MANILA BULLETIN FEATURE STORY (Re-posted with lay-out enhancements)
By Rachel C. Barawid, MB News Reporter
After school or during weekends, children retreat to their own little world — watching TV shows for hours on end, or playing computer games at home, at internet shops, or malls.
Left with a little choice, modern-day parents usually join their kids and succumb to the lure of technology for the purpose of bonding.
But are these children losing the real joys of childhood to temporary happiness afforded by computer games?
STREET GAMES VS. COMPUTER GAMES
“Ang mga lumaki sa computer games, walang kababata, walang kalaro. Meron lang sila ka-chat. They are usually couch potatoes who may even have a hard time accepting defeat,” points out Dickie Aguado, executive director of Magna Kultura Foundation (MKF).
ESKUWELARO: A SCHOOL FOR GAMES
EDSES principal Carmen Siao says only the movements used in these native games were initially incorporated in the DepEd curriculum. It was only lately that larong Pinoy is being actively promoted through DepEd’s Adopt-a-School program and MFI in partnership with Magna Kultura.
“We have a learning continuum that is tailored for each grade level. This includes the teaching of calisthenics and western games. Usually, native games are being played only in the neighborhoods and not in school. Pero dapat talaga maging aware ang mga bata na may sarili tayong laro. Ang mga computer games nakakabobo pero ang larong Pinoy, it will even help them develop nationalism and pride in being a Filipino,” she stresses.
Magna Kultura Foundation has been organizing sports clinics for multinational companies as well as kite-flying festivals since the late 80s. “Our goal is to bring the games back into the mainstream of society. We teach it in schools, bring it to the barangays, and encourage children to play it in communities.
We are also institutionalizing it by putting up a school for larong Pinoy, which we call Eskuwelaro (a.k.a. school clinics) where we teach the systematic way of playing the games step-by-step,” explains Aguado. “On top of it, there is also the ultimate aim in using larong Pinoy to promote patriotism among the new generation; encourage family bonding with parents and relatives who played these games when they were kids; and to enliven the communities, and generate livelihood in the neighborhood.”
EDSES Physical Education teacher Manly Jose Junio underscores how street games promote total fitness — from the physical with the locomotor (moving from one place to another) and non-locomotor (moving on-the-spot without going anywhere) movements incorporated into the mental fitness.