Sunday, January 27, 2019

Social Commentary: Terrors of the Bangsamoro People


I have never visited the Island of Mindanao, but I always look forward to see and explore its beauty and hidden gems. I believe that the entire Island has so many beautiful wonders to offer to visitors amidst the chaos and wars that tainted the reputation of the place.

Since the 'Battle of Marawi' in 2017 where hundreds died and thousands left wounded and homeless, I am one of those who condemn the barbaric act and inhuman activities of the terrorist groups responsible for the attacks. The battle may be a result of a challenge from the country's most powerful man who showed no restraint in his words, but the collateral damage were the thousands of people who are victims of the war.

The peace process in Mindanao may be endless due to the conflicts resulting to bombings in many places in Mindanao, from Zamboanga City to Davao City and just recently the twin bombings in Jolo, Sulu when a Roman Catholic Cathedral was blasted with an improvised explosives that killed more than 20 innocent lives and others wounded. This time it may be due to the result of the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law where the Sulu province voted for 'NO' which means they wouldn't want to be included in the new Bangsamoro region.

Islamic state-inspired group have claimed the attack, but this is about religious attack. I condemn it because as a Catholic, I also feel being attacked with my faith. I also feel wounded in spirit. I can't imagine how people have lost their lives in a sacred place. I also can't imagine how I can be a potential victim when I visit Cathedrals anywhere in the country or when I celebrate religious festivals.

Our Catholic faith has been a target of verbal attacks by the current President himself. We have endured several insults against our faith and the leaders of the church. Our Pope and Bishops have been mocked and even our God has been insulted. These verbal attacks may be the reason why terrorist groups could easily destroy us. The President has to protect its people, but we are being prosecuted in his words and deeds as suffer the consequences. This may not be the first religious  attack, but there may be more unwanted attacks in the future; it could be in a church in my hometown, in a minor basilica where I usually visit or a simple Chapel full of people.

As a Catholic faithful, I strongly condemn any form of terrorism that take away the lives and properties of anyone regardless of faith  may be Christian or Muslim. I have known some people who are from Islam faith, but I believe they are the good ones. What this world wants is to eradicate the radical Islam ideology which aim is to create chaos and wars versus non-Muslims.

I believe that God is good, but could there be A Violent God in Our Time when what we are experiencing are violence and religious attacks and not so Godly activities by those who belong to a certain faith.

We are now on the 21st century and 2 years from now the Philippines which is predominantly a Christian country will be celebrating its 500th years of Christianity. It will be a joyful celebration of a massive flock of faithful and devotees. I hope when that time comes would be truly a peaceful and joyous celebration to everyone.

We can achieve lasting peace between Muslims and Christians especially in Mindanao if leaders will set aside personal and selfish political interests and abandon radical Islam ideologies. It's not about the Moros, but Mindanao is for everyone regardless of religion. The time comes when Mindanao attain peace is a great achievement for those who worked hard for the peace process. It will be the time when we see more Christian churches in a predominantly Muslim state of Mindanao where people solemnly express their faith and will not be fearful for their lives.

© 2019 Del Cusay


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Celebrating the Feast of Sto. Niño 2019



I'm always fascinated with the Philippine culture most especially on how Filipinos would celebrate festivals; showcasing the best in arts with a modern twist.

This month of January is a month-long celebration of one of the grandest festival in the country - - the Feast of Sto. Niño. This is perhaps one of the oldest religious festival in honor of the Holy Child Jesus which was brought in the archipelago in 16th century. Five centuries have past and we are still celebrating the presence of the Holy Child Jesus. It is everywhere; in churches, chapels, our home altars and in our hearts.

What makes it significant in our lives is the innocent appeal of the image of Sto. Niño. As a Christian, we are called to emulate his character and to strengthen our faith in his name. 

I may have not witnessed the grandest festival in honor of Sto. Niño like Sinulog, Dinagyang and Ati-atihan, but I have been celebrating a long procession of the different images of Sto. Niño in Tondo, Manila and Caloocan City for 4 years and  My previous years' celebration below:


Here, people are dancing with the loud beat of the drums while carrying a Sto. Niño image. The young and the old, the rich and the poor are together in this celebration.

Our endless devotion to Sto. Niño is about accepting Jesus in our lives. When we are weak then comes the strength. When there is sadness, comes happiness. And in desperate cases comes hope.


© 2019 Del Cusay

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Starting The New Year Right: Wisdom from Master Del Pe

Two weeks after the New year's day celebration and people may be gaining momentum on their new year's resolutions. It's overwhelming! since it takes discipline to keep going on and lots of patience in waiting for the desired result.

Whatever people may have set as their goal for this year 2019  would never be easy from the start, but having a positive mindset and determination can help if serious in making things happen. There is no shortcut, there's no such thing as hacking our way to success. We have to learn our past lessons and make a commitment for better version of ourselves. 

For this year, I've set my mind to starting my first week right. That would mean eliminating or avoiding those negative thoughts that would harm or jeopardise my goals to achieve. The first week after new year I could say is a crucial point to determine how long we could hold on to our resolutions.

talks about my goals for this year. I may have set it subconsciously few years back, but I would want to regain the power back. When you lose, you get to start again, and the will power becomes activated with intense and pure energy of the body, mind and spirit.

Balanced Energy

Having a balanced energy in all levels is a must to achieve our goals. I've learned this from Master Del Pe who is a world-renowned life coach and spiritual guru. Master Del Pe, known as "MDP" to his students teaches about balancing our energy in all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. For instance, having an active physical and mental body but less spiritual doesn't make you balanced. Likewise, having a higher level of mental capacity but with poor physical body doesn't make you balance either. This is a fundamental wisdom from a modern sage, Master Del Pe.

Together with Master Del Pe at Baguio City, Philippines in May 2011

To know more about Master Del Pe and the services he offer, visit his website at http://www.masterdelpe.com and you will discover his breakthrough programs for health and wellness.

Better Health

Positive and healthy mental state starts with a healthy physical body that is achieved though physical exercises and proper diet. I started to like eating vegan diet in 2011 when I joined Master Del Pe and I was quite active in doing physical exercises like powerful stamina exercises and basic martial arts. I was slimmer during those years as compared at the present when it's hard to get rid of unwanted fats on the tummy. Now it's also hard to lower down the bad cholesterol. I just can't take those "Statins" and would just rely on physical activities and balanced diet.

To start my new year right, I made it a resolution to avoid drinking softdrinks and take in less sugar. I am now into drinking lemon water which is a natural colon cleanser or detox. I also like drinking turmeric for its anti-inflammation effect. I have been eating too much sweets and it would be good to cut down my consumption before it will lead to foreseeable health problem.

Personal Development 

I read a lot of self help articles and that is beneficial for growth and success. It was also the books of Master Del Pe that I have learned about personal development in a most practical and easy way. One of the best tools I have learned is meditation and it was Master Del Pe, a master of 8 types of meditation who taught us on how to meditate effectively with use of "mudra" sanskit term for hand seals while chanting those sacred mantra for transformation. 

When life gets tough and triggered with so much noise, it's good to spend at least 20 minutes of your time to meditate for 2 to 3 times in a week to regain life and have peace of mind. 

In Manila where traffic congestion is worst in the world, I would simply close my eyes, breathe in and breathe out along EDSA as I ride the bus from Ayala, Makati going to Monumento circle in Caloocan City. Meditation have saved me endure the long ride and it doesn't cost a thing, but the benefits are priceless. In fact, my first ever blog post is about The Power of Meditation. It has greatly changed my life and I believe this world would be a better place if more people will learn to practice the art and science of meditation. 

To start the year right, I would have put some time for pure thinking time which was advised by Master Del Pe. Prior to blogging and just after it, I spend time to think and reflect deeply and that is also a great mental exercise and good for mental health. 

Starting the new year with a positive spirit and higher hopes gives an overwhelming feeling of joy. I feel Joyful whenever I overcome a challenge and continue on doing so until I've made it. It's a commitment made for the entire year. It may not last or may have been broken, but will power can help to make it happen. As I strengthen my personality, I am preparing myself for something that is coming on my way. I may never know it yet, it may be cloudy for now, but what I know for sure is I can help myself to rise up and break through the barriers of personal journey to success and fulfillment not only this year but for a lifetime.

© 2019 Del Cusay


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Nazareno 2019: Celebrating the Traslacion



Just a week after the new year 2019 celebration on January 1st, Filipinos once again gather to celebrate one of the biggest devotion to Jesus Christ  the feast of the Black Nazarene.

I've celebrated the feast of the Black Nazarene since 2013. That was my first time ever to hear the mass at the Minor Basilica on its feast day together with my sister whom I have convinced to come with me. That was a solemn event on the facade of the church as it was not so crowded that people can move freely. The following year in 2015, I missed it and  then celebrated it again for 2 consecutive years in 2016 and 2017.  As compared to my experience Nazareno 2013: Celebrating the Feast of the Black Nazarene it was a bit crowded, but devotees are well disciplined to follow the rules both inside and outside of the church.

Nazareno 2016: Feast of the Black Nazarene  was a peaceful celebration of the faithful and devotees of the Holy image. As I remember it was well organized as people are being guided well by the Hijos Del Nazareno or the "Sons of the Nazarene" who are the chosen ones to actively devote their time to protect the Nazarene until their last breath.

Nazareno 2017: Devotion to The Feast of The Black Nazarene was a meaningful celebration as I have contemplated on the significance of the event on our faith as Catholic Christian. That was also a peaceful event in the vicinity of the Minor Basilica as I heard the mass.

On this year's celebration, I was able to bring my sister with me to hear the mass. It was so crowded just outside the church that we were not able to get inside and preferred to stand to hear the mass while watching on the Big screen. After an hour and as the mass ended, a drizzle of rain just poured over our head. That was a blessing as people would have believe it and even I myself have asked for a Divine miracle through the rain to calm down people from the warm weather.

What's special about this year's celebration was the unexpected experience to have witnessed the traslacion in the vicinity of Chinatown in Binondo, Manila. That was a great number of devotees who joined and witnessed the grand parade of the original image of the Black Nazarene followed by other images from different churches and local sectors. People were shouting "Viva" to honor the Nazarene as they waived their white and maroon colored hankies.

As people were glorifying the Holy image, we have also witnessed untoward events like those who needed medical attention. People would dare to get hurt for the sake of their faith. Their intention was to get closer to the carriage of the Holy image or even touch the rope attach to it which they believe could bring a miracle to their hopes and prayers.


We were not able to get too much close to the Holy image and were just contended to see it from afar. To see the actual event in reality gives a certain emotion of happiness and fulfillment. For years, I've only watch the traslacion as being reported live on TV, but this year, I am blessed to have been part of it.

Others may have questioned the event to be a form of fanaticism, but only a devotee can experience for themselves the miracles and blessings of their faith. I have joined with thousands or millions of Catholic faithful and devotees of the Black Nazarene and I understand their expression of their faith. They do not question it, but rather they live it in their hearts.

I believe that this event is beyond tradition. It is already embedded on our consciousness to strengthen our faith and get closer to God. When we feel unloved, uncared for and desperate, we are longing for the presence of God in our lives.  When we feel not secured and in danger, we call for protection. Whenever we are sick, we call for healing of the body, mind and spirit.

We will forever be grateful for the Black Nazarene, for his Holy Image that have strengthened the faith of millions of Filipinos who never gave up amidst the current challenges that the church is facing. We will stand together for our faith and will not get intimidated by those who would put us down or question our faith.

May the Holy spirit be upon us on our daily lives and protect us from evil. May God enlighten us so we can speak our truth and inspire others draw near to him. May we all be united to glorify Jesus, the holy image of the Black Nazarene. In this time and our lifetime, today and forever even until our last breath.

© 2019 Del Cusay


Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Epiphany: Lessons From The Three Wise Men

That was a long Christmas season for us Filipinos. It started as early as September of 2018 and today marks its end as we celebrate the Epiphany or the Three Kings. I've never known its Christian significance until I've read and understood some of published online articles. What I remember as a childhood story is that the newborn Jesus was visited by the Three wise men who were Kings and offered their gifts to Jesus, the messiah and the future King.

My knowledge about Catholicism as my religion is very limited. In college when I studied at St. Paul in Iloilo City back in 2002, we had a Religious Studies subject and had the book entitled "Cathechism for Filipino Catholics" which until now I could remember how I read through the pages but was not able to fully understand its writings. I didn't even bother to finish reading the entire book due to its thick pages and the sad reality was I didn't pass my final exam on that subject and was given the chance to take it one more time.

Guest at the inauguration of St. Paul Hospital -
Cancer Center on October 19, 2016, Iloilo City
That was about fifteen years ago today when I couldn't even lead the Holy rosary or memorize some basic prayers which my classmates and people of my age have mastered already. I wasn't prayerful back then, but I have religiously attended the required First Friday Masses and religious retreats at school. Back in my childhood days it was even so hard for me to go to the church to celebrate Mass during Sundays.

