Pampanga, Philippines – Pampanga originates from La Pampanga, where Spaniards named the province due to Filipinos living along the river bank (pampang). After hundreds of years, Capampangans still live along the river. Unfortunately, some of these communities have lived below the poverty line.
Two Day Care Centers in Sasmuan are now asking for help in building toy corners for their Kinder children. “These children are basically stuck in their areas,” Fr. Manny Contreras describes the demise. “We have to travel by boat for forty five minutes to be able to reach the city proper.”
These centers in Brgy. Batang Dos and Brgy. Malusac have very few toys and children’s books considering the number of children in the areas. “We were surprised with the number of children living there,” PTL President Edsel Ramirez narrates his experience during his area visit. “For such small spaces, I couldn’t imagine how they play and interact.”
Through new media, PTL has slowly created a movement of volunteers, young, old, Filipinos residing in and out of the country, that commit to giving Filipino kids proper play experience. “We asked donations through social media,” Ramirez shares. “Friends chipped in and people we haven’t met sent their old toys as well.”
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, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Sur. 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).
Philippine Toy Library (PTL)
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.