Sunday, March 31, 2019

Lent 2019: The Road to Forever in Jamindan

Some roads we're taking may be rough, but it is our courage and determination that will take us to our destination no matter how challenging it is.

In my hometown in Jamindan, we are leaving away from our painful memories; the struggles we fought and the battles we've won. We've found a newest place to refresh our mind and body and uplift our spirit our soulful desire.

As we embrace development, we have finally closed the loop and be connected by covering the roughness and enjoying a smooth ride on the way to the road to forever a place like no other. 

This national highway from the town of Jamindan, Capiz connecting to the town of Altavas in Aklan offers the latest sensation among lovers, group of friends, bicycle riders and families as they take this journey to their destination and capture pleasant memories in this place they may call as paradise.

Located in Barangay Lucero in the town of Jamindan, this road with a higher elevation offers a breathtaking view of the mountains while enjoying a misty and cool wind during rainy season and be captivated by the clear blue skies and beautiful sunset during summer time.

As we go for an adventure the road to summit may now be refined, but what really makes us feel good is when we reach the highest peak, have a short break, take a deep breath, heal our broken hearts and leave all our worries behind. 

On this Lenten season, the road to forever may be a good place to unwind, feel relaxed, to meditate and be connected to the Divine. A peaceful sanctuary to relive our sense of purpose and fulfill our dreams and desires.

The road to forever in Jamindan is a destination for everyone who would want to express happiness, and also for those whom may be lost, wounded or broken. And so when the time comes that we have regained our strength, then we can collect each pieces; our incompleteness, and become whole and renewed again. 

© 2019 Del Cusay

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Lent 2019: Memories of Mount Bato-Arobo

I was born in an upland municipality which is blessed in natural resources and biodiversity that is away from the city; a mountainous town that is abundant in natural sceneries, lush forest, wildlife and considered as a peaceful sanctuary where cool mountain breeze and a morning dew uplifts the senses and the soul.

I  have lived in this peaceful town since mid '80s and during my younger years I have learned to appreciate the natural environment and have loved our culture and tradition.

I remember the time when I was about 6 years old when my parents brought us in  barangay Pasol-o in the town of Jamindan in Capiz (my mother's birthplace) together with my siblings. We hiked for about less than 2 hours to reach the place. That was a tiring journey, but a great adventure for all of us. That was my first ever hiking experience and perhaps the reason why I always love nature trekking and hiking.

Then almost every year thereafter and on a hot summer days, we used to come back when there is a Fiesta or a celebration in our relative's place. We knew it when we are approaching our destination when we have a glimpse of a huge mountain rock about less than or closer to 50 meters high, hence the place got its name, Bato-Arobo or literally would mean a giant rock formation.

During those years, a hike going to Bato - Arobo was challenging since some areas were rough road and muddy and some areas full of amorseko weeds that sticks to the clothes. The good thing about the hiking were the stories or urban legend about the origin of that giant rock which I am greatly fascinated as a kid. We were told that the giant rock houses a big golden horse which might be kept during the Japanese occupation. However, until now that story remains an urban legend since nobody was able to see it.

The last time I have visited Bato-Arobo was in high school together with my family and we were served with a natural and healthy drink; coconut juice with coco meat while having some wonderful stories and laughter. My last visit wasn't a hiking anymore since the road was passable to a jeepney where we are transported. It was like a roller coaster ride in a rocky road, and we really enjoyed the experience.

Now, 3 decades after, it was a great news when I heared from my father that the road going to Bato-Arobo is now undergoing a concrete road construction all the way going to the neighboring barangays of San Juan and Ganzon; both places I am eager to visit.

The road construction is part of the local Government's priority development that will benefit many families living in Barangay Pasol-o and especially those who are living in an upland sitio of Bato-Arobo.

I am eager to see the development of the place that I have loved since my childhood days. Bato-Arobo did not only give me a sense of adventure, but a lesson to have perseverance and endurance in life. No matter how difficult the road is, still we have to go further and take all obstacles as a challenge because it is when we reach the peak or the summit that we appreciate all our sacrifices and we feel joyful and successful on our journey. 

