Halloween Party Time!



Project Pearls 

Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines

Oct. 31,2017 | Tuesday


“If there was a holiday that deserves to be commercialized, it’s Halloween. We haven’t taken it away from kids. We’ve just expanded it so that the kid in adults can enjoy it, too.”

~Cassandra Peterson



We had a Happy Halloween Party at Helping Land!

Before lining up outside our feeding courtyard, kids were already busy preparing themselves as they wore their best scary costumes and face paints on October 31st.


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What for?

Halloween Party time!



For this day’s special event in the Helping Land, Tondo, Manila courtyard, we had special guests all the way from South Korea!

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The guests are students of Seoul Foreign School. Not only did they sponsor this day’s feeding program, they also shared their time with the kids.


After a brief orientation for all the volunteers, the kids entered the courtyard ready for us to fill their tummies first.



Our visitors gathered in the center and introduced themselves to the children.


After our feeding, some of the kids danced with our guest volunteers!

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We also had an extra special Brain Booster this day. We taught the kids how to create colorful paper flowers that they can give to their departed loved ones for All Souls Day on November 1.



Volunteers assisted the kids in their art projects. In just a few moments, the whole courtyard became an Art Center and lovely paper flowers filled the whole area.





Another great job kids!

Before our youngsters went home, books were given to them as gifts.




Thank you for all the donated children’s books Mantecon Family!


Candies, biscuits and other goodies were given to the kids also as treats! Happy Trick or Treat!


We would like to express our deep gratitude to the students of Seoul Foreign School for volunteering today and for sponsoring this day’s feeding!

God bless you and we hope to see you during more of our outreach programs.


Lastly, thank you all, volunteers!



Celebrating United Nations




Project Pearls Brain Booster

October 21, 2017 | Saturday

Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines




As many know, the United Nations is a powerful intergovernmental organization. It was established on Oct. 24, 1946 after the World War Two to prevent another conflict among countries. One of its goals is to maintain international peace and security. Its other objectives include promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict.

United Nations has grown to 193 member countries, including the Philippines.

October is considered UN Month! To commemorate UN Month, people all over the world create flags, wear traditional clothing from their cultures, and celebrate with parades.

In line with this worldwide celebration, the kids of Helping Land made powerful slogans to show what the United Nations means for them.


Right after the feeding, we introduced this day’s Brain Booster



Our courtyard then became full of learning and creating.

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With the help of volunteers, here’s what the children made!

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Great job, kids!

The world we live in has thousands of different cultures and traditions but, in aiming for worldwide peace through love and unity, we are one.


Thank you for today, volunteers! We all had so much fun during another Saturday morning filled with smiles.




Photos by: Sidney Snoeck

Our Scholars’ Thoughts




October 7, 2017

Sunday, Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines



Who would have thought that a simple act of kindness could better someone’s life?


We did not imagine how much our PEARLS scholars would appreciate our acts of kindness for them.


Every Sunday morning after our feeding program activity, our PEARLS scholars have their tutoring session with the volunteer-teachers.


And here’s a compilation of what they did and their thoughts from last week’s After School Program activity:


(Most texts are translated in English)


“Last Sunday, Kuya James taught us LCM or Least Common Multiple. He explained to us how we can get the answers. My other co-scholars and I had a hard time learning it but then we solved all the problems. I even answered his questions. And then he gave us a quiz. I was happy because I got a perfect score!”

Samantha Jade Yumang, Grade 5





“What we did last Sunday was Multiplication. At first, I said to our teacher that I am having a hard time on it but when she taught us, it became easy. When we did it at school, I was able to cope up! And then I can also teach my classmates.”

Diana Mae Santos, Grade 6



“We learned the subject Math and our topic was Subset Definition. Our teacher was Kuya Mark De Leon. He’s a great teacher. I learned a lot from him. I am so thankful for After School Program because I can raise my hands in school and recite. My scores in our exams also are high. I am so grateful to Project Pearls because I am gaining knowledge and I hope that teachers like Kuya Mark will continue to teach us.”

