Showing posts with label events. Show all posts
Showing posts with label events. Show all posts

Sunday, January 22, 2023

๐—–๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—–๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—ก๐—ฒ๐˜„ ๐—ฌ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฏ: ๐—œ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป, ๐—ฃ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—›๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ

๐™ƒ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™™๐™ค ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™š๐™ญ๐™–๐™ข๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ค๐™ช๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™š๐™ข๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™จ? ๐™ƒ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™™๐™ค ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™–๐™˜๐™๐™ž๐™š๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™–๐™˜๐™š ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ข๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™™? ๐˜ผ๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™™๐™ค ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™›๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™š ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ข๐™š๐™จ?

Our bigger world begins with us. When we discover more about ourselves, we realize our potential and how we can significantly impact the outside world while eliminating our fears and doubts. 

It begins when we question who we are and what we can do to make a difference and lasting impact on other people's lives and the community we live. 

As we celebrate the year of the water rabbit according to the Chinese animal sign, we have a moment for introspection for our greatest rediscovery and restart of our lives. 

The rabbit sign signifies springtime or rebirth, just as we would want to start a new world of living and experience. 

The rabbit is a gentle animal that commands peace and harmony. Like us, we would want to avoid hostility and violence in our thoughts and intentions. 

I do my yearly introspection during the Lunar New Year, and it's a great time to make changes in ourselves if we want to unblock the path leading to peace and prosperity. 


We hope for a better life this year of the water rabbit. We keep on hoping for better days ahead. And we are hoping for the best decisions that will guide our path. 

As we are hopeful for the best year ahead, we also take action to fulfill our highest hopes and dreams despite the uncertainties. Our energy would bring us to a higher level of consciousness and allow us to live the best life we deserve -- living our life ahead of its time. 

©️ 2023 Del Cusay

Sunday, December 18, 2022

๐—ฆ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฟ ๐—–๐—ต๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—Ÿ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐—™๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—–๐—น๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ฒ


๐˜พ๐™๐™ง๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ข๐™–๐™จ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™–๐™ก๐™ก ๐™–๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™˜๐™๐™ž๐™ก๐™™๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ, ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ฎ ๐™จ๐™–๐™ฎ. ๐™„ ๐™ง๐™š๐™ข๐™š๐™ข๐™—๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฌ๐™๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™„ ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™จ ๐™– ๐™ ๐™ž๐™™, ๐™„ ๐™–๐™ก๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฎ๐™จ ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ค๐™  ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ง๐™™ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™ข๐™ช๐™˜๐™ ๐™š๐™ญ๐™˜๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ข๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™š๐™ฃ ๐˜ฟ๐™š๐™˜๐™š๐™ข๐™—๐™š๐™ง ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™š๐™จ.

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 Clause. 

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, September 18, 2022

๐—ฆ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ณ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—™๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฅ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—–๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ป๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—™๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐˜€


๐™’๐™๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ฃ ๐™จ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™š๐™จ ๐™—๐™ง๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™œ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š๐™จ ๐™ช๐™จ ๐™ช๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™ž๐™›๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™š๐™ง๐™œ๐™ฎ. ๐™„๐™ฉ ๐™š๐™ก๐™š๐™ซ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š๐™จ ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ค๐™™, ๐™š๐™ข๐™–๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š๐™จ ๐™– ๐™—๐™ง๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก๐™ž๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™œ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฌ, ๐™ง๐™–๐™™๐™ž๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š๐™จ ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™จ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ซ๐™ž๐™—๐™š๐™จ, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ข๐™–๐™ ๐™š๐™จ ๐™ช๐™จ ๐™๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ฎ. 

We offer that certain glow to the world, the people around us, and everyone we share our life. 
But we may stumble and fall when we're at the darkest moment. That happens when the light moves away from us. We kneel, we crawl, and we can hardly stand tall. 




