Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Insider's View: A Better Living Through Cooperative

Life is easier, lighter, and brighter when people work together for a common goal and interests; when people aspire to uplift and improve their lives. That's the essence of a Cooperative a group of like-minded people working towards sustainable economic development.

In our hometown in Jamindan, Province of Capiz, we have welcomed the establishment of the largest Agri-based Cooperative in the Philippines. It is the Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative or SIDC that was founded and first established in the Province of Batangas in 1969.

In celebration of the 50th year of SIDC, we have warmly welcomed their partnership for local economic development and put up the first-ever SIDC One Stop Shop in the Visayas; which is in our hometown of Jamindan.

I am fortunate to have applied for a regular membership before its grand opening on October 30 and I was able to have a glimpse of their products and services to the people and community.

As an Agricultural-based Cooperative, SIDC will have products and services for its members which include Organic fertilizer, veterinary products,  feeds, meat shops, and provide assistance and partnership for Hog raising or pig farming. 

SIDC also has Koopinoy Savings and Loans service to its active members to support their financial needs and growth. Members will have an opportunity for a loan to start up their farm business. They also provide other loan services like a vehicle loans, motorcycle/tricycle loans, micro and enterprise loan for entrepreneurs with no collateral requirement for members.

For member Savers, Koopinoy provides a passbook savings account and time deposit with higher interest per annum. Even children below 18 years old can open a savings account to secure their future.

SIDC has a modern look grocery/convenience store that offers the lowest price in town. This is another savings for the members and consumers
aside from the Loyalty rewards as a member.

SIDC will also accept bills payment for various utility bills and also has a money remittance service in partnership with Truemoney padala. Consumers will experience convenience on these financial services.

SIDC One Stop Shop in Jamindan will open its door to everyone and may it bring progress in the lives of the people who patronize its products, services, and programs. This way we will achieve a better local economy leading to a better community.

© 2019 Del Cusay

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Sunday's Best at Lilia's Sky Garden

It's Sunday and the best time to have a soulful conversation with the people who matter in our lives. Sunday makes us feel thankful for our blessings and the serenity that gives us peace of mind. It's the perfect time to unwind and rejuvenate to make us fully alive as we start our week right.

This Sunday, we chose to spend it in our little Skygarden. This is where we plant, grow, and appreciate the beautiful and colorful flowers that give us a joyful mood. There is something with the garden and the flowers that make us smile and brighten our day.

Since we have limited space for gardening, we decided to have a sky garden where we could spend time with a piece of nature right in our home. This little sanctuary attracts butterflies and some chirping birds to shelter.

This is one of my favorite spots for some meditation and reflection. An excellent place to have a morning cup of coffee and get some sunlight for energy. Sometimes in the afternoon, I would lie down or swing through a hammock while gazing at the blue skies until sunset to dusk. 

My Mother would share how she started to have her little garden in the 70s, and she relates it to some level of success through blessings that have come. It may not be the garden and flowers, but the positive energy brings happiness and joy, leading to health, wellness, and fulfillment.

Then I must believe my Mother since it is also in this garden where great plans have been imagined and conceptualized. As I lie down on the hammock, I think of the present moment and visualize the future. This is somewhat a thought form building and where thoughts become a reality  thoughts become things. 

Our Mother influenced us to be interested in gardening, and I have been in love with doing it to be attached to nature and to experience its grounding effect. So as a little Thanksgiving and appreciation to our Mother, we named it Lilia's Sky Garden. It is her passion and the source of joy and inspiration, so together, we continue to develop and make things possible and beautiful.

© 2019 Del Cusay

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Soulful Conversation: Spiritual Guidance from a Priest

Sometimes we meet people by chance, then become friends or acquaintances. Often, we have met someone so special to bring enlightenment and guide our way our spiritual path.

With that particular person, I am referring to a Priest who is our Religious leader with a higher level of holiness. Someone who guides us on our moral actions and the one we seek blessings as God's chosen disciple.

That was a sunny day at the beachfront restaurant a few weeks ago, September 17, when I had a pleasant conversation with our Parish Priest of   Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Lomboy,  Rev. Father Everett Jeffrey Estrella. He has served the Parish since July 2018 and will continue his Religious mission for the next few years. A great mission and service to the Parish and the faithful community. 

I was with my parents and shared a meal with Fr. Estrella. It was lunch at our favorite restaurant overlooking the horizon, where the blue sky meets the sea. The gentle waves and the sea breeze were relaxing, and the conversation had a deeper meaning. 

I had some aha moments before, but this time it came from our Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Estrella. And whenever I have an aha moment, I cherish it and live through its meaning and significance. 

What was that conversation about? It's about present and future living. It's about following our dreams and desires and making them come true. What struck me most was when he said that sometimes we don't get what we want in life because we have too much belief in our human capacity and don't back it up with Divine intervention through our most profound faith and prayer. 

Yes, we pray, but how come some of our wishes are not granted. It may be in the process. It may just be a delayed answer, or our intention may not be the best for us and not by God's will.

He then revealed that when other people so dear to us are praying for us, God may hear it out loud. God always hears our heart's desires and intentions. For instance, we may be the recipient of the good deeds of our parents. That's like spiritual merit. When our parents pray for us, God truly listens. Our parents' deepest love always saves us.

From that moment, I have considered my parents' sacrifices and everything I have achieved because I believe they have prayed for me.

That was a soulful conversation. The message was simple but challenging: keep doing good things, and good things will come to you. We plant seeds of goodness, nurture them and cultivate them until we reap a fruitful reward.

Our community is blessed to have Rev. Fr. Everett Jeffrey Estrella. He touches the lives of the faithful and deserves the utmost reverence. He is a Divine gift to us, and we are most grateful for his love and compassion for everyone. He may leave the Parish in a few years, but his excellent service and good memories remain in our hearts forever.

© 2019 Del Cusay

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

International Coffee Day: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Coffee is one of the topmost beverages in the world, and in the Philippines, it has become a staple drink due to its caffeine-addictive substance that people can't live without. Who wouldn't resist the aroma of freshly brewed coffee served in your favorite cafรฉ or at home? Globally, it is best done with the ever-favorite cakes and pastries; donuts and croissants, while in the Philippines all over the archipelago, it is best served with local bread and delicacies like freshly baked pandesal, puto, and bibingka. 

Like Western Visayas, people drink coffee partnered with suman, biko, and the most popular biscocho, the region's pride. Other areas would have their local delicacy that is best served with a hot coffee to start the day right and to get energized any time of the day. Whether for breakfast, snacks, or post-dinner, we love having a cup of coffee at any hour and place.

Filipinos have adapted to the global flavors of gourmet coffee. From purely black coffee Americano to the frothy cup of cappuccino and lattรฉ, we surely blend with the rest of the world. Now, we have a choice beyond the traditional hot black coffee; we also have a selection of whether to be served cold or iced and blended. No matter how pricey it is, espresso coffee has been our favorite beverage because we are now after the experience. 

When we go to our favorite cafรฉs, the baristas greet us warmly, and they prepare and serve our coffee heartily. Cafรฉs have been part of our lives through the years. It is our go-to place for delicious coffee and to enjoy conversation with friends, business meetings, or freelance tasks; indeed, our site gives a beautiful ambiance and a delightful experience.

As we enjoy a sip of our favorite coffee, we must remember the coffee farmers who sweat out to carefully plant, harvest and roast good quality coffee beans. From farm to cup, it is truly a journey of the farmers to give us the most delicious beverage we will enjoy. From Tagum City in the South to Lipa City in Batangas and going up in the mountains of the Cordillera, we have our hardworking coffee farmers who are coffee entrepreneurs. For every cup of freshly brewed local coffee beans, we help support our local coffee farmers in their livelihood.

It is also proven by scientific research that coffee consumption has a lot of health benefits due to the higher level of antioxidant that prevents certain types of cancers, leading to healthier cells and longevity. For health and wellness, a cup of coffee daily gives us energy and protection from free radicals. Others would consume not just 1 cup but up to 4 cups or more daily, and they are certainly well -- just enough caffeine for daily consumption.

Today, the world is celebrating International Coffee Day. It is not just a simple beverage, but it's now a lifestyle. We help promote coffee and the excellent benefits we can gain from it. Wherever we are in the world, no matter what language we can utter, Koffi, kopi, kape, and Cafe, we just mean one thing: our craving and the need for a daily dose of coffee. It has been our trusted health partner and part of our success and life's journey.

© 2019 Del Cusay