Sheila Mae Lachica, Grade 7


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“Thank you Ate Rolin for teaching us the Math subject. She’s very funny and we learned many things from her. We are so thankful to her that she taught us.”

-Twinkelyn G. Manaloto, Grade 7





“The one who taught us last week was Ate Meje. She’s kind and very good in teaching us. She also made sure that we are learning. We learned Geometry. We hope that she can teach us again.”

-Ma. Rose Marie Lincallo, Grade 8



“My teacher’s name last week is Ate Klyne. My subject is Mathematics and our lesson was Quadratic Equation. She said that she’s not good in Math but still I have learned something from her. Hi, Ate Klyne. It’s okay that you are not so good in teaching us Math at least we learned a lot.”

-Joyce Jimenez, Marlon Rino, Reincie Buraga, Grade 9 students




So, there!

Here are their thoughts that touched us.

As for the teacher-volunteers who are looking after them, we are so proud that you are making our ASP goal a reality.

Teaching minds, touching hearts, transforming lives.


Thank you scholars for sharing your thoughts with us!

We will always do our best to share to you our love, knowledge, care and time to make sure your future is bright.


Kudos to all our volunteers for always a job well done!



And thank you, Ms. Sheila Tracey and ‘Pen and Paper’ for sponsoring this day’s feeding! Happy happy birthday! Thank you so much for spending your special day with the kids of Helping Land. God bless you more!



Thank you also to our dearest founder, Melissa Villa, for the surprise visit! We miss you!






Party Time and English Time!



After School Program

Sept. 24, 2017

Sunday, Helping Land, Tondo, Manila


“A blessing when shared is a happiness doubled…”


Our After School Program for this day was a little bit special because of a good soul who chose to spend her special day with us!

She’s Kimberly Caramat and she joined us for this day’s outreach.


Before the feeding started, a brief orientation was held first and preparation of food and the whole courtyard for a special birthday treat!

We were then so ready to let the kids enter the feeding and learning courtyard. There was a short prayer everyone simultaneously told first before the kids ate their healthy meal.


Volunteers then served the food.



And then our mini-party begun!


Some parlor games were happily and actively joined by the kids and by our volunteers.


After the mini-party, kids went home (except for our PEARLS Scholars) with some loot bags given to them as gifts!


It was Kimberly’s birthday and yet she’s the one who gave gifts for these children. Such a generous heart! Thank you so much!


Back to our teaching proper, our PEARLS Scholars were then divided according to their grade level and volunteer-teachers were assigned per grade level also.

It was an hour of learning the English language once again.




Thank you so much for the patience and willingness to share your knowledge volunteers!


It was another day of new learnings and just fun! Thank you, Kimberly, family and friends for sharing your blessings with the kids.

Happy, happy birthday Kim! Surely you will be more blessed.







2nd Batch of Fire Relief Repacking and Distribution



Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines

Sept. 9-10, 2017


We all wanted to help and provide for those in need from the devastative fire incident in Tondo, Manila last August.

With the kind hearts of generous people, we were able to.

We had a repacking and distribution day on Aug. 26-28, 2017. Nearly 700 families were given clothes, banigs, toiletries, canned goods, instant noodles, milk, biscuits, alongside packed lunch with juice and a lot more!

Here is the recap for that outreach.

We are overwhelmed by the outpouring support, trust and generosity of everyone around the globe.  We received over $15,000 in monetary donations and thousands of in-kind donations (food, clothes, household items).

And we are so glad that we were able to do the distribution for the second time around! Help and donations came pouring in and so the entire Project Pearls team were ready to repack and distribute goods again to 660 families.


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Sept. 9, 2017. Saturday


After the feeding of kids, the whole courtyard then became a huge repacking area full of willing and hardworking volunteers.


There were volunteers assigned to sort and repack the donated clothes.



