The Play Camps are conducted in a sports clinic fashion teaching detailed mechanics on how to play each game --- and we call it "ESKWE-LARO". It's fascinating to see the kids to each drill exercise, giggling their way through each task. The 'scientific' methods for teaching Larong Pinoy is something never before done in the history of the games.
Kids come together in the Play Camp along with their neighborhood playmates and personally sign-up at the registration table. The Play Camps are free. It is open to children with ages 3 to 12 years old.
Most of the children who line-up in our Play Camps comes from the underprivileged class of society --- children who don't have computers or high-tech game gadgets at home. Most of the kids spend their afternoons playing in the streets. (Like when you pass by in an urban depressed are you'd comment, "wow, factory ng bata...", because they're all out in the streets and your car could barely pass by).
These are the children we are reaching out to. And we're giving them something to play on --- games that doesn't need expensive materials. What do you use when you play Patintero or Luksong Tinik? Children easily improvise materials for Piko (using a piece of stone as 'pamato') or a can for Tumbang Preso, and nothing but your hands and feet for Patintero. And you have all the laughter in the neighborhood. And, much more, they build happy memories with their childhood "kababata".
One day they become parents, they too will be able to say, "yan ang laro namin nung bata pa kami". Still, more than teaching kids Pinoy Games, we are also instilling the love for things that are Filipino. In a "kiddy" manner, we make them realize that the games are played by their parents, their grandparents, and that these are truly Filipino games. We also make them proud to be playing a game that has been passed on from generation to generation. Playing it makes them proud to be part of the rich Filipino heritage.
Magna Kultura Foundation realizes what this advocacy is doing to the new generation of children. According to Dickie Aguado, Executive Director of Magna Kultura Foundation, "Aside from the fun that it give, it subtly instills the 'Filipino spirit' among children."
"We can see the joy in the eyes of parents and the lolas as they watch their children take part in the Eskwe-Laro activities. They are full of "thank you's", aside from receiving a free clinic for their siblings, they find that they have something to talk about with their children at home, especially during dinner time", Aguado adds.
The activity transforms people, transform places. It revives a way of life and fun in communities. We are passing on something that children will remember forever in the lives. And we believe that long after the Play Camp have left their community the legacy will live on, in their barangays and among their children's children.
Like their lolo's and lolas' they will be able to say, "Yan ang laro namin noong bata pa kami..."This is our small contribution to to building Filipino National Culture. In a fun way, we are helping prepare the youth to be proud Filipinos.
One day, they will all grow up. So let the children play. Let them build happy memories with their neighborhood playmates. So, let the children play the games we all use to play when were kids... when we didn't have PC games. Mag-larong Pinoy tayo!"
Buhayin natin ang mga laro ng ating lahi!
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