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.
Most of the Aetas do not have electricity so it was a surprise for them to know who Alden Richards is.
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.
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.
The Aetas did not waste time getting a photo op with Alden as soon as he stepped out of the car.
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 couldn’t even speak!
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 program was hosted by comedienne Tess Bomb.
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 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.
It took Alden three hours to get to Bamban but he was all smiles from the beginning of the event to the end.
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 Alden’s fan club, the Aldenatics.
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.