There were also volunteers assigned to repack the rice. Each family recieved 5 kilos of rice.





Then there’s a bunch who repacked the medical kits.



In less than two hours we were done repacking and ready to distribute the goods the following day.


Thanks for today, volunteers!




Sept. 10, 2017. Sunday.

For this day happened our distribution of fire reliefs.


The kids had their breakfast first before anything else.





We skipped the After School Program tutorial activity this day as we were going to distribute the goods we repacked yesterday.

Our After School Program group of volunteers were joining us for this day’s distribution of fire reliefs.

And once again, “Bayanihan” at its finest.

As we know, ‘Bayanihan’ is a Filipino term in which people in a community help each other and join forces to finish a certain job faster and easily. In other words, our volunteers exemplified teamwork.





As early as 8 in the morning, affected families of the fire were lined up outside our courtyard. They brought eco bags to collect their donations and a verification form.



Just like the first batch of distributing fire relief items, it was a smooth flow once again.





Everyone went home with smiles on their faces.




Thank you to our head planner volunteers, Peachy and Gelo Abellon and for the hardwork of all our volunteers!


And a huge thanks to all our sponsors and donors! Breakdown of expenses were already posted here on our official website.

Learn more in this link:


Truly, together we can do great things and the impossible just become so reachable!


Thank you so much!

Maraming salamat po!


Photo credit: Sidney Snoeck






August 13, 2017

The Blue Leaf Filipinas, Paranaque City



On the 13th day of August 2017, people behind the strong organization PROJECT PEARLS came together to celebrate its 7th anniversary.


It was a day of thanksgiving, laughter, hugs and tears as we looked back on the milestones of the Project PEARLS journey. Together with all the kindhearted souls that founded and continuously support Project Pearls, we all had so much fun commemorating the past seven.


The venue. This special day happened at The Blue Leaf Filipinas in Paranaque City. People with the same mission gathered to celebrate hope, life and the continuous success of our beloved non-government organization.





The Prayer. Our happy day started with a prayer by Ms. Marie Young.


Here’s a few lines of her prayer that moved us all:


“We offer our grateful thanks and praise for the many volunteers that quietly yet faithfully offer their services for the well-being and support of others.  We thank these volunteers who share their time, talent and treasure –their love and concern.  We know they do so, not for the acknowledgement, but because they genuinely care to help others.

We thank you Lord for continuing to send us volunteers and Angels that enables Project Pearls fulfill its mission.  

We thank you for allowing all of us volunteers to be first hand witnesses to Your Miracles not only in the lives of the children and the families we serve but also in the hearts and minds of the people you continue to send our way.

Continue to bless Project Pearls… as We give thanks for Your Greater Glory.




Thank you, Miss Marie for this very meaningful prayer.



The host. Our respected hosts were Hilary Anne Diaz and Lut Vallefas. Both of them are great dedicated volunteers! Thank you to both of you for hosting this day’s very special event for all of us!


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The welcoming message. A welcoming and inspiring message was then delivered by our dearest Founder, co-founder and operational manager, Miss Melissa Villa, Francesca Mateo and Juan Villa respectively.



You guys are all amazing! Project Pearls would not be here today without your heartfelt initiatives and strong dedication. We all love you three!



A look back to our humble beginnings. Thank you Jay-r Panagsagan for compiling some of our photos during our outreaches. We were able to see the transformations of some of the kids that Project Pearls helped.


Here’s the link of the video that was presented.



Beautiful transformations, Changed lives and Grateful Hearts. For the past seven years, Project Pearls has done its best to serve and help the poorest of the poor families. Some of them attended this day’s special event.


Here are the people who shared their life-changing experiences through Project Pearl.


  1. Cheers to these three girls who made it from Ulingan in Tondo, Manila to New York, USA!


Earlier this year, Lilibeth, Princess and Catherine represented the Philippines for the HerStory global summit. This has been possible through the help of our partnership with Litworld and Global Girls (GLOW). These young ladies used to live in extreme poverty. They lived in the slums of Tondo but then together with their families, they were reallocated to Bulacan – a better and safer community.



