Showing posts with label Humanitarian and Philanthropy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Humanitarian and Philanthropy. Show all posts

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Healthcare Frontliner's Fight and Flight

We are all fighting an invisible enemy. This has caused us fear and panic due to our vulnerability and uncertainty.

The COVID-19 pandemic is something to be scared of. While we are being optimistic in general, it still doesn't remove the anxiety we experience. It is spreading faster, and many people are getting infected and dying daily.

The young and the old, celebrities and ordinary people, the rich and the poor suffer. No one seems spared. We are affected physically, mentally, socially, politically, and economically.

Our physical movement is restricted due to isolation and strict home quarantine directive by the Government, thus causing discomfort, irritability, confusion, and anger. The Government assures their people of food relief and financial aid to those affected by community lockdown. 

Some people are anxious about their financial instability, thinking about how they will be able to survive the crisis. The ripple of untoward effects and the worst-case scenario is evident. 

For the general public, one thing being told to follow is to 'stay at home to prevent getting infected. This is already a heroic act that we can contribute to the epidemic to be contained.

Some people may not be able to fully understand the call for home quarantine and physical or social distancing protocol. The reason why our medical frontliners are calling our attention with the message 'I stay at work for you, please stay at home for us' seems like a straightforward message, but with a heartfelt plea to us.

Some of us may defy that simple yet meaningful message of our Healthcare frontliners, which is why we lost some of them. They keep on fighting for our precious lives and, more so, the lives of those under their care already. They are risking their lives whenever they treat a positive COVID-19 patient.

Several doctors globally have passed away while doing the heroic act of saving lives. Although they are already exhausted and stressed, more nurses and hospital personnel are not giving up. They keep fighting and having the will to live to protect us and save as many lives as possible.

In 2016, I had the opportunity to serve the frontline health workers of 'The Medical City Iloilo,' where I managed the frontliners in several units like Patient Education, Information, and Customer Service. I have worked with Doctors, Nurses, and Non-medical support staff regarding Patient Partnership Experience.

I am grateful for the opportunity to impart "Transforming Patient Partnership" with the Clinical Supervisors and Head Nurses of the Medical City Iloilo. As the healthcare institution is moving forward, we have aimed to develop high-performing teams capable of working in a highly challenging situations.

We also strengthened our Patient Partnership intervention through Effective Communications in Healthcare, Personal Development in Healthcare, Stress Management Program, and Conflict Resolution and Management Program, which are essential in delivering frontline healthcare services.

As a nurse myself, I have experienced a stressful environment in a healthcare setting. Thus I have imparted programs that I believed would help deal with day-to-day operations and whenever needed in times of future crisis.

The Medical frontliners globally are well trained to handle difficult situations even in times of health crisis like the pandemic issue. They are equipped with the essential gears of knowledge, skills, and wisdom. They are ready for the battle anytime they are tested or challenged.

They are put on the frontline because they have the most willpower, are the bravest, and are ready to die in service for us.

The medical frontliners are our modern-day heroes. In this health crisis, they defend us all against unseen invaders. They fight for our survival, and they die for us to live. That's the most heroic deed they can do for us. 

We honor and salute our medical frontliners for their utmost dedication and service. Like us, they deserve to survive this battle, and they also deserve to live their best life. Let's protect them by doing our share. Let's help them stay and live. 

© 2020 Del Cusay

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Heart's Desire: Evolution of Love

To love someone and be loved in return must be a source of joy, especially when suffering from emotional setbacks like loneliness, apathy, and grief. Sometimes, some people struggle to find the real meaning of love when they feel lost and empty.

However, love has a different meaning to individuals. For the orphan, a warm hug gives them a feeling of acceptance and security. Raising their kids well for single parents and a widow gives them dignity and pride. The elderly get the highest respect from the young ones. These are the positive emotions where love wins.

In today's society, we also have the victims of circumstances that made them view love differently. The homeless feel less secure and abandoned. The rebel groups, they may feel deprived of equal rights and opportunities. And the sick and dying may feel unfulfilled, uncared for, and unloved.

