Coins of Dreams

By Bryan Edward Ramilo and Lhaye Jan Athena Mercado | Posted on February 17, 2024

One of the key factors for progress and success is having an adequate education. A significant part of this shapes each individual, empowering them to utilize their capabilities in various fields of the industry of development.

However, education is also one of the major components of the crisis we are experiencing in our society. According to data recorded in 2020 during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, a total of 18.6 percent of Filipinos ages 5 to 24 years old were unable to continue their education, including the indigenous sector. (

In line with this, many of our indigenous Aeta people still remain unaware of the importance of education, often due to their modest way of life. Many of them continue to choose their traditional practices over pursuing education.

Therefore, as part of addressing this issue, the Rotaract Clubs from various districts, led by the Rotaract Club of Tanauan, Rotaract Club of Makati United, Rotaract Club of Santa Rosa South, Rotaract Club of PCCR Manila, Rotaract Club of Manila Bay, Rotaract Club of Sto. Tomas, and Mariveles Freeport, have decided to spearhead the “Piso Para sa Libro 3” project for our Aeta community residing in Mariveles, Bataan. This project is a step towards encouraging our Aeta indigenous people to embrace the importance of education, paving the way for the improvement of their lives.

Furthermore, aside from the dissemination of school supplies the project Piso Para Sa Libro legacy usually does, this time the project in its 3rd phase also aims to provide better facilities for our Aeta group to make their studies more comfortable. As part of this initiative, Rotaractors have joined forces to coordinate with various government sectors to further strengthen the objectives of the “Piso Para Sa Libro 3” project.

After an extensive planning phase by the Rotaract organizations involved, the “Piso Para Sa Libro 3” project was successfully launched on September 11, 2023, as a Donation Drive project aimed at gathering contributions for activities benefiting the indigenous Aeta community in Brgy Biaan Aeta Community, Mariveles, Bataan. The lead host clubs collected donations, materials, and books that would be used to enhance the knowledge of the Aeta people and enlighten them about the importance of education. After two months of preparation and donation collection, the Rotaractors gathered a total of 48,000 in donations and books. These were utilized in the official launch of the “Piso Para Sa Libro 3” project on November 18, 2023, in the Aeta community in Mariveles, Bataan.

On the 18th of November, the Rotaractors embarked on individual journeys to Mariveles, Bataan, spending almost six hours to reach the beautiful town of Mariveles. At precisely nine in the morning, the leading Rotaractors ascended to the community of our indigenous Aeta people in Brgy. Biaan Aeta Community in Mariveles, Bataan, where the “Piso Para Sa Libro 3” project was formally initiated.

A few of selected professional Rotaractors conducted activities such as interactive reading and writing sessions, aiming to mold our fellow countrymen from the Aeta community into learning how to read and write. This took place at the Biaan Day Care Center, involving both children and elderly Aeta individuals. Following this, the Rotaract presidents, along with the Project Chairman, formally introduced themselves to the indigenous community and exchanged greetings, inquiring about their current situation. Moreover, many of the Aeta’s engaged in conversations, sharing their experiences and traditional practices. After the activities, the Rotaractors distributed the school supplies for our Aeta students, accompanied by the giving of simple gifts and food that everyone enjoyed.

“Maraming salamat sa hindi paglimot sa amin,” expressed by a grateful Aeta parent.

Following a joyful conversation and bonding session with our Aeta indigenous community, the Rotaractors decided to explore their surroundings. Some Aeta’s are playing in their simple yards, others engaged in conversations, and a few graciously inviting the Rotaractors into their humble homes. This provided an opportunity to discover their traditions and way of life, which truly impressed the Rotaractors. In addition, within their community, there’s a small museum where they keep their artifacts like their hunting tools, photographs, and traditional clothing which are a sight to behold.

“Akala ko tayo ang magtuturo sa kanila, ngunit tila tayo ang mas may aral na maiuuwi,” stated by the project chairman who led the project.

Indeed enough, we gained more valuable lessons from them, and it cannot be denied that they possess one of the richest traditions in the Philippine history. From their ancient tools used in their daily lives to their dialects that is passed down from generation to generation, it is truly astonishing that these continue to exist and thrive even in the present time.

Their practices are not just amazing but it also holds valuable lessons that should be recognized by the majority and warrant attention in our society.

After a meaningful learning experience from immersing themselves in the traditions and way of life of the Aeta community, the Rotaract Clubs proceeded to the final phase of the “Piso Para Sa Libro 3” project. In this stage, the materials needed to refurbish the Learning Facility of Biaan Aeta Integrated School were formally handed over, due to the shortage of facilities with the increasing student population of Aeta. Consequently, the leading Rotaract Clubs, in collaboration with the BAIS leadership, decided to transform their existing canteen into another classroom that could be utilized by the students.

In connection with this, the “Piso Para Sa Libro 3” project has provided materials such as plywood, metal bars, angle bars, and wood to initiate the renovation of their former canteen, now formally repurposed as a classroom. This space will be used to nurture their abilities and intellect, emphasizing the importance of education. Simultaneously, the Rotaractors also distributed school supplies, including books, bond papers, and other educational materials, which will be beneficial for the studies of the students.

“Walang pagsidlan ng galak sa aming puso na mabigyan ng ganitong biyaya ang ating mga katutubo,” uttered by the Principal of BAIS.

And before finally concluding the “Piso Para sa Libro 3” project, the leading Rotaractors formally bid farewell with joy and gratitude for the successful endeavor. They pledged to return to continue advocating for the importance of education, especially for our indigenous Filipinos. 

“Bumalik tayo, balikan natin sila,” expressed by several Rotaractors upon the completion of the project.

Hence, the forming of the 5th phase of Piso Para sa Libro in the same location.

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