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Tzu Chi Director here to teach Water Repentance

July 29, 2019 | Jonas Trinidad

More than 200 Filipino-Chinese Tzu Chi volunteers attended the evening practice for the Water Repentance Text stage adaptation. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

Story Highlights

  • A group of Tzu Chi volunteers from Taiwan arrived in Manila on July 26 to oversee the training of their Filipino counterparts for the stage adaptation of the Water Repentance Text. Training commenced with Filipino-Chinese volunteers at the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus.


A group of Tzu Chi volunteers from Taiwan arrived at Manila on July 26 to oversee preparations for the Philippines’ first Water Repentance Text stage adaptation scheduled for its presentation on February 29 & March 1, 2020 at MOA’s Arena.

Tzu Chi volunteer Lee Tzu Yueh, who conceptualized the adaptation of the Water Repentance in 2011 for Tzu Chi’s 45th anniversary lead the 19 members team from Taiwan last July 26. Aside from Manila, the team also went to Cebu to teach local volunteers on how to present this ancient Text.

Lee was instrumental in developing this Text into a theatrical performance so that people in this modern time can understand the meaning of the Water Repentance Text.

More than 200 Filipino-Chinese volunteers attended the first session of the training at Tzu Chi Great Love Campus’s auditorium. Lee lauded the eagerness of the participants in learning the basic actions of the performance, at the same time, Lee was able to explain the Text of the Water Repentance to the participants. It is important for the participants to understand the meaning of the Water Repentance to enable them to translate it to the audience.

“I hope that this adaptation provides everyone, regardless of religion, a heart of reverence for Buddhism. Through the words of the text, I hope that they realize that Buddhism teaches moral values of life, how to be a better person. Slowly but surely, we all can change ourselves for the better,” said Lee.

Philippines chapter CEO Henry Yuñez expressed his gratitude to the Taiwan contingent and also to the local volunteers for their participation. “There will be more challenges that all of us will have to face in the future since this is a very big production. We really have to work together to make this a success.” Yuñez said.

“We have many participants here who are old, and there aren’t enough people to fill the stages. We hope that we can encourage more participants to join us,” said Yuñez.

Lee also added that the language barrier is as much of a challenge, especially when training the Filipino volunteers. It’s one of the reasons the songs have yet to be fully memorized.

“There’s this language barrier that we have to overcome. Fortunately, we’re slowly overcoming it as I’ve noticed their singing growing more passionate,” explained Lee.

Filipino-Chinese volunteer Wong May Chu is nonetheless optimistic about the outcome of days of hard work. “I learned so much on the first day alone. I’m grateful for the Taiwan volunteers for taking their time to teach us and hope to learn more in the coming days.”

For years, Tzu Chi has been bringing to life the soul of the millennium-old Water Repentance Text. It’s based on the account of Dharma Master Wu Da, who one day was afflicted by karmic retribution in the form of a tumor on his knee. Recalling the advice from a venerable master, he went to the mountains where he was able to repent for his transgressions in his past life. After rinsing off the tumor at the mountain spring, he remained in the mountains and composed the text.

The stage adaptation is scheduled for February 29, and March 1, 2020 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

  • The Taiwan contingent meets with representatives of Tzu Chi Philippines for a preliminary meeting on the practice session. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • In the afternoon, Filipino-Chinese volunteer leaders meet with the Taiwan team to discuss the practice session. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Before the session, the Taiwan volunteers polish their own skills to better teach the participants. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Tzu Chi volunteer Wong May Chu (right) guides her cluster of fellow volunteers and attendees. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Director Tzu Yueh checks the timing of the participants’ steps during one of the song numbers. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】