July 22, 2020
Sta. Mesa: A Buddhist Spiritual Place
By Daniel Lazar
With construction having recently resumed at the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus at Sta. Mesa, after a hiatus of almost 4 months, the benevolent foundation continues to build their facilities to facilitate charity work.
Even during the ECQ, the Tzu Chi Foundation continued relief operations throughout the Philippines by donating PPE to medical frontliners and rice to families in need. It was, therefore, vital that the Sta. Mesa campus remain operational, as it was the staging ground for most relief operations.
CEO Henry Yunez discussed the importance of the campus staying open and what its spirituality and values means for current and future generations. “The Sta. Mesa campus is the place where we do a lot of our charity work and activities for our community,” Mr. Yunez said. “Sta. Mesa is the launching area of all of Tzu Chi’s relief operations and as a result, we were able to distribute more than a hundred thousand 25 kilo sacks of rice during this pandemic.”
It all started right here. Throughout the lockdown Tzu Chi staff and volunteers were busy loading rice around the clock ready to transport to different barangays in Metro Manila, and to the various Tzu Chi offices across the nation.
Apart from relief operations, the Sta. Mesa campus is a place of learning and spirituality. “Master Cheng Yen told us to make this a Buddhist Holy Site in the Philippines, and we have tried to stay true to that by building replicas of the building in Hualien to make our members and volunteers feel like they are with Master Cheng Yen every day.” Buildings like the Jing SI abode, and Master’s log cabin have been reproduced at Sta. Mesa.
Mr. Yunez explained that “the replica of the log cabin symbolises the humble beginnings of Master Cheng Yen and in a sense represents the frugal spirit of our founder, which TzuChi members and volunteers follow every day. In a way, it is the humble spirit of Tzu Chi.”
It is this humble spirt and the values of Tzu Chi which volunteers and students of the Livelihood Program are taught at Sta. Mesa. “More than basic technical skills, the students in the Livelihood Program are taught important life values,” said Mr. Yunez. “Students are taught to be humble, generous and helpful to others, and of course, follow Master Cheng Yen’s teachings. That’s why this place is very important for this and future generations.”