December 14, 2021
Veggie dishes a hit at Charity Sale
By Joy Rojas
Families and friends of the Tzu Chi Foundation had a fun day shopping at the Charity Sale held on December 5 at the Buddhist Tzu Chi Campus in Sta. Mesa, Manila. Boccadamo jewelry and accessories from Italy, as well as books and a tasteful selection of home accessories were among the wonderful gift ideas for Christmas.
But it was the wide array of vegetarian food that the crowds came for. New and longtime vegetarians stocked up on delicious non-meat dishes like fried dumplings, braised bean curd, Korean kimchi, kelp salad, seaweed salad, fresh fruits, and Filipino kakanin (rice cake snacks), among others.
“We are from Makati and we found this event on Facebook and we decided to come,” says Megumi Kimura. “Actually, I studied Mandarin in Taiwan for one year when I was in college, so I really miss Taiwanese food. I’m very happy you have Taiwanese noodles today.”
Sabrina Joyce Go also learned about the Charity Sale through Tzu Chi’s social media. “We’ve always been supportive of Tzu Chi Philippines, and we like the products because they’re vegan and sustainable,” she says. “That’s why my whole family’s here, and even my grandmother.”
“My sister spent a lot more money today than usual,” she adds with a laugh, “but she knows it’s for a good cause and we know that Tzu Chi helps so many people.”
“I usually cook my own food. There are not many outlets where I’m able to see these kinds of good quality vegetarian food,” says Christine Diaz. “I cannot wait to serve them to my family.”
Allie Sy, whose grandmother is one of Tzu Chi’s senior members, tries “to be vegetarian as much as I can. And that’s why I really like Tzu Chi because the food is so good even though it’s vegetarian,” she says. “It makes you want to buy more, right? Like, it’s just so easy to justify buying so much—because you’re supporting a good cause. That’s why I love it here in Tzu Chi.”
For Remedios Petilla, former Mayor of Palo, Leyte, attending the Charity Sale was a chance to catch up with old friends. It also allowed her to give back to the foundation that has helped Palo and Leyte get back on their feet after the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in 2013.
“Tzu Chi was very good, kind, and generous to my town. They were the ones who built my resettlement area for the homeless during that disaster. They gave me 250 houses,” she says.
“I know how very active Tzu Chi is, especially in times of disaster. That’s why I know that every piece that I buy, every food I buy and I eat will greatly help others. That’s what’s laudable about Tzu Chi, and I congratulate them for all the things that they have done, not just here in the Philippines but in other countries. I respect Master Cheng Yen, and I hope that they continue to do this everywhere for people in need.”
Tzu Chi advocates vegetarianism to instill compassion for all living things, promote healthy eating, and reduce negative karma. Proceeds from the sale will go to ongoing projects and communities aided by the Tzu Chi Foundation.