Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Monday, December 25, 2023

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘀: 𝗔 𝗝𝗼𝘆𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝗛𝗼𝗽𝗲

𝙄'𝙢 𝙬𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙜𝙖𝙞𝙣 𝙖𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙚 𝙢𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙝𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙨𝙞𝙡𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙡𝙤𝙜𝙤𝙨𝙥𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚. 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙩 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚 𝙄 𝙗𝙡𝙤𝙜𝙜𝙚𝙙 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙞𝙣 𝙈𝙖𝙧𝙘𝙝 2023 𝙖𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙢𝙮 𝙗𝙚𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙙 G𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙛𝙖𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙥𝙖𝙨𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙬𝙖𝙮. 𝙉𝙤𝙬, 𝙞𝙩'𝙨 𝘾𝙝𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙢𝙖𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙖𝙜𝙖𝙞𝙣 𝙄 𝙨𝙝𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙢𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙨 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙤𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙨 𝙄'𝙢 𝙝𝙤𝙥𝙚𝙛𝙪𝙡 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙗𝙚𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙮𝙚𝙖𝙧 𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙨.

Loss is one of the most painful human experiences and we all go through the grieving process from denial to acceptance. That's life, we have to move on and continue to live our greatest life.

Life is precious and it can be fragile. It's a God-given gift that we treasure. We had joyful memories, but we also had sorrowful moments. Despite what we've been through, we lift them to God who gives us life. 

It's my second Christmas celebration in Canada and it's not a white Christmas as what we had last year. It's warmer than usual and a bit tolerably cold that doesn't
need a layer of clothes. Different experience than last year, with a whole new scenery and vibe.

However, we had the first snowfall of the season in early December, though it melted so fast the next day. That may be the first and last snowfall before the year ends and so we enjoyed it before it's gone. 

Christmas season in Canada may not be as jolly as what we have in my home country, the Philippines. But our simple celebration here is meaningful and leaves a lasting memory to cherish.

Our trip to Vancouver Christmas Market was my first-ever experience of seeing and meeting people in a festive holiday ambiance and mood. It's a cool Christmas-themed village with surrounding skyscrapers, a scenic mountain backdrop, and coastal waters.

As Canada's most livable city, Vancouver never fails to amaze me with its natural beauty and wonders. And the Christmas Market with the Vancouver skyline is a wonderful and festive experience this holiday season.

Christmas will always be in our hearts. It's the most significant moment in our lives to celebrate with gratitude and remain joyful in hope.

There will always be light that glows in our hearts and we radiate it to people who are dear to us and the people we meet this holiday season. We are blessed and hopeful that things will be brighter and stronger than ever.

©️ 2023 Del Cusay 

Sunday, December 25, 2022

𝗠𝘆 𝗙𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗖𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗱𝗮

𝘾𝙝𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙢𝙖𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙢𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙬𝙤𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙛𝙪𝙡 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙮𝙚𝙖𝙧. 𝙄𝙩'𝙨 𝙛𝙪𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙚𝙭𝙘𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜. 𝙃𝙤𝙬𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧, 𝙘𝙚𝙡𝙚𝙗𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙩 𝙛𝙖𝙧 𝙖𝙬𝙖𝙮 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙝𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙖 𝙙𝙞𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙚𝙭𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚. 𝙄𝙩'𝙨 𝙖 𝙬𝙝𝙞𝙩𝙚, 𝙬𝙚𝙩 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙙𝙖𝙧𝙠 𝘾𝙝𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙢𝙖𝙨 𝙞𝙣 𝘾𝙖𝙣𝙖𝙙𝙖. 

Family is forever, and yes, they are in the Philippines. I feel sad on my first Christmas in Canada. It's not something I expect. It's not something I wanted. 

There's no "Noche Buena" culture here, a tradition in the Philippines. It's quiet, and people prefer to be at home for some reason. 

Is Christ present during our darkest times? The times when we feel down and not feeling good about ourselves? 

There's more love in the Philippines during Christmas. The reason we dwell on the most meaningful and memorable moments in our home country. 

Whenever we reminisce about the good Christmas moments, it gives us a good feeling and brightens the darkness. 

A family is there who understands and comforts us. It's the most special day of the year when we remember and talk to them. To share the good and not-so-good things we see, think, and feel. 

