More than 200 children in a hinterland village of Silay City had the time of their life as they slid down giant inflatable slides, knocked down colorful punching bags, and bounced away in a green castle.
Laughter and shrieks of joy from daycare children and Patag Elementary School pupils filled the Barangay Patag Covered Court where Super Lucky Beagler Inc. had set up the special treat for them, that included the Negrense Volunteers for Change Foundation's Mingo Ice Cream that SLBI purchased for the event. Asked if they liked the bouncing giants they were on, all the panting children could say was: “Sadya sadya, sadya sadya (such fun, such fun.)” The joy on their faces was contagious even to the adults at the covered court. Grade 3 teacher Cherry Ann Panganiban said the children's mouths opened and their eyes popped as they walked into the covered court to discover what was in store for them. It was difficult to keep them in line to wait for their turn to play, she said, since they were divided in batches with 45 minutes each to play. “This is a very special day, this is the first time they have ever experienced something like this,” she said.
The kindergarten to grade two kids, who had the first 45-minute slot, had so much fun they did not want to get off the inflatable bouncers, Panganiban said. Some had to be dragged off by their teachers so the next batch could have their turn. Grade 4 teacher Allen Ongga said the children “super enjoyed” their special treat, they were so amazed it was like they were let loose for the first time.
Josephine Villamor, mother of four of the pupils, said many of the children who live in the mountain village have not been to the city, so it was the first time they had ever seen anything like the inflatable slides. “It is like they brought Star City to us,” she said. Jessierey Parriñas, a mother of two, said “We want to thank those responsible for bringing so much joy to our children.” The Patag event kicked off the Travelling Hampangan corporate social responsibility project of SLBI, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office accredited operator of Small Town Lottery in Negros.
SLBI, also built a playground at the Silay public plaza late last year, and has a second one on the drawing board, and is set to hold a series of Travelling Hampangan events in Negros Occidental this year. Dino Jalandoni, SLBI director, said, “Last year, we made a decision to focus our CSR campaign on kids. The past years, our CSR programs have touched different sectors of the province. We are still there for them, but now, it's for the children.” He said they chose to focus on children “because they are our future. To move ourselves forward. And one of the best ways for them to unlock their potential is through play, or hampang.” He said, “Hampang allows kids to imagine, create social connections, be physically active.”
They launched Hampangan in Silay last year with a world class imported playground, and, “the response of the children was tremendous. Seeing and hearing the joy of the kids inspired us to continue this program. As we roll out other Hampangans in other cities, we also created the Travelling Hampangan to benefit more kids with the concept of play,” Jalandoni said.*
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