At the conclusion of this year’s Taiwan Expo, Tzu Chi’s philosophy of compassion has reached a broader spectrum of Filipino society.
Over three days of showcasing their wares and sharing their inspirations, DaAi Technology Co., Jing Si Books and Café, and Tzu Chi University made more people aware of the Tzu Chi name and ideals. Every time they introduce their product or service to a person, they follow it with a brief story on how it came to be. How Jing Si instant rice, for instance, became the brainchild of a need for a quick meal in disaster areas.
“We are more focused on the spirit behind the product, not just to market the product but to help them understand what Tzu Chi Foundation really is working on,” says Tzu Chi volunteer Lolita Choa, managing the Jing Si Books and Café booth.
The volunteers’ efforts equated to huge revenue. Jing Si Books and Café earned Php163,450, mostly from the sale of food items and English books. The last day of the expo saw sales peak at Php60,660.
“I am glad that the participants are very enthusiastic in helping the bookstore and the foundation itself,” Choa adds.
Meanwhile, despite an inventory limited by their suitcases, DaAi Technology also enjoyed high overall sales. Given that most of their products are expensive because of the technology used to make them, the reported total of over Php500,000 comes as a surprise. Sales representative Jasmine Li never expected to entertain a huge volume of buyers over three days of the expo.
Demand peaked so much that she worried about running out before the expo ends. But she makes up for it with the happiness of seeing so many willing to support Tzu Chi’s advocacies.
“We are so happy to see our inventory almost empty. But the most important thing is that all the sales go to Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines for them to do more charity work,” Li remarks.
“People get a sense of the importance of environmental protection. They loved the products and vowed to implement the concepts in their daily lives,” Li adds.
The elderly couple of Ka and Nelly Sy were lucky to have bought shirts from DaAi Technology on the last day.
“This is actually our first time coming here. We were taken in [by the DaAi Technology products] and the good-mannered salesladies. They’re good at introducing their products, which urges us to buy,” says 82-year-old Nelly.
Proceeds from both the café and DaAi booth, as well as piecemeal donations, will go to fund future humanitarian projects of the Philippines chapter. Those who chose not to buy anything but desire to cultivate blessing were given the option to donate at least Php100, which many obliged without question.
Donations for the first two days fell short of Php30,000 in total, with a handful donating more than what was expected of them. The stream of grateful words from Tzu Chi volunteers was endless. From the tender-aged to people of different faiths, the exhibit has more than achieved its intention.
Every purchase of an item from any of Tzu Chi’s booths during the Taiwan Expo will go to fund future projects of the organization in the Philippines. The quantity of sale, for the volunteers, isn’t as much of a priority as spreading the word about Tzu Chi’s efforts to the masses. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】
Staff members manning the Jing Si Books and Café booth get busy taking inventory of the outgoing goods. By the end of the three-day Taiwan expo, the bookstore made over Php160,000 in revenue. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】