Love has several meanings as we go through the stages of life. As a kid, we felt so much love from our parents. As we go through our teenage years, we think about the acceptance and love of our peers. When working and serving people, we love our countrymen and the nation. That is how love evolves over time. 

Following Our Heart's Desire is a reminder to chase our most coveted goals to achieve and to keep going on when life seems to be challenging in the achievement of our most cherished hopes and dreams. That may be the stage when we have all the energy and hopeful desires for success.

Heart's Desire: Living A Fantastic Life is a service beyond self. It's about experiencing bliss, a higher level of Divinely inspired happiness. When we reach out to others through public service, we give part of our Divinity inherent to a human being. Then we go beyond our selfish desires, which are all about us, our ego.

Heart's Desire: Living A Humanitarian Life is a realization of a higher level of love when we go beyond our love for self and love for our family. It is about humanitarian service through charity work or public service, allowing us to serve the privileged and underprivileged sectors.

The evolution of love may be beyond life on earth as we may believe in 'life after death and may continue to guide the loved ones who are still fighting for love, the meaning of love, and their evolution of love.

© 2019 Del Cusay

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hope For Humanity: A Life Worth Living

2013 was probably the worst disaster that hit the Philippines, my beloved country. The day when the most destructive typhoon killed thousands of lives and families left homeless. November 8, 2013, was a nightmare to consider. Several lives were lost instantly, and many people suffered from post-traumatic stress. They were helpless, didn't know what to do, and felt abandoned and neglected. It killed innocent lives, the hopes and dreams of many people, families living simple lives, and those who have just started building their lives. It was all gone due to a significant impact caused by Typhoon Yolanda, internationally known as Haiyan.

As a disaster-prone country, we learned to adapt to almost every calamity. We brave the storm, proving the Resilience of The Filipino Spirit that we are as complex as titanium but as soft as a pearl. We learn to recover and stand up again despite the miseries we have experienced. We struggle, we cry, we laugh, and we smile. That's the cycle of life we are meant to live. In the Philippines, that's our reality. We are waterproof no matter what challenges we are going through. We Filipinos are tough, but our poor soul experiences the pain that makes us feel helpless, meaningless, and lack direction and purpose. We became lost and wanderers in body, mind, and spirit.

Destruction of humanity caused by climate change is the greatest challenge in this century. We have caused significant damage to the earth and suffer the consequence; hence, disaster is becoming a regular occurrence, and we must learn how to fight to survive. Yes, we are a survivor in this archipelago of stormy seas. Our survival instinct guides our actions to escape from harm and danger. Our bodies may have become weak, but our spirit still has the energy to live. That is Perseverance in Times of Despair that we develop in our character. We became fearless, and we endured all the pain.

As a survivor, I have learned to acknowledge the importance of saving our environment; our nature; the habitat we live in; keeping the forestry that is becoming denuded, and creating awareness for people who don't care. People are becoming greedy and busy with the destruction of nature just to gain wealth. That's their way to survive and their life path. For us, we end up suffering. Those people are careless not to think and feel for the welfare of the people. Truly, destruction against humanity.

A simple way of expressing disgust for environmental destruction and supporting the ecological protection drive would mean a lot. I believe there are still better leaders with a voice and influence to beat the destroyers, the environment killers. I give my support to those who care for humanity and the world. There's nothing more worth living than a peaceful and heaven-on-earth experience. When we sleep so deep and wake up with higher hopes and goals to accomplish. When we live in harmony with nature and keep our balance as we progress. There is nothing more in life than to keep everything fair and just.

My previous life experiences made me stronger and think extraordinarily. MyMy Life's Greatest Challenge prepared me for a more significant role of serving humanity through a personal transformation through higher consciousness. I've been prepared for disaster preparedness for a possible worst-case scenario. The world is ever-changing and unpredictable. However, we can always foresee the events based on the current trend. Today, we are Dealing with The Impact of Climate Change. That's our reality, and we are now living in it. We can't stop it, but we can prepare for the worst thing to come to entirely survive. I mean not only on a physical level but also on emotional, mental, and spiritual levels.