All I want this Christmas is to feel the presence of Christ. His love and the Holy Spirit to guide and lift me. Others may have forgotten and been blinded by their priorities, but we can't follow their path. They always have the choice to make beyond our control. 

I still want to feel the bright side of Christmas. The ups and downs will always be there, but Christ will be in our hearts. 

In this year's message, the Pope said, "Even in dark times, never lose hope in God's love," and that there is light even in our darkest hour. 

©️ 2022 Del Cusay 

Sunday, December 18, 2022

𝗦𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗮𝗰𝘂𝗹𝗮𝗿 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗟𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗙𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗹 𝗶𝗻 𝗖𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗱𝗮𝗹𝗲

𝘾𝙝𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙢𝙖𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙘𝙝𝙞𝙡𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙣, 𝙖𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙨𝙖𝙮. 𝙄 𝙧𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙢𝙗𝙚𝙧 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙄 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙖 𝙠𝙞𝙙, 𝙄 𝙖𝙡𝙬𝙖𝙮𝙨 𝙡𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙬𝙖𝙧𝙙 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙢𝙪𝙘𝙝 𝙚𝙭𝙘𝙞𝙩𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝘿𝙚𝙘𝙚𝙢𝙗𝙚𝙧 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙨.

Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year. We sang Christmas carols, received gifts from our loved ones, and anticipated gifts from Santa Claus. 

Back then, on Christmas Eve in my home country, the Philippines, we celebrated mass together as a family and shared a meal for "Noche Buena." Family is forever. We had a joyous celebration together. 

As a grown-up adult, I still find meaning and joy in celebrating Christmas. This year, however, will be a different experience. It will be my first time celebrating Christmas away from my family in the Philippines. It's my first Christmas in Canada. 

Here at Lumagica in Surrey, Canada, it brings back wonderful memories of when I was a kid. There's a fascination with Christmas trees and lights, the joyful spirit of hearing Christmas carols, and the excitement of seeing Santa Claus. 

Lumagica is a magical light festival with a North Pole winter wonderland theme. It's about attracting families to get together and experience a spectacular white Christmas.

Christmas is fun for the whole family, the
adults, and the little ones. But for the grown-ups, there's always that kid in us. We shout for joy; we genuinely enjoy! 

Let this Christmas season bring back that glow in our faces and sparkle in our eyes like a child. Find the magical experience that Christmas brings. Find happiness and joy in our hearts.
©️ 2022 Del Cusay 

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Christmas time is the most anticipated season of the year. It brings joy, fun, and laughter. It also brings lovely and magical moments as we celebrate the Year-end.

What happens when suddenly we feel sad about untoward events such as destructive typhoons hitting the country just before Christmas. It's supposed to be a "Merry Christmas" for all, but the natural calamity destroyed people's joyful and peaceful Christmas vibe.

The last time I experienced a stormy Christmas was on the eve of December 24 in my hometown in the Visayas, a few hours before Christmas day. After celebrating the Christmas Eve mass, a strong typhoon left us with a power outage. It was supposed to be a happy "Noche Buena," but we had a candle lighting on a dark Christmas night. 

That was my first experience of a stormy Christmas. Since my childhood days, the Christmas season was dry. However, with the effect of climate change, we'll be experiencing a wet and stormy Christmas. It's becoming more destructive year after year. And it has left more families to become homeless for Christmas.

On December 17, 2021, super typhoon "Odette" hit many Philippine provinces in Visayas and Mindanao. It has caused massive damage to properties and businesses. It had caused injuries and casualties. That's a sorrowful moment for those families who have lost their loved ones in celebration of Christmas.

After the typhoon, the devastating situation continues. Many families lost their homes and suffered from power outages and a lack of necessities like food and water. That's prolonged suffering for those affected individuals and families.

Christmas day is approaching. We help affected countrymen in any way possible to lift their spirits and for them to feel loved and cared for. We feel connected as a nation in times of calamity, and we feel the suffering of others because we've experienced it and know how it feels to be a victim of a catastrophe.

This Christmas is about our optimistic hopes and wishes for everyone to become more resilient. To rise again despite the struggles and suffering brought by a calamity. Hoping that people will still remember the essence of celebrating Christmas and putting even a little smile on their faces. 

This Christmas is about expressing our gratitude. No matter what happened, we're still thankful to the Divine for the good, the bad, and the worst experience that has shaken our lives. 

