September 29, 2021
Visually impaired massage therapists receive third tranche of aid
By Joy Rojas
Representatives for visually impaired massage therapists from VIBES Caloocan, VIBES Montalban, VIBES Pasay, VIBES Quezon City, VIBES San Lazaro, Zhenti Massage, SM Novaliches, Touch With Faith Massage, AVCMT Inc., AVIMMS, DOC Wellness Massage, Good Massage, Robinsons Place, SM City VIBES Bicutan, UBMA Massage, and VIBES Sta. Rosa dropped by Buddhist Tzu Chi Campus in Sta. Mesa, Manila, to claim their third tranche of relief goods.
The relief foods, which consisted of 20-kg Taiwan rice and various grocery items, also included a bag of fresh vegetables. Speaking before a group of beneficiaries, Tzu Chi volunteer Woon Ng discussed the merits of vegetarianism, particularly how eating a meat-free diet fosters kindness and respect for all living creatures.
While barbershops, beauty salons, and nail spas now operate at a limited capacity under the current Alert Level 4 quarantine classification, massage clinics have remained closed since Metro Manila was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine last August 6. “Massage therapists, particularly the visually impaired, are the most affected sector in this pandemic because they have direct contact with their clients,” says Myrna P. Franco, whose Touch with Faith Massage clinics are located at South Supermarket and Robinsons Place, both in Malolos, Bulacan. “And even if our salons are closed, employers like me still have to pay half our rent.”
With no income, Franco’s staff has relied on the kindness and generosity of concerned clientele and foundations like Tzu Chi, which recognizes this sector’s plight. “Thank you. You’ve been a very big help to us, especially with the rice, which is very expensive. God coursed His blessings through you so you could bless others,” says Franco.