sacrifice for the future of humanity. It may be unjust, but that's the present reality in this world. People can kill others for wealth, power, and influence; a dictator can order a massive killing of his people; countries may bomb a non-allied nation. There's really evil in this world that is trapped in the hearts and minds of the radicals. 

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

© 2017 Del Cusay

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day Special: The Greatest Gift

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

It might be hard to emulate his ways, but I have learned from my father all these years to be generous and kind to people. As a public servant, he has the heart to serve the people in our locality and is driven and committed to giving back to society in any way he can. His kindness created a ripple effect of goodwill, and people were quickly drawn to his personality. His values and character make him win people's hearts, and it is his best weapon in staying on the ground and remains to be strong. 

As courageous as he is, I have learned to be challenging yet gentle and always do my best to be on the good side -- never to allow defeat when fighting for the right. His way of handling issues is always simple; he gives outright advice to inspire and move your spirit.

My father may have won several battles, but he is brave enough to surrender everything beyond his control to the Divine. As a wise man, he believes and surrenders to God his challenges and can surpass all those trials through his faith. As our provider, he is 'leading the way' and is always responsible as a father to our family and community.

He always thinks of the welfare of other people and would think of ways how to be of service to a greater whole. I may never know what the future holds, but I will continue to follow the path he has shown and cultivate kindness to others. 

It is always a challenge to me how to become a better person, and it would take commitment and perseverance to become a better version of oneself. It's a choice we make, and when our soul purpose ignites the sleeping giant within, we can move the mountains if we keep our faith on a higher level. 

His journey in life is never easy, as he is confronted with obstacles that make him stronger. As he punches the barriers, he can envision limitless possibilities that we can achieve. He may have started to be a nobody, but with his determination and willpower, he has reached a milestone that we are all proud of. I will forever be a follower and continue the path that was started. After all, the greatest gift is not through materialism, fame, and riches but the gift of everlasting joy and fulfillment through service. 

© 2017 Del Cusay

Monday, June 12, 2017

119th Philippine Independence Day: Freedom in Our Hearts

Philippine national hero -Jose Rizal as a visionary leader, once expressed his deepest sympathy against massive aggression against his countrymen by foreign invaders. In his younger years, he witnessed the abuses and suffering of his own family and carried all the emotional baggage of his youth until he became a full-grown man.

In his youthful days, Rizal was already a champion in many ways, and he has proven his capacity through outstanding leadership in his family and the community where he belongs. He was a great believer in the youth and their power to do great things, so he once uttered,  "The youth is the hope of the Fatherland," a heroic statement we always remember. Back then, Rizal was just a little boy, but with a powerful physical, mental, and emotional character; such a commendable trait in his time. 

Today, in our generation, after more than a century, how many of us have inherited those traits of a hero. Who among our youth has shown the deepest respect and concern about our nation. How many Filipinos genuinely care and will continue to fight for the freedom that we have achieved through the years. Becoming a hero is never an easy task, but to become nationalistic is a meaningful expression of what it is like to become a true Filipino.

Conflicts, violence, and wars continue to happen in our time. It is unending and keeps repeating itself and becoming much worse than ever. Filipinos continue to suffer the consequences of false beliefs and the egocentric mindset of some Filipinos who would spread terror and invade the peaceful land making it chaotic, disorganized, and ruined.

With the sad fate in Southern Mindanao, Marawi City is another victim of conflict and war between Islamic State radical Muslims and the Philippine Government troupes. People lost their peace and sense of freedom to do the things enjoyed by ordinary Filipino citizens. We have lost several brave souls who fought for the dark forces. They have sacrificed their lives for the call of duty: to protect and defend our country and its people against oppressors.

We have lost our freedom. Our countrymen, The Maranao people, are enslaved by fear and struggle to recover their lives, rebuild and stand again, and continue to live despite the odds. It is not only the Maranaos but the entire Philippine islands; the Filipino people also showed the deepest sympathy. We have mourned and expressed our emotions, and we are concerned about the welfare of our brothers and sisters who are in trouble. 

It's difficult not to care about what is happening, especially when dealing with terrorism. We might live in a city far away from the bombings, but we could be the next target. It's easy to be complacent when we feel more secure and guarded. It's easy to get numbed of the unending conflicts and wars. However, ultimately, we cry out loud for our misery when we suffer and become victims. When our country is no longer safe, we can only hope for more protection and salvation to escape various threats. We could hope for a superhero to defend us from invasion and bring back our freedom. We long for a powerful Divine intervention to fill in peace and love in all our hearts.

Our freedom, once lost, will always find its way back on track. As we remain hopeful and resilient, we will always regain what is lost and fill in what is empty until we become whole again. As Filipinos, we must fight for our freedom and to contribute to nation-building. A divided nation will once again work together for the common good, and the loss of national identity will find its meaning.

Do we still care about what is happening these days? Are the youths of today willing to sacrifice their comfort to express their fearless views and show solidarity? Are the Filipinos ready to fight again to regain freedom and establish peace in our land? We might not feel it, but the heroism of Rizal is always in our hearts. That's the greatest gift he has given us, and we must uphold the strength and power we are bestowed. We have the blood of a hero running in our veins, and we could face any obstacle in our quest for lasting peace and order. We will not accept defeat, and goodness will always reign in us. We can't be sure that history will break itself and not be bound to happen again. However, one thing is sure; whatever happens, we will always stand as one... one Philippines ... one Filipino people. 

I am A Filipinoand I am a part of our nation-building. I am a Filipino and will uphold and respect our laws and constitution. I am a Filipino and will be a freedom fighter. Freedom leads to peace, and liberty will always reign in our hearts.

© 2017 Del Cusay