Life is good, and it is worth living to have a negligible influence on others. We can make an impact in our own way based on what we believe is right and for the betterment of other people. Our humanitarian actions will go a long way, creating a ripple of kindness and goodwill to improve the world. Our Heart's Desire: To live a Humanitarian Life Heart's Desire: To live a Humanitarian Life that will influence others to stand up and act for better mankind. We have higher hopes for ourselves, but we are also hoping more for humanity's future. As I remember, service life is a life worth living and well lived -- the humanitarian way.

© 2017 Del Cusay

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Resilience of The Filipino Spirit: Dealing with the Impact of Climate Change

The recent environmental issue of climate change significantly affects humanity and the world. We are all living testimony of how our lives have changed in many ways; we either adapt to it or become victims of circumstances. This is more than just the present situation since we look forward to its massive destruction in the succeeding years and generations.

With the most significant issue of global warming leading to climate change, how can we foresee the future ahead of us? How can we ensure that the next generations will live harmoniously with nature? Is the human race losing the battle and on its way to extinction? We may never know, but one thing for sure is that we now live in uncertainty due to the destructive Power of Nature and the consequence of greediness and negligence for personal gains.

The great debate on climate change started several years back. It has become a significant issue confronting several nations, especially the Philippines, one of the most disaster-prone countries in Asia and the world. This small archipelago of brave Filipinos have suffered tremendously at some point in time due to significant natural calamity; typhoons, landslides, earthquakes, and storm surge that have killed thousands of Filipinos. 

Natural disasters may be inevitable. However, the  Resilience of the Filipino Spirit made us more robust, and we became the ultimate survivor. Our survival instinct enables us to better prepare ahead and anticipate more destructive forces beyond our control. We may have a bended knee, but that's only temporary, as we can bounce back to live a fully recovered life. 

Philippine Government, NGOs, and even private companies and organizations are doing their mandate in response to their environmental duties and contribution to a more livable community. Media Company, Rappler has been a leader in its humanitarian effort concerning the effect of climate change.

Their AGOS project, in partnership and coordination with several Government and  Non-Government agencies, calls for an action to raise awareness among every Filipino that we can do something in our very own simple ways. We can be empowered to send and receive reports about calamities and disaster-related occurrences through social media.

The AGOS project introduced a way of making a difference through a practical and achievable 3-way goal: to "Prepare - Respond - Recover" applicable before, during, and after a disaster or calamity. 

The 2-day AGOS Disaster Preparedness on July 14-15 was a remarkable achievement of the Government and Private organizations working together for a common goal to achieve zero casualties in times of natural disaster. Rappler, in partnership with Humanitarian Organizations, was successful in attracting members, followers, and volunteers willing to spend their precious time and devote positive energy to a humanitarian cause. 

Present at the event is our Philippine Senator, Richard Gordon, who is the Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross. He shared about the power of volunteerism and what they can achieve to alleviate the suffering and restore the dignity of calamity victims. Senator Loren Legarda also shared about the environmental law she has authored since the early 90s. Her concept of zero waste management, "Reuse - Reduce - Recycle," is her environmental advocacy teaching people to save our environment from further damage or harm. Other invited speakers talked about their respective offices or agencies' role in minimizing the effect of climate change and our ways of adaptation and survival. 

Together with Maria Ressa, CEO, Rappler
The initiative of Maria Ressa, CEO of  Rappler, and her whole team is truly commendable as they have proven their leadership in disaster management and advocacy for a more resilient community.  Maria's approach to public-private partnership doesn't need a huge budget but to empower Filipino people, especially the younger generations, to become active change agents capable of influencing others to have their commitments to Environmental causes.

The Summit was empowering, inspiring us to have a voice even in digital media. We can actively communicate ideas and solutions that benefit disaster management through social media. The humanitarian drive creates goodwill among its followers and will further influence young people to actively participate in nation-building.