In Richmond, British Columbia, 
we've found the brightest place to remind us 
to unleash our inner glow and become someone's dose of sunshine no matter what we can show. Before the summer ends, we travel to Richmond Country Farms, where the sunflower grows and truly glows. 

You can find different varieties of Sunflowers on a 20-acre property of this family-owned country farm that's genuinely a must-see summer attraction. They have a maze where you'll easily find a way out and a U-pic to take home freshly handpicked Sunflowers. 



It's the fourth year of the Richmond Sunflower festival since it started just before the pandemic hit in 2019. The annual event didn't stop notable visitors; it put a smile on their faces when the world seemed dark, and people were down. 

Summer is fun, and we must enjoy the outdoors under the sun. Like the sunflowers on the farm, we can rise and shine again, grow and glow up again, smile and be lovable again. 

©️  2022 Del Cusay


Sunday, July 24, 2022

Surrey Fusion Festival Returns at Holland Park


The largest and most diverse festival in Western Canada returns in its 15th year. We celebrated and enjoyed a weekend of multicultural understanding and experiencing diversity in food, culture, live music, and entertainment.

British Columbians and the residents of Surrey once again gathered at Holland park after two years after the pandemic. It's the largest crowd since it started in 2008, perhaps due to the desire of the people to reunite and bring back a more lively scene where everyone can enjoy a wide variety of cultural offerings from different countries in the world.

This year's Surrey Fusion Festival theme is CommUNITY. A single word that describes how the world must be in difficult times where global health threats have affected us to live, interact and socialize.

From the Latin countries of Bolivia, Argentina, and Columbia. Asian countries like India, Vietnam, and Indonesia. African countries like Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria. European countries like Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Southwestern Pacific like Tonga and Fiji. And the Caribbean countries like Barbados and the Cayman Islands. These are some of the 40 pavilions that showcased their food, culture, arts, music, and dance.

The pandemic seems over as the crowd cheers for fun and a manic vibe. The delicious authentic food, arts, dance, and music draw people to taste and experience world cultures in one venue.

Other features include a wellness garden where people can learn and experience yoga and meditation in Indigenous Village to learn about their culture through traditional cultural sharing, Global beer and wine tasting to sip some cold beverages from around the world and A cultural cooking arena for a showdown in a cooking competition. Also, there are stages where world-class performers share their talents with the crowd.

It was a great experience to have celebrated the Surrey Fusion Festival for the first time, and I would be glad to make it a yearly event to celebrate and have fun. Community is about the spirit of camaraderie that builds bridges for multicultural understanding and inclusivity. We unite to bring peace, love, and compassion to make our world a better place to live in and for the next generations to preserve and enrich their own culture for the world to see and embrace.

©️ 2022 Del Cusay

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Seafood Celebration in Steveston


It's getting warmer in Canada in the second half of the Spring season, and this is an ideal time to get out and enjoy the sunshine on the waterfront and patio.

Many people visit and have fun outdoors in the Steveston, British Columbia, fisherman's wharf. The fishing village is alive again after two years since the pandemic, and they are excited about the much-awaited Spot prawn and seafood celebration from May 6 to June 5. 

For seafood lovers, this is a chance to see and buy fresh catch spot prawns and other seafood sold directly from the fishing vessel in a floating seafood market.

For seafood lovers, this is a chance to see and buy fresh catch spot prawns and other seafood sold directly from the fishing vessel in a floating seafood market.

The fisherman's wharf is just a few meters from Garry point park, and people enjoy strolling at the promenade up to the restaurant patio. That's an excellent way to unwind and feel the healing benefits of a sea breeze. 

A take-home fresh spot prawn is the highlight since it's one of the best varieties. It's crisper, firmer, and tastes better. It's the most in-demand as people line up to buy a pound or more.

The good thing about the fishing industry in Canada is that the Government actively regulates product quality, public health, and safety. The fishermen can only sell a specific variety of seafood they're licensed to harvest. They need to hold and display a license on their stall and display a whiteboard that lists the species they're selling, the area of harvest, and the name of the vessel used for harvesting. That information safeguards the public that they only sell the highest quality products at the fish sales float.

A visit to Steveston Harbour celebrates reviving the fishing industry and supporting local fishermen in British Columbia. This place has plenty of marine life and vendors selling the highest quality products and abides by the fishing industry's laws and regulations. 


©️ 2022 Del Cusay

Friday, June 12, 2020

122nd Philippine Independence Day: Holding the Line


We can never attain absolute freedom if we're still a slave through the colonial mentality and feeling inferior to other races. The same thing is that we can't be free when our government is terrorizing and putting down its people. 


That may be our very own story today. The state of our current societal freedom. A prisoner of faith and hope.

That's not what our valiant heroes have fought for, just to free us from hundreds of years of foreign invasion and rule. The pain and struggle may have left an imprint on our being as passed on the blood flowing from our veins by our Forefathers.

Today, Philippine society may have evolved through the years. The new generations of young Filipinos may have been detached from history but attached to the modern living of comfort and convenience.

Today's society, however, is still struggling with defending our freedom to be free in our speech. That's the freedom of expression being threatened to be taken away.


We can be the most law-abiding citizen, but that doesn't mean we will remain to be silent and blind to what's happening in the government; how it's being run affects the way we live. We follow the rules and regulations, but that doesn't mean we will also track and have a higher tolerance for wrongdoings, abuse of power, and rampant human rights violations.

The Philippine society today is at threat of losing its voice. The voice of the masses -- the powerless and the most vulnerable.

People critical of the government are being silenced through harassment and false accusations; the worst is detention. If this can happen to political personalities and mass media, it can happen to almost anyone with the most vital voice of dissent or opposition.


I believe we have a good democracy, but what happens when the government has massive power for manipulation, tripping, intimidation, and control. Slowly, public dissent is being killed. No more voice to speak up, or you may be served a sentence without due process of law.

Democracy is what this country survived and thrived for over a century; otherwise, we may still be a colony and in control of a mighty nation. But, with our excellent resistance to put an end to foreign rule, we became a winner -- we regained our independence and freedom.

People can now discern right and wrong, what is real or just manipulation. People can express their thoughts with higher judgment and discrimination.


If the government shuts us down, let us hold the line. We know our limits. The government must know its limits too. The power vested in our leaders comes from the people, and we can take it away from them. Eventually, management has to come to an end. It's always temporary.

It's when we know how to hold the line that we can protect ourselves and uphold our freedom. The freedom that we Filipinos deserve. 

© 2020 Del Cusay


Sunday, May 10, 2020

Timeless Loving Memories


Mother. That's one precious and sweetest word we could hear. It's not just a word but brought into action by a remarkable, loving woman. 

The sweetest smile, the warmest hug, the thoughtful gesture, and the selfless love. That describes our Mother. Someone we can truly lean on; in good times and bad times. Someone who makes us feel loved and cared for. Someone we can depend on.

Today, the world is celebrating "Mother's Day," and we give honor and reverence to them in a unique way of remembering their most significant role in our existence. 


A Mother's definition and worth may differ from someone's personal feeling, but it is universal. The world owes a lot to Mothers who brought and raised us into this world.

Our GrandMothers, sisters, Aunts, and all the Mothers closer to us; this day is about remembering their greatness and the timeless loving memories. We must not forget how they help us mold and transform into better people.

The world is turning into a New world, but our Mother is still the same yesterday, today, and in years to come, even in our lifetime and eternal life.


We love our Mothers, and we honor all the Mothers and those we have known personally that have impacted or influenced our lives.

This is not just a day of celebration but a lifetime of honoring and remembering. Our Mothers, our greatest love who shows us endless love. 

© 2020 Del Cusay

Friday, April 10, 2020

Holy Week 2020: Faith in Uncertain Times


In observance of the Holy Week, we focus our energies and strength on the solemnity of the passion, death, and the coming resurrection of Christ. 

