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 feeling thankful for the blessings we receive and for the serenity that gives us peace of mind. It's the perfect time to unwind and to 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 a place 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 up 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 is a little sanctuary that attracts butterflies and some chirping birds to shelter.

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

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

Then I must believe with my Mother since it is also on 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. 

We were influenced by our Mother to have an interest in gardening and I have been in love 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 and 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

There are times when we have met people by chance, then became friends or acquaintances. Oftentimes, we have met someone so special to bring the enlightenment and guide our way our spiritual path.

With that special person, I am referring to a Priest who is our Religious leader and with a higher level of holiness. Someone who guides us on our moral actions and the one we seek for 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 been serving 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 we shared a meal with Fr. Estrella. It was a 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 has got a deeper meaning. 

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

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

Yes we pray, but how come some of our wishes are not granted. We might think that it is 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 who are so dear to us are praying for us, then 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 parent's deepest love always saves us.

From that moment, I have thought of the sacrifices of my parents and all the things I have achieved because I believe that they have prayed for me.

That was a soulful conversation. The message was simple, but maybe a challenging thing to do; that is to keep on doing good things and good things will come to you. We plant seeds of goodness, nurture them and cultivate them until such time 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 utmost reverence. He is a Divine gift to us and we pay the highest gratitude for his love and compassion to everyone. He may leave the Parish in a few years, but his great 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 consumed beverages in the world and in the Philippines it has almost become a staple drink perhaps due to its caffeine addictive substance that people can't live without. Who wouldn't resist the aroma of a freshly brewed coffee served in your favorite cafรฉ or at home. Globally, it is best served with the ever favorite cakes and pastries; donuts and croissant, while in the Philippines all over the archipelago, it is best served with local breads and delicacies like freshly baked pandesal, puto and bibingka. 

Regionally like in Western Visayas, people drink coffee partnered with suman, biko and the most popular biscocho which is the pride of the region. Other regions 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 just love to have a cup of coffee at any hour and any place.

Filipinos have adapted to global flavors of gourmet coffee. From purely black coffee Americano to the frothy cup of cappucino 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 choice whether to be served as cold or iced and also blended. Espresso coffee has been our favorite beverage no matter how pricey it is because we are now after for the experience. 

When we go to our favorite cafรฉs we are greeted warmly by the baristas and they prepare and serve our coffee heartily. Cafรฉs have been part of our lives through the years. It is our go to place not only for a delicious coffee, but also to enjoy conversation with friends, for business meetings or for a freelance task; certainly we have a place that gives a wonderful ambiance and a delightful experience.

As we enjoy a sip of our favorite coffee, we have to remember the coffee farmers who sweat out to carefully plant, harvest and roast the 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 entrepreneur. 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 higher level of antioxidant that prevents certain types of cancers leading to healthier cells and longevity. For health and wellness, a cup of coffee a day gives us energy and protection from free-radicals. Others would consume not just 1 cup but even up to 4 cups or more in a day and they are certainly well -- just enough amount of caffeine for daily consumption.

Today, the world is celebrating the International Coffee Day. It is not just a simple beverage, but it's now a lifestyle. We help promote coffee and the wonderful 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; and that is our craving and the need for a daily dose of coffee. It has been our trusted health partner and and part of our success and life's journey.

© 2019 Del Cusay