The Manila South Cemetery in Makati City and Loyola Memorial Park in Parañaque City participated in Tzu Chi Foundation’s cleanup and recycling activities held from October 31 until November 2. Both cemeteries joined for the first time.
Loyola Memorial Park- Parañaque Field Supervisor Roger Flroes, commends the foundation’s initiative to conduct cleanup and recycling activities disclosing that it is a very big help in maintaining the cleanliness of their memorial park.
Filipino Tzu Chi volunteers Eliza Asedera, Leony Ancheta, and Magsakay couple: Tatay Lorenzo and Nanay Linaflor, joined in the recycling activity not only to help in the cleanup but to inform more people about the importance of recycling and that it is everyone’s duty to protect and save the environment.
In commemoration of All Saints’ Day last November 1, Tzu Chi Foundation conducted simultaneous cleanup activities in six cemeteries within the metropolis and in the Rizal province, other than its mission of protecting the environment, the volunteers were up and about to share to the public what Tzu Chi Foundation is.
The said cemeteries are: Manila North Cemetery, Chinese Cemetery both in Manila; Loyola Memorial Park-Marikina, Paraiso Memorial Park in San Mateo, Rizal; Manila South Cemetery in Makati City, and Loyola Memorial Park- Parañaque.
At the Loyola Memorial Park in Parañaque City, 20 Filipino volunteers manned and pooled their efforts to help in maintaining the cleanliness of the 13-hectare memorial park, which Field Supervisor Roger Flores lauded.
“I had known about Tzu Chi Foundation before so when they came here asking for our permission to conduct a recycling activity, we immediately consented. Generally, the people here in Loyola (Memorial Park) appreciated their efforts in collecting the garbage,” he said.
Being a resident of Marikina City, Flores knew of the foundation seeing first-hand the one-of-a-kind helps the Buddhist group gives to those who are in need. Such instance was after the devastation of typhoon Ondoy (international codename: Ketsana) in 2009, wherein Marikina City was one of the most devastated areas.
Tzu Chi Foundation immediately conducted relief and cleanup operations to help with the rehabilitation of the said city.
Flores also added, “We only gave them some reminders on how they can better conduct their recycling activity so that the people here won’t be disturbed as they are paying their respect to their dearly departed. Generally, Tzu Chi’s effort in helping with the cleanup is very commendable and we are hoping that this will continue on for the years to come.”
To which Tzu Chi volunteer Eliza Asedera, 59, shared that the recycling activity is already successful, “The people are very cooperative they give us their recyclables, as a volunteer, I am very happy that they accepted our recycling activity in a positive manner.”
“Once we shared to them the beauty of recycling and they understood its importance, eventually there would be less or even no garbage here at the cemetery,” Asedera explained.
She also disclosed that, “I am a volunteer, I don’t ask for anything in return it is just right to help the foundation with its missions, I am happy rendering my services for free, it’s no big deal.”
Meanwhile, at the 25-hectare Manila South Cemetery in Makati City, one of the biggest cemeteries in Metro Manila, 21 Filipino volunteers who, despite the flock of people coming, did not hesitate to share the missions of the foundation which has been in existence for more than 46 years through the initiative of Buddhist nun, Master Cheng Yen.
Using their time wisely, Master Cheng Yen encourages the tireless Tzu Chi volunteers to use every second doing good deeds not only for themselves but most importantly to other people, and through the recycling activities more people learned about the environmental protection program of the foundation as well as its other missions namely charity, medicine, humanity, and education.
For 40-year-old Tzu Chi volunteer Leony Ancheta participating in the recycling activity is not a task rather, “… it is fun joining here. We are like a family doing a very important task in protecting the environment. We have used our time in doing more meaningful things like explaining to the people the importance of recycling. Though we are a bit tired, still we are happy having joined such activity”
“We teach them how to properly sort their garbage, because when everything is put together then it is really garbage but when we sort it, we can still see the other uses we can make out of it. Once they learned how to sort the right way, they would say that they would apply it in their homes,” Ancheta furthered.
With equal division of work, while some volunteers are sorting others were busily collecting recyclables like the Magsakay couple Lorenzo, 61, and Linaflor, 54, from the people.
“It is our way of extending our thanks to the foundation that has been helping our family. So when we are requested to participate in Tzu Chi activities we always come,” Tatay Lorenzo almost tearfully said.
As for Nanay Linaflor the recycling activity is a bridge for more people to learn about the foundation’s recycling efforts, “There are some who are a bit apprehensive to give their recyclables because they are not yet familiar with Tzu Chi, it is just fine because that is the reason why we are here – to inform more people about Tzu Chi’s environmental protection mission.”
It is the first time for both cemeteries to join in the recycling activities of Tzu Chi Foundation.
The cleanup activities took place from 7:30am to 5pm. It will continue until November 2, the celebration of All Souls Day.