Bato-Arobo may not be known to many yet, but it will always be in my heart because it brings wonderful memories worth reminiscing. With the completion of the road development project, residents of Bato-Arobo will be able to enjoy better transportation and celebrate Sunday Thanksgiving: Graceful Service to The People as they express their faith and service to God. This spiritual sanctuary in sitio Lomboy of Barangay Linambasan is like the entry point or gateway going to Bato-Arobo.

As I reflect on this Lenten season, it is through gratitude and thanksgiving that we recognize and honor all the blessings that we received from the Divine. Our spiritual nature would bring us peace of mind and a grateful heart for us to leave a good legacy for the next generations to come and so they could also live and experience the natural wonders and a sustainable development that our generations have enjoyed; and may this will reign in our hearts today and forever.

© 2019 Del Cusay

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Lent 2019: Our Quest for Personal Transfiguration

"As our faith is always tested, we accept it until we experience our own transfiguration and renewal starting today and for a lifetime."

This day of the Lent marks the commemoration of the transfiguration of Jesus at Mount Tabor in Galilee, Israel when he mysteriously transformed to an illumined Divine being together with prophets Moses and Elijah before the eyes on his three chosen disciples; Peter, James and John.

Back in 2002 when I was on my first year in college at St. Paul in Iloilo, it was announced by our Religious Education teacher that a new set of mystery was added in the rosary as approved and declared by Pope John Paul II and now St. John Paul II, and that is called the Mystery of light or Luminous mystery. 

During those years as a freshman college student what I care most is on how to pass the quiz by memoring the 5 mysteries under the luminous mystery. Those years, I may not have fully understood deeply its meaning yet. 

Fast forward to today, as I contemplate on the Lenten season, I may not memorize the luminous mysteries and pray the rosary, but I want to understand its significance 
in our lives as Christian and how we can live it at the present time.

I may have learned some Biblical stories, but the transfiguration of Jesus at Mount Tabor is a transformative learning and one of the most significant mysteries worth reflecting.

When Jesus brought Peter, James and John to climb at the peak of Mount Tabor to pray, that was the time when God the Father and the Holy spirit have intervened upon the complete transfiguration of Jesus with light upon his face and a radiant illumination of his entire body with the same appearance as Moses and Elijah in front of him. Suddenly, the three disciples heard a voice from above the bright clouds saying "This is my son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him," and it brought fear in them as they lay and covered on the ground. Then Jesus comforted them saying not to be afraid. By the time they look upward and opened their eyes, they only saw Jesus while Moses and Elijah disappeared. As they get down from the mountain, Jesus told them not to tell anybody of what they saw until the Son of God will be raised from the dead.

The transfiguration is a manifestation of God's glory that Jesus is the living son of God and what that meant for his disciples was to strengthen their faith for the coming of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ.

In relation to that Biblical story, in this living world at the present, our biological Father is always there with us to guide and show us the light when we are misguided by outside influence and in trouble. If only we listen to him, we get to our own path of enlightenment and we bloom to become a radiant human being, and this will also become the light that will shield our love ones and others whom we have touched lives. 

As we carry our own cross, we experience endless human suffering through physical, emotional, mental and spiritual setbacks which is inherent of a human being. This is also our version of strengthening our faith in God whenever we are falsely accused, prosecuted and crucified by others in some ways.

Sometimes, it is when we walk a thousand miles and climb the highest hill until we reach the mountain's peak to feel solitude and have a heaven on earth experience. Like Jesus and his chosen disciples, they climbed at Mount Tabor to experience a Divine transfiguration. Here on earth, we experience our fullness of being and Divinity when we are away from too much noise to contemplate, meditate and pray in the presence of God, not just at the mountain's summit, but in anywhere we go and settle  in the church, community or at home. 

As our faith is always tested, we accept it until we experience our own transfiguration and renewal starting today and for a lifetime.

© 2019 Del Cusay

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