vito plays

I still remember the times we’d come home for summer vacation here in Manila, especially while we were still living in Hong Kong. We’d go over to my cousin’s place in Quezon City and play “Patintero” after the afternoon prayer meetings in their house. I wish I could find photos of us playing those legendary lines! Truly we had many happy memories!

One of my wishes as a parent is to teach my own children those forgotten sidewalk and “driveway” games we used to play. It’s not even about nostalgia or wanting to recall memories alone. As a parent, I know that play is much more than a game. It’s an important part of any child’s development, and overall happiness.

This is why Make it Blissful supports play as a learning avenue, because we in our homeschool believe this to be true. That’s why we support Mondelez Philippines’ Joy Schools program and the inclusion of their “Play is Cool” challenge. Read more about it below:

“Play is cool”

Joy Schools is a three-year adoption program of Mondelez Philippines, the company formerly named Kraft Foods. As a maker of delicious snack products like Tang, Eden Cheese, Cheez Whiz and Oreo, the Company is dedicated to helping promote balanced nutrition and active play among its six adopted public elementary schools. The Joy Schools is implemented together with partner the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

To complement its ongoing daily feeding program for 1,200 undernourished students, the Company has been similarly helping them become stronger and more active through play. The World Health Organization cites the benefits of doing physical activity such as play to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In fact children aged 5-17 years old are recommended to have at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity everyday (WHO. 2015). Together with a balanced diet comprised of a variety of foods to provide nutritional needs, physical activity is one of the keys to a healthy and active lifestyle.

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Play is not Laru-Laro Lang. The Ateneo Center for Educational Development (ACED) has long been a partner of the Joy Schools program and Mondelez Philippines by providing valuable learning to teachers of the adopted schools. This time they’ve used their experience in promoting excellence in education by facilitating the “Play is Cool” challenge.

Shares ACED Executive Director Carmela Oracion: “We have seen the benefits of both academic learning and those that come from interaction, including play. Having regular active play opportunities does not only help promote strong bodies. Regular active play also helps develop the students’ brains and contributes positively to a child’s ability to learn. Additionally, it also teaches children the value of fair play and team work. We’re very happy to be working with Mondelez Philippines in this endeavor to help children love play more and as an added benefit, re-learn seemingly forgotten Filipino games.”

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Kadang Kadang and Iring-iring. “Play is Cool” was a play competition among five adopted Joy Schools in Manila held last October 1, 2015 at the Padre Zamora Elementary School in Pasay – one of the adopted Joy Schools. Students re-learned the Filipino games of their parents’ youth and at the end engaged in a friendly competition against each other. “This does not stop with the event though,” adds PBSP Executive Director Rafael Lopa. “The Joy Schools is a sustainability program to empower students, teachers and even parents to avoid future barriers to nutrition, education and a better life. Thus we have asked for the commitment of the schools to ensure the games continue to be played even after the event, to become part of their daily academic and physical education.”

Here’s an educational rundown of the games the students played – which even adults could benefit from re-learning. There was “Kadang Kadang” a relay game where competitors try to complete the race first while wearing coconut shell stilts. “Iring-iring” is a game where a circle is formed and a “Taya” or “It” is chosen. The “Taya” goes around the circle and drops a handkerchief behind one person. That person must pick up the handkerchief and tag the “Taya”before the latter is able to sit in his vacated spot in the circle. Otherwise he becomes the new “Taya.”

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The intriguing and hilarious “Bulong Pari” and the more commonly known Agawan ng Buko, Tumbang Preso, Sipa, Pabitin and Basag an ng Palayok were re-learned and played as well.

What a great cause. I’m all for this and Mondelez Philippines’ many other initiatives to create joyful centers of learning for the students. Where their nutrition, education, well-being and future are being taken care of. For more information on Mondelez Philippines’ Joy Schools program, visit Mondelez International’s website.