For years, Tzu Chi Foundation has been spreading awareness on Vegetarianism to the public through seminars and reading materials.
On December 2, 2017, Tzu Chi volunteers took part in the Strive and Thrive wellness event organized by the YOGA Is for Everyone and held at the Celebrity Sports Complex in Quezon City. It featured a community yoga practice, a symposium on plant-based diet, and a vegetarian buffet lunch.
Tzu Chi volunteer Molita Chua led the mission together with 17 other volunteers.
As early as 7 o’clock in the morning, volunteers start to prepare the Jing Si Products they will be selling, including noodles, bread spreads, and other vegetarian food. Eco-friendly kitchen wares were also sold. Proceeds from the sales will fund Tzu Chi’s Machinery Operation Course Program.
By preparing vegetarian lunch buffet, Tzu Chi volunteers aim to introduce the concept of Vegetarianism and eco-friendly products to the attendees as well as inform them with the missions of the foundation.
Manuel Tabunda, the head organizer of Yoga Is for Everyone program, sponsored the rental fee of the hall where Tzu Chi volunteers set up their booth for the event. The fee usually costs Php20, 000 to Php30, 000.
“Sir Manuel Tabunda meet Tzu Chi through our 21-day vegetarian meal campaign last August. He ordered 20 sets of packed lunch. Because we knew that they promote vegetarianism and yoga classes, we thought that we could introduce Tzu Chi Foundation in this place,” says Tzu Chi volunteer Chua.
After the community yoga practice and collective meditation, which was attended by 200 participants, everyone began to flock Tzu Chi’s booth to take a look and even get a free taste of some of the prepared Jing Si Products.
“When I saw that the volunteers were really serious about environmental protection and how they love all creatures, I was really impressed. We could see that there are a lot of waste, which means there are a lot of us who do not love the Earth,” says Maria Cecilia Romasanta, one of the exhibitors at the event. She is the head distributor of Aromacology in Luzon. It is a company which produces natural-based food and beauty products.
After visiting Tzu Chi’s booth, she was impressed that a charity group is promoting organic products in the same ways she does. She bought ample amount of Jing Si products in support of the cause.
The death of her husband due to cancer eight years ago made her realize that life is short and our body should be well taken care of.
Liza Garcia, one of the attendees, was also encouraged to buy from Tzu Chi’s booth.
“These products are very impressive because others who are meat eaters can now eat healthy food without killing animal life,” says Garcia.
Sharing Tzu Chi’s missions
Three Tzu Chi volunteers introduced the foundation’s history and missions to the attendees during a symposium.
Tzu Chi volunteer Judy Lao facilitated the first talk, which discussed Tzu Chi’s Footprints of Great Love. A power point presentation was prepared to further explain how Dharma Master Cheng Yen established Tzu Chi Foundation in Taiwan in 1966 and how the seeds of love began to scatter around every part of the world.
She even shared the volunteers’ experiences during the relief operations for Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) victims, one of those is when they saw cadavers of the typhoon victims scattered on the streets.
It is the first time for most of the attendees to hear about Tzu Chi. They are surprised that such organization has boundless love for everyone despite cultural and religious differences.
Tzu Chi volunteer Woon Ng facilitated the second talk entitled Co-existing with the Earth. It aims to share how the foundation promotes respect for all living creatures and achieve healthy mind, soul, and body. A video presentation showing how Earth slowly deteriorates through time was shown.
A total of 1,776 animals are being killed every second around the globe for food consumption and meat is the common root cause of deadly diseases.
“Nature can be unlimited if you know that it has its limits, so by taking care of it and sustaining it, it will grow forever. We should nurture our nature and this is the power of us, human beings, and in this way we are blending with nature and let it last forever for future generations,” says Michael Alunan, one of the guests.
Alunan is also impressed how the volunteers exert too much effort on reaching out and educating people with the foundation’s advocacies.
Participants then recognized how everyone’s small efforts are vital for rescuing Mother Earth.
Tzu Chi volunteer Peggy Sy, the last speaker, tackled Tzu Chi’s four missions namely Charity, Medicine, Education, and Humanity.
She used as an inspiration for everyone the life story of severe scoliosis patient Rejean Ligue from Loon, Bohol. Attendees are in awe as they saw the improvement in Ligue’s body after undergoing several tests and two operations to correct her spine. Not all less fortunate people who suffer from serious diseases get the chance to be treated for free.
“As long as people create blessings they can help people. Most of the time people look for blessings outside but Master said that we have to realize and cherish that we are blessed. When I discussed to them about typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), I told them that if we just put together the things we have, no matter how big or small, it would make a difference. These small donations from everyone can help our medical cases and scholars. From palm facing up the people that Tzu Chi helped are now palm facing down,” says Sy.
“I learned a lot about Tzu Chi’s compassion and their remarkable volunteer work and what they have done to help the poor. They are very selfless and very dedicated in uplifting the condition of so many poor people,” shares James Mendoza, one of the attendees.
Inspired by Tzu Chi’s works, attendees donated money while others pledged to become regular donating members of the foundation.
Tzu Chi volunteers, together with Tzu Chi Philippines CEO Henry Yunez, prepare the Jing Si Products that they are about to sell to the participants. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Tzu Chi volunteer Molita Chua disseminates the tasks of the volunteers before the attendees begin to flock their booth. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
A total of 200 individuals attended the Community Yoga Practice, which is an hour and a half yoga session. The program is being done daily and non-members are welcome to join. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Tzu Chi volunteer Olga Vendivel shares to Liza Garcia, one of the attendees, that the tocino and chicken nuggets being sold at the booth are made of organic and non-meat products. Garcia got interested with it and bought packs of the said product. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Tzu Chi volunteer Judy Lao facilitates the talk about the origins of Tzu Chi Foundation. She even shares the volunteers’ experiences during their relief operation in Tacloban City for Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) victims.【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
A video showing how the Earth slowly deteriorates due to man’s harmful activities is shown. Tzu Chi volunteer Woon Ng leads the talk about how consuming non-meat products and respecting the lives of other living creatures will preserve our environment. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Tzu Chi volunteer Peggy Sy shares the life story of severe scoliosis patient Rejean Ligue from Loon, Bohol to the attendees to show the donations Tzu Chi Foundation receives are helping less-fortunate people get their needed medical attention for free. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
After hearing Tzu Chi Foundation’s missions, some of the attendees pledged to become regular donating members. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Participants enjoy free vegetarian lunch buffet prepared by Tzu Chi volunteers after the program. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Community Yoga Practice Head Organizer Manuel Tabunda (left) expresses his gratitude for the visit of the Tzu Chi volunteers. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Maria Cecilia Romasanta shows her joy and gratitude after buying Jing Si Products. She is the head distributor of Aromacology in Luzon, it is a company that distributes organic food and beauty products. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】