Monday, Apr 19

Repenting in today’s turbulent world

September 08, 2019 | Jonas Trinidad

Tired but not dissuaded, the participants of the last day of rehearsals go over their movements in one last round. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

Story Highlights

  • The call to repent for one’s sins, through the Water Repentance Text, is timely in this day and age. With natural disasters hitting harder and more often, the importance of repentance cannot be overstated. Only by cleansing our heart and mind of afflictions can the world become a better place.


The Water Repentance Text is a timely reminder of the dangerous direction the world is currently heading to. Natural disasters such as the August 29 flash flood that inundated Davao City are hitting harder and more often. Such occurrences are attributed to the collective negative karma people nurture, whether their actions directly or indirectly influence it. As the title implies, the Water Repentance Text encourages people to repent for their sins.

“[Dharma Master Cheng Yen] has been reminding us that, the more frequent disasters are happening, the more we have to be awakened. Through this Water Repentance can we bring over the cleansing dharma water to more people, and be really free the world from disaster,” explained volunteer Michael Siao.

In preparation for the stage adaptation on February 2020, Siao and hundreds of his fellow volunteers rehearsed as their means of repentance. Under the tutelage of instructors from Taiwan, they took to heart every lyric and movement.

The last day of the three-day rehearsal on September 9 was larger than usual, as participants from Leyte, Bohol, and Cebu had joined. The Great Love Campus’s auditorium swelled with two stages’ worth of participants. Despite the language barrier, the Visayan participants learned the importance of repentance.

“All of us commit sins through our senses: the way we see, the way we talk, and the way we act. That’s why there’s a need for us to repent, so that we can generate good karma much like a lotus flower,” said Johndy Duterte, a college Tzu Chi scholar from Bohol.

“Little by little, I learned that if we did something wrong, we must repent. Or it would certainly return as a bad karma to haunt us,” said Jhayson Deloy, also a college Tzu Chi scholar from Bohol.

Tzu Chi Philippines deputy-CEO Alfredo Li has been rehearsing the role of the painter in the play. From a simple painting of a tranquil lake, he would think of more things to add until his mind sinks into chaos.

“For me, the [story of the painter] is very important because of the situation our world is in right now. It’s full of greed. The people should know that this is dangerous to our world,” said Li.

It wouldn’t just be the hundreds of participants onstage that would be repenting on the day of the play. Everyone watching would also be encouraged to do the same thing so that the world may become a better place for the foreseeable future.

  • Director Lee Tzu Yueh demonstrate action to the group of Tzu Chi scholars Johndy Duterte (left) and Jhayson Deloy (right) from Bohol. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • The physical movement team listen to the volunteer explaining the play to them. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • With vigor in every beat, the drum team electrifies the opening ceremony. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Taiwanese instructors lead the participants in group formation. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • The instructors express their gratitude for the hard work the participants have shown. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】