Tzu Chi Foundation’s liaison office in Cebu organized a solemn event to celebrate the Buddha’s birthday, Mother’s Day, and Tzu Chi’s 51st Global Anniversary on May 14 at White Gold House in Cebu City.
430 participants attended the threefold celebration in Cebu. Tzu Chi volunteers and Tzu Chi scholars from Bohol travelled to Cebu to also attend the event.
Tzu Chi Cebu organized a solemn even to celebrate the Buddha’s Birthday, Mother’s Day, and Tzu Chi Day on May 14. The celebration gathered 430 participants, including Tzu Chi volunteers and Tzu Chi scholars from Bohol, at White Gold House in Cebu City.
The celebration started with the procession of commissioners who bring with them the flowers, candles and scented water for the Buddha Bathing ceremony. The bathing ceremony followed soon after. The scented water symbolizes the virtue, spirit and teachings of Buddha. Every participants bowed and tapped into the scented water hoping their mind and hearts to be purified and be cleansed from impurities.
Tzu Chi Bohol scholar Benjie Portrias shared it was his first time attending the ceremony. When asked about the experience he said, “It is different and I am grateful. The serenity and reverence of the participants is calming and I feel blessed.”
Benjie Portrias is one of the first batches of Tzu Chi Bohol scholars. The 20-year-old Civil Engineering student has watched video footages of Buddha Day celebrations across the world from volunteering during Tzu Chi volunteers’ Spreading the Seeds of Love programs around the province. From then on, he had hoped to take part in such ceremony.
“Though I am not a Buddhist, taking this experience to heart had touched me and put me in the presence of calmness,” he said. “I wish Buddha’s virtues will remain not only in mine but in everyone’s hearts.”
After the Buddha Bathing ceremony, Tzu Chi Cebu Officer-in-charge Nelson Reyes welcomed everyone to the event. According to him, Mother’s Day is a reminder for everyone to be filial – respectful and loving to their parents. The Buddha’s Birthday, meanwhile, is celebrated to express gratitude to the Buddha for guiding us to grow spiritually. In celebrating Tzu Chi’s 51st Anniversary, love that transcend religions and differences is being promoted.
During a Mother’s Day tribute, 12 Tzu Chi Cebu scholars washed the feet of their parents and offered flowers. The gesture symbolizes the scholar’s gratitude toward their parents for the latter’s hard work in raising them. It was a heart-warming scene that aims to strengthen a mother-child relationship and to promote filial piety.
The tribute ended with the scholars and volunteers presenting a sign language called “A Mother’s Hand.”
By the end of the celebration, everyone present was honored to have participated.
The entire Bohol team, who travelled early morning of May 14 to attend the celebration, is looking forward to holding the same event locally. They hope to make everyone in Bohol feel that despite the many differences, we are all united as one in sharing love, in doing good deeds and making a positive impact to the world.