Moving Up and Recognition Day of our PEARLS Scholars



March 11, 2017


Batia, Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines


“Education is not the means of showing people how to get what they want. Education is an exercise by means of which enough men, it is hoped, will learn to want what is worth having.”

~Ronald Reagan


It’s the most awaited time of the year for our PEARLS Scholars in Brgy. Batia, Bocaue, Bulacan! After a year of learning new things, bonding with new found friends, and spending their weekdays on their second home, the PEARLS Learning Center, our PEARLS preschoolers are now moving up!


This special Saturday morning started with the assembly of all our PEARLS scholars. Everyone was present, from nursery up to college level.


The program proper. The ceremony started with the marching of the preschool graduates with their proud parents.


The march was followed by the national anthem, and a prayer led by one of our graduates, Jamaica Portes.


Project PEARLS Founder and Executive Director, Melissa Villa, formally opened the program by sharing an inspiring message to the scholars.


In response, one of the scholars’ parents also gave a speech to express their gratitude for the gift of education for their children. We did not expect her to deliver a very emotional message, but perhaps, this is the magical effect of the PEARLS Scholarship Program – more than just sending the kids to school, we become part of their dreams and their lives, and in the process, we become their family.


After the formal presentation of graduates by Teacher Nestor, our Founder, Melissa, with her daughter and co-founder, Francesca, presented the diplomas and special awards.


Moving-up day won’t be complete without the kids showcasing their talent! Through their dance presentation, the graduates expressed their gratitude to all the sponsors and partners of Project PEARLS.


As representatives of the Grade 6 and college scholars, Adrealyn and Cheradee, delivered a message to give thanks for all the opportunities given to them. Our hearts are filled with joy to see our scholars recognizing the importance of education and believing in the power of their dreams.

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The last part of the program was dedicated as a send-off for our three scholars – Princess, Catherine, and Lilibeth. Like the other PEARLS scholars in Bulacan, they used to work and live in Ulingan, Tondo, Manila. Now, they are off to represent the Philippines in the “HerStory Global Summit” in the Big Apple – New York City! Truly, this is one of our proudest moments at Project PEARLS. When we established the first ever LitClub in the Philippines six years ago, bringing the girls to the US seemed like an impossible dream. From being shy little girls, they have now transformed to young ladies who are confident and smart, ready to share their stories in New York! Together with other LitClub members from ten countries, this summit will guide them in developing action plans that will address critical issues in their respective communities. We are extemely grateful to LitWorld and Global GLOW for this life-changing opportunity for the girls! We believe that New York is just the start of a beautiful and meaningful life-long journey for these girls!


After Kuya Juan’s closing message, refreshments and lunch followed. Thank you, Bacolod Chicken Inasal, for filling the tummies of the kids!

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These kids will not be able to “move” one step closer to their dreams without the support of our sponsors. To the different organizations, companies, and individuals who continue to believe in our mission, thank you so much for supporting the PEARLS Scholarship Program!


Lastly, we thank our volunteers for always dedicating their time and effort!



This coming school year, 2017-2018, we aim to have more PEARLS Scholars. And we need your help to make this possible. Let’s work together to help more children to have a better life. Give the gift of education. Support the #PEARLSScholarshipProgram.


Thank you!





Photos by:  Sidney Snoeck

Math Time Will Always Be Fun!



Project Pearls After School Program

March 5, 2017,  Sunday

Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines


“It is with children that we have the best chance of studying the development of logical knowledge, physical knowledge, and so forth.”

~Jean Plaget



Manuals or hand-outs per grade level were distributed to our volunteer-teachers for today’s After School Program Activity. These served as their reference for the day’s Math lessons.

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One of our volunteers shared her first time experience at Helping Land to us:

“All effort, from going to the site, to getting their attention and make them listen to you, is all worth it. To see them happy and know that they learn from you is a fulfillment.  This is just a small action but I know it makes a difference in their lives and I am happy that despite their condition, there will be a better future waiting for them.

Thank you Project Pearls for allowing me to be one of your volunteers so that I can give back to the community.”

~Kris Ciare Gener, Project Pearls volunteer


Thank you KC for sharing some time and a little learnings for our PEARLS Scholars. We do hope that you really had a fun time despite the thought that Math is really a hard lesson for your students. And also thank you for choosing to spend your special day with the kids! Happy birthday!


Lastly, thank you so much, Team ASP and to all our volunteers for this day!

