Wednesday, Jul 08

Tzu Chi’s Educational Assistance Uplifts the Lives of Bohol Youths

May 27, 2018 | Bernadine Mercedes

The Orientation and Awarding Ceremony at the Bohol Island State University Activity Center started with a prayer. The scholar applicants along with their parents and guardians made a plea for a harmonious society and disaster-free world. 【Photo by Marjorie R. Gornez】

Story Highlights

  • A total of 207 students were awarded Tzu Chi scholarships on May 27, 2018 at the Bohol Island State University Main Activity Center.

  • Ronald Calamba, one of the alumni scholars gave an inspirational talk to all the current scholars. Ronald was awarded as one of the Top Ten Most Outstanding Students of the Philippines during a ceremony held at Malacañan Palace.

  • One of the new scholars, Ralph Valeroso expressed his gratitude to Tzu Chi Foundation for opening doors for him and making it possible for him to pursue his studies.


Tzu Chi Bohol provides educational scholarship grants to 207 youths from the different municipalities of Bohol.

With Tzu Chi founder Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s belief that the youth is the hope is the nation, and that their hope lies in education, Tzu Chi Foundation is tirelessly giving scholarship grants to poor but deserving students around the island province of Bohol.

On May 27, 2018, a total of 207 scholar applicants attended the Orientation and Awarding Ceremony together with their parents and guardians at the Bohol Island State University Activity Center. The education committee of Tzu Chi Bohol was also present during the event.

The program started with a prayer to harmonize society and to free the world from disasters. Manila-based volunteer Rita Tan talked about the history of Tzu Chi and the early life of Dharma Master Cheng Yen. The participants were very attentive as they listened to how the great master built the foundation and how it grew to be the biggest Buddhist humanitarian organization.  The scholars were also taught Tzu Chi etiquette and to abide by the Ten Precepts. After the discussion, the participants were asked trivia questions which they actively answered, showing how much fun they were having.

To inform the scholars about the rules and regulations that they should observe while under the scholarship grant of Tzu Chi, the scholarship manual was discussed. The benefits that the scholars would receive were also enumerated. The signing of the terms and conditions and the awarding of scholar uniforms and certificates followed.

“I am very grateful to Tzu Chi Foundation and to Dharma Master Cheng Yen for giving me the opportunity to become one of the Tzu Chi scholars,” said Ralph Valeroso, one of the new scholars of Tzu Chi Foundation. His first encounter with Tzu Chi was when his elder sister sought for medical help for her eye problem. She underwent surgery in Manila and was relieved of her pain with the help of Tzu Chi.

“Never had I thought that what happened to my sister will open doors for me to become a Tzu Chi scholar. Now I am so thankful because my parents would not have to be burdened with my school expenses,” he added.

Ralph’s father is a fisherman and his mother is a fish vendor. With their income, it is almost impossible for Ralph to pursue his studies. But because of Tzu Chi, he can continue his education.

Ronald Calamba a Tzu Chi scholar who graduated in 2017 shared motivating words with the new scholars of Bohol.

“Always remember that poverty is not a hindrance to your dreams. Tzu Chi is an instrument for us to achieve what we want in life, at the same time guiding us to become virtuous individuals”, said Ronald.

“I am overwhelmed with blessings right now, and all of this has been made possible with the help of Tzu Chi Foundation,” Ronald added.

Recently, Ronald was awarded as one of the top ten most outstanding students of the Philippines. Because of this, he has become an inspiration to Tzu Chi scholars in Bohol. Among those he has touched is Gerry Malabote, a Tzu Chi scholar who just graduated this 2018.

“Even if I have already graduated, I still find time to participate in Tzu Chi’s activities. Not only do they mold me to become a better individual, they also inspire me to help other people. I have somehow developed an attachment to Tzu Chi Foundation and I am also thankful for that,” claimed Gerry.

Together with their parents, the scholars went home carrying hope that with the help and guidance of Tzu Chi, they can be successful in the future. Master Cheng Yen’s wisdom has been instilled in their hearts and shall propagate through the years.

  • Manila-based volunteer Rita Tan talks about the history of Tzu Chi Foundation and teaches the scholars about Tzu Chi etiquette and proper decorum. 【Photo by Marjorie R. Gornez】

  • Bohol Island State University (BISU) Main Campus Director of Student Affairs, Arcellie Hernandez, shares an inspirational message with the scholars. According to her, Tzu Chi's vision is in line with BISU's, of not only providing quality education but also producing virtuous students that could be an asset to modern society. 【Photo by Marjorie R. Gornez】

  • Tzu Chi volunteers taught the scholars to show respect and gratitude by making a 90-degree bow as they receive their blue uniforms. 【Photo by Marjorie R. Gornez】

  • Florencio Salvo Director of Student Affairs in PMI College, Arcellie Hernandez of BISU, and Conchita Manhilot, Students Affairs Officer at University of Bohol attend the orientation and awarding of the scholars and receive Jing Si books from Tzu Chi Foundation. 【Photo by Marjorie R. Gornez】

  • Ronald Calamba, a Tzu Chi scholar who was recently awarded as one of the Top Ten Most Outstanding Students of the Philippines, shares an inspirational message. Coming from a poor family, Ronald proved that poverty is never a hindrance to attain your dreams and goals in life. 【Photo by Marjorie R. Gornez】

  • Having recovered from severe scoliosis after undergoing major surgeries at Tzu Chi General Hospital in Taiwan, Rejean Ligue is now ready to continue and pursue her studies with the help of Tzu Chi's scholarship program. She will take up Bachelor of Science in Social Work so that she could extend help to people who are in dire need. 【Photo by Marjorie R. Gornez】

  • A total of 207 students were awarded Tzu Chi scholarships. Together with their parents, they were all smiles as they receive their scholarship grants, promising to follow Tzu Chi's rules and to always carry in their hearts the teachings of Dharma Master Cheng Yen. 【Photo by Marjorie R. Gornez】