Project PEARLS began as a small NGO with hopes to uplift children from Ulingan in Tondo, Manila. In its sixth year, this small organization blossomed into a giver for several communities throughout the Philippines. One of these communities is Botolan, Zambales.
We travelled south for four hours to be warmly welcomed by Botolan’s Aeta community.
The Aetas are considered to be one of the first people of the Philippines. Being warmly welcomed by such a culturally rich group that worked hard in maintaining its traditions is an honor.
Our sister community in Botolan were displaced from Mount Pinatubo’s volcanic eruption in the 90’s. Rising from destruction, they built anew and continue fighting for cultural preservation.
Unfortunately, outside communities discriminated them because of their differences. I am proud to say that PEARLS goes works with their leaders in assuring the Aetas continue thriving.
For this particular visit in Botolan last month, our LitClub leaders hosted an art summit! The students told their stories through colors, patterns, writing, and drawing.
One of the things I especially loved about our art summit was that our LitClub leaders-in-training are actually a few of the children we’ve been sponsoring since PEARLS’ first year! That is what PEARLS is all about. Not only do we give to the children in impoverished areas, we empower them to become leaders of tomorrow.
Thank you to Botolan’s wonderful children for sharing their stories with us!