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Through Jing Si products, Tzu Chi volunteers inspire

April 27, 2018 | Jonas Trinidad

Every peso from the purchase of Jing Si products like this bag of instant rice goes to fund Tzu Chi’s activities. But Tzu Chi volunteers hope that this year’s exhibit at Lucky Chinatown Mall educates the visitors about the organization’s advocacies. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

Story Highlights

  • This year’s annual Jing Si products bazaar at Lucky Chinatown Mall aims to not only serve as a fundraiser but also inform and inspire people to take Tzu Chi’s advocacies as their own.

 

More than just a market for Jing Si products, Tzu Chi Philippines’ annual bazaar at Lucky Chinatown Mall strives to be a medium to inform and inspire.

From April 23 to 29, the activity saw a wide array of Jing Si and DaAi Technology products showcased to the significant Filipino-Chinese community of downtown Manila. Some of the items include instant rice and noodles, multigrain mixes, books, DVDs, and apparel made out of recycled PET bottles.

Although Tzu Chi volunteers frequent the area during relief missions and home visits, many of the members of the community have yet to learn about the Buddhist organization and its advocacies. Tzu Chi volunteer Rosa Bairan hopes that, with the bazaar, they hope to not only inform their guests about Tzu Chi but also inspire them to become Tzu Chi donors or volunteers.

“By telling them about our four missions—charity, medicine, humanity, and education—we can better educate them about our advocacies,” says Bairan.

On the first day, April 23, the activity’s guests included staunch supporters of Tzu Chi. Jimmy See, president of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Alumni Associations, Inc., bought some food containers and bags to hold them.

“Tzu Chi’s works have helped a lot of people. In my little way, I support Tzu Chi to be able to invest in charity,” says See.

Explaining compassion

As with the bazaars of previous years, DaAi Technology continues its participation this year. The Taipei-based non-profit, in line with Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s teaching to “coexist with the Earth,” produces various garments and household items using recycled PET bottles. The technology involved in creating such products involves chopping and melting the bottles, and turning them into fiber to be used to create the items. Most of Tzu Chi’s disaster relief items, namely the eco-friendly blanket, are made this way.

Representing DaAi Technology at this year’s bazaar is Sam-ming Yu, assistant general manager of the company’s M.I.S. Department. His style of explaining the company’s advocacy involves empowering the individual. While a person is powerless alone, Yu believes that a community sharing a common purpose can achieve great things.

He also outlines how recycling achieves all three “levels of compassion.”

“We can protect the Earth by recycling misplaced resources. Then, we make them into relief goods such as blankets and give to those who need them. And then, we can protect the rescuers [through the aversion of effects of natural disasters],” Yu explains, adding that these form the core of “compassion technology.”

Hefty price tags didn’t deter visitors from buying DaAi Tech’s wares, at which they expressed admiration for the way the items were made. Kevin Co, who recently received his Architecture degree, has been taught to appreciate taking the environment into consideration in design.

“I was amazed to learn that plastic bottles could be turned into other products. The clothes, for instance, don’t seem like they’re actually made out of plastic bottles. The design and manufacturing processes are apt,” says Co.

Tzu Chi volunteer Pue Chin Chua spent the good part of the bazaar educating the visitors alongside her colleagues. She describes the bazaar as a showcase of compassion in action. She also believes that part of the reason for the lucrative reception of the goods is that the money will go to charity.

“They said our products really have value. The garments are very light and comfortable to wear, despite being expensive. But since we are doing it for charity, they buy [the clothes] nevertheless,” Chua remarks.

  • Delegates of the Filipino-Chinese community join Tzu Chi volunteers as they cut the ribbon marking the formal opening of the bazaar. The bazaar ran from April 23 to April 29. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Part of a volunteer’s responsibilities in the bazaar is to educate visitors about Tzu Chi and its advocacies. They hope to inspire more people to take the advocacies as their own, if not become Tzu Chi donors and volunteers themselves. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Jimmy See checks out a food container commonly used by Tzu Chi volunteers in the field. He bought a few containers for use at home. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Jing Si publications and video materials were also for sale during the bazaar. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • A child takes interest in the spread of story books for kids. A Tzu Chi volunteer assists him in picking out the ones he likes. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Visitors are treated to some hot tea as they relax at the bazaar’s lounge. This part of the bazaar also exhibits the versatile furniture Tzu Chi has become known for. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Despite the hefty price tag, the Co family bought a few bags from DaAi Technology’s booth. For many, they were willing to spend whatever amount as long as it would go to charity. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • On the eve of the end of the bazaar, a fashion show showcased the various apparel of DaAi Technology. All of these are made out of the same plastic bottles people drink from. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】