We leave our worries behind. That's the most respectful thing we can do since we are living by the promises of Christ. GOD is in control, and we put our trust and faith in Him.

The lenten season and the Holy Week this year are extra special. We haven't experienced this in decades since we came into this world. We are confined in our homes and celebrate masses on a live TV broadcast. We can't do the Good Friday procession and be able to celebrate Easter with greater freedom of expression of love and gratitude.


During this Lenten season, families celebrate Sunday Holy Mass at home, we do the virtual Visita Iglesia online, and we get to kneel on our Holy Altar at home.

This year, we can't go to places on a pilgrimage. We can't show our love through hugs and kisses, but we offer a different kind of love in the distance. To show love to people, we need to keep our distance. A tough love.

But in these uncertain times, we are comforted with love through the Religious leaders of God. Our Pope, our Bishops, and our Priests are there to provide for our spiritual needs.

We can gather with our family at home and listen to the words of God. We light a candle and offer a prayer

As I make my Holy week retreat in our sky garden, I can see, hear and feel God's Holiness and loving presence through His natural creations and masterpieces. We have been blessed to live in a natural sanctuary of solemnity and solitude to experience God's Divinity.

He is not absent, but He is there with us in the comfort of our home, wrapped in His loving arms. He is forever in our hearts and transforms our lives.

Yes, we may be living in this time of uncertainty, but we are learning to slow down, to live in stillness, and to notice and appreciate even the little things that matter in our lives.


On this Good Friday, we continue to pray and observe the Holy burial through the Holy image of the Santo Entierro. It is our belief that Christ has died to save humanity. Its significance lies in our personal experience and journey when He reveals his Holiness on our being.

May this silence and solitude be a time to realign our hopes and dreams? This is the right time to reassess the things that matter and are of actual value. Is this the time to listen and redirect our lives to living meaningful life?

© 2020 Del Cusay

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Saturday, January 25, 2020

Celebrating Chinese New Year 2020: Love, Peace and Harmony


Tikoy (Niรกn gฤo) and Ampao (Hรณngbฤo) is a famous Chinese symbol of good luck and prosperity. These two are a must-have in the Philippines and among the Chinese-Filipino community during special holidays like the Lunar Chinese New Year and other special occasions. 

Ang Pao, or the red envelope, evolved into an all-season object for gift-giving. It is given during the Chinese New Year and during birthdays and weddings. In the Philippines, we have adopted the giving of Ang Pao during Christmas and other events. 


I always like special delicacies, so I also like eating Tikoy, which signifies harmony and closeness among the family. It is also the stickiness that symbolizes bonding and togetherness. 

In Binondo, the past couple of years was an auspicious celebration as I have experienced the vibrant and enchanting Chinese New Year celebration. The streets of Binondo offer the best in Chinese culture and tradition passed on from generation to generation. 

I remember the kilometer-long street of Ongpin in Binondo when fun-filled activities happen during the Chinese New Year. The lion and the dragon dance are always colorful and graceful, giving positive energy to the watchers. The firecrackers ward off evil spirits and negativity, as they would believe. It's fun, and the excellent vibe would bring in a positive mindset and emotion, and that's the essence. 

The Chinese influence my beliefs about prosperity, so I follow the feng shui and the Chinese zodiac in some ways. They just guide us to a positive life. 

The past years are live-action experiences, and the stories will not be forgotten.


Those were the years of celebrating abundance and prosperity. And so, for this year and in succeeding years, I may not be able to celebrate Binondo, but I will still be open to embracing the culture and tradition that gives meaning to life from different perspectives.

But above all, for this year, it's not just about prosperity; it's about love, peace, and harmony that must reign in our hearts. That's what we all need at this very moment.

© 2020 Del Cusay


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Year 2020: A New Decade

It's now the 20s! The new decade has started. A new beginning... New hope and new aspirations.


