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GMA Artist Center’s Alden Richards celebrated his 24th birthday with a charity event for the Aeta community in Sitio Gayaman, Bamban, Tarlac last February 8, 2016. Even if the outreach was held more than a month after his real birthday, which falls on January 2, Alden was okay with celebrating it a bit late because it was for a good cause.
The outreach program began very early in the morning with a program hosted by comedienne Tess Bomb. Everyone in the Aeta community was very excited to meet Alden and began screaming, cheering and clapping for him as soon as he arrived. Pastor Rico from Gayaman Hope Sungnae Presbyterian church located within the community gave the opening remarks.
One highlight of the program was a surprise dance number given by the Aetas. Alden was so touched and happy by the gesture he jumped right in and began dancing with them. The GMA Artist Center talent and Kapuso heartthrob also gamely posed for photos with members of the Aeta community.
The fun morning ended with a lot of donations and giveaways which Alden personally distributed to children and adults composed of 350 families within the Aeta community. Apart from personally distributing the goods, Alden also donated money from his own pocket to help the Aeta community. Some of the items that were given out were rice, salt, sugar, coffee, soy sauce, vinegar, toiletries, shoes, bags, biscuits and kids’ apparel. According to Alden, he personally chose to help this particular group because not a lot of people know about the plight of the Aetas within the isolated community and he hopes that the outreach program will open people’s eyes to the situation there. Located on the mountain peaks of Tarlac, most of the houses don’t even have electricity or enough food to sustain their daily needs.
The event was made possible with the help of GMA Artist Center, Land Rover Club of the Philippines, Pampanga Off Roaders Club Inc., Gopez Sisters, Dona Maria Premium Quality Rice, Boardwalk, PhilPlans, Tide, Downy, Gard shampoo, Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate, Sweet Kiss Custom Cakes, Datu Puti, McDonald’s and Hapee Toothpaste.