They also now belong to our list of scholars and are leading the Litclub activities in Batia, Bulacan.


They expressed how grateful they are for all the better things happened since the first day that Project Pearls stepped in to their lives.


And we strongly believe that the best things are yet to come for these ladies! Way to go, girls!



We also had guests all the way from North and South!



  1. We had an adopted community in Botolan, Zambales which is the LAKAS Tribe. They also expressed their deep gratitude to Project Pearls for all the blessing they’ve got through this organization. Just recently, we had the medical mission in Zambales. From time to time, we also make sure that their kids receive goods like books, school supplies, toys and others.

LitClub activities are also being held in Zambales.











  1. From the southern part of the country, the Cardente family joined us.



They lead our Litclub activities in Zamboanga. These two young ladies are two of our scholars. As their means of giving back, they facilitate the weekly Litclub and provide learning assistance for the kids in Zamboanga.



  1. From Batia, Bulacan, one of our nanay volunteers thanked our founder and the entire Project Pearls team. Our organization changed her life as it enabled her to bring all of her children to school. As a way of giving back, she’s now our volunteer in the community.








  1. And from Tondo, Manila, our nanay volunteers gave their thanks as well.


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Our program was incredibly full of inspiration.

Amidst all the hardships throughout our country, there’s still hope for a better tomorrow.


Teamwork. Unity. Strength. These are just few of the factors why our organization is continuously striving for the better for people in need.



The Silent Auction. As part of our fundraising, we held a silent auction. Paintings and photographs donated by kind hearts were exhibited. Thank you so much to all our donors!






And of course thank you so much to all who auctioned.







We thank everyone who attended this meaningful occasion for all of us. This was an event filled with lots of tears of joy, laughter and inspiration.


And we thank the following who made this event extra special:


  • Blue Leaf Filipinas for the beautiful venue,
  • Bacolod Chicken Inasal for the delicious food and Cupcakes by Mutya’s Kitchen.
  • Party Boosters for the photo wall
  • Martin Sy for event coordination.


  • For the auction items:
  • Photos by Sidney Snoeck, Rita Dela Cruz and Pedro Penduko
  • Original Paintings of Dadai by Atty. Marie Antoniette Diaz
  • Go Pro Cameras by Anne Gonzales
  • Original painting by Dr. Mutya Bernardo Backpack from Bag of Dreams Herschel Backpack


  • Starbucks tumbler from anonymous


  • For the raffle items:
  • Yabu, Marie Young, Ginny Matabang, Criselle Toral, Bob & Marian Reyes, Piandre, Anonymous



  • Special thanks to Peachy Abellon for all the event planning behind the scenes.






  • Cassie Eng for the tear-jerking and inspiring speech. Thank you so much Cassie for letting us feel that humanity knows no limits. At such a young age, you serve as an inspiration to everyone! Poverty is such a reality that most Filipinos are going through. Thank to people like you who showed so much empathy and care to those in need specially to the kids of Helping Land you love so dearly.



  • Francesca Mateo and Empire in the Air for bringing Mel, KJ Estudillo and Jolo of The Company to Philippines!


  • To all our guests, friends, partners and supporters, THANK YOU for all the continued support!


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  • And to all our staff and volunteers, thank you for all your valuable contributions. Keep inspiring and motivating us all!






  • A huge THANK YOU to our resident volunteer photographers, Sidney Snoeck and Rita Dela Cruz for all the great photos.



More photos are on our Facebook page:


  • Lastly but definitely not the least, we deeply thank the woman who is behind and also in front of all of these.



You will always serve as the statue of faith, hope and love to everyone. Thank you for bringing us all together and for letting us to be one with the Project Pearls’ mission:

“Helping the poorest of the poor families in the Philippines have a better life.”


Thank you, Mommy Melissa Villa! Keep on rocking the world for the better good!