The decade of the 2010s  has ended, and the new 2020s has started and seems brighter. We have welcomed the new year and decade with a greater vision. And so our mission will come a long way to reach other milestones and breakthroughs over the next decade. 

The previous year 2019was a great moment in our family as we welcomed blessings that will leave a lasting impact a living legacy.

In 2020, the new decade showed a glimpse of a shining and promising future, a vision of a distant future. 


We celebrated the new year with a simple yet meaningful family gathering at the farm. This was the first-ever new year we spent outdoors and in nature. It was fun and a great way of welcoming a new year with a lighter vibe but with greater hopes and dreams. 

What the future is like 

As we enjoy the serenity, we are already looking forward to the life our grandparents envisioned for their family and offspring.

My grandfather is a great visionary, and he sees opportunities for sustainable living. He is there to tell a great story of his humble beginnings how he started it all. 


For us, his grandchildren, that was a story and an inspiration to realize our potential and live a better life. He inspires and instills values and virtues through his example. 

Teaching the minds of young ones

When I was at the farm, I was eager to listen to the words of wisdom from my Father. This may be why I have learned to embrace farm living the way they do. 

For the new year, again, my Father inspired us all, including his grandchildren, about the value of nature through a simple tree-planting activity. The kids were eager to plant a dwarf coconut tree through the guidance of my Father. To touch the soil isn't to get a dirty hand but to reap what they have sowed in years to come.


That tree-planting activity was momentous since they planted in the new year and a new decade, 2020. When they visit the farm, they will see how it will grow and bear fruits in years to come.

A promising future awaits 

In the next 2 decades, about 20 years from now, our hometown will be more livable and offer a more excellent and sustainable opportunity. 

We were born and raised in this place we call home, and we will always come back to see its development and create the future we envisioned. 

What a great start to the year. We took a deep breath and breathed it out. We feel lighter and calmer. We are more inspired, and we would want a life that is on the positive side.

A new year and a new decade, 2020! A new journey to take. A new road ahead. A new crossroad to overcome. A unique soulful moment to live.

© 2020 Del Cusay

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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Birthday Special: Celebrating our Mother's 66th Birthday


We are blessed with the gift of life when we are born in this world. This is something to be grateful for. We are bound to a journey of knowing our life purpose. 

Since birth, our Mother is there to guide and raise us well. She nurtures and protects us until we live our own lives. She made a lot of sacrifices for us to have a brighter future. She loves her family and us, and her energy is about having a family to love and care for and guiding her children to know our life purpose and follow our path.

As we grow to adulthood, our Mother is still there to support us and share life lessons and wisdom. Her years of life experiences made her stronger and wiser. She is always there to listen and will always be the best counselor in times of need.


Today, we honor our Mother as she celebrates her 66th birthday. She deserves the best for her selfless love for our family and the religious community she had chosen to serve. 

Her love has grown beyond self, creating a ripple of goodwill to us, her children. She will be our guiding light and our strength. As we age, we understand her selfless sacrifices and her fight for a better life.

We wish our Mother the best of life so she can follow her dreams and make them come true. Her goals and visions of the future seem so bright, and we hope to catch a glimpse of that light as we grow and move further for a meaningful life.

© 2019 Del Cusay



Monday, September 2, 2019

Birthday Special: Love and Gratitude

Birthday marks a new beginning, a new cycle of life. It is one of the most pleasant days of remembering how the past year had been and how we were fair in life's dealing, how we lived our best life and braved all the challenges that had arrived.


If life is a cycle of ups and downs, of good times and bad times, then I have gone through its roller-coaster ride. Some bikes were good enough that they gave me more energy and willpower to execute ideas and turn them into reality. Whereas some cycles triggered lower emotions that produced lower frequency or vibrations.

The life cycle just before the birthday was a purification time to break negative thoughts and obsolete beliefs. Letting go of unpleasant emotions and moving forward for a brighter side; a more excellent cycle of renewal and strong will. 

