Spreading love is a task everyone with a heart can do, not just Tzu Chi. In two Year-end Blessing Ceremonies on February 4 at Jing Si Hall, donors, volunteers, and honored guests share their way of spreading love and helping in building a brighter tomorrow.
Over its lifetime, Tzu Chi Foundation has been spreading love in a world hard beset by conflicting interests. Its founder, Dharma Master Cheng Yen, always speaks of the power of love to end conflict of any scale and mend bonds broken as a result. However, such a task hasn’t always been exclusive to Tzu Chi. Its efforts only bear fruit when the people they inspire take it upon themselves to do the same thing.
In two Year-end Blessing Ceremonies at Jing Si Hall on February 4, there were such people.
Among over a thousand long-term beneficiaries attending the morning ceremony, 59-year-old Linda Robles takes notes of the words of Tzu Chi volunteers. She shares important quotes on social media for friends and family to appreciate.
“Tzu Chi’s teachings are wonderful, and they’re all about doing good deeds. They value humanity above all else, always caring for their beneficiaries,” says Linda.
The foundation has done a great deal for her mother, 81-year-old Thelma, bedridden and suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. Linda herself has her own woes, losing half of her left leg to cancer. With the ceremony also coinciding with the monthly Charity Day, Aida received medicine for her mother apart from her ang pao.
The event also marks Amie Vargas’s last day as a beneficiary. Without waiting for Tzu Chi volunteers to inform her, she proceeds to the social service office to turn over her beneficiary ID. But this won’t mark her last day with Tzu Chi.
“Even though I’m no longer a long-term beneficiary, I hope that they allow my son and I to visit once in a while. I even want my son to attend the Jing Si Time For Kids program, if possible,” says Vargas, whose cancer around her neck has vanished.
The foundation shouldered the cost of her final chemotherapy session, the previous ones subsidized by government services.
With the surrender of her ID, Vargas hopes that her slot benefits someone else.
Love in art form
The morning ceremony also featured the works of 21 students of San Juan Elementary School in San Juan City. Using Japanese paper, the youths crafted a slew of objects ranging from simple cards to houses. The school’s principal, Nonita Sajo, organized the exhibit as a way to express gratitude for Tzu Chi’s continued support of the students’ families.
“The love Tzu Chi shared to our students reciprocates around the school. The teachers share the love in Tzu Chi’s deeds such as love for the environment and love for others,” says Sajo.
The school is an important venue for Tzu Chi’s relief activities in the San Juan area, most especially the gymnasium at the back. For years, thousands of families have received love and care in the place.
In the afternoon Year-end Blessing Ceremony, donors and beneficiaries from Barangays Pasong Tamo and Old Balara were treated to a special guest. At the invitation of Tzu Chi volunteers, Filipino artist Gino Padilla performed his renditions of the Tzu Chi song “Love in the World” and the Tzu Chi prayer at the end. Hearing about Tzu Chi’s mission of spreading love, Padilla says he wants to do the same through song.
“By giving off your time, you give up something that cannot be bought with money. That’s your spirit, love, and the willingness to help other people,” he remarks.
Master Cheng Yen reiterates that everyone should take every opportunity to do good deeds, especially that one’s time in the world is limited. Spreading love isn’t just limited to the youth but also the youth at heart. A retired nutritionist, Rosebilla Mamaril spends her time volunteering for local organizations in Quezon City. She knows she won’t be able to carry her fame and fortune with her when the time comes.
“We don’t live forever in this world. What matters in the end is not our title, our position, our wealth, or our fame, but our relationship with God and our fellowmen,” says Mamaril.
#HelpTzuChiHelpOthers. Regardless of age, gender, religion, or career, anyone with a heart can spread love to others. To know more how, visit the page at http://tzuchi.org.ph/how-to-help/donation/.