More than 400 guests from Marikina and Rizal join Tzu Chi in welcoming the new year during the Year End Blessing ceremony held at TCMERC last January 13, 2019.
The guests donated to the victims of Tropical Depression Usman.
Around 420 guests from Marikina and Rizal joined Tzu Chi Foundation in celebrating the past year and welcoming 2019 during the Year End Blessing Ceremony last January 13, 2019 at Tzu Chi Marikina Educational Recycling Center (TCMERC).
The guests watched the Philippine and Global Sutra, and received the traditional Chinese red envelope that came from Master Cheng Yen along with a reminder to always be compassionate and abide by the dharma.
The event also signaled the start of a new year. For 2019, Dharma Master Cheng Yen reminded everyone to care and respect all forms of life and work hand in hand for a better society.
Tzu Chi volunteer Michael Siao expounded this message in an inspirational speech. “We want to care and to respect all life forms. Respect the lives of people, respect the lives of material things, and respect the life of all creatures.”
The guests also showed their compassion for others by donating to the victims of Tropical Depression Usman. Marikina resident Nora Habig said that she wished for the quick recovery of the victims of Tropical Depression Usman when she donated after the program.
“I’m happy because I was able to help the victims. Even if I can’t go there, at least I can help with my donation. And I would include them in my prayers every morning and evening. I hope that they would recover and get back to normal life once more.” she said.
Tropical Depression Usman devastated the Bicol Region and Northern Samar before 2018 ended, leaving 126 casualties and 26 missing. In the Bicol Region,Usman left around 700 million pesos worth of damages to agriculture and 2 billion in infrastructure.
Former Marikina Mayor Del De Guzman also expressed his solidarity with the victims of Usman. In 2009, Marikina City was devastated by Typhoon Ondoy (International code Typhoon Ketsana).
“In all the calamities that Philippines experienced, Tzu Chi was always there. I’m very happy that we could pay back the help that was extended to us by helping our countrymen who have been devastated (by the storm). We experienced what they’re currently experiencing now.” said De Guzman.
Chairperson of Barangay Fortune Rizalina Teope also extended her help to the victims of Tropical Depression Usman.
“It wasn’t much, but I feel like I am already part of giving relief and love to those who were affected by the storm Usman.” Teope said.
Barangay Fortune and other parts of Marikina have received so much support from the foundation after the Ondoy destruction.
Nine years after the storm, residents were still actively participating in the recycling efforts of the foundation in order to promote environmental protection.
A group of recycling volunteers from Barangay Nangka, Marikina headed by Marites Obing do recycling once a week in Acropolis Subdivision in Quezon City. She also encouraged the audience to join in the cause for environmental protection.
“I hope that all of us could give ourselves an opportunity to do good deeds for the sake of Mother Earth as well as for our own sake.” she added.