Tuesday, Jun 02

Guiding Tacloban locals in the path of goodness

August 28, 2016 | Donna Abigail L. Bula

In his talk, Tzu Chi volunteer Jose Yu emphasizes on the importance of carrying out recycling activities not only to the environment but also to every volunteer’s personal cultivation during the seminar on August 28. 【Photo by Donna Abigail L. Bula】

Story Highlights

  • Tzu Chi Tacloban volunteers facilitate a training seminar for new and old volunteers in Tacloban City on August 28. A total of 73 volunteers attend the seminar.

  • Elma Caminong wants to become a Tzu Chi volunteer so she can help more people in need. Arlene Saliente, meanwhile, enjoys attending the seminar as it encourages her to change her bad habits.


“We should not let time pass us by. In just a matter of second, a lot of things can change,” reminds Tzu Chi volunteer Jaime Go.

In their seats, the participants of the Volunteers’ Training Seminar in Tacloban City on August 28 murmur their assent.

It is a common concern among Tzu Chi volunteers how they can squeeze in everything that needs to be accomplished as a volunteer and still have time for their respective families. The seminar provides insight about this while reminding the participants not to waste precious seconds in pursuit of fame and fortune.

“It is difficult to derive spiritual happiness if one is not willing to forgo materialistic joy,” adds Tzu Chi volunteer Go.

The seminar gathers a total of 73 training Tzu Chi volunteers and first time attendees.

42-year-old Elma Caminong attends the seminar for the first time. She gets emotional while listening to the talks. She says it all reminds her of how she was helped by Tzu Chi in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda and how she was also able to help others.

In the wake of the super typhoon, Caminong received Php 15,000 cash assistance from Tzu Chi. Apart from rebuilding her home, she used the money to help with the medications of her neighbour’s baby who was suffering from leukemia. However, the baby did not survive her condition.

“After that, I had really wanted to help other people by volunteering in Tzu Chi Foundation. That way, I can extend help to more people who needs it,” shares an emotional Caminong.

Caminong has been diligently attending Tzu Chi’s various events like the celebration of Buddha Day, Mothers’ Day, and Tzu Chi Day as well as the Year-end Blessing ceremonies.

“I tell my friends that Tzu Chi has really helped us a lot so let’s not ask for something in return when we volunteer for them,” Caminong says.

42-year-old Arlene Saliente is also beginning to imbibe the spirit of volunteerism from diligently attending the monthly seminars.

“I was really touched by the different lessons that I learned from the Tzu Chi volunteers because as a simple individual, I never thought that I can do something to help others,” says Saliente.

Since the first volunteers’ training seminar that she added, Caminong has been diligently taking notes. In fact, she has a separate notebook for this occasion.

Before she joined the training seminars, Caminong had ill vices. She used to drink alcoholic beverages and negative words would easily spill out of her mouth.

“Now, I’m constantly trying to eliminate my bad habits by attending and listening attentively during Tzu Chi’s training seminars,” says Caminong.

  • Tzu Chi volunteers lead the sign language of the song “Love and Care." With their lead, participants of the seminar joined in the performance. 【Photo by Donna Abigail L. Bula】

  • Tzu Chi volunteers and participants of the seminar all sing and join in the sign language of the Tzu Chi song "One Family" which sends out a message of oneness despite our racial, cultural, and religious differences. 【Photo by Donna Abigail L. Bula】

  • Tzu Chi Tacloban volunteer Jaime Go shares about the importance of time and why we should seize every second to do good deeds. In addition, he emphasizes that all volunteers adopt the practice of buying reusable eating utensils instead of disposable ones as the latter only contributes to the planet’s pollution.【Photo by Donna Abigail L. Bula】

  • Since the first time she attended a Volunteer’s Training Seminar in Tzu Chi, Arlene Saliente diligently takes note of all the lessons she gain from the talks and the sharing. She has her separate notebook intended only for the seminar. 【Photo by Donna Abigail L. Bula】

  • These training Tzu Chi volunteers diligently and eagerly learn from the seminar. 【Photo by Donna Abigail L. Bula】

  • The venue echoed with the sincerity of the Tzu Chi volunteers and the total 73 training volunteers as they pray a harmonized society and a world free of disasters. 【Photo by Donna Abigail L. Bula】

  • Elma Caminong joins the rest in offering a sincere prayer for all. According to her, she really wants to be a Tzu Chi volunteer to extend help to more people. 【Photo by Donna Abigail L. Bula】