Showing posts with label June 2020. Show all posts
Showing posts with label June 2020. Show all posts

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Stairway to the Mountain

Nature's spring is nature's best. That was a tremendous and meaningful adventure on the foothill of the Mountain, Mount Arayat National Park.

To be closer to nature is a weekend and holiday destination for most city dwellers. An escape from noise pollution and the hustle and bustle of city life. Escaping from the real world of unending work and tasks. Escaping from reality, even for a short while.

An adventure worth sharing 6 years ago brought me to the beautiful and peaceful town of Arayat in the Province of Pampanga in Central Luzon Island, Philippines.

Two months after I arrived in the Philippines after a year of living abroad was a great adventure and soulful healing. That was April 2014 when I finally had a closer glimpse of Mount Arayat, which can only be seen from a distant highway when going to the Northernmost provinces in the country.

Nature's retreat offers excellent healing results for the body, mind, and soul. This is all we need after a long and tiring work week. And for the physical grounding, a day hike to the Mountain feels like rooting to the earth. Nature's Way to be reconnected to the world as our mind wanders and boggles, accompanied by anxiety, worries, and fears.

At the park's entrance to the hilltop community are a serene environment and the soulful sound of nature. The park is also home to different species of birds and wildlife under conservation. 

The park is an excellent escapade for families, team building, and even solo retreats. There are cottages, picnic areas, playgrounds,s and campsites for everyone's needs.

A hundred-step stairway to the hilltop community is a great calorie-burning and offers a stunning view of the Mountain. Closer view to the roof of Pampanga -- the province's highest peak.

Take a deep breath and a little more hike passing through the treehouses and all the Way to the Arayat Bikers Club. A solemn spiritual community awaits where one is closer to nature. Truly a heaven on earth for the residents and for the visitors.

Before heading down to the lowlands, I paused, meditated, and reflected on the Divine presence and a meaningful journey ahead.

The Mountain of Arayat and its Natural Park provides excellent service for people seeking respite from suffering, loneliness, stress, and grief.

On the new best normal and after the pandemic, people would reconnect with nature, taking a deeper breath and breathing out of toxicities of the body and mind and purifying their soul. And when we need to reboot or restart, there will always be a mountain to climb for soul searching -- to heal our being.

© 2020 Del Cusay

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Father's Day at The Farm

Life at the farm. That's our best new normal during this time of Pandemic. We get the benefits of a clean and green environment for healing and rejuvenation.

Today, we celebrate a special day since it's Father's Day. We decided to visit and spend our Sunday at the farm, a sanctuary we had developed for about a year now.

As I swing through a hammock, I reminisce how it all started back in June 2019, from when it was conceptualized until it materialized.

Today, a year after, we are harvesting fruits and vegetables, which my parents started to plant since the lockdown and home quarantine due to the Pandemic. My parents didn't stop their usual organic farming activity, and it's paying off-- it's harvest time.

We have varieties of vegetables like eggplant, bitter gourd, string beans, spinach, and squash. We also have fruits like Philippine lime or Calamansi, tomatoes, avocado, banana, watermelon, and coconut. These and many more in weeks to come as we expand and develop other areas for planting.

We aim for sustainable farming practices to provide our own food on the table in this time of crisis and as a way of living -- a new lifestyle.

In previous years, I may not have celebrated Father's day at home, so this year is an opportunity to be present and to show gratitude and appreciation to our dear Father.

I will forever be thankful for the love and inspiration; this crisis allows us to plant, grow and harvest what we've produced.

Father's day isn't only for a day; we celebrate it in our lifetime. Wherever we are, he will always be in our hearts. Our Father, our hero, our motivation, and our source of endless inspiration. 

© 2020 Del Cusay

Sunday, June 14, 2020

A Journey of A Thousand Miles

Life brings us to the place of our dreams. That's the beginning of a beautiful journey ahead. We dream it, we believe it, and we live it.

We manifest and hold on to that dream, we bring our intentions to life, and it starts with a single with— a single step.

Life may bring us to several places in our lifetime. Some destinations may still need to be planned, but opportunities and destiny take us there.

In 2016 after a thousand miles journeys abroad, life brought me to a lovely place; known as the city of love Iloilo City, Philippines.

The place is special to me since I lived there for about a year, from mid-2002 until mid-2003. It is where I studied my first year in college, being the center of higher education in the Region. Back then, the city had its charm with century-old churches and old ancestral houses preserved and restoredsuch a timeless beauty.

The city has to live up to the expectation dubbed as the 'City of Love,' and true to its name, it is the loving nature and the lovable character of the people that captivates the soul.

13 years since I left, I came back to live and practice my profession by working in a medical center near the esplanade, where I used to spend some morning strolls and sunset viewing. I have seen the city's growth as it embraced modern development in infrastructure while preserving its old heritage. Now the city is a fusion of the ancient and contemporary world. It has a more charming vibe among the developing cities in the Philippines.

That journey to the 'City of Love' brought memories to cherish for a lifetime, until one day, another journey began to another place; to the country's capital region of Metro Manila, back to the site where I started to work and discover places and the world.

Today, our world may have stopped. Life may have led me back to my greater comfort and security, to my birthplace, and to be with my family  my loved ones.

The thousand miles journey brought meaning to life, but away from my family. But now, a journey of a thousand miles includes a 'home sweet home' closer to my family.

Life is good to return to their loving and warm embrace during this crisis, where uncertainty unfolds. I was far away from them for years, searching for a living, but now I am living with them, searching for meaning.

Now, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Wherever we are in this world, no matter how far the distance we've been. Still, we'll always return to the most special place in our hearts. 

Life will always protect and comfort us, and life will always lead us back, even after a thousand miles journeys and beyond. 

© 2020 Del Cusay

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Lost in a Paradise

If there's one thing that this Pandemic has taught us, it is to embrace the stillness. To be present.

Life teaches us about what is essential versus what is luxury or leisure.

Life teaches us to embrace individual uniqueness and societal differences.

Life teaches us to be alone, lost, and regain ourselves.

What would happen if you got stuck on an Island. How would you imagine living?

There are no convenience stores, cellular phone signals, or internet.

You only have basic survival needs and equipment; tents, hammocks, cooking utensils, and just enough food good for two days.

I dared! I trekked a muddy road less traveled back in 2015. And my destination was the Island Province of Guimaras in the Philippines.

In just two days, I enjoyed the serenity of the place away from the people. The water was clear, and I jumped off a cliff. That was a safe jump rather than a risky dive I never dared. And I survived!

Now I'm living in the present. I am thinking about the time in our lives when we go on an adventure of a lifetime. There's no attachment to things and people. And the absence of one of the most essential things today -- getting online and social media.

Today, during this time of Pandemic and social isolation, our connection to the online world is our most important survival tool. We go online for news updates which sometimes can be toxic and causes sadness, loneliness, and grief. If there's no internet and social media in the present time, how would we live everyday life?

Our survival tool in the new best normal is connecting to the online world. For most of us, being offline is not alive since, nowadays, everybody seems to go digital, going online to communicate with coworkers, families, friends, and special loved ones.

I learned to be detached and offline, even for a short while. To go on social media detox. Honestly, I have lived in that present moment, living in stillness. That adventure taught me a lesson about basic survival skills and survival when the most essential thing is out of reach even for a while.

The next Pandemic may come in our time, and how we prepare for the worst is essential for survival.

To be stuck in an Island Paradise is just one learning experience that I have benefited from in the present times and the next crisis.

And today, we can always learn not to just survive. But, just be alive.

© 2020 Del Cusay