Thursday, Apr 15

Families Receive Rice from Taiwan before Christmas

December 23, 2018 | Katrina Mina

Recipients of the 20-kg sacks of rice from Taiwan learn to express gratitude with Taiwan Economic and Culture Office (TECO) Representative Michael Hsu.【Photo by Caroline Uy】

Story Highlights

  • 666 families from all over Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City received 20-kg sacks of rice from Taiwan two days before Christmas.

  • With their families waiting at home, recipients bring home the rice with grateful hearts.


In time for the holidays, each of the 666 families from Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City received a 20-kg sacks of rice from Taiwan during a rice relief program held at Jing Si Hall last December 23, 2018.

Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) Representative Michael Hsu said that he is thankful to Tzu Chi foundation for aiding the needy with rice from Taiwan.

“To everyone who received the rice, when you go home and eat the rice we have given, we hope you’ll think that this is the love and care that came from Taiwan.” he said.

Hsu also encouraged the recipients to adapt Tzu Chi’s spirit of great love and become volunteers of the foundation.

“I hope in the future, you can help Tzu Chi. You can become volunteers of Tzu Chi... and I hope in the future, we have more volunteers from the local community working together with Tzu Chi to help your brothers and sisters in the Philippines.” he said during his speech.

Hsu has worked with the foundation in the past. He joined Tzu Chi’s activities in the US and South Africa where he saw the foundation helping people with low income.

“They donate not only food but also clothes and shoes. And Tzu Chi not only help poor people financially, but also offer professional skill training so that they can make a living. Tzu Chi really reaches out to those local communities in so many countries, so Tzu Chi’s activities impressed me a lot. I was very touched by everything Tzu Chi has done for the people everywhere in the world.”

The TECO representative also thanked Master Cheng Yen and the volunteers for everything they did for the Filipinos in the past 25 years.

TECO, in partnership with Tzu Chi foundation intends to donate 400 pre-fabricated houses for the victims of the battle of Marawi.


Waiting at Home

For the recipients of the rice relief, the 20-kg sack of rice from Taiwan is a gift for those who have to stay home.

Mary Jane Deliso’s home is a makeshift dwelling inside an abandoned building, her mother Erlinda had a stroke in 2014 and due to poverty, they cannot bring her to the hospital. Mary Jane took charge of taking care of her at home and also taking care of her niece and nephew since her older sister has to work in order to provide food for the family.

The 20-kg sack of rice from the foundation is a like a breath of relief for Mary Jane’s family. Instead of thinking about food for the next couple of days, the family could at least enjoy the festivity of the season.

“The rice that Tzu Chi gave is a big help. We will have food for days. At least we don’t need to buy for the time being because the price of rice here is high. I’m thankful to Tzu Chi.”

When asked about her dreams for her mother, Mary Jane said that she wanted her mom to have a wheelchair.

“(I wish) for her to be able to walk again. To have her wheelchair and be able to do what she wants. Because she wants to do things for herself, but she couldn’t.”

Analiza Ramos was no stranger to Mary Jane’s condition. Waiting inside their small hut built in an abandoned lot was Analiza’s 72-year-old mother, Erlinda Co.

Unlike her namesake from a few blocks, Erlinda Co can still walk up to the door to greet her daughter Analiza. But Erlinda Co has other illnesses like arthritis and eye cataracts.

“I am in a lot of pain, but I’m just enduring it. I don’t have money to buy medicine. I will just lay down all day to keep the pain at bay.” said Erlinda Co.

Although she wanted to seek medical assistance for her mother, but Analiza doesn’t have a stable job to pay for the medical expenses. She is juggling between taking care of her mother, her niece and nephew and helping a small canteen in the neighborhood to earn their food for the day. But still Analiza finds in her heart to donate to the foundation through coin cans and recycling.

“I saw what the volunteers are doing, and I was inspired to join and help them. Then I talked to myself, ‘what if I become a volunteer someday?’ Because I feel very happy helping others.” she said.

For now, the blessing they got in the form of 20-kg sack of rice from Taiwan is enough to fill Analiza’s family with gratitude.

“The help that Tzu Chi brought us, it’s a big deal to us. It’s not about how much we got… those are materials things, it will eventually run out. But the kindness they give to us, to which we also give back, that’s the most beautiful thing.”

  • Michael Hsu encourages the rice relief recipients to pay forward the blessings they received by volunteering to Tzu Chi Foundation and help their fellow countrymen. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Together with their children, rice recipients from Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City listen to the Master’s Talk during a rice relief last December 23, 2018. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Representative Hsu and Tzu Chi volunteers distribute 20-kg sacks of rice from the government of Taiwan to rice relief recipients. 【Photo by Caroline Uy】

  • Rice recipients give their spare change to the Tzu Chi’s coin banks. It has been Tzu Chi’s long tradition to impart the spirit of giving on everyone. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Recipients are filled with joy as they learn how to express gratitude with the use of their hands during the rice relief conducted at Jing Si Hall, two days before Christmas. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Together with her 11-year-old niece, Angel, Analiza Ramos listens intently to the volunteers during the rice relief. Analiza lives in an abandoned lot with her niece; her nephew and her mother. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Erlinda Co, Analiza’s mother, waited by the door to welcome her and the rice she brought home. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Confined to bed due to a stroke in 2014, Erlinda Deliso could only greet Mary Jane with eye contact. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Volunteers from Tzu Chi offer Erlinda some comforting words to ease her pain. After being bedridden for so many years, her muscles have atrophied. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】