April 6, 2022
Tzu Chi distributes rice to indigent families in Payatas
By Ben Baquilod
Tzu Chi volunteers donated rice to indigent families in Payatas, Quezon City on April 2. With the assistance of Mother of Divine Providence Parish, Tzu Chi distributed 200 sacks of rice to the beneficiaries of the church’s feeding program.
“The Mother of Divine Providence Parish thanks Tzu Chi Foundation for the rice that you’ve provided. This is a big help since these people really need food. They’re among the poorest of the poor,” says parish priest Fr. John Castillo FDP.
Among the recipients is Ramon Roxas Jr. who was so happy to receive 10 kilos of rice. A scavenger, he earns 180 to 200 pesos for a day’s work of collecting and selling plastic bottles and other junks. He also supports his late brother’s four children and his old mother.
“It’s really difficult, but I guess that’s just what life is,” says Roxas. Despite the hardships, Roxas remains strong for his four nieces and his mother. “I get strength from God, because He provides us with everything.”
With the little money he earns, being part of the church’s feeding program is a big help to his family. “It’s one of the things that help alleviate our poverty so I’m really grateful,” he says.
To receive another blessing from Tzu Chi was a big surprise to him. “I am so happy today. I didn’t expect that I would have the opportunity to receive rice. Big thanks to Tzu Chi Foundation,” he adds.
Besides the food for the stomach, Roxas was also happy to receive food for the soul. “I thank the Tzu Chi volunteers because I saw how happy they were to see all of us here at the church’s feeding program,” he marvels of the volunteers’ positive and lively demeanor. “I also learned the value of giving back to others the very thing you received, like this rice.”
Inspired to share Tzu Chi’s cycle of love, he plans to donate a portion of his rice to his neighbors. “If we let love prevail, we will surely have harmony among us,” he says.
Equally moved by Tzu Chi’s visit was Marissa Corpuz, a housewife with two children. Her husband in his senior years earns a minimal income as a caretaker at a bicycle repair shop. To help sustain her family’s needs, Marissa occasionally does her neighbors’ laundry and cleans their houses.
“Thank you so much to Tzu Chi Foundation, because the rice you gave us today is really of big help to us,” says Marissa.
She also felt blessed to meet the volunteers. “I learned from the Tzu Chi volunteers to think good thoughts and to speak good words,” she says. “I am inspired and my heart is touched by what they said.”