On this day, I was born in this world more than 3 decades ago, and it marks the first cycle of life that gives meaning and power. The most critical time of the year is celebrating our precious birthdate. This is when we provide wishes for ourselves and extend them to our loved ones. 

The gift of a good life is the fundamental source of gratitude, and the goodness of life is shared with love and compassion with my family, friends, and dear ones.


On this new birth year cycle, one of the best gifts would be "a break" to take it slow, stop for a while, and build enough energy to appreciate the things I already have. To express my deepest love and gratitude for my parents, who gave me life, enjoyed God's natural wonders, and lived a simple and slow-paced life. 

Today, it's just another simple celebration of the start of another life cycle. Another year has been added, but age certainly is just a number. As I grow old, I continue to live my most extraordinary life and aspire to be a reflection of Divine love and light for my family and those people I will meet along the road.

Another life cycle will rock my world, but I wanted my faith and to stay above circumstances beyond my control. I have conquered my weaknesses, and this time is the beginning of making the best things possible through Divine power, love, and light. The cycle of life is God's greatest delight. 

© 2019 Del Cusay




Wednesday, June 12, 2019

121st Philippine Independence Day: Our Struggle for National Identity and Unity


T
he present-day "Pearl of the Orient Seas" underwent a massive transformation in terms of Socio-cultural, political, and economic factors, but since the beginning of the Philippine civilization, we may have one of the greatest challenges of all time; to learn about our identity and to achieve national unity.


Las Islas Filipinas under the Spanish regime have made a great effort to map our thousands of islands, naming and renaming the places and trying to unify the Filipino people while imposing on their culture and religion.

Spanish influences, as evidenced by our religion, festivals, food, music, and dances, have thrived through centuries. We have celebrated cultural and religious fiestas in honor of Patron Saints. We serve Spanish dishes like Adobo, Afritada, Caldereta, Menudo, Mechado, Arroz Caldo, and Arroz a la Valenciana. We have Spanish influences in our folk dances like the Fandangos; we have the most popular Pandango sa Ilaw, or Dance with light, which originated in Mindoro province. Another is the Pandango Oasiwas (Wasiwas) which originated from the fishing town of Lingayen, Pangasinan. We have several La Jota dances like La Jota San Joaquiรฑa, which originated from San Joaquin, Iloilo. And we also have an affectionate dance, CariรฑosaThese are some of the Philippine folk dances I had the opportunity to be part of in High school until College, which made me appreciate our Philippine Arts and culture even more and up to date.

With the treaty of Paris in 1898, Spain sold us to the United States for 20 million dollars, which concluded the Spanish-American war. Then came the declaration of the first Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898, headed by Emilio Aguinaldo at Kawit, Cavite. We thought Americans were on our side, but we suffered a significant defeat in the Philippine-American war from 1899 until 1902. We had been under their rule until they granted us independence on July 4, 1946 ⁠—our absolute independence.

During American rule, we started a modern way of living and had our new identity Americanized. We had free education from the Thomasites and learned the English language. And the Filipinos had religious freedom with the establishment of new religions founded by Filipinos. Today, there are several American influences on our culture; we eat hamburgers, sandwiches, and oatmeal. We dine at fast-food restaurants like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and KFC. We wear polo shirts, belts, tennis shoes, baseball caps, coats, and ties. Filipinos love American culture as we continue to speak English, which is also a great job opportunity for workers in the Business Process Outsourcing industry. We appreciate American music and dance, and some Filipinos covet the American dream of living and working in the land of the free Uncle Sam.

During World War 2, the Japanese occupation came in 1941 and invaded our Islands and had contributed little cultural influence for about 3 years. Still, they have left us with painful experiences, struggles, and deaths. For the shortest time of Japanese occupation, the most significant influence would be 'discipline' due to the imposition of curfew. Today, Japanese influence has been part of our culture as we have embraced their martial arts like Karate, Judo, and the Filipino version, Karatedo. We have Japanese elements in our gardens. We eat sushi, sashimi and Ramen. And some Filipinos are now eager to visit Japan because it is an ultra-modern nation with natural wonders and a better way of living as a first-world country in the East.