AND HAPPY 7th ANNIVERSARY PROJECT PEARLS! More anniversaries to come for it’s still a long way to go!



Re-blog: 5th Annual Kickball Tournament



Every year, Empire In The Air  hosts a kickball tournament to fundraise for nine Project Pearls scholars to continuously go to school. This year was their 5th and again it was a success that they will be able to support our nine scholars!

Thank you so much Empire in the Air for spearheading this annual activity and for helping us fulfill our mission!

Here’s the full article written by none other than Francesca, our Project Pearls co-founder at the same time Empire in the Air founder aka ChiChai@Empire.




5th Annual Kickball Tournament

End of summer for us at Empire in the Air means its time for kickball!

Every year, we host a kickball tournament to fundraise for 9 Project PEARLS children to go to school. (Learn about one of them here!) Yesterday marked our 5th kickball tournament and it was another huge success because of our enthusiastic players and referees. Because of you, we can continue granting 9 children the gift of an education.

Meet this year’s teams:

Pitch Don't Kill My Vibe
Gang Green
Push-Up Bra
High Potential
Ball I'd Like to Kick (BILK)

And our referees David, Andrew, PJ, Chris@Empire, Nea, Megan, and Andy

We began the kickball with stretches led by our referees to make sure every kickball player is ready to go.


The competition was fierce


But also fun


And sometimes… out of the ordinary

All in all, everyone had a great time and we can’t wait until next year!

Congratulations to our first place winners, Pitch Don’t Kill My Vibe

And to our MVP this year, Rita from Push Up Bra!


Shout-outs to our sponsors:

  • Andrea Foods
  • Noah’s Bagels
  • Dang Foods
  • Cokeva

And last but not least, thank you to Vanessa of Aumakua Treasures for making our medals

Can you kick it for Project PEARLS?


Project Pearls Outreach, First Batch of Fire Reliefs Repacking and Distribution


Project Pearls Outreach, Fire Reliefs Repacking and Distribution

Aug. 26, 27 and 28, 2017

Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines


“Unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”

–Mattie Stepanek


August 28 is a national holiday that commemorates our National heroes who fought for our Motherland’s freedom and independence.

Because of the holiday, almost everyone had a three-day weekend!

But to our Project Pearls volunteers in Manila, they spent the long weekend helping the fire victims in Tondo.

On August 18, 2017, a huge fire hit the community Barangay 105, Aroma at Tondo, Manila. Over 2000 people—more than 700 families—were left homeless. Many of the community members we work with in Helping Land are among those 2000 people.

Shortly after the fire, we fundraised donations to assist the affected individuals.

And in just a week, generous donations poured in!

Thank you so much to all the kind souls who reached out to support us. To all the financial and goods donors, we deeply thank everyone! Even to those who spread the word, invited others and shared our social media posts, thank you for sharing and becoming one with our mission to help people in need.



Day 1. The start of the long weekend.

Rather than hosting our weekly Brain Booster on August 26, 2017 in Helping Land, we repacked the eating utensils after our daily feeding. These utensils included plates, bowls, tumblers, spoons, and forks.

Thank you so much to Art Relief Mobile Kitchen for sponsoring this day’s feeding for kids and for volunteering, too!IMG_3146

With great teamwork, we finished in an hour! We were able to pack 700 sets of eating utensils!

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Congratulations for a job well done today, volunteers!


Simultaneously, the sorting and packing of clothes were being done at the Project Pearls headquarters in Caloocan. Some of our volunteers even went to Caloocan to help after we were done at the clinic.

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After the packing of clothes, we also did the packing of donated goods like sardines, noodles, champorado, banana chips and others.



Day 2. August 27, 2017. Sunday.

Thank you so much to Miss Tina Ignacio and her family for sponsoring this day’s meal for the kids during our After School Program.

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Aside from sponsoring, together with our regular volunteers, our sponsor’s whole family also took their time to help us in the repacking of toiletries.