The great thing about being Filipino is that our 'Bayahihan' culture has become digital. Its evolution enables humanitarians and advocates to continue living with a sense of purpose and direction. We have already proven the Resilience of The Filipino Spirit: A Year After Typhoon Yolandaand unfortunate events may hit us no matter what. Still, we're ready to break the barriers for a smooth-sailing journey to recovery.

We join hands together, and our soul-purpose will lead us to uplift the lives of other Filipinos who are lost, misguided, and victims of this sad fate. A resilient spirit will always be unshakable and always create a ripple.                                                                

© 2017 Del Cusay

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Heart's Desire: Living A Humanitarian Life

This day marks the beginning of a new journey to life; the start of a soulful experience of a higher self beyond the physical realm of existence. This day also marks the re-discovery of the true self beyond ego and lower emotions. When the lost soul wanders, it surely will find its place to regain self and follow the guiding light.

The lost chapters may be out of sight, however, those darkest moments find a way to escape leading to a brighter and more fulfilling journey. Through a deeper self-reflection, one has to find the right path and live with its soul purpose -- the so-called dharma.

The darkest moments in life are the unheard hopes and aspirations; the endless sufferings and blockages towards living a better life. Being redirected on a long tunnel is to experience the reality of the negative side of the physical world. To experience not just the good but also the unfavorable things beyond personal control. 

To be human is to experience suffering. Learn from it and continue to seek for the answer; find the truth and be the guiding light to those who wander. When you've been there, it will be easy to relate to the suffering one is dealing with and you become a master of your life -- your thoughts and emotions.

Those years when I started to discover another dimension of life, was a great spiritual experience and of personal transformation. It wasn't easy at the beginning. You have to undergo self-restraint and a sense of control in thoughts and emotions. It was only then, lower emotions are defeated through the enlightenment of the nature of man's suffering -- endless suffering.

The initiation towards the path brought significant change not only to self but to a greater world. Being called to serve humanity and the world revealed the spiritual powers vested on me and it became a way of living.  

Understanding the nature of humanity requires certain values one must learn to live.  It was then I've learned to unleash love and compassion that is innate and the core of our being. I couldn't have given it to people without a deeper understanding and love of myself. I have loved myself and had given it away.

Truly, humanitarian service is the greatest expression of love and compassion. To regain me is to continue the lost journey. It will be a challenging task, but hopefully will be a rewarding journey ahead.

 Following Our Heart's Desire serves as a guide to living one's purpose and for me, service to humanity through education and personal development is the path -- the soul purpose to live and master not only today but for a lifetime.

© 2017 Del Cusay

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dumaguete's Best: The City of Gentle People

It's good to travel where you can unwind and feel the serenity of the place, and that may be why I was brought by my wishes to the city of gentle people--Dumaguete. 

Back in Manila, I was thinking of a place where I could rejuvenate and regain my energy. I am lucky to have a friend who can share something about his beloved city, and the desire was unstoppable--turned into reality. 

In the first few days of my stay, I met friends who toured me around. The boulevard can become a busy street but with a relaxing ambiance, and it is where I spent some time meditating in front of the bay. Sitting on a bench while observing the surroundings made me feel the spirit of gentleness in people. The smiles, laughter, kindness, and hospitality make this place beautiful and worth remembering.

In every city that offers specialty food, Dumaguete has different tastes to cater to every visitor.  'Casablanca' has a Mediterranean feel as they serve tasty soup and salad. In C&L Bayview, you can have a relaxing view from the roof deck overlooking the mystical Island of Siquijor and the southern town of Cebu. There's also a certain glow at night as you feel the cool breeze from the bay and the view of the mountains from its neighboring town. 

