To raise awareness of the manifestations of climate change and global warming, Ayala Heights Village in Quezon City held a two-day Earth & Wellness Weekend at the village clubhouse. Tzu Chi Foundation joined the event as an exhibitor, selling vegetarian meals and Jing Si and DaAi Technology products.
Jing Si and DaAi Technology products made their debut at the Ayala Heights Earth & Wellness Weekend at Quezon City, alongside various eco-friendly exhibits.
From September 29 to 30, Tzu Chi spread its environmental advocacies to residents of Ayala Heights Village in the form of vegetarian meals and eco-friendly items. Volunteers spent the entire day serving meat-free versions of Filipino dishes to attendees, as well as explaining DaAi Tech’s ability to turn plastic bottles into blankets and bags. All this and more is to help increase awareness of climate change, especially in light of recent disasters.
“Recently, the calamities have been hitting one after another. Recently, we’ve learned of the tsunami that hit [Sulawesi] Indonesia. We want people now to be aware to reduce use of plastic and Styrofoam,” said Tzu Chi volunteer Molita Chua.
Event coordinator Kayelle Gonzales explains that the event itself is the collective awareness of the community with regard to climate change. Aside from inviting exhibitors to showcase their wares, organizers also implemented a no single-use plastic policy. Gonzales said the exhibitors had to make adjustments in their packaging to be able to participate.
“People don’t realize that their lifestyles, little habits and choices in their lives, can make a difference in how we take care of the environment and impact climate change and global warming,” said Gonzales.
On the second day, the volunteers were shocked to see a wave of people flocking to the exhibit. Coming out of the morning mass at a nearby chapel, the people flooded the vegetarian side of the exhibit where it was serving meat-free palabok (Filipino noodles topped with orange sauce) and dinuguan (pork blood stew).
Other meat-free meals sold include lumpiang ubod (vegetable spring rolls), smoothies made with Jing Si multigrain powder, and mooncakes also made with Jing Si powder.
Tzu Chi volunteer Sally Yuñez, however, believes the reason for the overwhelming reception is their blue-and-white volunteer uniforms.
“Some of them even told us that they told their friends to look for ‘those in blue and white,’ as they’re selling a lot of things. They remark that we’re always orderly and neat, precisely what Master [Cheng Yen] is teaching us: systematic, orderly, and disciplined,” explained Yuñez.
The familiarity of the locals with the Tzu Chi name, as well as the tastiness of the vegetarian meals, resulted in plenty of positive feedback.
“I love dinuguan, but this is my first time trying a vegetarian version. It’s so good that it almost tastes like regular dinuguan,” remarked Jenny Sze.
“As a doctor, [the products] are really for health. We want to be physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy so we can work well and go around meeting people in a nice way. Tzu Chi is for service, just as we doctors do,” remarked Thelma Tan, a dermatologist.