Tuesday, Sep 25

Love, the force that unites all

May 13, 2018 | Jamaica Digo

Despite the difference in faith, Catholic nuns from the Sisters of Mary School in Silang, Cavite join Tzu Chi volunteers in the Buddha Bathing ceremony, showing that religions can work together to send the message of love and goodness around the world. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

Story Highlights

  • Tzu Chi Philippines’ celebration of Mother’s Day, Buddha Day, and Tzu Chi Foundation’s 52nd Global Anniversary on May 13 at the Jing Si Hall in Quezon City gathered participants from different walks of life and religion.

 

This was the message of Tzu Chi Philippines’ celebration of Mother’s Day, the Buddha’s birthday, and Tzu Chi Foundation’s 52nd Global Anniversary held on May 13 as more than 400 individuals from different walks of life and religions gather at the Jing Si Hall in Quezon City to join the event.

 Seventy-five Grades 9, 10, and 12 students, together with two nuns, from the Sisters of Mary School in Silang, Cavite took part in the Buddha Bathing ceremony. During the rite, participants touched the scented water and get a flower.  The water symbolizes the cleansing of impurities while the flower symbolizes the sweet fragrance of the Buddha’s virtues that we wish to emulate.

According to Sister Winnie Valencia, the experience will teach the students to respect other people’s religion while understanding that despite the differences in belief, all religion teaches the same message.

“They are Buddhists but their goal is to have that love, to have that compassion and sincerity in the service of the poorest of the poor with joy – that is also our mission,” added Sister Riza Riva.

For more than 30 years, the Sisters of Mary School has been giving hope and opportunities to young boys and girls from the less-fortunate Filipino families through academic and vocational training. Being a boarding school, the students are also supported with free food, clothing, shelter, as well as medical, and dental services.

In 2007, the Sisters of Mary sold its Sta. Mesa Campus to Tzu Chi at a marked down price after the nuns were reassured that the Buddhist group will continue to use the property to help the needy. Today, the former campus houses Tzu Chi’s eye center and dental clinic for the poor. It is also where students of Tzu Chi’s Livelihood Training Program hold their classes.

Tzu Chi also continues to support the Sisters of Mary School through rice donations and annual free eye checkups and eyeglasses for its students and faculty staffs.

Coming to the event, the nuns and the students wished to express their gratitude.

As the candles are lighted up for the closing prayer, the distinction between Catholics and Buddhists pales, until there was nothing left but hearts praying for one thing: peace.

“I think this is what the world needs – that all of us should pray for peace and for the good of the people,” said Police Chief Superintendent Roberto Fajardo, who attended the event with his wife and son.

  • Sisters Riza Riva (center) and Winnie Valencia (right) listen as Tzu Chi volunteer Peggy Sy explains the significance of the Buddha Bathing ceremony. The rite is a symbolic gesture of cleansing our hearts and minds and tapping into our innate pure nature. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Students of the Sisters of Mary School travelled all the way from Silang, Cavite to attend the threefold event. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Police Chief Superintendent Roberto Fajardo attends the event with his wife and son. The family is moved with the solemnity of the event. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Candle lights and prayers for peace fill the Jing Si Hall in Quezon City as Tzu Chi’s celebration of its 52nd Global Anniversary, Mother’s Day, and the Buddha’s birthday comes to a close. 【Photo by Henriette Chua】