Thursday, Jul 02

MOC pioneers mold character and competence

December 14, 2017 | Grace Limbher Daigdigan

Story Highlights

  • The 22 students of the Machine Operation Course (MOC) improve their skills towards mastery at the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus, Santa Mesa.

  • Spending over a month at the machinery course, the students already imbibe the teachings of Master Cheng Yen and continue to be exemplars of character and competence.

  • The 22 students of the Machine Operation Course have pledged to join the Earth Ethical Eating Day, which aims to get to the public to eat only vegetable meals every January 11.


One is considered to be on the road to success if he is able to earn a college degree. It is one of the biggest assets one can ever have but it does not guarantee a better or stable life. Behind a competitive education one must have a strong foundation of character to qualify as a globally competitive individual.

Spending over a month of training, 22 students of the Machine Operation Course (MOC) at the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus – Santa Mesa, Manila have improved their skills towards mastery. Apart from honing their talents, Tzu Chi is equipping them with values through the Dharma teachings to keep them grounded and to be exemplars of good character in their work stations and in their communities.

This pioneer batch of students are comprised of high school graduates, college undergraduates, degree holders and a family man.

During Mondays, Tzu Chi volunteers allot time for the students to learn the teachings of Tzu Chi founder Master Cheng Yen. Students attentively listen to the lecture and even jot down notes. They are given equal chances to express their thoughts and reflections after every discussion.

Iris Duhay, an education degree holder, has gained something from the Monday lecture. “Though I’m an Education graduate, I wasn’t that confident and my social interaction skills are quite poor but through the sharing I have improved a lot.”

“The claps that I hear from my classmates motivate me to express myself more and it feels good when someone acknowledges what you have done,” she adds.

Aside from confidence, she is also able to understand the true meaning of contentment.

She shares that contentment is not something you have to aspire for. It is how you give importance to the things or accomplishments you have right now. But it does not permit someone to not strive hard for a better life.

Before entering Tzu Chi’s Machine Operation Course, the 22-year-old Arniel Dywatco was an ill – tempered person. In college, he shifted from one course to another but wasn’t able to earn a degree. Eventually, he became a father.

Having been through the lowest points of his life, he thanks Tzu Chi for allowing him to get back on track and for giving him a chance to learn good values.

“Good thing I learned to be disciplined here at Tzu Chi. Instead of being ill – tempered, I learned that things will be better if I become more understanding and it shall be accompanied by showing love. Also, if we are able to apply the Master’s teachings I guess the world will be more peaceful and love will prevail,” says Dywatco.

These students are already outstanding with the kind of values planted in them. However, what makes them remarkable is when they slowly embrace the bodhisattva path.

Renalyn Turallo is a daughter of a Tzu Chi volunteer which is why she has been familiar to the foundation and its advocacies. Even so, she did not live to these teachings until she came in and out of the hospital.

“I went in and out of the hospital but the doctor didn’t find any ailments as regards my flu. The doctor advised me to take antibiotics and eat healthier foods but I didn’t take it into consideration,” shares Turallo.

Years passed. It was when she started taking the Machine Operation Course that she decided to start eating right and living right.

“During our first day here at the MOC, the Ten Precepts were discussed to us and number one is ‘No Killing’. I’ve realized that these animals also have   lives to live and that they must be treated equal like humans. That made up my mind to become a vegetarian,” narrates Turallo.

“Totally no meat and pure veggies. From that I’ve noticed that I became healthier because I don’t get sick as often as before,” she adds.

In the near celebration of the Earth Ethical Eating Day campaign, which aims to get the public to eat only vegetable meals every January 11, Turallo and her classmates see the importance of this advocacy and the opportunity to help the animals.

“I want to join the ethical eating day on January 11 because I know for a fact that I’m not just helping myself to be healthier but also saving the lives of the animals,” says Turallo.

  • Guided by one of her classmates, the 26-year-old Renalyn Turallo learns to create an external thread using a bench lathe machine. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • Iris Duhay (left), an Education degree holder, computes for the desired diameter of the external thread. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • A hands-on activity using a milling machine is conducted for the students to experience and further master the tool. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • The students maintain the cleanliness of the milling machine by removing all the excess metals and cleaning the oil to keep the machine from rusting or from other damages. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • The students are coaching one another in creating a fine cut external thread by using the bench lathe machine. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • The students are paying respect to Master Cheng Yen by bowing three times. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】

  • After hours of class, the students eat delicious vegetable meals for their lunch. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】

  • During the Master’s talk, students are all ears as they learn values from Master Cheng Yen. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】