Sunday, October 6, 2019

Soulful Conversation: Spiritual Guidance from a Priest

There are times when we have met people by chance, then became friends or acquaintance. Oftentimes, we have met someone so special to bring the enlightenment and guide our way our spiritual path.

With that special person, I am referring to a Priest who is our Religious leader and with a higher level of holiness. Someone who guides us on our moral actions and the one we seek for blessings as God's chosen messenger.

That was a sunny day at the beachfront restaurant few weeks ago; September 17 when I had a pleasant conversation with our Parish Priest of   Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Lomboy,  Reverend Father Jeffrey Estrella. He has been serving the Parish since July 2018 and will continue his Religious mission for a total of 6 years. A great mission and service to the Parish and the faithful community. 

I was with my parents and we have shared a meal with Fr. Estrella and his companion. It was a lunch at our favorite restaurant overlooking the horizon; where the blue sky meets the sea. The gentle waves and the sea breeze was relaxing and the conversation has got a deeper meaning. 

I have some Aha! Moments before, but this time it came from our Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Estrella. And whenever I have Aha! Moment, I cherish it and live through its meaning and significance. 

What was that conversation about? It's about the present and future living. It's about following our dreams and desires and making it come true. What strucked me most is when he said that the reason why sometimes we don't get what we want in life is because we have too much belief on our human capacity and that we don't back it up with Divine intervention through our deepest faith and prayer. 

Yes we pray, but how come some of our wishes are not granted. We might think that it is on the process. It may just be a delayed answer, or our intention may not be the best for us and not in accordance with God's will.

He then revealed that when other people who are so dear to us are praying for us, then God may hear it out loud. God always hears our heart's desire and intentions. For instance, we may be the recipient of the good deeds of our parents. That's like a spiritual merit. When our parents pray for us, God truly listens. Our parent's deepest love always saves us.

From that moment, I have thought of the sacrifices of my parents and all the things I have achieved because I believe that they have prayed for me.

That was a soulful conversation. The message was simple, but may be challenging thing to do; that is to keep on doing good things and good things will come to you. We plant seeds of goodness, nurture it and cultivate it until such time we reap a fruitful reward.

Our community is blessed to have Rev. Fr. Estrella. He touches the lives of the faithful
and deserves utmost reverence. He is a Divine gift to us and we pay highest gratitude for his love and compassion to one and all.

© 2019 Del Cusay

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

International Coffee Day: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Coffee is one of the topmost consumed beverages in the world and in the Philippines it has almost become a staple drink perhaps due to its caffeine addictive substance that people can't live without. Who wouldn't resist the aroma of a freshly brewed coffee served in your favorite café or at home. Globally, it is best served with the ever favorite cakes and pastries; donuts and croissant, while in the Philippines all over the archipelago, it is best served with local breads and delicacies like freshly baked pandesal, puto and bibingka. 

Regionally like in Western Visayas, people drink coffee partnered with suman, biko and the most popular biscocho which is the pride of the region. Other regions would have their local delicacy that is best served with a hot coffee to start the day right and to get energized any time of the day. Whether for breakfast, snacks or post-dinner, we just love to have a cup of coffee at any hour and any place.

Filipinos have adapted to global flavors of gourmet coffee. From purely black coffee Americano to the frothy cup of cappucino and latté, we surely blend with the rest of the world. Now, we have a choice beyond the traditional hot black coffee, we also have a choice whether to be served as cold or iced and also blended. Espresso coffee has been our favorite beverage no matter how pricey it is because we are now after for the experience. 

When we go to our favorite cafés we are greeted warmly by the baristas and they prepare and serve our coffee heartily. Cafés have been part of our lives through the years. It is our go to place not only for a delicious coffee, but also to enjoy conversation with friends, for business meetings or for a freelance task; certainly we have a place that gives a wonderful ambiance and a delightful experience.

As we enjoy a sip of our favorite coffee, we have to remember the coffee farmers who sweat out to carefully plant, harvest and roast the good quality coffee beans. From farm to cup; it is truly a journey of the farmers to give us the most delicious beverage we will enjoy. From Tagum City in the South to Lipa City in Batangas and going up in the mountains of the Cordillera, we have our hardworking coffee farmers who are coffee entrepreneur. For every cup of freshly brewed local coffee beans, we help support our local coffee farmers in their livelihood.

It is also proven by scientific research that coffee consumption has a lot of health benefits due to higher level of antioxidant that prevents certain types of cancers leading to healthier cells and longevity. For health and wellness, a cup of coffee a day gives us energy and protection from free-radicals. Others would consume not just 1 cup but even up to 4 cups or more in a day and they are certainly well -- just enough amount of caffeine for daily consumption.

Today, the world is celebrating the International Coffee Day. It is not just a simple beverage, but it's now a lifestyle. We help promote coffee and the wonderful benefits we can gain from it. Wherever we are in the world, no matter what language we can utter; koffi, kopi, kape and cafe, we just mean one thing; and that is our craving and the need for a daily dose of coffee. It has been our trusted health partner and and part of our success and life's journey.

© 2019 Del Cusay

Sunday, September 29, 2019

When September Ends: Timeless Memories

Here comes September: the beginning of the Merriest season in the Philippines. The start of Autumn season or Fall in the West. The beginning of the many wonderful things and the end of not so glorious days.

So many memorable events happend on this month. Another year added on my life: the beginning of a great life cycle.    Birthday Special: Love and Gratitude  is about blessings received and wishes that came true and now making things work out of the blue.

What makes September special is the birthday of the Mother of Christ. It was on September 8 when the universe conspired for what my heart desires. I prayed to our Divine Mother and so I have made this day special. She listens and pray for us all.   Heart's Desire: An Answered Prayer    is a testimony of the intercession of the Holy Mother; the Blessed Mary. This day will forever be memorable and to be celebrated.

Before September ends, we have  Birthday Special: Celebrating our Mother's 66th Birthday  on the 24th. A simple family gathering over dinner made it special and meaningful.

What else made this September memorable is the soulful conversation with Reverend Father Jeffrey Estrellla while having a lunch at the beachfront restaurant on September 17. He is the Parish Priest of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Lomboy Parish. 

We also had family weekend getaway at the beach together with my grandfather on Sunday, September 22nd. That was like an extended summer fun. The waves on the shore is so calming and the view of the sea on the hilltop is breathtaking.

On the road to summit, we visited our favorite place, Bato Arobo on September 23rd. The natural scenery of the mountains is a pure bliss. This is where we spend time with natural wonders while taking a deep breath, be in a meditative state and enjoying the serenity. 

When September ends, my heart is filled with love because I have the best people in my life who is there to protect, to care and support for me for whatever things I do and to whoever I may become. September will always be memorable and the joy it brings is so meaningful.

© 2019 Del Cusay

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