We have a shared humanity. Wherever we are, we think about the welfare of others, and this time we send them good wishes of positivity and recovery. 

©️ 2021 Del Cusay

Sunday, December 12, 2021

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It feels like Christmas. The tall and colorful Christmas trees with sparkling lights make us feel good as they bring back memories of celebrating the yuletide season.

It would be a better Christmas season than the past two years when the threat of Covid-19 brought us fears and anxieties. 

This year's Christmas season feels different as people would visit any place where they would feel the Christmas spirit and bond with their families for a short while.

I remember when we decorated our Christmas tree in our hometown for two consecutive Christmas in 2019 and 2020. That was fun and made lasting and great memories worth reminiscing.

We always look forward to a Merry Christmas. It's the happiest time of the year as we live each day with joy before the year ends.

This Christmas is about our highest hopes that things will improve despite what we've been through for the past two years.

We wish for a meaningful celebration with our loved ones. Our family will always be one of the reasons why we keep holding on and not giving up despite all the odds. We keep our faith that Christmas will heal us and bring out the best in us.

©️ 2021 Del Cusay

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Reaching for Cloud 9 in Antipolo

There's a beautiful 360-degree view in Antipolo. The city's highest point is cloud nine, heaven in the city.

As I waited for the sunset, I was so thankful 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 to the Philippine National Capital Region, Metro Manila. You'll feel its cool and windy climate in less than an hour's drive.

I like the city vibe of Antipolo. It's a clean and peaceful city. The people are friendly and very welcoming to the tourists. No doubt that it's a favorite weekend getaway for 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 among food lovers, including returning Filipinos in the country for a vacation. Filipinos' best cuisine is very well-served to the diners, and the Cloud 9 restaurant always gives a lasting impression.

The best 360-degree view is on the hanging bridge and reaching the tower on the other side. It's a great view with a romantic appeal to families, lovers, and friends. 

The place isn't just for a romantic couple. It also attracts families, groups of friends, and even solo travelers. Everyone enjoys the scenery. Wait until dusk, and you'll be captivated by the purple hues of the sky; even more romantic if someone is on the side.

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

Life is good and bestowed with Divine grace. As we reached the peak, we paused for a while, closed our eyes, held on with breathing, and breathed out. And as we open our eyes, we see the magic happening on cloud nine.

©️ 2021 Del Cusay

Thursday, December 26, 2019

2019 Year in Review: The Greatest Love

The year 2019 is about to end, and it's the time of the year to review another roller coaster ride of life events and milestones.

This year 2019, is like a deep slumber. I am in a deeper state of rest and slow-paced living. As I experience this life, I learn life lessons about simple living and natural healing.

Religious Devotion

It was my first-ever experience seeing the flock of thousands of devotees of the Black Nazarene on its feast day in January 2019. That was followed by the feast of Santo Niño, or the Child Jesus, in the same month. These religious events strengthen my faith and belief in a Supreme higher Divine power who does miracles in our lives.

It was also my first time celebrating the feast day of The Our Lady of Perpetual Help Lomboy Parish on June 27, 2019. The Blessed image is known to bring miracles for those who believe and pray through the intercession of the Blessed Mary, the Mother of Christ. 
I may not be able to celebrate the feast day of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Lomboy Parish in the coming years. Still, my parents and loved ones will be there to express devotion through prayers and religious activities.

Personal Development

  • Health  This year I have learned to listen to my body and slow down. A balanced and healthy diet gives nourishment and healing from illnesses. Although it's hard to fully commit, it teaches me about health consciousness for a better living. 
  • MeditationAs I swing through a hammock, I am relaxed and at peace. While sitting on a chair and seeing the sunrise and sunset gives a beautiful feeling about God's loving presence. That's my meditation. Feeling great and sometimes in a trance state but with eyes wide open. 
  • Developing HabitsWaking up early morning and early at bedtime makes an excellent daily habit. I didn't have the luxury of quality sleep in the past years, so I feel great upon waking up fully recharged. 
Celebrating Victories

On May 14, 2019, our father was elected by the people to serve another term as a Sangguniang Bayan Member in our town. This is his 5th term in service since he started in 1998-2007 and returned to do in 2016 after 9 years. We are part of my father's victory as we fully support his candidacy and commitment to helping the people. 
Welcoming Opportunities 

