Gift-giving in Tarlac


Sitio Manabayukan and Sitio Binyayan, Capas, Tarlac

December 29-30, 2018


“When we say Christmas, what’s the first word that comes to you?

Is it gifts, food, people, celebration and should be no feeling blue?

Or family get-togethers, laughter and lights that are sparkling?

And to some, Christmas is a perfect time for giving and sharing.


Can we spare some love and time for the needy?

Can we be a blessing as we are full-blessed already?

Sometimes, when we give, we become happier

Through these tiny steps, we’re changing the world a lot better.”


Although Christmas time was almost over,  Project PEARLS extended the season with a gift-giving for two communities in Capas, Tarlac.

From December 29 to 30, we spent time in the mountains of Sitio Manabayukan and Sitio Binyayan where indigenous tribes reside.

It was an overnight immersion at Sitio Manabayukan.

This Aeta community is really close to our hearts; prior to this weekend, many of our volunteers have served them in other outreach programs. For example, we hosted Memory Project here in July. (Read here:


Here’s how we continued the season-of-giving by visiting these communities:

The Day 1: December 29, 2018 – Saturday

As early as four in the morning, the whole team made their way to Capas, Tarlac. Barangay Captain of O’Donnnell, Capas, Tarlac — Wendell Mercardo — welcomed us upon our early arrival. He also assisted us in securing trailer 4×4 vehicles that would bring us and our donations to the mountains of Sitia Manabyaukan.

After an hour of bumpy trails and river-crossings, we made our way to our first destination. The road may have been rough but it was beautiful.

Mother Nature treated us with trees, farms, and rivers. And, gratefully, the community’s happy faces welcomed us to their community.


The community’s open church became our base camp and staging area. In here, we prepared all the donations and gifts for distribution.

Aeta families entered the church for a short yet fun program. Included in the program were games for everyone! Whether you were young or young at heart, the community-members enjoyed watching and joining the entertainment. We even had special prizes for the winners!


We concluded the day’s outreach with  the distribution of Christmas packs and gifts.

Thanks for the hard work volunteers!

Afterwards, the whole team went down to the river. And kids joined us! These youngsters served as our trail guide and playmates!

We also headed back to the church for one more meal together before having a night’s rest. We got one more day of outreach in Tarlac!

Day 2. December 30, 2018 – Sunday


Before we headed to another Sitio, we enjoyed breakfast prepared by some of our volunteers. We also made sure to clean the church that served as our home the day before.

Kids’ lovely smiles brightened our morning.  We left Sitio Manabayukan with a grateful and joyous heart.

We got into our 4×4 trailer trucks going to Sitio Binyayan.

As we reached our second community, kids properly lined up to have their gift of toys. Parents received gift packs as well.

Everyone was grateful and cheery in this town too!

We made our way back to Manila in the afternoon. It was a meaningful weekend for all of us!

Thank you so much to all the donors!

And to all our volunteers! It was a weekend of fun and full hearts, thank you!

More photos are on our Facebook page:


Project PEARLS is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the State of California with a Federal Tax Id: 27-2624202.

Project PEARLS is a non-stock, non-profit and non-partisan organization registered under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 6, 2011 with Company Registration Number: CN201109816 and Company Tax Identification Number: 008-060-835-000