At Rizal Boulevard
Near the boulevard were bistros and cafes where I tasted mouthwatering pastries and a cup of coffee. 'Sans Rival Bistro' is an excellent place to dine with friends. Their old-time favorite silvanas and sans rival made me come back several times at any time of the day. After a meditation class at the stadium, there's Gabby's bistro to offer a good breakfast while having some chat. An evening chill at 'Hayahay" treehouse had a wonderful candlelight experience with relaxing music and a natural sea breeze. On a multi-tasking day, I spent lunch in 'Kyosko' with a friend while working on my computer for a writing task. In 'KRI,' a cup of warm ginger lemonade is soothing just before giving a talk to a youth group in Silliman. A sumptuous meal with new friends and enjoying shared stories and experiences. 

Since I've known a good friend at Silliman University, I am lucky to have been allowed to deliver a talk to the 'Rennaisance Youth Leaders Forum" which is an outstanding youth organization in the country. It's always good to inspire young minds to become active leaders with balanced energy to unleash their potential and eventually become world-class leaders. 
I had a campus tour with a friend, and we walked from the facade and hallways of each department and visited old structures like Silliman Hall, the oldest structure in the school. There's a vast auditorium used for cultural shows and other events, and they boast a 3-story building library full of historical documents. 

Outdoor, they have a good playground where students can sit or play frisbee. From the central ground overlooking the bay, an open-air amphitheater faces the church, and the acacia trees in the promenade offer a calming effect. This is truly one of the best Universities in the country, offering world-class education not only for Filipinos but also for foreign students who trust the quality of education they offer. A brief tour of the campus gave me nostalgic moments from the past, and I learned something about the university's history and culture, which is incomparable. 

At the Silliman University Campus

There's a reason to return and experience all the good things the city has to offer. There's more to explore and experience since Dumaguete is also a gateway to several natural wonders and scenic spots. There's an Apo island sanctuary to experience abundant marine life with corals, fishes, and sea turtles. Also, the Island of Siquijor would be a good summer escapade to experience unspoiled beaches and fresh air. Another activity which is snorkeling with the whale shark, would be an exciting experience in the southern town of Cebu. All these are worth experiencing as everyone would talk good stories about it. 

Dumaguete is one of the best destinations I've visited in the country. With all these beautiful places, the gentleness and hospitality of the people summarize the overall experience and wanting me to return.  I've been to places in the region, but the city of gentle people is fascinating and worth remembering.

© 2014 Del Cusay

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Resilience of the Filipino Spirit: A Year After Typhoon Yolanda

"Today, we remember the innocent lives that were lost, the cry for help, the desperate actions, but we also remember the unsung heroes who have sacrificed in helping our countrymen to start another chapter of their lives. We thank those who have shared their sympathy and delivered humanitarian services to our people. We are not alone and are blessed by your kindness and generosity."

A year ago, the Philippines experienced one of the worst catastrophes ever experienced. Typhoon "Haiyan," with the local name"Yolanda," became our land's deadliest calamity. Thousands of people risked their lives. However, some were not lucky enough to survive. Several families lost their loved ones. They also lost their homes, properties, and sources of living. It was perhaps the most unforgettable and painful emotion ever felt by those greatly affected by the tragedy.

On November 8, 2013, almost the entire Visayan region was severely hit by a massive and destructive force that others wouldn't have expected to happen or even experience. Even when there was enough preparation by the local government and the announcement of the weather bureau, the effect was so strong that has washed out the coastal village and destroyed the entire city of "Tacloban" in the province of Leyte located in the central Visayas region. This place was severely hit by the onslaught of the typhoon. 

I was in a foreign land when the calamity happened, and what I could do is to offer a prayer to the people and the place and also to my loved ones who are also residing in the affected region. It could break a heart to see images and videos on television about the aftermath of the typhoon. Some people might have survived, but they are not totally a survivor since they fought for food, water, and shelter and died from hunger. Although they may have survival instincts, others have sacrificed dignity and virtues and resort to looting and fighting to feed their family to survive.

Regardless of our calamities, Filipinos will still rise and live as survivors. Two weeks after the catastrophe, I described how Filipinos fought one of the most significant challenges in their lives. The Resilience of the Filipino Spirit would have proved to the world that we are brave enough for any battles in life. We may have been deeply wounded from within. However, the painful mark will leave a lasting memory of bravery and valor. 

