Wednesday, Aug 12

Tzu Chi Highschool Students experience the Livelihood Program and Bahay Tsinoy

July 17, 2019 | Anna Geronimo

In the classroom of the Tzu Chi Livelihood Program, the High School Students are given a short presentation on what the Program is all about. 【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

Story Highlights

  • On the 17th of July, The Tzu Chi High School students take a tour of Tzu Chi’s Livelihood program and later in the day learn about Chinese-Filipinos in Bahay Tsinoy

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The storm Bagyong Falcon had set, yet the Tzu Chi High School students were gung-ho about the activity they were going to experience on the 17th of July. After breakfast around 9:00 am, the students, their teachers, and the rest of their retinue head toward the Tzu Chi’s Great Love Campus’s Livelihood Centre. There they were greeted with warmth and enthusiasm by the Tzu Chi Livelihood Students.

Sheltered from the storm, the students are given a quick presentation headed by Olga Vendivel. Judy Lao was there to give the bulk of the presentation and showed the students the different classes in the Livelihood program. Then there was a quick tour of the Facility. The students visited the Welding Class, the Metal works, The Sewing Classes, and the Computer Class. During the Computer Class, they were given the opportunity to test their skills in typing English, helped by the EO and BPO Students. Some of them even made it a game, trying to better their time and typing efficiency.

After that, they headed to Mall of Asia, one of Asia’s biggest malls, for lunch. After a fun lunch together, they were given the opportunity to shop for gifts, snacks and necessities. They split up in groups and were given a set time and place to meet up.

They then left for Intramuros, Manila’s famous and historical walled city, and inside Intramuros, they headed to Bahay Tsinoy; The Museum of Filipino-Chinese. There they learned the history and relationship of the Chinese people with Filipino people and how Tsinoys, Filipino-Chinese, helped shaped the history and society of the Philippines. There even was a small section that mentioned the Tzu Chi Foundation’s role in helping out in disasters, to the delighted surprise of many.

They then headed to the beautiful and historic Manila Cathedral; a huge structure with a spacious and sombre inside, with religious icons adorning the inside. Some of the students and staff paid respect at the altar.

Coming back safe to the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus in Santa Mesa, students Armani Wang and Ting Lee share what they learned in their journey;

“We went to a very big mall in the Philippines,” Armani happily said. “It was called Mall of Asia. We saw the brighter side of the Philippines. We then went to a museum called Bahay Tsinoy, or House of Filipino-Chinese, and we learned that there were a lot more Filipinos under the poverty line that we needed to help. Then we went to the Manila Cathedral where the first female president – President Corazon C. Aquino’s wake was held. We visited a lot of churches and we learned that Tzu Chi is one big family. We need more compassion for those who need it because we all belong to the human race, no matter what religion, we teach goodness. I hope in the future I would be able to join something like this again”.

Ting then says, “We had a tour of the livelihood classes. I saw the selfless giving of the Tzu Chi volunteers to help the students and train them with skills to give them better jobs. When the time comes that we have jobs, it’s their turn to give back to the next generation. This is a more sustainable way to help. After that, we went to Bahay Tsinoy in the afternoon and I saw how the Chinese Immigrants came to the Philippines and prospered through their hard work”.

Thus their exciting day ended.

  • In the welding room, all students are shown the machines used to shave and shape metal. 【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • In the sewing room, a few of the students look in awe at the speed of one of the volunteers as she makes her bags. 【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • In the computer classrooms, the students make a game in trying to outdo each other on typing as fast as they could. 【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • A group shot before they leave the premises of the Tzu Chi Livelihood Program. 【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • There are a lot of restaurants in Mall of Asia, the team picked Yellow Cab for its original Filipino based vegetarian pizza. 【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • The students are given a chance to buy groceries like snacks and essentials. 【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • A fun diorama in Bahay Tsinoy has guests interact with a small store. 【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • Girls look at pictures of old Binondo and Intramuros, which eventually becomes the oldest Chinatown in the world. 【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • A pleasant surprise for the guests were old photos of the Tzu Chi Foundation, which has a place of honor in the museum. 【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • Manila Cathedral’s altar and large façade is watched over by the Virgin Mary. 【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • The Students pose and smile in front of the Manila Cathedral in the late afternoon.【Photo by Abraham Torres】