Laro. Likha. Saya.

Independence Found in Free Play

Nanay Tei only wants what’s best for Lala, her 16-year-old daughter, who has a special need. She shares that she transferred Lala to F. Serrano Sr. Elementary School in Parañaque, one of the several public schools in the Metro that offer Special Education (SPED) classes to children with special needs. Nanay Tei believes that transferring Lala to F. Serrano Sr. Elementary School is a good decision she has made because her daughter will be exposed into a different kind of environment — an environment that would make Lala be an independent girl. Knowing what’s best for Lala also means letting her do things on her own. Of course, she looks after her daughter, butNanay Tei makes sure that she gradually gives her independence knowing the fact that, “We will not be here for her forever”. Nanay Tei is very proud of Lala’s significant improvements, and that could be attributed in letting Lala ‘fly’ on her own.

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Nanay Tei with her daughter, Lala.

Having the toy library set up in the school, especially that it is dedicated to Special Education students like Lala, Nanay Tei is confident that Lala will do much better because of the learning opportunity that the toy library will provide. With the presence of the toys, most of them new to their eyes, the children’s curiosity will be constantly stirred and awakened. She believes that her daughter, as well as the other kids with special needs, will be able to develop themselves more as they regularly do play therapy in the new toy library.

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One of the kids in F. Serrano Sr. Elementary School trying to figure out the toy he picked out from the shelf.

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 70 sites and more are being put up, to bring joy to the next generation of Filipinos.

For more information, please visit the following:

Website: http://www.philippinetoylibrary.org
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@philippinetoylibrary.org.

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).

Generosity Pours In for the Love of Children

Barangay San Carlos, despite having the smallest land area in Mariveles, Bataan, serves as the commercial district of the Municipality, housing the Mariveles Public Market. Every day, the vendors of the public market, most of them parents with children to take care of, wake up early just to meet the demands of the flocking residents from the neighboring barangays. Their children, not wanting to be left at home, prefer to join their parents in the public market. Some of them would join their parents in selling goods, and some would prefer playing along the market’s streets. As Barangay San Carlos also continuously to progress due to the presence of the Freeport Area of Bataan, many parents are working in the factories, forcing some of them to leave their children behind, without anyone to supervise them. In a municipality as small as Barangay San Carlos, where can they possibly provide a safe and nurturing play area for their kids? This situation called the attention of the barangay officials to build a toy library in the area.

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In front of the Barangay Toy Library and Child’s Rights Center is the Mariveles Public Market. The children of the market vendors now have a safer place to play.

It was not an easy task for Barangay San Carlos to immediately put up the toy library. Financial difficulties were right on the way but keeping in mind the mission of making their kids happier, they were able to put together the Child’s Rights and Toy Library Center.

During the unveiling of their Child’s Rights and Toy Library Center, one of their BarangayCouncilors, Jester Ivan, narrated how they were able to put up their toy library: “Nung nagPublic Hearing para ipasa ang ordinansa [na magawa ang toy library], nandoon ang lahat ng sectors ng barangay at nagsuggest sila na magkaroon ng contribution bawatstreet.” (During the Public Hearing to pass the ordinance [for the creation of the toy library], all sectors of the barangay were present and they suggested that each street should have a contribution.) Getting this kind of suggestion from the community itself encouraged theBarangay Officials to start collecting money by passing ‘coin banks’, out of empty bottles, in each street. From that simple, collective act, they were able to pool Php 7,000 to fund the setting-up of the toy library. Donations from the neighborhood also generously came in, with families dropping-off their pre-loved toys and books in the Barangay Hall. Generosity poured in, showing how the community believed in what the toy library can bring to their children.

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The officials of Barangay San Carlos express their utmost happiness as their Municipal Mayor holds the ribbon, signifying the opening of their Toy Library & Child’s Rights Center. (From left to right are Kagawad Jester Ivan Ricafrente, Brgy. Captain Arvin Zurita, and Johanne Arceo.)

Setting up the toy library exceeded their expectation of just giving joy to the kids of theirBarangay. It even brought the Barangay to experience the spirit of modern Bayanihan. Jester Ivan imparts the realization of what unity can result to, “’Yung pinaghirapan dito sa Barangay, nagkaroon ng katuparan. Ibig sabihin, hindi pala lahat natatapos sa panaginip lang. Basta magtutulungan at may tutulong din, magagawang posible ang mukhang imposible.” (The hard work we did resulted into something fruitful. This means not everything ends in just a dream. If we help one another and if others help as well, we can make the impossible possible.)