Perhaps time has change that the new generations of Christians are not so deeply devoted to their religion. Parents may be sending their kids in a Catholic or Christian school, but their values may not be a reflection of what they must have been taught in school. It might have started with my generation, but not so sure about it. What I know is that we were the generation who enjoyed playing on the streets, enjoyed being offline as compared to the online world that is enjoyed by the younger generation nowadays.

I may not have appreciated that Cathechism book back then, but now as I grow up I am becoming more mature for religious contemplations and now have a deeper understanding about the significance of the events in Catholicism or Christianity as a whole. Until one day when I had the opportunity to come back at the Catholic school's Medical center, the St. Paul Hospital Iloilo, I had the flash back on my religious subject teachings. The Cathechism was made to life when we put Christ in our hearts whenever we give service to humanity in any ways.

My deepest interest about my religion started when I travelled and worked in India some time in 2011 until 2014. I was able to compare and contrast different religions founded by great men who are considered as God. In India I've watch videos about "The Bible" and read about articles related to Christianity. I truly appreciate films about "Jesus" and the Christianity he founded. I remember, it was just after the beginning of the millennium when I watched the film "Passion of the Christ" and those kind of film give meaning when what was written in a Holy scripture was put into real-like reenactment.

Today, with the advancement in technology I no longer have to carry a thick and dark page Cathechism books. I enjoy reading online articles about lessons in Christianity and watching Biblical films through online streaming apps. I will no longer be put to test in a written examination to know whether I understood what I had read. My thoughts and actions will now be the basis of my Catholic faith. I may have failed in my Religious studies, but the real test is beyond the old school dark and thick pages books. With deeper reflection of Religious articles and biblical films, I must have applied the teachings in my daily activities.

From now on whenever we celebrate any Catholic event or feast, I learn to read and understand its significance in my life and know its relevantce in todays' time when more people are becoming diverted and distracted by their faith.

In today's time, the King of nations may be acting or playing like God and worst is denying or not believing in God. This is the test of our time; whether we will remain faithful or abandon our faith just because of the words or orders coming from our King. Today, we have our modern version of King Herod, who is envious of someone's light and Divinity. We are reliving the olden times just like the stories in the bible. Our modern society is like a reenacting of the biblical films I've watched. It is happening again and as Catholic faithful, my time is put to test. My time, my love one's time, and the next generations' time.

Even the Kings who had vast powers and may belong to other faith have paid respect and gratitude to the newborn Christ. It shows humily in spirit and an honorable act to someone greater in power. If only our nation's great leaders would have acquired those virtues like the three wise men, then we will be living in peace just like a paradise or a promised land. We need a King who does not only show courage and will power, but a King who also shows humility, compassion and faith to his people.

It may be the end of the yuletide season, but there are lot of Catholic events that is to be celebrated in the days and months to come.

May this journey to a deeper Catholic understanding lead to spiritual growth and the maturity for enlightenment and greater service that is beyond the digital world we currently live in. May the younger generations be taught to be a responsible "King" capable of influencing others in their thoughts and actions. As we go through the path of our own Christian initiations, may we fully accept and embrace God through the Holy spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, forever and ever.

© 2019 Del Cusay



Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year 2019: Sunshine After The Rain



A glittering, sparkling and noisy celebration. That was the end of 2018! Fireworks had light up the dark street as we have welcomed the New Year 2019.

Just few minutes before the clock turned exactly 12 A.M. signifying that the New Year has officially started, I shouted out loud with my vocal power to sing the famous "Auld Lang Syne" and belted songs of Michael Bolton, the "Go the Distance" and  the rock star Bon Jovi's, "It's My Life" both songs randomly chosen out of the thousands on the list.

Good thing that the weather was good after the rain had stop for people and families to welcome the New Year with positive hopes and somehow to have light up some fireworks too. Nothing could have stopped the Filipinos to walk in the rain to have last minute shopping to buy food for 'media noche' including the 12 or 13 different kinds of fruit that would bring good luck, wealth and prosperity according to the traditional Chinese feng shui.

Nothing could have stopped us to endure the long line to buy a chocolate cake with a signature "New Year 2019" on top. After all, it's nothing as compared to the challenges we have endured for the year 2018.