On October 30, 2019, the Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative, or SIDC, was opened in our Community at the R&L Commercial building. We're grateful for this excellent opportunity to serve the people through various products and services offered by the country's largest Agricultural - based Cooperative. This is the greatest blessing not only for my family but also for the whole Community. We're blessed and hoping for more opportunities in the years to come. 
Sustainable Farm Development 

My parents have finally initiated their plans for sustainable environmental development. The newly developed integrated farm features Mahogany trees, different kinds of fruit-bearing trees, and plants that help cool off the surroundings. This is where we unwind and have a good conversation while having coffee. In the years to come, this farm will achieve sustainability as we open some livelihood opportunities.
Some of my Soulful Sunday moments were inspired by the farm. A natural environment is truly a gift from God, and we're healed naturally from being connected with nature. 

Christmas in our hearts

We gathered again as a big family. It feels great to see the kids growing up as a teen. We had a grand Holiday celebration over the past years, and that was memorable and meaningful. This year we celebrate the Christmas eve mass or Misa de Gallo at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Lomboy Parish, followed by a Noche Buena, a good night meal to share with the family.
Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ as the center of our faith, and it's the time to get together as a family. This is the best time to enjoy the year-end and renew old habits and beliefs. 

We may have a stormy Christmas day and a shaky earth experience, yet we're comforted and saved by His Divine Mercy. We remain resilient through the calamities we encounter, and it'll help us deal with future crises. 

One thing that moved me was the Christmas message of Pope Francis when he shared about the unconditional love of Christ, saying, "God continues to love us all, even the worst of us. You may have mistaken ideas, but you have made a complete mess of things, but the Lord continues to love you." and that's the expression of His greatest love. 

We all have wronged with our thoughts, intentions, and actions at some point, but God continues showing us His love and mercy. He cleanses our spirits and uplifts our souls, so we may continue showing our love to others.

I celebrate the holidays with the people who matter in my life. We may have differences and life choices, but we bond stronger as one family. This Christmas is about love and understanding; we would want a New year with a new beginning. 

© 2019 Del Cusay

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Sunday, December 15, 2019

When Christmas Tree Makes You Happy

Decorating for Christmas is a jolly moment for our family. It gives a joyful vibe and a nostalgic feeling about our childhood. As we decorate, we also reflect on how our decorations evolved through the years. Back then, we did not have a giant Christmas tree, but we made sure to have something to decorate for Christmas.

It is more fun when a family gathers to help each other do Christmas decorations. We reminisce wonderful stories worth sharing as we put on those Christmas lights and hang the Christmas balls. Those memories last forever, adding color to our life as we celebrate Christmas.

For Christmas 2019, we wanted our Christmas tree to reflect what we feel and what kind of life we want. So we set up sparkling multi-color Christmas lights around the Christmas tree with glittering accessories.

Life has been challenging and a bit dark at times, but the Christmas tree reminds us to stand out and unleash our inner glow to increase our brightness and uplift our souls.

This is a season to be jolly, and it is so true. As we gather around the Christmas tree before the year ends, we would want to give our last best shot. We wish for a brighter year ahead and renew our energy to make it more refined and powerful.

Oh, Christmas tree! You bring light and color to the holidays. You bring smiles to the kids, the family, and everyone. You give meaning to a life worth living. 

© 2019 Del Cusay

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas in Our Hearts 2018: A New Milestone, Self-Renewal and New Beginning

What a year it has been! A recollection of beautiful memories and sad realities. This year 2018, brought a different view and meaning of life; self-restraint and taking control of emotions to a higher level. Now it's time to look back and reminisce on the year that was and my thoughts on how I fair with my plans and decisions.

The previous year 2017, may have been the most challenging ever. Christmas in Our Hearts 2017: The Unexpected Reality would have hit a punch and destruction, but have received a warm embrace and affection from a loving family back home. However, 2018 gave me a new beginning and hope, and I will fight and survive.

I have been more positive all through these years since I have learned to elevate my higher consciousness, but losing oneself along the way also loses the power once established. There are miracles, as I believe, whereas uncertainties would have to be defeated.

Patience, tolerance, and perseverance can mean a lot for higher aspirations. It may not be easy, but it can be embedded in consciousness and applied in business and life.

