The 5th Annual UTW Day, Olongapo, Philippines
An Invitation By The Aeta People
Our official UTW Day 2017 organizers in Olongapo, Gershom and Melissa Pertacorta, had been invited by the tribal chief of the indigenous Aeta People to celebrate the event with them, and to bring along family and friends. The two created a Facebook event, asking anyone interested in joining them to donate water and food supplies, as well as gifts for the Aetas.
The plan was to meet at the outskirts of town early in the morning. From there, they would hike on remote mountain trails all the way up to Mampueng, the small village that is the home to the Aetas.
Leaving Stress Behind
About a hundred like-minded people followed their call. As planned, the hikers met up at dawn, and trekking and crossing rivers, they disconnected from their busy lives, immersing themselves in nature.
They left the noise of the city behind. listening to the mountain breeze, the gurgle of a fresh water spring and the sound of a warm rain shower.
Many of hikers carried heavy loads on their backs. Food and beverages, clothes and school supplies – gifts for the Aetas and their children, tents, tables, instruments and even a generator, all had to be transported up to the remote village using nothing but woman and manpower.
By the time they arrived, everyone was ready for a break.
The visitors were greeted with excitement. After exchanging gifts, many took the opportunity to cool down in a nearby spring, goofing around and having water fights with the Aeta kids.
Meanwhile, one of the visitors delighted the children by painting their faces, while others engaged the crowd playing songs on their guitars.
When the sun began to go down, meals were prepared and tables set.
At sunset, everyone started gathering around the bonfire to enjoy the freshly prepared food and a serving of organic Java Plum Wine & Wild Honey served from bamboo cups made by the locals as a souvenir.
Plans For The Future
They had gathered to make a difference, and underneath the full moon, many great conversations took place and plans for future positive local actions were made. Aeta People and visitors became friends, feeling love, respect and understanding for one another.