The Philippine Toy Library (PTL) is calling for donations of old toys and children’s books to build a toy library for indigenous children in Patalon, Zamboanga.

Zamboanga, Philippines – They are called as river people, where the name of the Subanon tribe comes from.  They are natives to the Zamboanga Peninsula in the western part of the Mindanao island.  However, they are now living in the mountains due to the migration of Muslim groups.

They are now asking for help from fellow Filipinos in the early childhood development of their children.  PTL is partnering with the Ateneo de Zamboanga University and Youth Solidarity for Peace to build a toy center for their mission school.

“We are asking for help from those who have good hearts to help the indigenous children from the South,” Fr. Willy Samson, SJ appeals to the public.  “We’d like to give an opportunity for all children to experience a meaningful and joyful childhood.”

“The IP sector usually receives little help due to their distance from cities,” PTL President Edsel Ramirez describes.  “We welcome this partnership to show the Subanon tribe that they are not forgotten by their Filipino brothers and sisters.”

On a vacation abroad with the family, Ramirez, 38, was struck with the availability of parks and playgrounds for children in their communities.  Thus, he posted a status on his social media site asking for donations of old toys, children’s books, and materials for building the first Philippine Toy Library in Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

The Philippine Toy Library is currently calling for donations of toys and children’s books.  Clear out closets and start helping in the building toy centers in Porac and Sasmuan, Pampanga, Dapdap, Quezon, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga Peninsula.  Drop off points are in Quezon City (KIDS AHOY, PTL and Jesuit Volunteers Philippines offices), Pampanga (Orchid Bookstore), Baguio, Bacolod and Zamboanga City (ADZU, Tzu Chi Foundation and YSP offices).

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Philippine Toy Library

With just a social media status, a national advocacy was born.  PTL is a group of volunteer-friends who came together and took on the challenge of providing the experience of play to our Filipino children, especially who live in cramped and congested areas.  PTL transforms idle spaces in baranggays/schools/parishes into fun and educational playrooms to keep off kids from the streets.  Currently, PTL has three sites and more are being organized to bring joy to the next generation of Filipinos.



Ateneo de Zamboanga

The Ateneo de Zamboanga began in 1912 as Escuela Catolica, a parochial school run by Spanish Jesuits with Fr. Manuel Sauras, S.J. as the first director. In 1916, the Escuela Catolica became the Ateneo de Zamboanga.

In 1930, the American Jesuits took over from the Spanish Jesuits with Fr. Thomas Murray, S.J. as the first American director. The first high school students graduated from Ateneo in 1932.

The school was closed during World War II and reopened in 1947 with a nipa-sawali building on a new site outside the poblacion called Jardin de Chino along Camino Nuevo. And in 1948, the school was officially recognized as a Jesuit school separate from the parish.

The post liberation years were a period of rapid physical, curricular, and enrollment expansion for the school. A college was established in 1952 and the graduate school in 1976.

In the 1980s, Fr. Ernesto A. Carretero, SJ started the work to acquire for the Ateneo de Zamboanga a university status. The years of hard work finally paid off when, on August 20, 2001, the Ateneo de Zamboanga was declared a university by the Commission on Higher Education under the leadership of

Fr. William H. Kreutz, SJ. The current University President is Fr. Antonio F Moreno, SJ who continues the tradition of articulating the thrust of the Ateneo de Zamboanga, she being the Jesuit University in Western Mindanao.

The year 2012 is a significant year in the heartbeat of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University for it is her centennial jubilee. A hundred years of striving for academic excellence, of embracing Ignatian Spirituality, and of engaged citizenship.

The motto of the University summarizes all of these: Pro Deo et Patria (For God and Country) hence, for all that has been done, is being done and for future endeavors, it is and will for always be in the service of God and Country.



Youth Solidarity for Peace

YSP was formally established in 2008, stemming from a youth movement advocating the Culture of Peace and fighting against discrimination across cultures like Muslims, Yakans, Christians and Indigenous People.  In an area perceived to be conflict-ridden, YSP now serves as the youth arm of Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ).