WITH such prizes as school supplies, candies and chocolates, school children as young as four years old and park goers were treated to traditional Filipino games to commemorate Earth Day and dramatize their protest against climate change and degradation of environment last weekend at the Quezon Memorial Circle.
The Climate Change Network for Community-Based Initiatives sponsored a “Palaro para sa Kalikasan” aimed at starting the kids at a young age to learn to value and protect the environment.
The children came from different schools: St. Theresa’s College, University of the Philippines Integrated School, St. Joseph’s College, Holy Angel School of Caloocan, Charles Science Integrated School and Our Lady Queen of the World, according to Belna Cabasan, CCNCI executive director.
Cabasan said the games included the pabitin, basagan ng palayok, tumbang preso, among others.
Instead of the usual loots and goodies, Cabasan said the pabitin had words written on labels and pamphlets that said “reduction of gas emissions, gender equality and peace” with corresponding prizes for every message snatched away from the pabitin.
“Wag putulin ang mga puno [Do not cut the trees],” was how five-year-old Skye Lopez from the Holy Angel School understood how she could help protect the environment.
Lopez’s teammate, Domini Ray Amano, 10, from UP-IS, agreed and suggested “To plant more trees.”
Older kids like Ria Marci Amano, 15, also of UP-IS believed, “the communities must unite and organize themselves to be able to respond to the challenges brought about by climate change.”
The younger ones simply said “We’re here to play and enjoy.”
Most of the children were children of non-government organizations or NGO workers like those from the Philippine Network of Food Security Programs, Citizens Disaster Response Center, Management Advancement Systems Association Incorporated, Solidagro, and Third World Relief Aid, environmentalists and scientists from the University of the Philippines, Diliman who are members of Agham (Scientists and Technologists for the People).
A Belgian-based children’s welfare advocacy group, also helped sponsor and participated in the event.
The children were brought by their parents to the QC park.