A destruction phase was experienced; however, a year later, we built our land again. We've put a smile on our faces and learned to laugh hard as if we have forgotten the worst nightmare. We are now rising above adversity and even prepared for a more substantial force beyond our control. 

We have witnessed the signs of destruction happening here and there and are learning something from all these things. This may only be the beginning, but we must prepare for the worst thing to come. We are now dealing with uncertainty and may never know when another life will be lost. If there are lessons we need to learn, we must ponder profoundly and do our best to share. We are not only responsible for our own lives; we have something to do with our environment, nature, and our precious land. There's a more powerful message about why we must learn about adversity and reform. After all, we don't want to risk thousands of lives again and experience miserable lives. 

Today, we remember the innocent lives lost, the cry for help, and the desperate actions. Still, we also recognize the unsung heroes who have sacrificed to help our countrymen to start another chapter of their lives. We thank those who have shared their sympathy and delivered humanitarian services to our people. We are not alone and are blessed by your kindness and generosity. 

The Philippines may be a small archipelago, but Filipinos have bigger dreams and significant global contributions. We are becoming stronger and wiser; we will rise again when we join hands together. In our hearts, we do not commemorate struggles and misery but celebrate a life full of gratitude and mercy.

© 2014 Del Cusay

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Resilience of the Filipino Spirit

"Filipinos worldwide are united as one and will continue to do so to be able to live a good life and the greatest life that we truly deserve."

The Philippines experienced another calamity that was considered one of the strongest and deadliest typhoons in the world. Typhoon "Haiyan," or the local name "Yolanda,"  brought misery to the Filipinos affected by the devastation it caused. 

In the Central Philippines, where the typhoon hit, thousands of people were victims of this natural calamity that has extended to several regions in Visayas Island. Some have survived, while others have lost their lives. 

Weather disturbances are common in the Philippines, and the Filipino people have learned to embrace this uncontrollable phenomenon. It had existed for several centuries, even before the talks about climate change started. This would be massive destruction of property and the loss of lives. It happens, and we are not in total control of these so-called acts of God.

Filipinos are known to have a strong spirit in times of calamities, and the world somehow acknowledges this, considering the numerous typhoons and earthquakes experienced. However, no matter how strong we are, our being still has limitations. Filipinos still suffer from anxiety and post-traumatic stress despite being resilient. We can put smiles on our faces, but there is still some pain inside that we carry. Filipinos are like that; the entire archipelago would share the same attitude when life faces challenges... when life seems unfair.

In any challenge, good or bad, there is something to learn. It is the time to reflect on our ways of dealing with life. Both the strongest and the weakest are tested, if you have   Perseverance in Times of Despair, you remain strong, but if you play as a victim and do not take responsibility, you may want to become one of the weakest links.

There are several talks and debates about climate change and its global impact. Some would be interested in the subject and take action, while others would ignore it and let it be. Indeed, what we do to our environment could bounce back on us. If people still seem careless and continue with their business interests, not minding its environmental effect, then we are in danger. 

We have already seen the effects of climate change, and it continues to manifest its power of destruction to the nations and the people. We've seen how it affected so many lives in several countries, and now the same fate happened in the Philippines. How many lives will still be at risk? I believe it's time to ponder on our simple yet meaningful gesture of care for the environment.

People are now starting to realize and believe that there is a natural force beyond our control from The Power of Natureand we have a call to action to make. There may be many factors why this massive destruction happens, but Filipinos will continue to rise up and begin a new life again and again.

Let's help each other and do our share to serve and show love and affection. We can learn how to Get Ahead of Life's Adversities and believe that something good is coming to our life after we have survived the most significant obstacle that has shaken our spirit. Filipinos worldwide are united and will continue to do so to live a good life and the most extraordinary life we truly deserve.

