Saturday, Jul 21

Greater grains of love

April 14, 2018 | Grace Limbher Daigdigan

Indigent families sing the Tzu Chi song “One Family” with Tzu Chi volunteers. Despite people’s differences, everyone is entitled to love. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

Story Highlights

  • Over 300 indigent families at Caloocan High School were blessed to receive a 20-kilo sack of rice from Tzu Chi on April 14.

 

In the Philippines, low-income families consider themselves fortunate when they have rice on their table. With extra money, they buy various viands that last for weeks. If not, they season rice with condiments like soy sauce. Such are the ways of easing their hunger.

Seeing families deprived of rice, Tzu Chi Foundation reached out to over 300 indigent families in Caloocan High School, Caloocan City bearing 20-kilo sacks of rice on April 14.

“Once you enter their homes, you’ll really see the hardships they have to endure every day. They don’t have any comfortable mattresses, so they sit or sleep on the floor,” explains Tzu Chi volunteer Violeta Cuna, who conducted home visits.

One of the recipients was Edilita Mique, escaped death a week before the relief activity.

Despite cataract in her right eye, 75-year-old Edilita accompanied her friend to the barangay office to seek medical assistance. Crossing the road, it was too late when she saw the approaching truck. The accident caused minor injuries on her face. She lost a lot of blood but survived.

Mique takes care of her granddaughter while her son works as a tricycle driver. Upon hearing about Tzu Chi’s relief mission, she immediately approached the local officials to be listed. She has known Tzu Chi for some time, having undergone a checkup at its dental clinic in the Great Love Campus.

“The sack of rice will really surely last for a month or so. Now, my son can allot rice money to more important expenses,” she shares.

She also plans to share the grains with her brother living nearby.

“I’ll be sharing this rice to let him know that despite the life we have, he must be still grateful for the blessings,” she adds.

Orlando San Pedro, another recipient, is beyond grateful for the rice he received. Although this is his first time to hear about Tzu Chi, he became motivated to do good through the teachings of Dharma Master Cheng Yen.

Physically challenged since birth, San Pedro makes between Php200 and Php300 a day working round the clock. It’s barely enough to cover his household’s needs and send his four children to school.

“Working as a tricycle driver with a disability is really hard. But it’s not a reason to beg for alms on the roadside. Life is always hard, which is why we need to double our efforts to live a good life,” ends Orlando.

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  • Tzu Chi Philippines' Great Treasury of Sutra 2017, a yearend summary of the activities of Tzu Chi in the country, is shown to the indigent families. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • Despite of being physically challenged since birth, Orlando San Pedro (right) makes a living as a tricycle driver. Having received a sack of rice from Taiwan, he won’t have to ponder buying rice for a while. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • A representative on behalf of Caloocan City mayor Oscar Malapitan expressed her deepest gratitude to Tzu Chi for giving relief to the indigent families. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • A volunteer assists Edilita Mique (left) in carrying her share of rice from Taiwan. Having survived an accident a week before the relief, she believes that it’s a sign that her mission in spreading love isn’t over. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • Tzu Chi volunteers pray for peace of mind, a harmonious community, and a world free from disasters. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • Tzu Chi hopes that the 20-kilo sacks of rice distributed, will help them lessen their household expenses. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • Aside from the beneficiaries, local volunteers and city officials also found time to donate any amount they have for the sake of others in need. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】