Thursday, Apr 15

Tzu Chi staff go into action for 3-day Officers Camp

May 24, 2019 | Jonas Trinidad

Henry Yuñez, CEO of Tzu Chi Philippines welcomes Dharma Masters De Man and De Chen, as well as other senior Tzu Chi volunteers from Taiwan to Harmony Hall. They’re in Manila to share their Tzu Chi experience with their Filipino counterparts in the National Officers Camp. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

Story Highlights

  • Over 50 staff members of Tzu Chi Philippines join the preparations for the three-day National Officers Training Camp at the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus on May 24.

  • With every volunteer urged to attend the camp, the staff members take their place in most of the tasks volunteers usually do in such events.


Office workers of Tzu Chi Philippines leave their desks temporarily to help out the 3-day National Officers Training Camp (NOTC).

Held at the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus, Tzu Chi officers from different Tzu Chi Chapters across the Philippines shared what they have achieved in their community for the past year, An estimated 150 volunteers from Metro Manila, Cebu, Leyte, Bohol, and Davao will be able to learn from the delegation from Taiwan which includes Dharma Masters De Chen and De Man from the Jing Si Abode, as well as several senior Taiwanese volunteers.

“We would like all participating volunteers to attend the National Officers Training Camp lectures, that’s why the main working personnel for this activity will be our staff,” said Tzu Chi administrator Chieh Fang Uy.

As the camp encourages every Tzu Chi volunteer to attend each session, most of them were not assigned to any task in the camp. Instead, the Jing Si Hall in Quezon City mobilized its entire workforce to take their places. Social workers, accountants, and even clerks are given tasks in each aspect of the preparations ranging from cooking to cleaning.

The twenty-man Social Service Department is tasked with setting up the chairs and tables in the snack area. Johniel Tuando, a social worker in charge of screening Tzu Chi scholar applicants, was able to experience the work of Tzu Chi volunteers in an activity.

“Once this is all over, we’ll be able to feel a sense of fulfillment. We gave our hearts to fulfilling this simple task and impart our “Tzu Chi feeling” to the participants. I think we’ll all have a wonderful experience for the entire day [of preparation],” said Tuando, a former Tzu Chi scholar.

In line with clerical work, the smaller Administration Department is tasked with registration of the participants. Staff member Kimberly Tiu, however, is no stranger to helping out since she was a former Tzu Chi scholar and a member of the Tzu Chi Youth.

“I’m happy to help here because it’s a break from the usual routine in the office. Also, we can learn more about Tzu Chi culture by helping out in activities like this,” said Tiu.

Over 50 people in the preparations are staff members from different departments.

Meanwhile, construction of the new Jing Si Hall just across the camp venue is being completed in all haste. Formerly a basketball court when the campus was still the Sisters of Mary School, the area was turned into a recycling center when Tzu Chi acquired the compound in 2008. The construction of the hall began in July of 2018.

“We’re trying to finish this Jing Si Hall in time for this Sunday prayer, which will be conducted by the two nuns from Hualien Jing Si Abode.” said Judy Lao from the Department of Communications.

  • Staff of Social Service helped covering up the mattresses for the participants who would be staying overnight. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Tables and chairs are arranged in specific Tzu Chi aesthetic. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Tzu Chi volunteer Linda Chua takes charge of decorations. Here, she spruces up the entrance altar with plants. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • The kitchen takes charge in cooking the food for hundreds of volunteers and participants of this camp. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Tzu Chi volunteer Linda Chua teaches social worker Johniel Tuando how to arrange the flowers. Tuando, a former Tzu Chi scholar, is no stranger to helping out with the foundation’s activities. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • In the afternoon, Tzu Chi Philippines officers meet with the Taiwan delegation to discuss the flow of the three-day camp. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Construction of the Great Love Campus's new Jing Si Hall continues even during a big downpour in the early afternoon. Organizers are confident that the hall will be in time for the Dharma Masters to teach Buddhist prayer and etiquette to the participants by Sunday. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】