Happy Easter!



Project Pearls After School Program

April 16, 2017 Sunday

Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.” –Kate McGahan

Easter Sunday means a New Day of Life and Hope.


Easter Sunday day may be a holiday wherein most of us spend it with family or loved ones. But not for us in Project PEARLS. We still continue to give love and share some time with our hopeful young ones living at Helping Land, Tondo, Manila.

And we celebrate this New Day of Life and Hope with them!

As we know, Easter Sunday is the worldwide celebration and commemoration of the rising of our Lord Jesus from the death.


With this, we had a little celebration at the PEARLS Learning and Feeding courtyard.


After the feeding activity, we held some parlor games that the kids and volunteers happily joined. We even had some toys and clothes given to them as take away gifts.



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A huge thanks to our sponsors for this day!

Thank you Miss Julie Anne Davis for sponsoring today’s feeding!

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Thank you also to Ms. Recy Pasco and friends, and Ms. Jeanette Marco for all the donated toys and clothes! The kids were all grateful for having those.

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And lastly, thank you After School Program volunteers!


Just like the Easter Sunday, there will always be hope in the hearts of these kids that someday a better life will be into them.


And us in Project PEALS, we will never stop hoping for the best!


Join us now!


Volunteer. Advocate. Give. Love. Share.

Project PEARLS scholars advocate for education and literacy


Thank you so much, for featuring our PEARLS Scholars!

Here’s the link:

Last March, three of our PEARLS Scholars (Princess, Catherine and Lilibeth) went to the United States to represent the Philippines for the HerStory Global Summit partnered  with LitWorld.




Project PEARLS scholars advocate for education and literacy

by Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN News


SAN FRANCISCO, CA — It was more than six years ago when Princess Soria, Catherine Orsal and Lilibeth Sushun were in a poor community called Ulingan in Tondo, Manila.

Like most of those in Ulingan, the girls were making charcoal and scavenging from garbage to make money for food.

Then Project PEARLS, a non-profit organization founded in 2011, came to the area to establish their scholarship and feeding program.

In partnership with Litworld, these three young Pinays have become committed students, and now confident mentors, who recently shared their stories during the Global Herstory Summit in New York City.

The girls are now in San Francisco visiting the Philippines Consul General before flying back home.

“The Global Herstory Summit is a meeting of 60 women and girls from around the world, from 10 different countries, including the Philippines,” said Project PEARLS’ education and literacy coordinator Peachy Abellon. “And we were so grateful to be chosen to be the ambassadors for this year.”

“The most memorable moment that I’ll never forget is the Summit, because there was a lot of people who helped us,” said Project PEARLS scholar Princess Soria. “I learned to be confident when I talk to other people, when I share my story, and when I express myself.”

These young Pinays say they are forever grateful for Project PEARLS helping them transcend their lives, and many others like them, through education.

The PEARLS stands for Peace, Education, Aspiration, Respect, Love, and Smiles.

“They were able to continue school. They weren’t having a hard time or wondering how they were going to do this,” said scholar Lillibeth Sucion. “They weren’t thinking about, maybe not having notebooks, pens, paper — the basic things you need for school.”

“For us, when they arrived they were our guide to continuing school,” said scholar Catherine Orsal. “We never lost hope in finishing school, even though life was hard. We didn’t let the opportunity they gave us go to waste.”

Project PEARLS helps more than 600 scholars from preschool to college, and benefits from donations from around the world.

“It costs less than $1 a day for the whole year to support a scholar for the whole year,” said Project Pearls founder Melissa Villa. “You can choose an elementary, high school, or college scholar.”

Consul General Henry Bensurto plans to work with Project Pearls, to bring more scholars from the Philippines to share their story with Fil-Ams in San Francisco.

The project hopes that even though the children may be in different countries — they can help each other overcome their struggles.

To learn more, visit

Clay-Art Day


Project Pearls After School Program

April 9, 2017


Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines



“I couldn’t think of anything less appealing than molding the minds of tomorrow’s leaders.”

~Al Franken



Dear Mr. Anton Ortigas and the group of Prodigee Talents and Events Management,

Thank you so much for sponsoring today’s feeding and for all the gifts given to us! May God will bless you more. We are so grateful for all your help to us.


PEARLS Kids in Helping Land

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The day started with the volunteers’ prepping of food for the kids.

A brief orientation for the volunteers was then held and was led by our After School Program coordinator, Teacher Jedda. After that, the kids then entered the court yard.

To start our activity, a prayer was held first and was followed by the sing and dance activity that all of the kids love doing every Sunday morning to boost their energies.

Feeding of the kids was then followed. Thank you volunteers for the assistance!


Once again, thank you so much to Mr. Anton Ortigas and Prodigee for being our sponsor for this day.


After the feeding was the Clay Art activity. Our volunteer-teachers discussed first to the kids what is climate through the Manuals/ Guide given to them.

Kids then defined climate through the use of clay based on their understandings. They mold the clays into different figures as how they can see or understand what climate is all about. Some of them related climate to nature wherein they mold mountains, rain, sky, trees and the likes.


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What a creative Sunday indeed!

Good job, kids!