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Another Sunday morning was filled with new learnings and love for these hopeful kids. Someday and somehow all we ever wished was for them to finish their studies, step out of poverty and have a better life.





The Story of The Lion and The Mouse


Project Pearls Brain Booster

March 4, 2017, Saturday

Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines



“Acts of Kindness:

A random act of kindness, no matter how small, can make a tremendous impact on someone else’s life.”

~Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart



For this day’s Brain Booster activity, kids enjoyed watching a short film and took home some moral lessons through this flick. The film was about a friendship built between a lion and a mouse.



The story begun when the mouse accidentally went into the lion’s nose. The lion would kill the mouse but this was avoided when the mouse said that someday he would help the lion in time of need. The lion then freed him. Days have passed when the lion had a trouble. He was trap on a net and the mouse came to the rescue where he bit the net so the lion could be freed.

On this film, the kids have learned that kindness will always be repaid. We wouldn’t know when will be payback time but at least we should always be good to everyone so goodness will also be the return of our deeds.




After watching, the children colored and cut the lion and mouse’s face printed on a whole sheet of bond paper. And so they were able to have paper animal masks!

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Thank you to our feeding sponsors for this day, Richard and Elena Lanot, family and friends!

And we would also like to thank Mister Adrian Soco for the continued donations of toys, clothes and books for the kids. Before going home, kids fell in line to have their take away gifts.

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Thank you also to our ever hardworking and dedicated Saturday volunteers! Cheers to all of us!





Just like our story for this day, as we give kindness, we will also get it for return.



Project Pearls Brain Booster

Feb. 25, 2017, Saturday

Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines



“Children make up the best songs, anyway. Better than grown-ups. Kids are always working on songs and throwing them away, like little origami things or paper airplanes. They don’t care if they lose it; they’ll just make another one.”

~Tom Waits


It was ‘Origami’ Day for our PEARLS kids at Helping Land, Tondo, Manila for this day’s Brain Booster Activity.

Origami is the art of paper folding which is mostly associated with Japanese culture.

After the feeding, kids attentively listened to our volunteers on how to create paper cranes and hearts.


Before doing the paper folding, inside the papers, kids were instructed to write their wishes into it. And we hope that all their wishes will come true!


Today’s feeding sponsor was Tradewings Travel and Tours. Thank you for the continued support, Tradewings! You will always be one of our truly amazing partners!

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We would also like to acknowledge the students of Immaculate Conception Academy-Greenhills or also known as the “Queen of Tarts” to some of the people that knows them.


After their successful entrepreneurial bazaar at their school, they used the proceeds to donate rice, powdered milks, noodles and other goods for our feeding program! Thank you very much for choosing Project PEARLS as your beneficiary, and for spending your Saturday morning with the kids!

Whether you are an employee or a student, there are various ways to help. Email us at to find out how you can support our programs.



And thank you, volunteers!



Celebrating Ate Yvette’s Birthday at Helping Land



Project Pearls After School Program

Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines


February 19, 2017



“The feeling was so overwhelming and going there at Helping Land is all worth it. This was my first time reaching out and I feel so blessed. Thanks to my friends who invited me here.”

~First time Project PEARLS volunteer, Claude Martin Magdangal



Despite of the heavy rain and floods along the way going to the Helping Land courtyard, that didn’t stop our volunteers and sponsors to be in service for this day.

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Ms. Yvette and her friends, our today’s feeding sponsor were with us. Yvette celebrates her special day with these wonderful kids!


Together with her friends, they facilitated some parlor games that the kids enjoyed. They even gave some goodies as take away gifts for the children after the program.

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Thank you so much Yvette for choosing to spend your very special day with the kids of Helping Land!


We’ve got the chance to ask a new volunteer about his first time experience and here’s what he said, “My time and energy is never wasted when I volunteered last Sunday. Distributing food, sharing talents and giving smiles to the kids in Tondo is a moment I will always remember. The feeling was so overwhelming and going there at Helping Land is all worth it. This was my first time reaching out and I feel so blessed. Thanks to my friends who invited me here.”

Volunteer-teacher Claude Martin or Kuya Bam to the students he handled had really a great time! A rapport was already built between him and the kids he bonded with for this day. The kids even told him to be back next Sunday and he promised to be back!


We hope that we gained another strong advocate and volunteer in here!


Once again, thank you so much for sponsoring today’s feeding and for joining us, Yvette and friends!


And thank you for the usual assistance, care and love, volunteer-teachers! May we continue to teach minds, touch hearts and transform lives of more kids in need.