Over 3 centuries of Spanish settlement, over 4 decades of American rule, and over 3 years of Japanese occupation, we are left with painful memories of the past that haunts us. We have embraced different cultures from foreign invasions, but we have struggled with our own Filipino identity.

Today, foreign invasions have not ended yet. Trade wars are happening between economic giants from the East and the West. Religious wars are endless in different cities of the world. There is bullying of a more enormous country over a dot on a map in the Pacific.

We Filipinos may have a world-class spirit and a globally competitive people. Still, with the current trend of globalization, the desire to be different, having a colonial mentality, and being confused with our identity, we might secretly be invaded by foreign entities already in this 21st century.

This day, June 12, 2019, marks the 121st anniversary of Philippine Independence. It's my first time celebrating a momentous event in the historical place of Rizal Park. To have witnessed the flag-raising ceremony on this day gave me a glimpse of a nostalgic past and a vision of an uncertain future. 


Today, it is a challenge to retain our real identity of being Filipino, and achieving unity for all Filipinos is even more challenging. From the Katolikos (Catholics) of the North down to the Moros of the South. The fight of the Manobos and the killing of the lumads. The struggles of the Aetas, Igorots, and Mangyans. The differences between Tagalog and Bisaya. The war between the Philippine armed forces and the local terrorist groups. Diverse groups and cultures strive to establish and secure their local and indigenous identity while striving for significance with national identity to be a Filipino and be proud to say that I Am a Filipino. 

The solemnity of the flag-raising ceremony on this day signifies our unity in diversity. We may come from different Philippine Islands, but we aspire to raise our voices even in silence, to raise our dignity, and to raise our humanity. With Freedom in Our Heartswe can achieve lasting peace and unity by instilling a sense of national pride and distinctive identity.

© 2019 Del Cusay

Descrip Among 



Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Celebrating Chinese New Year 2019: Luck, Prosperity and Faith

Lion and Dragon Dance 
Chinese new year has been part of the Philippine culture for centuries and is celebrated by Filipinos from all walks of life, especially of Chinese descent, we call Tsinoy or Intsik.

In Binondo, a district in Manila, a vibrant and colorful celebration happens every Chinese New year to welcome prosperity and abundance in businesses established by the Tsinoys, with a majority of the community coming from Fujian and Guangdong provinces in China.

Grand Parade at Ongpin St. in Binondo
Centuries has passed. They have endured wars and conflicts in their little community, Chinatown in Binondo, and communities established in other places in the Philippine archipelago. But today, their businesses thrive in Binondo and have conquered almost all commerce and industries, becoming business leaders.

Our Philippine culture is greatly influenced by the Tsinoys, as evidenced by the food we serve during holidays, beliefs in luck through Chinese astrology or horoscope, Chinese martial arts, Chinese feng shui, Chinese arts, and architectural designs and structures. Today, all of these influences are alive in Binondo, particularly in the famous street of Ongpin - - the center of the Chinese New year celebration in the country.

Fruits and lucky charms 
Even in politics and governance, Tsinoys have been elected to serve the country. Beyond their business interests, they have proven to be an effective public servant, becoming truly Filipino by heart. From their ancestors as Chinese immigrants to the Philippines, they now have a massive influence in Philippine politics, and Filipinos patronize their brand of leadership.

My journey in Binondo started back in 2013. Celebrating the Chinese New Year 2013: A New Beginning was a meaningful and joyful experience. That was the beginning of a Chinese-Filipino culture immersion for a greater understanding of the country's deeply-rooted Chinese culture and influence.

