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Home Global Activities Asia Goodbye with Gratitude and Sincere Piety

Goodbye with Gratitude and Sincere Piety

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Goodbye with Gratitude and Sincere Piety
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"We must be grateful to everyone and everything that crosses our path at every moment of every day and live every second, every day, every month and every year ahead of us with a heart filled with utmost sincere piety. Let us greet the new year with the same piety and pray that the new year be peaceful, auspicious, and one filled with blessings and wisdom.” –Master Cheng Yen

Commemorating the triumphs it gained over the many challenges it faced in the year 2009, Tzu Chi Foundation, Philippines held its Yearend Blessing Ceremony last January 31, 2010 with utmost gratitude for the wisdom and virtuosity of founder Master Cheng Yen that guided them through their trials and tribulations.

Attended by 1540 of its long-term and short-term beneficiaries, donors, affiliate groups, friends and other guests, the auditorium of the Tzu Chi Jing Si Hall in Quezon City was filled with thankfulness and hope for a better year ahead as 187 Tzu Chi volunteers recalled their bitter and sweet experiences in the past year.

Through the 17-minute video presentation of the Philippine 2009 Great Treasury Sutra, the audience was once more reminded of the goodness and great love that Tzu Chi has bestowed in thousands of needy people in the country.

Transformations unfolded
One of the most unforgettable experiences that Tzu Chi went through last year was at the height of Typhoon ‘Ondoy’ (Ketsana). While most of the Tzu Chi volunteers were also affected by the deluge, their love and care for their fellowmen was still prevalent as they pushed forth in helping the hardest hit areas recover from their misfortunes.

Among these areas was Marikina City where hundreds of thousands of residents lost home and even loved ones during the typhoon. However, Master Cheng Yen’s wisdom and unbounded love for the Filipinos guided the Tzu Chi volunteers in reinforcing relief programs in the city in October.

A short drama presentation titled “Love Heals the World” from Tzu Chi volunteers and 18 typhoon-survivors-turned-volunteers from Marikina City showed how Tzu Chi’s rehabilitation efforts helped with the recovery of the three hard-hit barangays of Nangka, Malanday and Tumana.

Through the relief work (cash-for-work) program, the normalcy of these barangays were brought back as the residents were paid Php400 (USD8.6) daily for about three weeks to clean their mud-laden communities.

"I did not know what to do at that time. We did not know where to ask help from but when Tzu Chi came and implemented the relief work program, my spirit was uplifted. In return, I helped with the preparations of the prayer vigil at the Marikina Sports Center. When I saw the large number of people who came that day (December 27), I realized how big Tzu Chi’s help really is. We will truly never forget what Tzu Chi has done to help us recover. As a way to give back their kindness, I vow to help my fellowmen, harbour a good heart and decent behaviour, and help protect the environment,” shared Barangay Nangka resident Danilo Tabano, 66, to the audience.

Tabano also recalled that they had to move atop their two-storey house when the typhoon struck and had nothing to take shade from the heavy rainfall except the blankets he had saved.

Fellow Nangka resident, Joann Casero, 40, also attested to the good transformation that she underwent after she met Tzu Chi. “Before, I used to gamble, drink and go out with my buddies a lot. But when Tzu Chi came, I told my friends that I want to stop from all the bad things I’ve been doing and instead join Tzu Chi’s activities. The first time I was able to volunteer in one of Tzu Chi’s relief missions, I felt really good. Even though I did not have any material or monetary contribution, I felt really glad in helping Tzu Chi volunteers hand out aid to others,” the mother of three declared.

During Tzu Chi’s relief work program program in Nangka, Casero was one of the people whom Tzu Chi volunteers tasked to handle the disaster relief workers. Now, Casero is one of the Marikeños who actively participate in the missions of Tzu Chi. She is also currently employed as a cook in Tzu Chi’s office in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

"I am pledging that I will continue serving Tzu Chi throughout my entire life. I am not asking for anything in return and expect that I am always with you (Tzu Chi volunteers) in helping others in need,” Casero declared.

Casero also shared that her children used to complain on her frequent absence from home but now, even though their mother is still out of the house most the time, they are happy to see her engaged in Tzu Chi works. Casero’s husband is presently working in Saudi Arabia and when he heard about the news that she is now working in Tzu Chi, he was elated.

Seeing this positive change amongst the Marikina residents, Tzu Chi volunteers could not help express their happiness.

"Without Master Cheng Yen’s wisdom, all of us would not be here right now. It is her advice that we implement a relief work program in Marikina that freed the city from mud and garbage,” one Tzu Chi volunteer pronounced.

The Tzu Chi volunteer also stressed the Master’s call for everyone to harbour a pious heart in times of disasters and seize every chance to give help to others. In this light, the volunteers showed the 20-minute video presentation of Tzu Chi’s Great Treasury Sutra 2009 that exhibited Tzu Chi’s footprints of love worldwide.


 
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" Material objects were meant to be tools for us to use. Yet, lacking wisdom, we are perpetually discontent, and we thus become enslaved by material objects. "
Jing-Si Aphorism

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