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 70 sites and more are being put up, to bring joy to the next generation of Filipinos.

For more information, please visit the following:

Website: http://www.philippinetoylibrary.org
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@philippinetoylibrary.org.

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).

Hope Giving Turns Two Years From a Social Media Status to a National Campaign

For the past year, the Philippine Toy Library (PTL) has brought hope to Filipino children nationwide and even to the victims of tragedy-stricken communities.

The country experienced several calamities in 2013, strong storms in Luzon, a siege in Zamboanga, an earthquake in Cebu and Bohol, and then super-typhoon Yolanda that cost billions of pesos in economic damage.

In these trying times, Filipino children were the most affected by these calamities. Their lives and their families’ lives have been disrupted, and the objective for any relief and rehabilitation efforts is for them to go back to experience some normalcy.

PTL has joined in the efforts last year to bring back hope and joy to these Filipino children, who are at their young age, experienced tragedies.

PTL created the campaign, #ToysforZamboKids, for the children who were affected by the siege that lasted a few weeks. The toys that were collected were sent to the communities who are still trying to cope with the loss of lives and properties.

PTL also joined Tabang Visayas, a multi-stakeholder project that was set out to assist in the rehabilitation efforts in Eastern Visayas after typhoon Yolanda hit them. PTL set up toy centers in Pastrana Central Elementary School, Javier Central Elementary School and Dulag Central Elementary School, to name a few.

“Our Filipino children deserve the best assistance during these challenging times,” PTL President Edsel Ramirez said.

“We are here so that they can put a smile on their faces again, so they can hope again.”

From a simple social media status, PTL has become a national movement aimed to set up toy centers for children, who lack access to play. After two years, PTL has set up 70 sites – from islets in Culion, Palawan and Zamboanga to barangay centers in Taguig and Quezon City.

Share in our dream for our Filipino children. Build toy centers in your area. Share our story. Like our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/PhilippineToyLibrary and email us at info@toylibraryph.com. Visit http://www.philippinetoylibrary.org/ for more details.

The Healing Power of Play

He happily chooses one toy after the other. He laughs goofily as he and his friends try to fool one another. He incessantly smiles as he discovers how the toy he picks works. One can never notice that JM, 9 years old, experienced one of the most tragic typhoon that hit the country last November 2013. As he started to recall how the typhoon Yolanda wrecked their home, JM quickly sums up how his family survived and abruptly returns to his play, scanning over the shelves, looking for another toy to play with.

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JM, 9 years old, is happy that the toys have arrived in their Barangay.

Ms. Anna Marie Albaladejo, the VAWC (Violence Against Women and Children) desk officer of Brgy. Banica in Roxas City, Capiz, sees the toy library put up in their barangay as a counselling room for their children, like JM, who experienced the terror of Yolanda. “Maganda na nagkaroon kami ng toy library dahil mas makakatulong ito sa pagdedebrief at pagdedestress ng mga bata” (It’s good that we have a toy library because it will help in the debriefing and distressing of the children), Ms. Anna shares on how the toy library will help them in their barangay. The toy library will be of much assistance to their psychosocial normalizing activity, every Saturdays and Sundays, that they have started to conduct last December 2013.

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The kids of Brgy. Banica welcoming the PTL Team.

Ms. Anna and the rest of the Barangay Officials firmly believe how play can help in the recovery of their children abused and affected by natural calamities. In time, JM and his other friends will fully get over from the disturbance left by Yolanda.

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 60 sites and more are being put up, to bring joy to the next generation of Filipinos.

For more information, please visit the following:

Website: http://www.philippinetoylibrary.org
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).

Beyond the Beauty of the Paradise

Just a few steps away from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world is the Red Cross-Boracay Chapter, housing the Ambulong Day Care Center. The day care center, with the newly installed toy library, hopes to serve 50-80 children, most of them left by their parents to work for the hotels and restaurants around Boracay. According to Mr. Marlon Schoenenberger, officer-in-charge of the Red Cross-Boracay Chapter, aside from providing parents an option where they can be assured of their children’s safety, the day care center is also a venue to eliminate the incidence of child labor. With the constant flocking of local and foreign tourists, the children cannot help but be tempted as well to work, given the attractive income in the Island. Opening up a toy library in the community gives the children an opportunity to divert their energies into a more developmental way.