Five years after, Celebrating Chinese New Year 2018: Prosperity and Abundance was a celebration of success and thanksgiving for a greater year that has passed and a greater optimism for the current year. That's the essence; becoming better and bolder every year.


According to Chinese culture, this year of the Pig brings wealth and prosperity through the beliefs and symbols one must possess. This has been adopted by most Filipinos, and every year we strive to become a better version of ourselves and free ourselves from obsolete beliefs. Every new year is a renewal and a vow through the lists of resolutions. We may believe in luck, but our faith and personal devotion to a higher source also bring success and prosperity in life.

May our dreams and hopes become higher and brighter as we celebrate a new year with optimism and grace this year and beyond.


© 2019 Del Cusay


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Pasinaya 2019: Rights, Freedom and Culture

Pasinaya 2019 Opening Ceremony 

Philippine arts and culture are truly alive, and this year we celebrate our Filipino identity through the Pasinaya Festival. This is the 15th year celebration since it started in 2005.

"Pasinaya" means an inauguration or a grand opening of the many arts and cultural presentations offered by the Cultural Center of the Philippines to Filipinos and even foreigners who want to explore more about our culture.

I had just found out about this festival several years when I discovered the festival's opening ceremony in the vicinity of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2013. We were having a Sunday workout (essential martial arts and meditation) with my colleagues at the ASEAN Garden of the CCP complex. With my curiosity about the event and interest in cultural programs, I returned in the afternoon. I was able to catch up with the shows presented by the CCP resident companies and other presentations in the CCP main ramp and alleys.

That was my first time watching the presentations of the CCP resident companies like the Madrigal Singers, Bayanihan Folk Dance Company, and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, who have given honor and prestige to the Philippines on the world stage through their world-class performances.

Pasinaya 2019 Art displays

Pasinaya 2013: Rediscovering Philippine Arts and Culture was my first ever experience of this great festival. It was very memorable, and I was grateful to have a glimpse of our diverse culture through arts, music, and dance brought to life by performers from different places in the country.

The fascination followed the year after, in 2014, when I introduced my sister to the festival, who appreciates such a cultural event. After missing the event in 2015 and 2016, I was able to experience the festival again in 2017.

Pasinaya 2017: Arts for Peace 
was even bigger and more significant when Filipinos could be united through arts despite the wars and conflicts we experienced during that time. Even today, when conflicts still happen due to terrorism and religious differences, we can be united through our appreciation of Philippine Arts and music. Various musical instruments and melodies bring harmony and camaraderie to everyone regardless of age, creed, and social status.

Last year was also memorable when I invited a friend who appreciates Philippine Arts and culture.

Pasinaya 2019 Performers from different schools

Pasinaya 2018: Love for the Philippine Arts is about giving our highest appreciation and respect to Philippine Arts and culture, which is considered the soul of our nation and our identity to the world.

I have witnessed and experienced the past 4 years of Pasinaya celebrations. It makes me proud to be a Filipino as I continue to explore the depth of our culture and national identity.

Pasinaya 2019 CCP Resident Companies

For the year 2019, I was able to watch performances from different participating schools and all the performances from the CCP resident companies: the Ballet Philippines, UST Symphony Orchestra, Philippine Ballet Theater, NAMCYA, Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, Philippine Madrigal Singers, Bayanihan Dance Company and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. This year's theme is Karapatan, Kalayaan at Kultura (Rights, Freedom, and Culture), and thousands of Filipino arts and culture enthusiasts are gathered to celebrate their being Filipino. This year's theme reminds us of our rights to express our thoughts and emotions about the current events affecting our nation. Just like freedom of expression, we must remain to be vocal and not be silent about the issues confronting our nation. We must be free to express our sentiments whenever we are suppressed from our rights
and freedom.

Every Filipino has a voice, and our collective voices can make a difference in nation-building and strengthen our culture. We have our own identity that even globalization couldn't break us apart, but instead unite as one nation and be truly Filipino in words, deeds, and thought.

© 2019 Del Cusay