Laro. Likha. Saya.

Monthly Archives: December 2013

(As published also in http://ncaleadershipjourney.wordpress.com/special-stories/channeling-the-outpour-of-love/)

Several months after the Ninoy & Cory Aquino Leadership Journey, 31 young individuals have decided to put into action the things they have learned from their 3-day leadership retreat. Coming from different provinces in Visayas, they set up a play area in the day care center of Brgy. Tanza, Baybay, Iloilo City, in partnership with the Philippine Toy Library. Setting-up the toy library is just a first step for them. Those based in Iloilo have committed to share their time with the kids through different learning activities. Four of them share their reflections on the deeper meaning of their act of service.

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(L-R, wearing white shirt: Karen Imalay, Raoul Manuel, Ralph Gonzales, Anika Tirador, Camille Peñafiel, Bien Varon and Krezyl Pugna) NCA Leadership Journey Companions Batch 11 setting up the Philippine Toy Library in Brgy. Trapiche in Iloilo City.

Affirmation through Smiles

Kevin Oanes shares how his experience in setting-up the toy library gave him not only fulfilment but a heightened awareness of other people’s needs: “I believe that we are made by God not to look after ourselves, but to look after the welfare of others. This experience has made me more sensitive to the needs of others. It is really fulfilling deep inside knowing that your efforts are paid back by smiles from these children. Making the children experience childhood through toy-giving is a wonderful opportunity we had. I will never forget this experience.”

Teaching as a Way of Life

For Education student Kams Almonguera, the toy library project is an affirmation of her commitment to teaching: “I found myself dumbfounded for too many reasons. The toy library project is one of a kind. It made me yearn to inspire people with our smiles, to fall on our knees just to keep the faith alive and wholeheartedly work as one to make everything truly a success.  Teaching as an act of service is not an easy job, I must say. But for me, it will not be as complicated if you’re committed and you love what you are doing. Teaching exactly is what I have been looking for and the Project Philippine Toy Library is a great opportunity that paved the way for us to teach great lessons in life to young children.”

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The NCA Leadership Journey Companions with the kids of Brgy. Trapiche

That One Changing Moment

Raoul Manuel did not expect the immense impact that the toy library provided to the kids of Brgy. Tanza: “I did not realize that a simple visit one morning would turn out to have such significance to the kids. By giving them toys and books, we did not just paint smiles on their faces but also provided an opportunity to influence their early development as individuals. Sharing has always been fun and heartwarming. What a memorable experience!”

Putting up the toy library would impact the lives of the kids of Brgy. Tanza, but little did Anika Tirador know that she too will be affected by their own actions: “Our leadership journey in Cebu last July ended with the reminder that as God loves us, and as we love Him, we are all called to serve. I guess the message of amare et servire just resonated with me. Nothing happens by chance, and it was a great opportunity to build a Philippine Toy Library site at Iloilo City. The whole preparation and setting up was completely worth it once we had the opening. The kids were very excited, and as we were playing together, it struck me how truly great it is to give. I have been extremely blessed throughout my life, and I loved receiving all the blessings, but it was then that I felt even better giving and sharing.

On the other hand, we came prepared to be the ones giving to the community, but just like in most cases, we get much more than what we expected. I did not go home empty handed. I especially loved it when we finally had the time to play with the kids during the program. They found everything awesome, and they were happy with anything that we let them play with. These children, in all their simplicity and humility, taught me to see the world with brighter eyes and with more gratitude.

It was definitely a concrete way to be an agent of God’s love and to serve Him. I only wish that as we continue to visit and play with the kids, we may instill in them values that could help them pay it forward, to be, one day, great agents of God’s love too.”

Philippine Toy Library

From a Facebook status, a national advocacy was born. The Philippine Toy Library (PTL) is made up of volunteer-friends who hope to provide the experience of play to our Filipino children, especially those who live in cramped and congested areas. Idle spaces in barangays, schools or parishes are turned into fun and educational PTL areas to keep kids off the streets. Currently, PTL has 49 sites and more are being put up, to bring joy to the next generation of Filipinos.

For more information, please visit the following:

WordPress: https://philippinetoylibrary.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PhilippineToyLibrary
Twitter: http://twitter.com/PhilToyLibrary

For further inquiries, you could email us at info@toylibraryph.com.

Drop off points are in Quezon City (Kids Ahoy Center for Blended Learning; the PTL office and the Jesuit Volunteers Philippines office); Alabang; Pampanga (Orchid Bookstore branches); Baguio; Bacolod; Zamboanga City (ADZU, Tzu Chi Foundation and the YSP office).


The student volunteer already called the kids to play ‘buksan ang basket’ (open the basket), but John Luis, 6 years old, remained seated with his sister, Lujille, and his brother Kevin, both 5 years old. When Kevin decided to join the playing group, Lujille followed, and John Luis was the last one to join.

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(L-R) John Luis, Lujille and Kevin enjoying each other’s company.

Belonging in one kinder class in Bagong Buhay Elementary School in Sapang Palay, Bulacan, John Luis finds his advantage of being able to look over his siblings, especially when he thinks that they are being bullied by their other classmates. He affirmed this when he shared, “Gusto kong maging pulis paglaki ko para maipagtanggol ko ang mga nang-aaway sa mga kapatid ko” (I want to be a policeman when I grow up so I could spare my siblings from those who fight them). His siblings find John Luis’ love for them even at the smallest things, like in playing with the toys at their classroom’s corner. Lujille testified to his Kuya John Luis’ brotherly love, “Kapag naglalaro kami, binibigyan niya po kami ng laruan” (When we play, he gives us toys).

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4th year Student Facilitator Nikki from Ateneo de Manila

After playing ‘open the basket’, Ate Nikki, 4th year College Student Facilitator, asked the kids to settle down so she could begin giving them their snack. Nikki, not a beginner in volunteering, went beyond the concept of outreach activity being a school requirement and commits herself in leading immersion activities. She finds happiness in leading students to immerse themselves in a community unfamiliar to them. Nikki shares what keeps her motivated in happily doing what she does, “I want to be a big sister to the freshmen students who will guide them in what they will do”. Her presence to the students, and most especially to the community she becomes involved with, is indeed comforting to see that they have a sister, who may not have the same blood as theirs, but whom can they turn to.

Philippine Toy Library

From a Facebook status, a national advocacy was born. The Philippine Toy Library (PTL) is made up of volunteer-friends who hope to provide the experience of play to our Filipino children, especially those who live in cramped and congested areas. Idle spaces in barangays, schools or parishes are turned into fun and educational PTL areas to keep kids off the streets. Currently, PTL has 49 sites and more are being put up, to bring joy to the next generation of Filipinos.

For more information, please visit the following:

WordPress: https://philippinetoylibrary.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PhilippineToyLibrary
Twitter: http://twitter.com/PhilToyLibrary

For further inquiries, you could email us at info@toylibraryph.com.

Drop off points are in Quezon City (Kids Ahoy Center for Blended Learning; the PTL office and the Jesuit Volunteers Philippines office); Alabang; Pampanga (Orchid Bookstore branches); Baguio; Bacolod; Zamboanga City (ADZU, Tzu Chi Foundation and the YSP office).