After the feeding at the courtyard, we were all again headed to the Pearls’ clinic to do the repacking.

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Just like yesterday, because of the great teamwork we had, we were able to pack 700 sets of toiletries that consisted of toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, diapers, shampoo, towels, bath soap and detergent. Together with the set of eating utensils already packed, all non-food goods were placed in a bucket.

Good job, volunteers!


Back to the Project Pearls headquarters, we had the sorting and repacking of clothes again. Packing of more than 700 sets of clothes were finally completed and for the Day 3, we were all then ready to spread the blessings we collected.


The Final Day – Distribution of Fire Reliefs for the fire victims.

August 28, 2017, Monday, National Heroes Day, Nationwide Holiday.

Bayanihan at its finest. That’s how we would describe this day’s morning in Helping Land. As early as 6 in the morning, everyone was already busy in preparing all the goods for distribution.

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The courtyard was divided into several sections:

  • Huge bags that will hold all the goods
  • Toiletries and eating utensils
  • Banigs and blankets
  • Instant noodles, can goods, biscuits, milk, instant champorado and tetra packed juices
  • 2 sets of packed lunch courtesy of Chicken Bacolod Inasal

Volunteers were assigned to distribute the goods in their according section.
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The distribution of fire reliefs started at 8 o’clock in the morning.



Families properly lined up outside the courtyard bringing their validity cards issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).


This served as proof that they are affected of the recent fire. Most of them are still living at evacuation areas allotted for them. We hope that by sharing these goods for them, we were able to somehow lighten their burdens.

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In just few hours, everybody collected their relief goods.




Thank you to everyone who did the tasks assigned to them wholeheartedly. Our hearts and spirits are filled with so much gratitude and prayers.

Not all heroes are written in history books. Some heroes are the ones we meet every single day. August 28, 2017 was declared as National Heroes day in the Philippines and we are thankful enough that in Project Pearls, we have a lot of unsung heroes also known as…volunteers.


We also thanked everyone who donated and sponsored for this drive.

Thank you so much, angels! We are so overwhelmed that Project Pearls had a lot of non-winged good souls here on earth!


More photos are on our Facebook page.


Photos by: Sidney Snoeck


Re-blog: Beyond “Art of Us” pt. II: Medical Mission in Zambales


Project Pearls has an adopted community in Botolan, Zambales wherein we help the indigenous people of LAKAS tribe. They are the tribe of aetas who were displaced from the volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo on June 12, 1991.

Project Pearls volunteers together with our founder, Melissa Villa and “Art of Us” team headed by Francesca, our Project Pearls co-founder and Empire in the Air founder, joined forces to reach out through medical mission, feeding and distribution of cereals to our dearly aeta community.

This was more than a mother-daughter bonding since a group of tireless and kind souls aka volunteers were with them in fulfilling a seven-year-old mission which is, Helping the poorest of the poor families have a better life.

Here’s the complete breakdown of activities the whole team did during the visit in Botolan, Zambales. Francesca originally wrote this article.

Thank you for sharing!

– written by ChiChai@Empire –
photos by Ray@Empire and Sidney Snoeck (with PEARLS logo)

Some of you may have heard of our project Art of Us in which we collaborated with The Company to create a  dance summit for Project PEARLS. (click here to learn more)

Along with succeeding our mission to bring dance to the kids of Helping Land in Tondo, Manila, we also participated in other volunteer events at two more Project PEARLS communities in Bulacan and Zambales. (learn about our trip to Bulacan here)

What brought us to Zambales?

The Lakas Tribe!

The Lakas Tribe is a tribe of aetas who were displaced from Mount Pinatubo’s volcanic eruption in the 90’s. Rising from destruction, they built anew and continue fighting for cultural preservation.  PEARLS works with the community leaders to assure they continue thriving.


On August 17, sponsored by Valenzuela Medical Center and Christine Mojica,  Project PEARLS hosted a Medical and Dental mission in which we gave check-ups to the community members.

