Sunday, January 17, 2021

Reaching for Cloud 9 in Antipolo

What a great 360-degree view in Antipolo. The city's highest point is really on a cloud nine; a heaven in the city.

As I waited for the sunset, I am so thankful for the chance to see the panoramic view of Antipolo City and the magnificent skyline of Metro Manila.

The city of Antipolo, province of Rizal is blessed for its higher elevation and proximity from the Philippine National Capital Region, Metro Manila. It can be reached in less than an hour and you'll be greeted with its cool and windy climate.

I like the city vibe of Antipolo. It's cool, clean and peaceful city. The people are friendly and very welcoming to the tourists. No doubt that it's a favorite weekend getaway of people from Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.

The cloud 9 hotel and restaurant is my favorite spot in Antipolo. I had a sumptuous lunch after a short day trip around the city. The wide open restaurant in the sky serves delicious Filipino dishes and is a favorite destination of foodies, including returning Filipinos who's in the country for a vacation. Filipinos' best is definitely being served in the sky and the Cloud 9 restaurant never fails to give a lasting impression.

The best 360-degree view is on the hanging bridge and reaching the tower on the other side. A romantic appeal to families, lovers and friends. It's wonderful.
But the place isn't just for romantic couple. It attracts families, group of friends and even solo traveler. Everyone enjoys the scenery. Wait until the dusk and you'll be captivated by the purple hues of the sky; even more romantic if someone is on the side.

The Cloud 9 is a reminiscent of "The peak" in Hong Kong, but the former is truly a Filipino pride. I enjoyed it. I love it and I'll surely come back for more.

Life is good and we're bestowed with Divine grace. As we reached the peak, we pause for a while, close our eyes, hold on with breathing and simply breathe out. And as we open our eyes, we see the magic happens in the cloud nine.

©️ 2021 Del Cusay

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Invigorating Walk at the Lodi Garden

It's a great feeling when ancient architectural wonders are well preserved and restored. Those structures were built to last and tells a tale as old as time.

In New Delhi, India, I was happy to visit a 15th-century tomb that's a combination of a Hindu and Islamic architecture. That was a decade ago on my first visit to India in 2011.

Ancient tombs in India are grand and built with love. It says something about their character, their status and power in the society. 

Lodi Garden was named after Sikander Lodi who was an Afghan Sultan of Delhi Sultanate from the Sayyid dynasty that ruled places in Northern India like Punjab and including modern-day Pakistan. Together with 3 other rulers, their remains are laid on the tomb on this beautiful gardens.

I have a deep admiration with a Hindu and Islamic architectures as it reveal certain charm and character. Its artistic expressions are evident of the detailed carvings and designs.

That was a soulful moment when I strolled in the garden, touch the surfaces of well-preserved structures and feel the vibe back in time.

Lodi garden is a great place for a morning walk and exercise. There were many Delhites who are fitness enthusiasts when I visited. It's a solemn place to unwind, to sit on the grass, do some yoga and meditation. The surrounding is cool and clean and has a beautiful landscape and greeneries. It's truly relaxing and invigorating.

In our modern day world and with the advancement in architecture and technology, people will appreciate and value the history and culture. It's truly valuable and priceless. It deserves recognition and respect. And so I did.

I had meaningful moments at the Lodi garden. The history and culture is what  fascinates me. That's how I deeply appreciate a place of such a very high historical value. It leaves a lasting memories and a pleasant reminisce.

©️ 2021 Del Cusay

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Nazareno 2021: A Timeless Devotion

It's this time of the year that millions of Filipino devotees would celebrate the Feast of the Black Nazarene or we call it Nazareno.

This black image of the 17th century Jesus of Nazareth has been a source of inspiration and undying faith of the Filipinos.

What makes the Holy image of the Black Nazarene so special is the miracles that transpired for the believers. When a faithful would sincerely pray, then it's always granted -- even the most impossible.

My first ever Nazareno experience was about 8 years ago. I've celebrated the morning mass and prayed for blessings to happen in my life. 

That was a pleasant experience to be with the flocks of the faithful. And so, I've celebrated again in 2016 and 2017. Since I was in Manila on those years, I made it sure not to miss it.

One of the most memorable experiences was the Nazareno 2019 when I've personally witnessed the Traslacion. That was a day-long procession, but I was able to capture a glimpse of a holy hour in the vicinity of Binondo Chinatown.