Personal Development

Since 2011 I have written and shared several personal development stories and quotations. This year I have compiled some quotable quotes from my writings.
  • The Road Ahead. I started to share my personal quotes about my life experiences and the wisdom gained through the years. Whenever I get inspired and motivated, I capture whatever beautiful scene lifts my spirit. The Road Ahead is still under construction, with no shortcuts to the best destination.
  • The Crossroads. There are setbacks along the journey, and I must feel the agony. My sufferings would have helped me to look back on what I have done and have to pay back. The Crossroads would remind me about the right road and learn not to take the wrong "U" turn. 
  • Soulful Sunday. There is something so beautiful about Sunday morning upon waking up. A certain feeling of joy in the heart awakens a blissful spirit. Soulful Sunday is about my reflections and thoughts about significant events impacting my life. 
Those subjects above serve as a GPS, a personal guide for self-mastery and renewal. I gently lift my soul for healing and reconciliation whenever I feel crushed and defeated.

A New Milestone

I said before that when the door closes, another opportunity knocks. In the third quarter of 2018, I acted on my dream to develop and execute my entrepreneurial plans. It may not be prestigious or grandiose, but pushing through and breaking the barriers made me the first step. With my previous corporate experiences, I have developed my dealings with people through customer service and customer experience.

My first venture will succeed and eventually take it to the next level. With the people who tirelessly and continuously support me on my back, I will focus and finish what I have started. It always feels good to create and learn something new. It even challenges us on how to keep it running and moving forward and reaching its peak. 

In this venture, there's no place for giving up, and there's always a will to keep moving. Having more patience and dedication would fuel it to success. 

The World of Entrepreneurship is overwhelming. To have planted a seed and nourished it to grow would be more challenging. We keep on improving and finding ways to make our dreams bound to materialize. It May have been a thousand miles away from expected reality and may take years to cultivate and harvest, but it could be more rewarding and fulfilling. 

A New Beginning 

Before the year ends, some events may have shaken us. 
  • Death. A loved one may have gone, but the memories will remain in our hearts. It may be an absence of life, but a beginning of a new incredible journey in the afterlife. It's not about saying goodbye until we see each other again. We give respect and gratitude, honor for a life well-lived, and will forever cherish the meaningful days shared. 
  • Birth. A new beginning may be a rebirth or new birth. Just before the celebration of Christ's birth, we welcomed the birth of my nephew,  Matthew, which name means "Gift from God," an angel of God. 
  • Hope. When all else fails, one thing that gives us confidence and courage is hoping for something out of or beyond our control. We can never have it all. However, we can achieve our best realities when we hope for the best. We can constantly strengthen our willpower to reach greater heights and let gratitude pave the way to the more meaningful and successful life we ever wanted. Our hopes and dreams are fueled by our passion, desire, and commitment to live our best lives. 


Opportunities are endless, and the year 2018 created a tsunami-like reality. Creating health awareness inspires people to commit to a healthier living in an environment with lesser stress and not away from home.
  • Family. The source of inspiration and motivation to move on is the family. They support us in our goals and make our dreams come true. I take pride in my family and will forever be grateful for their love. 
  • Friends. We cherish the great memories from old and new friends for meaningful friendships. They may not have been connected for years, but pleasant memories connect the gap. We cherish those who have not forgotten us and keep those who remain. There are connections we have to cut and others we would have to build. 

Before the year ends, assessing what life has been and what opportunities we have fought for is a good feeling. There's no perfect year; either we win some or lose some. The battle will always be there as we become more fierce than ever. We will remain grounded in our realities and connected with our families and communities.

As the year passes, our world becomes more significant, and our responsibility will become more outstanding. We will surely win in the game of life with faith in God and other Divine beings.

The Christmas season is closer to my heart, and I never fail to give a reflection since 2011, when I started blogging. This is the season of renewal and recollection. A season of love and a celebration of love and life. 

© 2018 Del Cusay

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas in Our Hearts 2017: The Unexpected Reality

Christmas season brings beautiful memories in each of us, feeling joyful for the gifts we received as a kid during Christmas parties and grand year-end parties as adults. Those moments brought meaning to our lives, families, and dear friends. It created a particular bond — a connection that could last forever. However, no matter how pleasant those memories were, there may still be some unpleasant events that didn't prevent us from moving forward. Yuletide season goes on and heals and renews certain emotions, beliefs, and personalities.