We began this day’s mission with a dance exchange! Lakas showed us their traditional dance moves…

Mel, Jolo, KJ, and Aiko shared with them theirs


Next thing you know, the Project PEARLS team went to business.
In other words, our very own Aiko, KJ, and our homegirl/PEARLS volunteer Mae Mae became doctors for the day.


We had a full roster of volunteer dentists but only one medical doctor volunteer. Lucky for us, Aiko is a nursing student, Mae Mae is a med student, and KJ is a physical therapist in-training who has volunteered for medical missions before.

Too good to be a coincidence, right? Look at these doctors go!


What another successful Project PEARLS day ❤


For anyone wondering what Jolo, Mel, and I were doing while our friends were doctors and Ray was photographing…

We were passing out cereal donations, thank you lol

Re-blog: Beyond “Art of Us” pt. I: Cassie’s Bag of Dreams in Bulacan


After the successful dance summit of “Art Of Us” team which was a joined project of Empire in The Air and The Company, the whole team even had a journey in Batia, Bulacan to be with our Pearls kids living in there.

Cassie, one of our youngest advocates distributed her Bag of Dreams in Batia and the team helped out.

By the way as we know, this year was the fourth year of Cassie’s project – Bag of Dreams Challenge.


Thank you everyone!


Here’s the full blog of our outreach and Bag-giving in Batia Bulacan. This article was originally posted at written by Francesca aka ChiChai@Empire.







– written by ChiChai@Empire –
photos by Ray@Empire and Sidney Snoeck (with PEARLS logo)

Some of you may have heard of our project Art of Us in which we collaborated with The Company to create a  dance summit for Project PEARLS. Along with succeeding our mission to bring dance to the kids of Helping Land in Tondo, Manila, we also participated in other volunteer events at two more Project PEARLS communities in Bulacan and Zambales.


First up: Bulacan!

Project PEARLS ‘ original adopted community was Ulingan. All-in-one, Ulingan was a garbage community and a charcoal factory. In partnership with the local government, Project PEARLS relocated many of Ulingan’s members to Bulacan in which they can now thrive in a significantly safer and cleaner environment.

What brought us to Bulacan was actually a project created by a dancer from The Company’s junior division APT. This dancer– and longtime advocate of Project PEARLS– is Cassie.

Cassie’s advocacy through Project PEARLS is “Cassie’s Bag of Dreams”

Cassie Eng is not only a dedicated Project PEARLS volunteer, she is also one of the youngest. Her “Bag of Dreams Challenge is in its 4th year now!   Cassie’s Bag of Dreams Challenge is about helping kids escape poverty by getting an education.  (

In the past 3 years with the help of generous sponsors, over 1000 students from impoverished communities in Lucena, Bulacan, Zambales and Guimaras have received gifts of hope in the form of high quality backpacks with school supplies.

4th Cassie’s Bag of Dreams Challenge 2017 was made possible thru the generosity of the Rotary Club of San Francisco Chinatown, Rotary Club of Novato, and Ralph & Gia Suarez! This year in addition to backpacks with rainhoods, we have included Hygiene Kits for Kids.

For each $5 donation, you have helped provide a child with a kit that will include: a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, face towel, hand towel, and a comb. Hygiene kits are aimed at promoting self-care and basic hygiene to fight illness and the spread of disease. More importantly it allows kids to attend school with dignity and confidence.

For our morning in Bulacan, we helped distribute these bags of dreams

to Project PEARLS’ nursery kids in Bulacan.

The kiddies welcomed us with songs and dances prepared by Teacher Nestor.

Aren’t they adorable?! During this song, Mel whispered to me I want to keep that one!

We thanked them for their warm welcome with Jollibee!

Mm, sarap!


The kids were super excited when it was time to receive their bags and the Art of Us team was excited to help Cassie!

Afterwards, we continued to bond with the kids through reading…

photo by ChiChai
photo by ChiChai

and playing

It was another great Project PEARLS filled day