Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Road Ahead: Dealing with Life's Uncertainties

"The present moment is where life has taken you out of your wildest dreams and desires. It is when you stop that you lose the battle, and when you go forward the road will take you further distance in a least expected moment."

Once upon a time there was a young man who dreamed of a better life; of having the best things and moments that life could bring. These dreams serve as an inner fire of making them into a reality. A young man who is nothing but is full of determination and optimism. Now, what would his life become amidst all uncertainties ahead of him. When his life gets tough and when he has nothing more to do but to believe that there is something that could increase the fire within.

We all have our desires to achieve. No matter what it is, still we are given the passion to live it. All our success is related to the amount of strength that we put into it. The greater the force equals the greater distance.When life gets uncertain, there may be some doubts. It is the evil within that sabotages the desire  the commitment towards excellence. There are moments of feeling incomplete. The fire is getting less and there's a time you notice that it is already gone.

Whatever it is that makes us burnout, the universe has its way to rescue the lost soul. The moment you wake up when everyone seems to be out of sight, they may be gone and have their own soulful journey to fight. Then you realize that life is indeed unpredictable — full of uncertainties. Nothing is truly permanent and there may have been changes in the Divine plan.. There's an end in everything, but we can expect for some changes at the crossroads that will make or break.The road ahead has many intersection that may not serve our real purpose. If tempted by wrong perceptions and false beliefs, it could lead to wrong choices and decisions. However, the fire within could have been ignited slowly as it burns the fuel of success and fulfillment — our heart's desire.

No matter the distance we are taking, there could have been some breaks and some barriers at the crossroads. The moment you stop for awhile is not a reason to quit but to persevere and take a look back as to how far you may have gone through in life. The present moment is where life has taken you out of your wildest dreams and desires. It is when you stop that you lose the battle, and when you go forward the road will take you further distance in a least expected moment.

People may change and circumstances may be painful, but they have made a lasting impact in your life and contributed to your being. They may have served as the key to rediscover the inner fire and tap the highest power for ultimate success and fulfillment.When the time comes that you are defended for your beliefs and philosophies you are not alone along the journey. They push you harder not to be like them, but to follow your own path and realize your potentials.

Obstacles may arise, but the inner compass will lead you towards the destination. When you have reached to where you are right now there's a reason to take the commitment to go farther and believe in yourself that you can make it possible.

Once upon a time when the young man was nothing but a dreamer, now takes the courage to live his greatest life despite the odds and uncertainties. The commitment and endurance will continue to ignite and the soulful journey will reign in his heart forever.

© Del Cusay 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

His Holiness Pope Francis: Mercy and Compassion to The Filipino People

It is nearly two years ago when the highest spiritual leader of the Catholic church was declared in the name of "Pope Francis: The New World Pontiff" from Buenos Aires. I admire his qualities as a leader and I believe that Christ is with him in the new role that he is taking. The pope is showing his love and compassion to everyone regardless of profile, race and creed. He exudes charisma and  attracts people by his gentleness and humility. These qualities makes him adorable and capable of leading his global followers in the name of Christ.

Pope Francis has concern for humanity especially with the current events in the world like wars, terrorism and political and religious differences. However, he is also concerned about poverty in the spirit of the people where there is lack of love, care and attention. He care for the poor, the homeless, the abandoned,  and the orphan who are lacking spiritual enlightenment.

The world is currently experiencing a lot of chaos and obstacles from natural and man-made calamities and disasters and millions of people have become a victim of this untoward catastrophe that can be considered as an act of God.

The Philippines is not spared from the destruction since we are now suffering from the effects of climate change leading to stronger typhoons that hit our country. Although we suffer from these deadly earth changes, still we have shown to the world "The Resilience of the Filipino Spirit: A Year After Typhoon Yolanda". Perhaps the most destructive and emotional occurrence in our Philippine history when we lost thousands of individuals, hundreds of families, and left many injured and in deep sorrow and solitude.

The Filipinos are blessed for the visit of the Pope Francis in the country. He shows mercy and compassion to those who are victims of calamities. He shows concern and comforted the poor families who almost lost faith and the will to live. He cared for the abandoned children. He cared for the sick people. He expressed attention and love to all.

It was an opportunity and a blessing to have celebrated the mass with His Holiness Pope Francis at the Manila Cathedral on January 16. It was the first mass he celebrated in the country and he was greeted by thousands of pilgrims. It was a great feeling to hear live from the Pope and I will forever cherish the moment when I have endured the pain together with other pilgrims to witness and receive blessings from God.

At the Manila Cathedral

There's a wisdom in every message that the Pope Francis has shared to the people. In his mass at Tacloban, he asked the people to pray for him and to be quiet. Such a very simple message, yet it has a deeper meaning. He needs prayer that he may be able to reach out to more people and share the Gospel of Christ; to share Christian values and virtues; to lead and guide people in their spiritual path. These are some of the realizations when we are in silence, when we contemplate and reflect on ourselves and when we constantly renew ourselves for the better.

In his message to the youth in University of Santo Tomas, the Pope shared what he called the three languages; the mind, heart and hands. It is when we use our intellect, conscience and right actions that we are truly a Christian. He also reminded the youth not to bury their talents that is God-given and not to be afraid to dream of great things.

In his concluding mass at Quirino Grandstand, Pope Francis celebrated it together with the faithful and the millions of pilgrims coming from different places in the Philippines and the world. He brought the light among his people. When it is cloudy, he brought the sunshine. His smile brought hope and confidence to everyone. He brought the message of Christ to be instilled in the minds and hearts of the people.

It is truly a wonderful moment to receive the blessings of the Holy Father. He will forever be in our hearts and the Filipino people will be praying for him. Like the holy child, we will be a follower of God's message of love as evident by what His Holiness has shown to us. Christ is with us and we will carry the light to spread to the world, today and in eternal life.

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 perhaps that's the reason 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, and 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 have met friends who toured me around. The boulevard can become a busy street but with relaxing ambiance, and it is where I spent some time to meditate 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 makes this place truly beautiful and worth remembering.

In every city where they offer specialty food, Dumaguete has its different taste 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 roofdeck 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. 

Near the boulevard are bistros and cafes where I tasted mouthwatering pastries and a cup of coffee. 'Sans Rival bistro' is a good 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" tree house had a wonderful candle light experience with a relaxing music and natural sea breeze. In a multi-tasking day, I've spent lunch in 'Kyosko' with a friend and at the same time 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 together with new friends and enjoying the stories and experiences shared. 

Since I've known a good friend at Silliman University, I am lucky to had given the opportunity to deliver a talk to '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 having balanced energy to unleash their potentials and eventually becoming world-class leaders. 

I had a campus tour with a friend and we walked from the facade and hallways of each departments and visited old structures like the Silliman hall which is the oldest structure in the school. There's a huge auditorium used for cultural shows and other events and they boast a 3-story building library which is full of historical documents. Outdoor, they have a good playground where students can sit or play frisbee. From the central ground overlooking the bay, there's an open-air amphitheater facing the church and the acacia trees in the promenade offers 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 in the campus had given me nostalgic moments from the past and I had learned something about the history and culture of the university which is be incomparable. 

There's a reason to come back again and experience all the good things that the city has to offer. There's something 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 snorkling with the whale shark would be 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 wonderful places, it is the gentleness and hospitality of the people that summarizes overall experience and wanting me to come back.  I've been to places in the region but the city of gentle people is truly fascinating and worth remembering.