Despite the rough weather, Tzu Chi Foundation visited Dreamland community in Rosario, Cavite to bring the quarterly relief efforts to the residents on December 9. The activity this time accomplished three things in an instant: the regular relief, the timely help just right after typhoon Ruby and the early Christmas gifts for the mostly Catholic Dreamland residents.
Visiting teacher-volunteers from Malaysia reached out to help in the relief efforts. Before leaving Dreamland, the Malaysian visitors also took the opportunity to visit the actual community, realizing the aphorism of Master Cheng Yen: “Witness suffering, know that you are blessed, and share your blessings with others”.
Storm signal has just been lifted and though there was still a rain shower following the tail of typhoon Ruby (Hagupit), the volunteers pushed through its conduct of quarterly relief in Dreamland, Rosario, Cavite on December 9.
The quarterly relief this time accomplished three things in an instant: the regular relief, the timely help just right after typhoon Ruby and the early Christmas gifts for the mostly Catholic Dreamland residents.
The program started with the registration and distribution of stubs to the recipients. It was then followed by some heart-warming stories of struggle of the victims of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) by Tzu Chi volunteer Michael Siao. After which, the Malaysian Tzu Chi volunteer teachers gave the residents some fun-filled activities with song and dance numbers that really made them happy.
Towards the end of the program, goods to be given were shown and right after, a humbling prayer touched everyone’s heart, thanking Tzu Chi and all the donors and the Almighty who continue to make things possible despite every hurdle that comes along the way.
One mother named Zandra Aloc, aged 29, was very happy and thankful. “I am very thankful to Tzu Chi Foundation because they help a lot of people just like us.”
“We have learned a lot of things, most especially my son who is also a scholar of Tzu Chi Foundation, so I am so thankful that we are included in the recipients by Tzu Chi Foundation,” she added.
The mother of two, who is expecting another child, left the relief center extremely happy.
Tzu Chi started its relief program in the area in 2007, hoping that it will help them reduce their daily struggles. Since then, Tzu Chi volunteers keep up their commitment to deliver the blessings of love to the recipients.
Through the years, Tzu Chi Foundation has provided a handful of assistance to the community. With fishing as the main source of many, Tzu Chi has launched doormat-making as a livelihood project, the out-of-school-youth are given a chance to study through scholarships, all families receive quarterly food sustenance, and above all, guidance for them to lead better lives through positive teachings.
Another grateful resident of Dreamland who received his early holiday blessings from Tzu Chi was Jovito Valencia.
“This is a big help for me,” mentioned by the timid Valencia, 54 years old.
The 54-year-old fisherman now lives alone and far away from his children. He was left by his wife for another man while his children already had their own families from distant places. The native Caviteño lives alone in his shanty by the seashore of Dreamland, Rosario Cavite.
Valencia thanked the foundation for coming in time for the season especially that a typhoon has just taken place and affected them. “All the things you gave are very important, just like the thermos; we will be needing hot water since it’s very cold these days.”
A total of 314 families were given material and food supplies which include a 20-kilo sack of Taiwan rice, one-kilo noodles, a pair of slipper, T-shirt, a can of fruit cocktail, a can of condensed milk, a bottle of soy sauce, six cans of mushroom, and one thermos.
In the interim, former Tzu Chi collegiate youth and now commissioner Michelle Leong parted good words about the event.
“This is a very meaningful event and this is my first time here in the Philippines. I am very fortunate to be here because I am able to help the aid relief,” mentioned by the Tzu Chi volunteer from Malaysia.
“I was informed that the typhoon will hit manila. I think it’s a blessing from the Buddha because it gives us the blessing to help and the opportunity to do such a work with multiple meanings (to help in the regular quarterly relief and assist the residents shortly after the typhoon). I hope that the fortunate people will do their best to help the unfortunate ones,” she added.
Leong and nine other teaching volunteers from Malaysia were in the Philippines to facilitate the Jing Si Kiddie Book project in San Mateo, Rizal. They arrived last week and held a seminar and orientation for teachers to impart their strategies in inculcating the Jing Si aphorisms to their students.
Before leaving Dreamland, the Malaysian visitors took the opportunity to visit the actual community, realizing the aphorism of Master Cheng Yen: “Witness suffering, know that you are blessed, and share your blessings with others”.
Because of the rain, the volunteers had to walk through muddy soil in order to visit the shanties surrounding the community of Dreamland. In the end, all were happy as the volunteers were able to reach out and the deprived people of Dreamland, once again, received their most-deserved blessings.