– by ChiChai@Empire –
Mine and Chris@Empire’s trip happily aligned with two Project PEARLS events: 1) our Bulacan’s nursery and grade school graduation ceremony and 2) the Project PEARLS volunteer and staff appreciation weekend retreat.
With this being Chris’ first Project PEARLS experience, I was super excited for him to meet the kids. I mean… can we talk about how extra adorable these graduates are?
Graduation day is a huge feat for us at Project PEARLS. The community we work with in Batia, Bulacan were originally from Ulingan in Tondo, Manila. Ulingan was a town on a garbage heap in adjacent to a charcoal factory. Many of these children began working either in the factory or as scavengers as soon as they learned to walk.
My mom worked with the government and local schools in relocating the Ulingan families to a clean and safe area in which they can continue their education and livelihoods.
To put it in short, each of these kids’ continual growth in education is Project PEARLS’ greatest success story
One of the scholars that Empire in the Air sponsors was a grade school graduate!
She was also the chosen scholar to give a commemoration speech
Chris and I got to play with other scholars as well. Here’s some of their silliness (and mine)
After celebrating the children’s graduation, the PEARLS team continued to embrace the organization’s success by spending the rest of the weekend together at Pampanga’s Prado Farms.
Prado Farms welcomes its visitors to enjoy the intermingling of nature with its gracefully aging buildings
Around the central visitor areas –such as the dining hall and lobby– contemporary art enriched the scenery even more
Religious or not, one cannot deny that Prado Farms’ chapel is a beautiful piece of art as well
A popular feature of the farms among everyone were the bikes. The eco resort allows you to roam around the estate by riding its bicycles
One of my personal favorite features of Prado Farms was the food. Since this eco resort is on a farm, all of the meals provided were literally farm-to-table. My mouth is watering thinking about that hot cocoa paired with fried bananas and granola. Mm.
Chris and I fell in love with the aesthetics of Prado Farms so much that we woke up at sunrise to see how it glowed under soft sun-rays.
We encountered a curious carabao who wondered what we were doing near his pond.
Just taking photos, Mr. Carabao! Don’t worry!
As I took photos by the standard walk-around-and-snap, Chris brought out his new favorite toy: the DJI Mavic Pro. With it, he was able to capture the resort’s lushness and open field.
I like how my Philippines tour for Christopher began in an urban setting, then an islander one, and now, a farm! What’s next, you ask? Just an active volcano, is all.
P.s. If you want to pay a visit to Prado Farms, you can learn more about them here.