In the last 10 years, new year's eve celebration was more colorful and noisy, but now the noise and glitters are shorter. Celebrations are becoming more simple, but still a memorable one. Perhaps we strive hard to make each new year celebration to have something special on the table and be together with our dear family.


Some may have chosen to spend their time in a lavish 'year-end party with friends and acquaintances and enjoy the New year countdown with them. I may even have the desire, but I always choose to spend the New Year with my family. Even how simple the celebration is, it gives a certain meaning that family is love; truly our love. A family who will be with us not only on the first day of the year, but throughout the year and beyond.

Since 2012, I spend precious time to be alone for some 'Year-end reflection or Year in Reviews. I made a promise to myself to reflect on how the previous year made me better, what have I accomplished and what are the lessons learned. Christmas in Our Hearts 2018: A New Milestone, Self-Renewal and New Beginning was a roller-coaster ride. That year brought massive struck like a lighting and a great wave like a tsunami. The year 2018 may not be favorable, but I have fulfilled some goals and learned valuable life lessons. Just like when the year has ended, a new and brighter year ahead awaits. Though we may never know what is ahead of us, yet we remain hopeful.

As I look back on the previous year, New Year 2018: Beyond the Limits brought a rough journey with uncertain destination. There were several distractions that didn't serve true purpose. Being out of focus can be destructive and put limits on our actions and coveted goals.

Going back to present, this New Year reflection is about my goals and aspirations to achieve for the year and a carry over the previous years' experiences and life lessons. No matter how unfavorable it may be, still it is part of my past and can be part of my present and future endeavours.

Higher level of endurance

My previous corporate jobs and positions required tremendous physical power. I have learned to improve my physical and mental stamina though the years since I learned to adopt powerful physical exercises and meditation which I have not practiced actively for about 3 years already. May this year 2019 bring back to a lighter and more active physical energy though simple yet power exercises and meditation. 

Physical Grounding 

I've started to realize few years ago that nature has given us way to stay grounded or connected with our roots. With our busy lifestyle and stressful day to day routine, we forget to be grounded. Our mind takes us somewhere else and we do not feel the natural elements of the earth for healing. Back in my hometown about 3 years ago, I put some medium sized fine stones to add natural elements in our little garden. I would then invite my mother to take a barefoot walk along with me. I believe it gives physical grounding effect aside from the natural reflexology it gives. 

May this year bring me to places close to nature and experience real physical grounding. To leave footprints in the sand, camping by the beach and sitting on the shore. 

Emotional health

To feel angry is normal, but to utter words that is not good might be hard to take back. Thus, one thing that I have learned is to be in control of emotions. It may be the hardest thing for me to do, but that is good for emotional health. There are times when I have to keep quiet to avoid an argument despite the urge to do so. Now, I would try my best to understand people's actions and intentions and apply self-restraint in the choice of words and appropriate actions. 

Mindfulness and Social awareness

Being mindful is good for mental health. Though prayers and meditation, it will help to look beyond ourself. To look out for an opportunity to be of service to someone or to a larger community. I have been part of a group that gives greater service to humanity through social projects, however I have not followed through for years. May this year open another door to reach out to people for empowerment.

The Power of Now

One thing that I have learned is to act on the moment whenever possible. To procrastinate is to delay things and soon when there's a lack of inspiration it's hard to do it. To be present at the moment is also being mindful and could prevent us from doubts, fears and frustrations.

When I acted on my dream to start a business on my own, I didn't wait to have everything to be perfect or accumulate more knowledge. I simply made the first move and everything follows according to plans.

Grit and Perseverance

When all else fail, I would have to choose to accept things as it happens, analyse the situation, make a solution and move on to what's next. Whatever happens, no matter how difficult the road is, I have to survive the odds to and keep the fire in me to reach my dreams. With relentless desire, highest hopes and positive spirit, I will be able to make things possible for myself. If I dream of it, then I can achieve it.

The list for new year's resolution may be endless, but for now these are the topmost priorities that are achievable. Now, as I remember, those 2 songs I have sang may subconsciously be what I am. I always aspire to "Go the Distance" to reach an extra mile. I also take control of my life for a reason that "It's My Life" this is my life and I have to live it. And remember those people who made a sacrifice to walk in the rain? they may have been over and gone through the pain.

A blissful New Year 2019!

© 2019 Del Cusay


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