Christmas in Our Hearts: A Wonderful Beginning reminded me of a celebration away from home, yet connected in spirit. It was when I felt very grateful and joyful for the beautiful blessings I received. That was an unexpected reality, and not in a dream state from a deep sleep.

Years have passed, and the road ahead brought so many endless opportunities. The world showers abundance for those who believe and have faith, those who have fallen but never gave up. A temporary shelter to a wandering spirit, but when knocked and called, it passes the same road to exit and back to where our hearts belong. To follow our heart's desire could mean freedom from emotional and mental assault, to bring back our old self — stronger and better.

On the road to the peak is indeed bliss. Christmas in Our Hearts 2015: A Blissful Journey is a memorable moment of fun and excitement. It is the road to self-renewal and feeling hopeful for the next chapter, just like those who have just started living their dreams and are now living on the next level of a more wonderful reality. They have persevered, endured the pain, and gained the greatest surprise they deserve.

There were moments of victory and living our purpose. The road to healthcare mission brought a different kind of service for those who seek healing. Just like a book, it has its last chapter and page. Christmas in Our Hearts 2016: Breakthrough to Success was a call to service, self-discovery, and affirmation. When the previous page was done, we sought a more significant challenge; something unknown brought us on an incredible journey. It may have revealed our weaknesses, our dislikes and helped us move out of our comfort zones, but it also showed a different personality vulnerable to threats and uncontrolled forces.

Along the way, we meet people who are good and evil to us. People we met by chance have helped us get where we are. No matter what happens, with life's ups and downs, there will always be a family of our own and wherever we have settled in. The virtue of gratitude, forgiving and loving nature still reigns in our hearts. We continue to reflect and reminisce about those beautiful moments and believe in the current unexpected reality. The chapter still needs to close. It's still an incredible journey and challenges at the crossroads. The seed of thought planted years back is now becoming closer to reality. There are unexpected circumstances, but we create our reality, desires, and destiny.

© 2017 Del Cusay

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas in Our Hearts 2016: Breakthrough to Success

"Achieving my cherished goals and dreams is always a 'breakthrough to success' that I must cultivate. The year will always end with a brighter hope and aspirations in our hearts for a great year and the year ahead."

This is the season of loving and caring. When full of emotions, we are more compassionate to everyone who matters. We give and receive something, and we feel good about it. The spirit of Christmas-- the most beautiful time of the year. Whenever the Christmas season comes, it excites us and makes us fully alive. There's more incredible energy everywhere and a feeling of abundance. These feelings create a wonderful memory that lasts for a lifetime.

Christmas is a beautiful season and gives us a magical experience utterly different from the ordinary months that have passed. I remember memories whenever I play and listen to Christmas instrumentals, the relaxing piano music, and the saxophone's romantic sound. Christmas is truly in the air. It gives a flashback of the remarkable past and gives hope to the unknown future. As I quietly lay down on the bed, I close my eyes and reminisce about the beautiful time I've experienced. I recall the ups and downs that brought laughter and tears from the past to the present. The memories that wouldn't just fade away but remain in my heart forever.

Christmas is a joyful season that brings hope to empty, lacking, and abandoned people. When this time comes, we hear the children singing Christmas carols. They may not feel empty, but they hope to be given a part of what we have. We provide them with a part of our success. Though not that much, it remains memorable, and they take gratitude for that simple way of giving. Singing Christmas carols in the neighborhood was a unique childhood experience. 

Aside from exercising our vocal powers, we enjoy the little money we receive. The happiness is accurate, and the excitement is unstoppable. I know how these kids feel when they receive something from every house that they sing a carol. That's an early practice of the virtue of gratitude. It's something that we must learn to value and practice. It brings more blessings and abundance. The more grateful we are, the more fulfilled we'll become. We don't feel empty, but we always have enough.

Christmas is a time of spiritual reflection. The year is about to end, and we affirm our goals, the desires we have accomplished, the directions we have taken, and the destination we have finally arrived at. A successful year doesn't mean being a winner in everything. There are times we feel defeated, unsure, and misguided. However, those emotions are just part of winning. To lose for a moment doesn't define the year-end success; it doesn't predict the following year's success or lead to demotivation and lack of meaning. Hence, it reminds us to renew our lives and make more extraordinary sacrifices for goals to achieve beyond the limits. This Christmas is to celebrate success and achievements that contribute to personal development. Reflecting on what I've achieved gives me a sense of fulfillment -- a blissful spirit.

