Thursday, May 06

Fostering a heart of service for the New Year

February 16, 2018 | Grace Limbher Daigdigan

Tzu Chi Chinese volunteers numbering to 25 gathered at the Jing Si Hall in Quezon City on February 16 to receive blessings from Dharma Master Cheng Yen. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigidgan】

Story Highlights

  • On February 16, Tzu Chi volunteers gathered at the Jing Si Hall in Quezon City to renew their vows of service as they chant the Sutra of Innumerable Meanings in observance of the Chinese New Year.


Tzu Chi Philippines volunteers welcome the New Year by remembering the foundation’s mission which includes their vow of nurturing a heart for serving the needy.

On February 16, the volunteers numbering to 25 organized a two-hour ritual at the Jing Si Hall in Quezon City. Filled with love and sincerity, they chanted verses from the Sutra of Innumerable Meanings, an overview of the Lotus Sutra where Tzu Chi’s Dharma path and Jing Si lineage are based.

Tzu Chi volunteer Cindy Balete has been devoting her life in extending a hand not just to the impoverished but also to people who want to get back on life’s track. She offers On-the-Job Training (OJT) to students of the Machine Operation Course, a two-month training program sponsored by Tzu Chi.

“Being a Tzu Chi volunteer means that you are an extension of Master Cheng Yen in helping other people and you must value your connection with them in order to have a peaceful world,” shares Balete.

Balete’s New Year wish is for Master Cheng Yen to live a long and healthy life. Balete believes that there are many lessons that different generations can gain from the Master’s wisdom.

“I look forward to be with Master Cheng Yen in a long journey to continue inspiring and changing people’s lives,” she adds.

Tzu Chi volunteer Elsa Lee sees the New Year as a reminder to do good deeds. “Time is very short. Every hour, minute and second counts. That is why we have to plant and spread good karmas every day of our waking life,” she stresses.

At the same time, she prays for humanity to be safe in the midst of calamities that strike daily and for the community of volunteers in the Philippines to grow.

Bowing to Dharma Master Cheng Yen marked the end of the pious ceremony.

Shortly after, Tzu Chi Philippines’ CEO Henry Yuñez greeted the volunteers a prosperous new year and extended Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s gratitude for everyone’s love and concern to the earthquake victims in Hualien. Volunteers and donors in the Philippines have been raising funds to support the relief work since the 6.4-magnitude quake.

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  • Tzu Chi Chinese volunteers do the walking meditation, regaining their inner peace【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigidgan】

  • Putting their palms together, Tzu Chi Chinese volunteers sing their hearts out as they pray for a disaster-free world. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigidgan】

  • Tzu Chi Philippines’ CEO Henry Yuñez greets his fellow volunteers a happy new year. He hopes that everyone will fulfill their duties and responsibilities to continue spreading love to their communities.【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigidgan】

  • Kneeling down to show their respect, Tzu Chi’s Chinese volunteers attentively listen to Master Cheng Yen’s New Year message. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigidgan】

  • In the Chinese culture, misua soup, tikoy and mandarin orange are just some of the must-haves on the table every New Year. These food symbolize long life, a prosperous year, and wealth. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigidgan】

  • Sincerity is seen among the Tzu Chi volunteers as the two-hour sacred ritual progresses. Most of them opted to celebrate the Chinese New Year this way instead of a lavish party.【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigidgan】