August 11, 2022
Tabaco City declares August 6 as Tzu Chi Day
By Ben Baquilod
The 6th day of August has been declared as Tzu Chi Day in Tabaco City, according to an executive order issued by City Mayor Cielo Krisel Lagman-Luistro. This is in recognition of the humanitarian works that the Buddhist foundation has extended to the people of Tabaco, Albay.
The proclamation happened after the turnover ceremony of the Tzu Chi Great Love Village consisting of 100 prefabricated houses for families displaced by Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses.
Tabaco City’s motto of faith, hope, and love does not differ and is kinship with Tzu Chi’s renowned compassion, says one provision of the Executive Order No. 19 Series of 2022.
City Mayor Lagman-Luistro praised Tzu Chi’s work in the Bicol region for more than 20 years now—ranging from construction of school buildings, medical and dental missions, disaster relief operations in the aftermath of volcanic eruptions, typhoons, and man-made calamities.
“Even the Buddhist nuns from Taiwan came over to give us gallons of water, rice, blankets, and many items for our evacuees,” recalls then Congresswoman Lagman-Luistro of Tzu Chi’s relief mission after the Mayon volcanic eruption in 2000.
For the next two decades since then, the mission of Tzu Chi has remained in the city, doing relief work during typhoons and calamities. In 2008, Tzu Chi donated a school building to the Tabaco National High School following the devastation of Typhoon Reming in 2006. On the heels of Super Typhoon Rolly in November 2020, Tzu Chi volunteers brought in heavy machinery for cleanup and gave food and cash assistance to affected families.
On August 5, Tzu Chi has officially launched its college scholarship program made possible by the local volunteers in Albay under the leadership of Antonio Tan, Tzu Chi Bicol head volunteer.
“They say when you put perfume on, you do not just smell good, you also spread the fragrance around. And I think that’s exactly what Tzu Chi has done—transforming lives, transforming hearts,” says Mayor Lagman-Luistro. Moved by the foundation’s unconditional love, the Mayor expressed her intention to go Taiwan to personally meet and thank the Tzu Chi founder Dharma Master Cheng Yen.
Tzu Chi Philippines Deputy CEO Woon Ng expressed gratitude and awarded token of appreciation to the Tabaco City government for their assistance and cooperation with Tzu Chi.
Volunteers closed the auspicious event with Master Cheng Yen’s prayer: may all minds be purified, may there be peace in the community, and may there be no disasters in the world.