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The Red Cross-Boracay Chapter Board of Directors looks forward to how they will utilize the toys in their activities for kids.

The Red Cross-Boracay Chapter team is very excited with the toy library, as they impart the many initiatives they plan to begin with. Mr. Schoenenberger shares, “We will use the toys in conducting our weekly activities, such as swimming and first aid. The toys will surely add fun and attraction to the activities we are doing with kids”. Apart from the impact to the kids, Mr. Schoenenberger also sees the toy library as an instrument to integrate with the community and to touch base with other day care centers.

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 60 sites and more are being put up, to bring joy to the next generation of Filipinos.

For more information, please visit the following:

Website: http://www.philippinetoylibrary.org
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).

Love Knows No Disability

At the age of 60, Nanay Noemi still chose to work for children with disabilities at STAC (Stimulation and Therapeutic Activity Center) – Kalibo. She may have the option to retire and rest, but she decided to respond to a quite challenging work.

Nanay Annalie, 41 years old, also chose to devote her time for STAC. Aside from her work in the Regional Trial Court in Kalibo, Nanay Annalie is also the president of STAC’s Parents’ Association. STAC’s head Physical Therapist, Ms. Joanna, proudly shares how Nanay Annalie initiated in helping out create the toy library in their institution, “Nagsolicit talaga ‘yan sa mga magulang kahit na Php 50 lang para lang makabili ng mga plastic bins para lalagyan ng mga laruan kung sakaling bumaha” (She solicited from other parents even at least Php 50 from each of them just to buy plastic bins for the storage of toys in case it floods here).

So what motivates Nanay Annalie to offer her time in putting up the toy library? She narrates, “’Yung books tsaka toys, malaking bagay ‘yun para sa mga bata. ‘Yung iba man dyan, hindi man malaro ang mga laruan kasi syempre may mga disabilities nga sila pero ang presence ng toys, nakakapagbigay aliw na iyon sa kanila. Katulad ng anak ko, makita lang niya si Mickey Mouse, naku ‘yung tuwa n’yan, grabe, apaw-apaw na. Hindi man nila malaro, pero makita lang nila, malaking kasiyahan na iyon sa kanila” (The books and toys mean a lot to the kids. The other kids may not be able to play with them because of their disabilities but the mere presence of the toys would give them joy. Like my daughter, just seeing Mickey Mouse will give her overwhelming joy. They may not be able to play with the toys, but just seeing them will give them great happiness).

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The STAC-Kalibo Community expresses their gratitude to all those who show their affection through the toys and books they have donated.

In behalf of the STAC Community, both Nanay Noemi and Nanay Annalie express their deepest gratitude for giving their community a chance to experience the fun of play. The children with special needs, like Nanay Annalie’s daughter, Deanne Claire, who has cerebral palsy, may not be able to fully enjoy the toys, but their happiness remains to be overflowing knowing that there are people who truly care for them.

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 60 sites and more are being put up, to bring joy to the next generation of Filipinos.

For more information, please visit the following:

Website: http://www.philippinetoylibrary.org
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).

Playtime: More Fun with Family

Everyone knows everybody at St. Francis School – VSA Philippines in Quezon City having a school population of 120 students.  Little Kindergarten girls are playing with their Grade 2 Ates while Grade 2 boys are having a good conversation with their Grade 6 Kuyas, making an impression that the school is more of a family than an institution.

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Marjorie (second from right) will be having fun in the Toy Library with her playmates, Sephanie, Cindy, Quesha and Kristine (from left to right).

Marjorie, 6, is excited as the toy library opens in their school.  “It would be more fun to play with my friends in school,” she expresses. “Playing alone isn’t as fun as having playmates.” With the toy library opening its doors for them, Marjorie will be seeing play in a way she has never seen before.

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 53 sites and more are being put up, to bring joy to the next generation of Filipinos.

For more information, please visit the following:

Website: http://www.philippinetoylibrary.org
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).