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  • The ULF Team

5 ways PLAY proved to be more than laru-laro lang

During National Children’s month in November, leading organizations for children came together to break mindsets and advocate play as a child’s important right. Let’s take a look at five ways play proved to be more than leisure during the month.

A typical Filipino childhood in the 90’s or early 2000’s consists of spending a good amount of time during recess or afternoons after school playing classic Filipino games with classmates or neighbors.


We’ll bet you a thousand pesos that you’ve also experienced being scolded for spending too much playing, rather than doing x or y. It is common culture in the Philippines for well-meaning adults to prioritize education, household chores, or any other tasks that teach responsibility rather over play.


A child’s language consists of play. It is so integral in a child’s development that a childhood void of it can bring more problems than we are ready to acknowledge. Research suggests that a childhood deprived of play is like a childhood deprived of sleep. It further states that, “without play, optimal learning, normal social functioning,self-control, and other cognitive functions may not mature properly”.

During National Children’s month in November, leading organizations for children came together to break mindsets and advocate play as a child’s important right. Let’s take a look at five ways play proved to be more than leisure during the month:


1. When the youth stood up as play advocates

Health, environment, politics--there are a lot of youth rising up to take the lead in national and international issues. How about youth from different regions of the Philippines standing up to champion play as a right? Such that the youth is involved, this right must be a cause worth fighting for.


Look: Mindanaoan, a network of youth organizations in Mindanao, celebrate #NPAW2019 by organizing games for children survivors from Marawi siege.

Children in a Mangyan community in Mindoro practiced their right to play during #NPAW2019!


2. When hundreds of paper planes took off to symbolize Filipinos’ commitment to play

Hundreds of paper planes took off to symbolize the launch of the Philippine Play Coalition during the National Children’s Month Kickoff at Quezon Memorial Circle last November 6, 2019.


A coalition solely dedicated to promote play as a right? Check. What better time to announce what this coalition is all about than during the National Children’s Month, right? What’s more, a symbolic launch happened where over 300 Filipinos of different ages crafted and flew their paper planes to signify support and commitment to ensuring a child’s holistic development through play.


3. When it promoted a sense of bayanihan for Filipinos of all ages

On the third week of November, a week-long activity dedicated to play was launched by the Philippine Play Coalition. Dubbed as “National Play Advocacy Week (NPAW) 2019”, its kickoff and celebration brought 198 partners from the public, private, and non-government sector to promote play nationwide. Teachers, parents, health workers, young professionals, businessmen, artists--of all ages and from all walks of life--came together to bring play to communities by organizing their own play day, promoting play through their brands, or launching a campaign through various forms of media. We could almost hear the Beatles singing, “Imagine all the people…” coming together for this right!


Brands support #NPAW2019! Disney holds Frozen 2 block screening for more than 80 children! Kidzania helps promote a child’s right to play by giving a 50% discount to visitors during #NPAW2019!


4. When thousands of children from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao practiced (and enjoyed!) play as their right

NPAW 2019 saw simultaneous play activities happening, on top of campaigns for play. Now, that’s sincere effort! For that week alone, the celebration touched over 140,000 Filipinos’ lives, and brought play to over 7,000 children from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.


Look: Dingdong Dantes champions #PlayIsARight!

The Hope Project championed play for children in hospitals

Barangay South Cembo conducts barangay-wide play activities to celebrate the right of every child to play!


5. When children speak about the lessons they learn during play time.

We can give endless reasons why play is important in a child’s development, but how about we let children speak for themselves? The Philippine Play Coalition produced a video with just that. Watch it here.


More than promoting or organizing play days, what we’ve celebrated during National Children’s Month is the actual gift that every child is to the world. The emphasis on play as a child’s right is a necessary factor in making sure that every child attains his or her right, and is safeguarded in every way possible.


Be excited for more of these activities to flourish in years to come, as we gather more champions to advocate #PlayIsARight through the Philippine Play Coalition, and establish more child-centered activities that foster safe spaces for them throughout the country. For now we’d like to pass you the ball: in what other ways do you think play has proven to be more than laru-laro lang for you?


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The National Play Advocacy Week 2019, held from November 17 to 23, is led by the Philippine Play Coalition to help promote the children’s right to play. The Philippine Play Coalition is composed of child-centric organizations who lead the advocacy for play namely, the Council for the Welfare of Children, Unilab Foundation, World Vision, Tukod Foundation, Educo Philippines, Unang Hakbang Foundation, and Kythe Foundation.


Join us in championing every child’s right to play! For partnerships and more information about our initiatives, please contact +632 8858-1000 or email playcoalition.ph@gmail.com. You may also visit the Philippine Play Coalition facebook page.

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