The Past year has been a meaningful celebration. Christmas in Our Hearts 2015 brought us together with joy in our hearts. Since 2011, I've written Christmas in Our Hearts to reflect on the joyous season with my family. We anticipate a better year ahead of us when we're bonded. We are together in our hopes and aspirations for a bountiful new year full of blessings and mercy from God. This year 2016, is another milestone of a beautiful journey. I've been taken to a place closer to home. A trip is full of hopes and plans for personal development. -- a destination where everything ends happily, feeling love and compassion.

Christmas 2016 is a simple yet meaningful celebration. The weather may not be favorable, but the rhythm goes unstoppable; music in a Christmas melody and kids enjoy dancing to a Zumba beat. Celebrating "Misa de Gallo" commemorates the birth of Christ, the source of our Divine inspiration and power. This is followed by the traditional "Noche Buena" as thanksgiving.

Christmas is always in our hearts, and we hope for the best thing to come. I am hoping for more blessings, abundance, everlasting grace, and the loving mercy of God. This year 2016, gave me a great life lesson. To live a life full of gratitude and a more positive spirit will be carried on the following year, 2017. I hope for the best for myself, my family, and everyone who truly matters. Achieving my cherished goals and dreams is always a 'breakthrough to success' that I must cultivate. The year will always end with brighter hope and aspirations in our hearts for a great year and the year ahead.

© 2016 Del Cusay

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas in Our Hearts 2015: A Blissful Journey

Christmas is the most awaited season and the most beautiful time of the year. This is an excellent time to spend joyful memories with our friends and loved ones, to share smiles and laughter with others, or perhaps grief and sorrow with some.

The past Christmas celebrations were joyous and unforgettable. I may have missed Christmas in my home country, yet I always felt connected and loved. Nothing beats a festival like the way we Filipinos do. It may be a simple celebration, but the spirit of Christmas is genuinely felt and remains in our hearts forever.

It was exactly four years ago when I shared thoughts about the holiday season. I have witnessed a different culture, and how they celebrate Christmas is wonderful. Christmas in Our Hearts 2011 brought good memories with those I've been with. It was like having fun in a wonderland, and it felt like there was no tomorrow.

Christmas 2012 was meaningful since I celebrated it with my family. Since I missed the 2011 celebration, I cherished our time together. I may not be home for Christmas in 2013, so this is worth reminiscing about. Christmas in Our Hearts 2012 was full of fun and excitement. Spending time together with my family is bliss.

Christmas celebration in Tagaytay City

Christmas 2013 was a simple celebration; I was away from home. It doesn't matter how far the distance is, as long as I never feel alone and still carry the smile and happiness it brings. It was a nice feeling to have shared Christmas traditions and stories which I cherish 

Christmas 2014 was celebrated in my hometown together with my family. It was one of the happiest moments since we didn't get the chance to celebrate together every year. It was not as extravagant as previous years' celebrations, but the simplicity and essence of Christmas are remarkable.

This year 2015, I am with my family for Christmas. There's nothing much excitement like the past years' celebration, yet it is beautiful. What matters is the presence of loved ones and sharing moments with them.

I hope that before the year ends, we'll all be healed from old wounds and unpleasant memories. We want to deserve the good things in life and work together towards a common goal; to achieve success, fulfillment, and experience everlasting bliss and peace in our hearts.

© 2015 Del Cusay

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas in Our Hearts 2012: A Joyous Journey

"Christmas is all about remembering Jesus Christ and celebrating his presence in us. He is our guiding light, the way to the right path, and our greatest hope.  May we live the spirit of Christmas in our hearts, lead us towards a joyous journey, and  brings us joy, love, and everlasting peace."

Here comes the most beautiful season of the year--Christmas. This time of the year, I feel joyful and more blessed. The season where I can express my gratitude by giving thanks to the Lord Christ for a year that is abundant and meaningful.

This Christmas is the time to give, share, to express our loving spirit. It may not be through material presents, but the kind thought of giving good wishes and blessings to others provides more sense of fulfillment.