And thank you volunteer-teachers for assisting and adding some knowledge to these young and hopeful minds. As we all believe, we are molding the minds of our tomorrow’s heroes and leaders.



A bright future is waiting for them. We just have to believe and help them in the best ways that we can. No matter how small it is, it will always be worth it.

For each little thing done with great love is all that matters.


See you next week!

Happy Birthday, Teacher Jedda!


Project Pearls After School Program

March 26, 2017


Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines


“Indeed, the best way to celebrate my birthday is with the Project Pearls’ kids and volunteers. My every Sunday will not be completed without spending it with the kids in Helping Land.”

–Ate Jedda Punzalan, Project Pearls volunteer since 2012.



Aside from our usual feeding and mentoring activity, we also had a happy time for some parlor games with prizes.



Because this day was a little bit extra special not only for the PEARLS children but for our After School Program coordinator as well. As we all know, she’s Volunteer-Teacher or Ate Jedda Punzalan! And it’s her birthday!

For us in Project Pearls, Teacher Jedda is everyone’s mentor, leader and cheerleader as well and confidante. Her passion to make this world better for the poor and for the least is so inspiring.


Keep it up and keep moving forward, Teacher Jedda! We will always be proud and glad for having you around.


Thanks for everything, Teacher Jedda! From all the staffs, volunteers and kids of Project Pearls, we wish you a happy, happy birthday!



God bless you more and may you continue being a role model, a strict yet very approachable and loving Ate to all.

As you said, the best way to celebrate your birthday is with us in Project Pearls, we are also glad that you chose to spend it with us.


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We would also like to express our gratitude to the students of Miriam College for sponsoring today’s feeding and for facilitating the ASP Activity. You, guys rock!


Lastly but definitely will never be the least, thank you for today, volunteers!






Something Fun and Fishy


Project Pearls Brain Booster

March 25, 2017 , Saturday

Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines


You see a child play, and it is so close to seeing an artist paint, for in play a child says things without uttering a word. You can see how he solves his problems. You can also see what’s wrong. Young children, especially, have enormous creativity, and whatever’s in them rises to the surface in free play.
~Erik Erikson



First of all, we would like to thank LBC Foundation for sponsoring this day’s feeding. Aside from sponsoring, they also volunteered!

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After the feeding, the kids enjoyed some dance lesson with the volunteers.  As the kids enjoyed the dance, we also felt that the volunteers from LBC Foundation enjoyed it too! Some parlor games were also enjoyed by the kids and prizes were given to the winners. This was a happy and lively Saturday indeed.



Then here comes our Brain Booster Activity. The kids watched a short film about Fishes, their natural habitat which is the sea, their different kinds and their kind of life underwater.


After that, the kids were taught the Fish Artwork. The kids weaved some colored papers and used it as the design to their fishes. The volunteers assisted them and enjoyed creating the Fishy Art with the kids as well. Once again, our PEARLS kids’ creativity was boosted and it was another day of new learning and fun!

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Before going home, slippers were given to the children as take away gifts. Thank you, Sundance!

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And thank you for today, volunteers!






Photos by: Sidney Snoeck

More photos are on our Facebook page:



Science Day with La Salle MBA Students



Project Pearls After School Program

March 19, 2017


Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines



“Because for me volunteering, though it benefits the children we are helping, if we look at the other side, we have more learnings from them.” –Valerie Fabila



This day’s After School Program Activity was led and facilitated by the MBA Students of La Salle. Today’s subject was about the Human Body.

Right after the feeding, our PEARLS Scholars were divided according to their school year level. Two volunteers were assigned per group to handle and teach them. We had manuals and visual aids that the teachers used.




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Volunteer-teacher Valerie Fabila shared to us her thoughts for this day’s ASP activity:

“I think it’s good that students from a known prestigious university get to encounter with the kids from Project PEARLS. I also think that it’s a good enlightenment on their side that there are cases and situations like those. Because for me volunteering, though it benefits the children we are helping, if we look at the other side, we have more learning from them.”

Teacher Val has been a Project PEARLS volunteer for more than a year and we are grateful and humbled for having her around.

Thank you, teacher Val! May you won’t get tired being with our young aspirants.

Thank you also to Miss Bernadeth Alagao and friends for sponsoring this day’s yummy feeding and for all the take away gifts for the kids.

And thank you, volunteer-teachers! See you next week!







Crepe Paper Art



Project PEARLS Brain Booster

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Helping Land, Tondo, Manila, Philippines



A child’s creativity will always be limitless.



We can testify to that.

Kids’ imaginations and creativity will always be beyond borders. Yes, we give them instructions of what to do and yet they will exceed our expectations of what should be their outputs.  For this day’s Brain Booster activity, we used different colors of crepe papers cut into different shapes as paints and as design molders.

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Each kid was given a whole sheet of blank paper to put on their artistic sides.

And here are the results:

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Truly, child’s arts would always amaze us. Little did they know that these little artful things they did are unique and wonderful. Great job, kids! We will always be beyond proud to all of you!

Thank you, Mister Brian Lim and Family for sponsoring today’s feeding!


And thank you so much for the usual assistance and labor of love, volunteers!






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.