You may join us as volunteers by clicking the sign –up button to our homepage and you may also sponsor a feeding as a different way of celebrating your special day!

Just go to this link:








Celebrating WRAD (World Read Aloud Day) at Helping Land


Project Pearls Saturday Outreach

Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines

February 18, 2017



“Every child has the right to read.”


We in Project Pearls will always believe in that. Each one of us deserves to read and to have a proper education that can help us in having a better life and brighter future.

In line with the global celebration of World Read Aloud Day of LitWorld, one of our greatest partners, we had some important guests from the Philippine National Library to educationally entertain our PEARLS kids.



This special event was led by Ms. Melanie Abad Ramirez together with her team from the National Library.

They facilitated a story-telling and a puppets presentation that showcased some moral lessons that our kids can take away with them for this day.

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Even Melai the mascot also visited the kids of Helping Land!


Thank you so much, Ms. Melanie and to your whole team for emphasizing the importance of reading books to our kids.

The kids had so much fun for this day! Their smiles can testify it.



Today and everyday let us raise more awareness that the right to read belong to everyone.



We would also like to thank Zara and Glen Gomez for sponsoring today’s feeding.


And thanks for the unconditional love and hard work volunteers!





Having A Blessed Valentine’s #theprojectpearlsway!



Project Pearls After School Program

February 12, 2017

Helping Land, Tondo, Manila and Philippine General Hospital



A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes last forever.




Just like last year, we see to it that our Valentine’s Day celebration would be a little different but something worthy to spend for.


As for our After School Program activity, our PEARLS Scholars were given the task to create Valentines cards for the patients of Philippine General Hospital, wishing them to get well soon.


Our PEARLS kids creatively produce colorful and meaningful cards for the kids like them but are sick.

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Thank you, volunteer-teachers for assisting the kids for they were able to create meaningful, colorful and wonderful cards that somehow could ease the pain of the sick kids of PGH (Philippine General Hospital).

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Happy Hearts’ Day from our ASP volunteers!


Right after the outreach program at Helping Land, Tondo. ASP (After School Program) volunteers headed straight to Philippine General Hospital. In a vacant area inside the main building of PGH, volunteers did some repacking of goodies and fruits, blowing of colorful balloons and sorting the Valentines cards.

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After the packing, everyone was all then ready to distribute those simple gifts for the kids at Pediatric Ward 9 and 11.


Thank you so much to Doctor Charvee and Doctor Juliet of Philippine General Hospital Pediatrics for allowing us to share and spread the love to those kids who are currently suffering from pain and sickness the Project Pearls way!

We do hope that somehow, we were able to touch their hearts and we have lightened their burdens. We also hope that they will all get well the soonest.

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Thank you to the patients and guardians/ parents and medical staffs at Ward 9 and 11 for giving us the chance to make them smile even though they are going through a lot. Each one of us have burdens in life but somehow we are thankful that we are strong enough to handle each pain, problem or suffering.



The following statement was an insight from one of our volunteers, Miss Beverly Festejo or Ate Bev to her PEARLS students:

“Get well soon!”

“We already miss you.”

“We are praying for you.”

“God loves you so much, you just have to believe.”

“We’ll be waiting for you so we can play.”

“One won’t be able to believe how those words came out of a kid’s mouth for someone they have never met before but whom they know could make use of their love, creativity, and their prayers. Project PEARLS not only fosters and uplifts the kids in Helping Land, it also nurtures them into becoming passionate and compassionate members of this society… and I believe, that’s just beautiful.”

This was how volunteer-teacher Beverly Festejo defined our worthy Sunday morning in line with the celebration of Valentine’s Day!

Thank you for being one with us, Ate Bev! Happy Heart’s Day to you.


And finally, a total salute to all our volunteers who joined us for this day. Thank you so much for the whole day of hard work! May God continue to bless us all so we will always be a blessing to others too!







Celebrating Valentine’s Day at Helping Land



Project Pearls Brain Booster

Feb. 11, 2017


Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines



The most common kind of love for kids is sweet and innocent.


Happy Valentine’s Day!


For this day’s Brain Booster activity, our PEARLS kids at Helping Land, Tondo created “Hearty Hats!” These colorful hats were made of paper plates with a big heart shaped cut-out on its top.

Right after the kids have eaten their meal, Ate Christine taught the kids on how to create hats.


Volunteers were assigned to each table to assist the kids.


