Tuesday, May 18

Shoppers find healthy food options at charity fair

November 11, 2012 | Angeli Adviento and Lineth Brondial

Local Tzu Chi volunteer, Rita Dumlao, 39, (left) arranges some bundles of organic vegetables being sold at Tzu Chi Foundation’s grand charity bazaar last November 10 and 11. These fresh produce were harvested from Tzu Chi Great Love Campus’ organic garden. 【Photo by Angeli Adviento】

Story Highlights

  • Aside from charitable shopping, buyers also chanced on tasting delicious and healthy vegetarian meals being sold at Tzu Chi Foundation’s Grand Charity Bazaar and Food Festival last November 10 and 11.

  • Shoppers commended the Buddhist organization’s promotion of adapting a vegetarian diet which they say will help them lead a healthier life and also introduce the said diet to their own families.

  • While for shopper Cheryl Go, 39, she is glad to find a good deal of buying cheap organic vegetables at the charity bazaar, saying that buying such affordable produce is not often available in markets outside.


Enjoying Tzu Chi Philippines' Grand Charity Bazaar and Food Festival will not be complete without showcasing some delicious vegetarian dishes for shoppers to try. Hence, as buyers carry on with their shopping, wide arrays of these healthy and delectable foods were also sold last November 10 and 11.

Promoting vegetarianism during the food festival is one way for the Buddhist organization to encourage people to adapt a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, Tzu Chi founder Master Cheng Yen encourages everybody to take on a vegetarian diet to lessen and eventually cease the killing of livestock and other animals.

One shopper is 27-year-old Lenilyn Sagarang who bought fresh lumpia (spring rolls). Being a veggie lover at heart, she said, "I like to eat vegetables because it makes me feel stronger and healthier compared to when I am eating meat dishes."

Sagarang also commended the fact that Tzu Chi sells vegetarian foods which are in nature, healthier than meat products. "By eating more vegetables and lessening meat intake we can prevent diseases," she disclosed.

While for the Cuza family, adopting a vegetarian diet will be a good start towards healthy living.

"Of course it is healthy to become vegetarian. So it's good if it would really be introduced to the family," said Ade Cuza, a mother of two.

She admitted that they frequently serve meat dishes on their tables but disclosed they are willing to adapt vegetarianism to their lifestyle.

"I want to be healthy, and right now I am practicing already to eat vegetables, and also introducing it to my children while they are young so they could bring it as they grow up," her husband Bong said.

Buyers were able to enjoy their vegetarian meals inside Tzu Chi Great Love Campus' (TCGLC) gym which served as an improvised food court. Besides being a dining area, the food court also served as a place where various programs and performances were held from time to time.

One group who performed during the activity is the "Rondalla on Wheels" who rendered various musical pieces to entertain the shoppers. The said group is among the beneficiaries of Tzu Chi Foundation.

While buyers are dining at the food court, some were able to find good bargains for purchasing fresh and organic vegetables.

Such shopper is Cheryl Go, 39, who bought organic vegetables especially grown inside TCGLC's organic garden. "It is good to be able to buy organic vegetables (in this bazaar) because you won't often find these outside," she said.

Echoing Sagarang's response, Go agrees that vegetables are a healthy option for her family's diet; she also prepares vegetarian dishes because her husband is a vegetarian.

On the other hand, Tzu Chi volunteer Rita Dumlao, 39, is happy that their organic vegetables became an instant hit to many buyers with all their produce sold out. Selling the organic vegetables for P50 a pack, the local volunteers were able to earn a total of P19,880 at the end of the two-day activity.

With this, Dumlao is grateful for their buyers' patronage. "I am glad that many buyers bought our vegetables. In this way, we help them maintain their (good) health,"

She also disclosed that all their earnings will go to the Tzu Chi Eye Center's construction. Hence, even without monetary gain for the volunteers' part, they know that they are able to contribute something for a good cause.

"I am happy because once this eye center is completed, we will be able to reach out to more people who will seek treatment at Tzu Chi," she concluded.

  • This buyer not only promotes environmental care by using a reusable bag to put in his purchased goods, but also healthy living as he buys a bundle of organic camote tops. 【Photo by Angeli Adviento】

  • Cheryl Go, 39, (center) buys a pack of organic vegetables at the bazaar. Go said that buying organic vegetables for only P50 is a good deal considering that such commodity of the same price is not often found in outside markets. 【Photo by Angeli Adviento】

  • Aside from purchasing material items, several buyers also chanced on trying delicious and healthy vegetarian foods being sold during the two-day event. 【Photo by Angeli Adviento】

  • People gather at TCGLC’s gymnasium which was used as an improvised food court where people can buy drinks and veggie meals. 【Photo by Angeli Adviento】

  • Buyers and families dine at the campus gymnasium to savor the food festival during the charity bazaar. All vegetarian meals were served at low prices in this section. 【Photo by Lineth Brondial】

  • For the food festival, vegetarian stalls were set up to promote vegetarianism, one of the firm advocacies being pushed forth by Tzu Chi Foundation. Buyers dine and enjoy the meals with their families after shopping for a cause at the bazaar. 【Photo by Lineth Brondial】

  • At least 20 youth represent the Rondalla on Wheels who performed several Tzu Chi songs in front of customers dining at the food fair section during the two-day charity bazaar. 【Photo by Lineth Brondial】