Tuesday, Jan 28

Learning beyond the technicalities

November 28, 2018 | Charissa Tulinao

Tzu Chi’s Livelihood Training Program holds its lessons for Welding and Aircon/Refrigeration Courses with a total of 27 students at the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus in Sta. Mesa. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

Story Highlights

  • Tzu Chi’s mission of education embodied through the Livelihood Training Program continued at TCGLC in Sta Mesa as 27 new batch of students learn and acquire skills through the Aircon/Refrigerator and Welding Courses. Part of their lessons include values formation that will assist them through their future careers.


Continuing with its dedication to career assistance through education, Tzu Chi’s Livelihood Training Program opens its doors to 27 new students on the 15th of October for its Aircon/Refrigeration and Welding Courses. Through Tzu Chi’s mission of education, indigents that are in need of skills in order to attain sustainable careers in the future were able to join the program and learn how to hone not only their skills but also to be able to cultivate values.

Before receiving their certification from the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA), the students are taught of the basics of their respective courses and are introduced to the Tzu Chi values as well. Led by Tzu Chi volunteers Olga Vendivel and Josephine Chan, the students listen to Dharma Master Cheng Yen talk every morning, and participate in the discussion afterwards before proceeding to hands-on activities.

On the morning of November 28, 2018, after attending classes for almost a month, the students demonstrated great mastery as they comfortably go about their classes with minimal guidance. Former professor and director of the Technological Institute of the Philippines - Bernardo Haduca, 65, expressed his admiration for the students as most of them quickly picked up the basics of the course.

He explained that he saw the difference of teaching methods in universities and in Tzu Chi. “Skills are easy to develop, however, attitude, and the inner self is difficult to cultivate. So, I really believe in the values formation they undergo everyday here in Tzu Chi.” said Haduca.

Loyen Delfin, 51, was a machinist for Don Bosco before he started teaching in TCGLC last June. Similar to Haduca’s sentiments, he mentioned that welders are in demand in multiple industries, which is why the students would easily be able to acquire a job. He recognized the importance of imparting knowledge that is beyond technical skills.

“The values Tzu Chi teach to the students are important because you can obtain skills wherever you go, but the attitude and who you are as person, cannot be transformed easily if you don’t have proper guidance. Through Tzu Chi’s help, they are able to partake in good deeds to become better persons,” Delfin stated.

Most of the students came across the livelihood program through Facebook, but in the case of 23-year-old Alvin Cajayon, he heard about Tzu Chi through his sister who came with her school, The Sisters of Mary School of Silang, Cavite on August 30, 2018 to the Tzu Chi Eye Center in Sta. Mesa for the distribution of eyeglasses.

Cajayon knew that their learning experience with Tzu Chi transcends beyond technicalities, “I am able to apply the values I have learned by changing my attitude after I listen to the Master’s talk. We are attracted to the teachings, and it makes us want to change our bad habits. We might not change immediately but at least, there’s visible improvement,” Cajayon said.

Gerdi Nufable recently turned 37 and was devastated when she learned that the age requirement for the Welding Course is for those who are 35 years old or younger. Instead of being discouraged, she waited for the phone call of acceptance, her perseverance pays off and she was beaming with joy when she found out that her application was accepted and grateful that she had been able to train with Tzu Chi.

“If I applied in other training programs, it would have been different. In Tzu Chi, a large portion of their training is to give importance to the individual and how you are as a person. The focus is not with the skills but also to learn how to balance it with the values that we can use in our future careers because when we work, people will not only see how good we are in what we’re doing but they will also see how we present ourselves to them.”

  • Every morning, the students listen to Master’s dharma talk before their technical lessons and hands-on activities with their respective instructors. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • Tzu Chi volunteers Olga Vendivel and Josephine Chan discuss the morning’s dharma talk as well as the 10 precepts to the students. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • Bernardo Haduca guides his students on the process of repairing the compressor. Students show their enthusiasm for learning as they focus on Haduca’s instructions. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • Loyen Delfin inspects one of his student’s plate to determine whether or not he is ready for the next step. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • Assisting his fellow classmate in fixing the vacuum pump for the refrigerant, Alvin Cajayon keeps his hand steady to avoid technical problems. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • Equipped with her helmet, gloves and apron, Gerdi Nufable shows her familiarity with the materials and the equipment as she handles the work steadily. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】