How's this year's celebration possible amidst the threat of the pandemic? And when there's a threat of the new variant that's possibly been around undetected.

Filipinos would always defy the odds in observance of centuries-old religious tradition and expression of faith. Even with the health threat, devotees are unstoppable.

The good thing about this year's celebration is the strict observance of the health protocols. Devotees are practicing physical distancing and wear a mask for their protection.

This year, the Traslacion was cancelled and only masses are celebrated in the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. 

As compared to the previous year's experience, the Nazareno 2021 was something new we haven't seen before. It was more orderly and quiet. The personal devotion that is truly heard in the absence of chaos.

Millions of devotees may haven't participated on this year's Feast Day of the Nazarene in Quiapo, but it's still possible in the comfort of our homes through online streaming.

The message was clear and the hope of a better life is still my heart's desires. For this year, better health and protection would be of topmost priority. 

And beyond personal intentions, it's about the health, safety and security of all. Hoping that this pandemic would come to an end; the end of sufferings and a fresh start of the year and decade.

Nazareno 2021 is about hoping for a better and brighter year in the uncertain times. Our timeless devotion will always be in our hearts and that our unwavering faith would bring a new hope, a renewed life and a new beginning.

©️ 2021 Del Cusay

Related Post:

👉Nazareno 2019: Celebrating the Traslacion

👉Nazareno 2017: Devotion to the Feast of the Black Nazarene

👉Nazareno 2016: Feast of the Black Nazarene

👉Nazareno 2013: Celebrating the Feast of the Black Nazarene

Sunday, January 3, 2021

New Year 2021: A New Hope


The year 2020 brought a lot of pains and sufferings in our lives. It seems like the darkest era of our times. Something unexpected, but we've learned to accept and embrace.

If this is the preview of a new decade 20s, then we could be able to predict the future; that uncertainty is now part of our daily living. 

Things change instantaneously. It's like a blink of an eye and our fate can be changed.

The year 2020 perhaps was the saddest and unimaginable moments we've experienced. It ruined our hopes and dreams; and redirected our compass in a crossroads.

That was the end of year 2020. Finally, we've all welcomed the new year 2021 with our greatest hopes ever. That after the long agony, we can blur the sad memories from the deepest of our consciousness.

A new world

Whatever earth changes we've been experiencing, one thing I'm certain is that, this is part of the Divine plan. We're not in control, hence we let things happen and make things happen on our personal human capacity.

If the world has to change this way, then there's a greater force that can move us and direct our path -- either to follow and have faith, or to step back and have doubts.

So, in this new world order, some would be victims of a sad reality, while others would be a victorious survivor.

New opportunities

We've seen people whom have lost a living; have missed some chances and opportunities for the past year.

Some may have struggled a lot in business, career and life. It had caused us fears, frustrations and anger. It made us express all kinds of emotions. It had caused inconvenience and a downgrade on the quality of living at some point.

The year 2021 is about new opportunities that awaits us. The missed one is just a moment of pause; to stop for awhile; to recalibrate and be ready to stand up again.

This year 2021 is about an opportunity to be together as family once again. To be reunited and to recall how we've started it all.

When we're somewhat lost, our family would always be there to guide and light our path. The're there when we're knocked down and to cheer us on our way up.

Opportunities doesn't only knock once. We see opportunities everywhere. And if there seems none, then we create it ourselves and we even create opportunities to others.

A new dream

Yes, we've awaken on a deep slumber. It was somehow a nightmare! 

This year, we're hoping for a better night sleep. We're hoping for a better dream. And so upon waking up, we'll turn that dream into a reality.

And when we dream, we extend it to the special people in our lives; to our family. They are the source of our inspirations, our happiness and a reason of living. Family is love, and family is forever. That's one thing I know for sure.

A night dream or a day dream, it's both a pleasant experience of hoping for brighter days ahead. 

A new hope

We're hopeful, that no matter how life seems uncertain, still we believe that something good will happen.

Our hope will always be renewed, to make us believe that miracles do happen in everyday; from the time we wake up, until the time we go to sleep. 

A new hope is there to give us the energy required to live actively. A new hope gives us many chances to try again and never to give up, but to keep on hoping when things seems to be falling.

This year 2021 is about hope in all aspects of living. We hope for the best things to happen. We hope for the best wishes to come, and we hope for the best life ahead.

 ©️ 2021 Del Cusay 

Related Post:

👉 New Year 2020: A New Decade