GMA Artist Centers 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.
Most of the Aetas do not have electricity so it was a surprise for them to know who Alden Richards is.
The Aetas did not waste time getting a photo op with Alden as soon as he stepped out of the car.
The program was hosted by comedienne Tess Bomb.
It took Alden three hours to get to Bamban but he was all smiles from the beginning of the event to the end
When some members of the Aeta community gave a surprise dance number, Alden wanted to make them feel that their effort to put on a dance number for him was much appreciated so he jumped right in and began dancing with them
Alden described the entire experience as worthwhile and very fulfilling
A lucky girl was chosen to participate in an impromptu acting game with Alden, much to the delight of the audience. She was so starstruck she couldnt even speak!
Alden is no stranger to charity events. He has already participated in house-buildings, read-along sessions, and visits to orphanages
The kids of Bamban sang the birthday song before Alden blew the candle on the birthday cake given to him by his GMA Artist Center family
Alden personally distributed his gifts to the members of the Aeta community. Helping him out were his cousin April Penaranda, GMA Artist Center PR and Events Assistant Manager Rochelle Tuazon, and Senior Assistant Vice-President of Alternative Productions and Assigned Talent Management Head Gigi Santiago-Lara
Alden, through funds from his own pocket together with the help of some sponsors, gave away goods to more than 350 families in the Aeta community.
The Gayaman Hope Sungnae Presbyterian church served as a warehouse for the many donations. Apart from people from GMA Artist Center, others helped out with the distribution of goods, such as members of the Land Rover Club of the Philippines and members of Aldens fan club, the Aldenatics
Several members of the media were present to cover the event, like Aubrey Carampel of 24 Oras and Anica Feliciano of GMANetwork.com
Land Rover Club of the Philippines headed by Marc Soong generously provided all the Land Rovers that were used to transport the goods and all the people involved in the event. Since the road going there was on very rough terrain, it would have been impossible to reach the area without the presence of their vehicles
Alden enjoyed meeting the Aetas that he just had to shake their hands before leaving the area. A car and driving enthusiast, Alden personally drove the Land Rover Discovery Sport to get to the venue. According to Alden, driving helps him relax
Alden had to leave Bamban at 9am and ride a chopper so he could make it to Eat Bulaga! that day
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 peoples eyes to the situation there. Located on the mountain peaks of Tarlac, most of the houses dont 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.