© 2014 Del Cusay

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Loving People of Kolkata: The City of Joy

My trip to Kolkata has a lot of learnings about the history and culture of the people known as 'Bengali.' It was the former capital of India under British rule until they transferred the Administrative center to New Delhi to make it the new money. It was just a recent past (2001) when Calcutta was changed to Kolkata.

The city is hot and humid in summer, considering it is located in a coastal state surrounded by seas and lakes. The weather might be unfavorable to some, but I have the tolerance for its extreme; my country, The Philippines, could even get hotter throughout the year. 

Since Kolkata and West Bengal are blessed with bodies of water, they are lucky to have fishing as one of their sources of livelihood. Bengalis love to eat fish, except for some who become pure vegetarians. 

The fishing industry is quite good in West Bengal and is India's leading fish-producing state. Most of the Bengal population eats fish, just like some of the coastal states of India, like Maharashtra (capital, Mumbai), Bihar, and the state of Kerala in the south. 

Kolkata may be one of the most populated cities in the world, but the population density is lower than I thought. It is relatively quiet compared to the cities of Delhi and Mumbai. And later, I have known that people in the town only travel a little for shopping, outdoor fun, and other activities. Some of the locals would need to think of how big and progressive the kind of city they have is. Some would even think of Kolkata as a typical village with slow-paced living. 

There are few forts, tombs, and monuments in Kolkata compared to Delhi, but the former British Raj has built impressive historical infrastructures

I have seen the magnificence of the Victoria Memorial, built in honor of Queen Victoria of Britain. It is somewhat similar to the architectural design of the Taj Mahal in Agra with white marble and Mughal design. The structure is beautiful from afar, and the lawns and garden are pretty and well-maintained. 

The Victoria Memorial

Near the Victoria Memorial is 'Fort William,' which was built as a military headquarters and still serves its primary purpose now. Adjacent to it is the Race Course, which hosts one of India's most significant horse race events. It used to be the pastime of the elites during the British regime, but now it is open to everyone. 

The Queen's Way Street Park offers a large playground for everyone and a favorite place for cricketers. It is a pleasant and spacious park, and some statues of built-in bronze are visible. The street was named to honor a Queen's visit to Kolkata on the way to the Victoria Memorial. 

These are just a few of the many good places to visit in Kolkata, and I am grateful that even for a short period, I have witnessed the place's grandeur. What I appreciate most is the history I've learned about the incredible architecture and sites. It is not just what you see that will move you; it also has some stories to tell back in time. 

Kolkata is making progress and faster development in terms of the local economy. Both residential and commercial buildings are on the rise, particularly in the reclaimed area of the northeastern side of Kolkata.

Due to the lack of available space to support the growing population and the increasing demand for housing, the local government has planned expansion for reclamation projects to benefit the people. 

The city is also becoming an Information Technology hub, and several Multinational companies built their headquarters in the vibrant place of 'Salt Lake,' which is the city center situated in a reclaimed salt-water lake, and that's how it got its name. 

With the rising progress of Kolkata, the locals remained to be spiritual. I have witnessed how they observed the 'Vasant Navrati' or 'Durga Puja,' which celebrates the triumph of good versus evil.  Although the spiritual significance is similar to the Holi Festival, the 'Durga Puja' celebration is mainly prayers and chanting. 

The city of Kolkata may have different impressions on everyone and the visitors, but to truly appreciate and understand a particular place, one needs to travel and be there to experience what it offers. We may think of not-so-good things about the site, but the moment we are there, our perspective has changed and created a lasting memory.

During my short stay, I felt the hospitality and warmth of the people. They treat visitors nicely and do their best to make one feel special. I had a nice feeling and enjoyed the acceptance and treatment they showed. An emotional connection was handled, and there's a substantial soul of the city and the people. 
No matter what social status they are living in society, they still find some happiness and joy in their hearts. 

In the future, I would love to come back to this place and witness its transformation. It is not just the beautiful place but the joyful people that make you feel good and loved that matters most. 

©️ 2021 Del Cusay