I am always fascinated by how people worldwide celebrate Christmas regardless of culture, religion, or spiritual affiliations. Through this recognition, the world feels united in Christ's loving spirit. 

What symbolizes Christmas in modern times is the presence of colorful and bright lights around, like Christ, who guides humanity towards a more promising path and illumines life. During this season, many families are amused by the decorations that they have made on their Christmas trees. The symbol of hope, a brighter and prosperous life.

Although I missed celebrating the previous Christmas in my home country with my family, I still feel connected and inspired to make the yuletide season festive and gleeful. It was indeed an excellent opportunity to have a glimpse of Christmas in a different culture. Hence, I have written my thoughts about last Christmas in Our Hearts (click to read).

Now that I am back home, nothing compares to the Christmas celebration with my family. Knowing how everyone is doing, and their state of being is good. Being genuinely connected and receiving blessings from them is a good feeling.

On Christmas Eve, I enjoy having a simple gathering with my family. The night party is full of excitement for everyone, especially the little kids. Exchange of gifts is usually part of this event, and it feels good to have given and received presents, simple acts of kindness yet memorable.

I feel blessed to have attended the Eucharistic celebration with my family, also popularly known as the "Misa de Gallo"- a well-celebrated and preserved tradition. This is a 'holy night' when Christ was born and is considered the greatest gift to humanity. 

Following the mass is the family gathering known as the "Noche Buena" or Good Night. It is great to share a sumptuous meal and some fun and laughter. This is a yearly tradition that we have been observing since this serves as a thanksgiving for the blessings of the current year and to wait a better year ahead.

Christmas is all about remembering Jesus Christ and celebrating his presence in us. He is our guiding light, the way to the right path, and our greatest hope.  May we live the spirit of Christmas in our hearts, lead us towards a joyous journey, and brings us joy, love, and everlasting peace.

© 2012 Del Cusay

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas in Our Hearts: A Wonderful Beginning

I have loved to celebrate Christmas with my family since childhood. Christmas would mean so many things to me when I was a kid, full of beautiful imaginations, like believing in Santa Claus and the gift to be received from him. As a kid, I had a meaningful experience during this season. For me, this is the season to gather as a family, having a meal together on Christmas eve or Noche Buena. Full of surprises like games, food, gifts, and others.

Through the years, things have changed rapidly. Beliefs in Santa Claus have changed; consecutive years celebrating Christmas not being together as a complete family, not many gifts received and given, and no games, no parties, and just enough food for Noche Buena (Christmas eve).

Every Christmas celebration is unique. We had several Christmas parties at school, parties with friends, and an exclusive celebration with the family.

Although the Christmas season has uniqueness and extravagance, I have always remembered the real essence of celebrating Christmas. To give, to share, to love one another—virtues that were instilled in my mind.

Celebrating Christmas is beyond values and virtues. More than the party, the gifts, and the food is the time to remember the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Christians, we have attended mass on Christmas eve to commemorate His birth and to pray for blessings and abundance.

Moreover, Christmas is an excellent opportunity to reunite with loved ones, heal broken hearts, and forgive. This is in preparation to open our hearts to receiving many more incredible blessings for the coming of a new year. A more fulfilled life comes after an open heart— a giving and loving heart. Likewise, success is short-lived and never measured by how many material things we possess.

A fulfilled person is more than being happy. It can be measured as to how you're living your life. How many people have you helped and transformed their lives? What sacrifices have you made for the benefit of the many?— these are some spiritual practices of a fulfilled individual with Christ-like virtues.

This Christmas, although I will not be able to celebrate it with my family, I still feel connected with them. I don't have to feel lonely in a foreign land, knowing they live a good, content life with a sense of fulfillment.

I may be far away, but the spirit of Christmas is still there. There is no reason to be homesick or sad, but there is always a reason to smile and celebrate with people closer and dear to us.

This Christmas, above all and from a deeper perspective, is about Jesus Christ. Hence, we must remember how to share indiscriminately, give heartily and love unconditionally.

Christmas, as celebrated all over the world, would remind us to live with our responsibility beyond what we call being Christian, and the virtues it has taught us should be practiced the whole year round, and that Christmas, regardless of race, creed, and religion, or spiritual affiliation will always be in our hearts forever.

© 2011 Del Cusay