One of the kids told us that the ‘Hearty Hat’ she made was for her mother. “Para po kay Mama ito kasi love ko siya.” (This hat I made is for my mom because I love her!)


As we can see and experience, a love’s child will always be pure, sweet and innocent. Even though that it’s not Valentine’s Day every day, for them and with them, every single day is ‘love day’!

Some of the ‘Hearty hats’ also has love notes for their loved ones and they made those plain paper plates into colorful and lovely ones! Creativity of our PEARLS kids will never run out.

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Thank you so much Mister Tommy Gaerlan, family and friends for sponsoring today’s feeding and thank you also for the tireless hard work, volunteers!

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Seeing the kids’ smiles are all worth it.


Happy Heart’s Day!





Photos by: Sidney Snoeck




Project Pearls

After School Program

February 5, 2017


Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines



“The kids of Helping Land have touched my life in so many ways which made me see the world in a more positive light.” –Hilary Anne Diaz



This day was a little different yet very special compare to our regular After School Program days.




Because it was the birthday of one of our most loved volunteers!

She is none other than volunteer-teacher Hilary Anne Diaz or Teacher Aya to most of her students at Helping Land, Tondo. She was a volunteer of Project Pearls for more than two years already and since Day 1 she started, she has loved and touched so many lives of kids in need.

She then became a strong advocate of Project Pearls, a loving Ate, and a very hardworking, dedicated and jolly (that’s so given since her Day 1 at Project Pearls/ Helping Land, Tondo) volunteer.


To start this day, volunteers prepared the food for kids. And the children couldn’t wait to get inside the courtyard for the upcoming birthday party they will be attending!

When they can finally enter, a lot of smiles filled the whole reception of that very special event.

Some parlor games were actively participated by our PEARLS kids!

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A dance presentation was a gift for Teacher Aya by our PEARLS dancers. Good job, kids!

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After the meal, a magic show and puppet show were presented that all the kids and even volunteers enjoyed well to watch.


As take home gifts, loot bags with some goodies and school supplies were given to the kids.

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Let’s have an insight from our birthday celebrant, “Some people asked me why I celebrated my birthday at Tondo. The answer is that the kids of Helping Land have touched my life in so many ways which made me see the world in a more positive light. I wanted to show how grateful I am to them for inspiring me. That is why I decided to celebrate my birthday with them. With the support of my family and friends, I was able to organize a fun party for the kids. Seeing them enjoy and smile was very heartwarming and touching.”


In behalf of Hilary, we would like to acknowledge this list of sponsors and donors who made her birthday party possible:


  • PhilSeven Foundation
  • Singapore Embassy in Manila
  • Larry and Atty. Tonet Diaz
  • Manny & Kits Salenga
  • Anika Dauden
  • Angel De Leon
  • Marlyn Europa
  • Tessie Batz
  • Agnes De La Plaza
  • Rebecca Dumagan
  • Mara Huerto
  • Samuel Uy & Sofia Sibala
  • Mi-anne Espiritu
  • Hazel Te
  • Gian Tancontian
  • Erika Marasigan
  • Kerrbianca Beech

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Thank you so much for all your contributions!


Just like what Ate Hilary said, let us all see the world in a more positive light. No matter how hard our life can be or can get, there’s always a light in every darkness. We must never get tired being a blessing to others because at the end of the day, we are all still blessed.


Thank you so much for this very wonderful day, volunteer-teacher Hilary! May you continue being an angel to the kids in need for we know that you will be forever blessed!


Thank you also for this very tiring yet happy and enjoyable day, volunteers! ‘Till our next birthday bash!










Project Pearls Brain Booster

Feb. 4, 2017


Batia, Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines


There is never too early for Valentines because as long as we love and care for each other for every day of our lives, every single day is Happy Hearts’ Day!


For this morning’s Brain Booster activity, our PEARLS kids at Batia, Bulacan became busy creating colorful paper hearts!

Our volunteers explained to them of what they were going to do.


From nursery students to high school and even our LitClub members, everyone felt the season of this love month. They were all so eager to make their individual hearts colorful, unique and artistic.

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Everyone went home not only bringing the hearts they made for their loved ones but they also brought home some wide smiles pasted on their faces.

Another day was filled with new knowledge and fun engagement in Arts and Crafts once again.


Thank you ESPA-FIL for the juices!




And thank you Grade 1 to 3 students of Makati Hope Christian School for the gifts of our top scholars! They became more inspired to study well!

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Thanks to all our volunteers that assisted them and prepared the food for the kids as well.




Let there be more Love on earth!