Thursday, Jun 24

Inspiring quake survivors to give

February 24, 2018 | Jamaica Digo

Showing their coin banks, earthquake survivors in Barangay Hiloctogan cheer “We are now Tzu Chi members!” 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

Story Highlights

  • On February 24, Tzu Chi Foundation distributed Jing Si multipurpose foldable beds for the July 2017 earthquake survivors in Barangay Hiloctogan in Kananga. During the relief program, recipients expressed their willingness to become donating members of Tzu Chi by adopting coin banks.


As life gradually gets better for the survivors of the 6.5-magnitude earthquake in July 2017, they are keen in finding an opportunity to pay forward the help they received in their time of need.

Before the distribution, Tzu Chi volunteers encouraged the beneficiaries to set aside some money for charity. In 1966, Buddhist nun Master Cheng Yen started the Tzu Chi Foundation in almost the same way. The Master crafted bamboo coin banks and gave one to each of her 30 disciple housewives. She instructed them to set aside 0.50 Taiwan dollars from their grocery money every day so they can help their poor and ailing fellowmen. Over the years, the concept of the bamboo bank evolved, but it continues to spread and inspire people whose lives Tzu Chi’s programs had touched.

“Tzu Chi’s funds come from the people who willingly donate. If not for them we will not be able to carry out our programs. Now, we are giving you a chance to help Tzu Chi with its charity works across the world, so join us!” Tzu Chi Philippines Deputy CEO Alfredo Li tells the villagers.

Juanita Taburnal, 63, heeded the call and pledged to become a donating member. She sells vegetables for a living. Every month, she vows to set aside PHP30 from her income as donation.  “I realized that although we are poor ourselves, more people are going through worse suffering than us. I want to extend hope for them,” explains Juanita.

Juanita’s daughter-in-law, Diwani Taburnal, 29, meanwhile, pledged to donate PHP100 every month. To achieve this, Diwani, her husband, and their two daughters needed to save PHP20 every month.

“We received so much blessings from Tzu Chi as a family, so it is only fitting that we also give as one family to help another in need,” muses Diwani. “But if you think about it, Tzu Chi has given us so much more than the amount we could afford to donate. Tzu Chi gave us a house and [foldable] beds. My heart is bursting with joy. I hope to share with others this love and generosity that Tzu Chi has taught us and planted in our hearts.”

Tzu Chi volunteer Michael Siao reminds the villagers that more than the amount of donation, what matters is that they give in good faith.

“Every time you put your donation in this coin bank, say a short prayer: ‘I hope I can help someone with this.’ That is very powerful because you are not only praying, but also reinforcing it by taking action,” he says.

When the aid distribution ended, Tzu Chi had 62 new families of donors. Holding their coin banks, they thanked Tzu Chi founder Dharma Master Cheng Yen for all the help she has extended and cheered for the opportunity to not remain as aid recipients but also turn their lives around and become benefactors.

Like these calamity survivors, you can make a difference. Visit to find out how you can #HelpTzuChiHelpOthers.

  • Tzu Chi Philippines Deputy CEO Alfredo Li encourages the residents to create blessings every day by making it a habit to save money in a coin can for charity. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Tzu Chi volunteer Michael Siao reminds the villagers to say a prayer before they put their donations on the coin bank. He says this is a powerful gesture of love. 【Photo by Rodel Ruiz】

  • Eager to be part of Tzu Chi’s charity programs, Kananga’s Great Love Village residents fill out the donation forms with their information. 【Photo by Rodel Ruiz】

  • Tzu Chi volunteer assists the villagers in filling out the information needed in the donation forms.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Tzu Chi Foundation distributed Jing Si multipurpose foldable beds for the residents of Great Love Village in Barangay Hiloctogan, Kananga on February 24. A total of 76 families benefitted from the distribution.【Photo by Rodel Ruiz】

  • Volunteers assist the beneficiaries in carrying the Jing Si multipurpose foldable beds to their homes. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Juanita Taburnal receives a Jing Si multipurpose foldable bed. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Knowing that there are many people suffering in dire situations across the globe, Juanita Taburnal vows to donate daily to extend help. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Diwani Taburnal’s family is also a recipient of Jing Si multipurpose foldable beds. Their four-member family, received two beds. 【Photo by Rodel Ruiz】

  • Since their family is a recipient of aid before, Diwani Taburnal is paying forward by encouraging her husband and their children to donate. 【Photo by Rodel Ruiz】