ARTICLES - THE PHILIPPINE STAR
LAUGHTER AND TOILET HUMOR
Posted: April 26, 2011
“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter
than our progress in education. The human
mind is our fundamental resource.” JFK
On the third anniversary celebration of the pioneer Laughter Yoga Club, Phils. and living true to its mission, we turned over to Payatas B-Annex Elem. School, Quezon City, six toilets, two showers and complete water supply system for its over 1,200 elementary students.
How we stumbled upon this farthest branch in the string of Payatas Elementary Schools, was narrated by its Principal, Mrs. Rosemarie Salvador, during the turnover ceremony. She met Mr. Roger Cuaton, former president, Quezon City Federation of Parents-Teachers’ Association, in a seminar, and having learned about the toilets and water supply system we donated to Payatas A Elementary School last year, she asked Mr. Cuaton for a similar help for her school. Their meeting must have been providential -- for at that time I was scouting around for a school to help, and discussed this with Mr. Cuaton.
Mr. Cuaton immediately contacted me and mentioned Mrs. Salvador’s urgent request for toilets and water supply system. Immediately, I visited the school and met its Principal, whose dedication and genuine concern for the welfare and interest of the school and its students were very evident. With limited resources, I saw the vast improvements she introduced to the school in the short time she was assigned there. It touched me to the core, that here is a teacher-principal, who opted to stay and be with our school children, though she could have left for a much better remuneration abroad.
When asked how the toilets-and-water-system help to public schools came about, I always narrate that I caught the tail-end of an ANC TV host interview some years back, where some students replied that since they only had one toilet, they just control the call of nature until they reach their homes. Appalled and deeply touched by that scene, I vowed to do in whatever ways and means I can to help alleviate their situations.
Our public school children constitute a major part of our young generation, who will inevitably take over us. We cannot prosper as a nation unless we progress in education, and the human mind is our fundamental resource! But how can our school children have healthy, bright minds under such pitiful situations? Experience tell us that when we control call of nature, we feel headaches, discomfort and dysfunction of our minds. Hence, Laughter Yoga, Phl.’s mantra of “healthy minds, healthy bodies!” and making true to its self-avowed commitment of helping provide water and sanitation to our public school children.
During the turnover ceremony, a program was presented by the students, whose sincere and profound gratitude moved me to tears, a humbling-and-memorable experience that inspires me to go on and do much more.
As the children were standing under the heat of the sun and becoming restless, I proceeded to do some basic kinds of laughter, and with the positive chanting of “I feel good, very good, yey” and “I am bright, very bright, yey,” they were awakened and energized, dancing and swaying to its rhythm. They use the basketball court outside the school for such activity as the school premises have no such facility. The school principal took advantage of the occasion by requesting Ms. Valerie Manila, Vice-Mayor Joy Belmonte’s representative, who provided the snack for the 320 students present, to install a roof on the open court so it can be comfortably used rain or shine.
Excited were the school officials when I mentioned that schools in India that have integrated Laughter Yoga during flag ceremony and in between classes reported ZERO ABSENTEEISM and remarkable improvement in their students’ performance and attitude. With optimism, I look forward to that day when we can adapt the same in our schools.
At the end, I motivated the students to use their water and sanitation facilities properly and cleanly so that students who will come after them can still use them. School children occupy a special place in my heart – the HOPE, FUTURE of our Motherland. By helping sow in them somehow the seeds of positivism and love of country, may they grow up with strong moral values -- for if a person is happy, healthy and positive -- his outlook in life will not be geared towards the material winds sweeping across our country and the world. To realize early on that lust for power and wealth is not the end-all and be-all of one’s existence and happiness, and work for his goals’ attainment with honesty and integrity.
Here is what some participants say of their Laughter Yoga experience:
ROSEMARIE V. SALVADOR: “An antidote to stress,” I recommend this kind of “seminar” especially to people who are always in “hot seats” and gives to the saying “Laughter is the best medicine” to…. LONG LIFE. Kudos, Ms. Elvie.
MA. CONSOLACION LASTIMADO: Enjoyable and helped release bad energy through laughter. We really need this “seminar.” Thumbs up to Ma’am Elvie… you made our teaching life more meaningful.
RIGGNALD GAMBOA: We really had fun. Hope to have more exercises and activities like these, and Ms. Elvie visits our school again.
MR. ROGER CUATON: The LYoga exercises we did relieved me of headaches, and found this in Verse 17:22 of the Bible. Mabuhay ka, Ma’am!
I take this opportunity to honor with gratitude the companies/organizations, for which I conducted Laughter Yoga sessions -- for helping thousands of school children annually. May you continue to prosper and your tribe flourish!
I am going on my annual sabbatical vacation. Until then, let’s laugh to a healthy, happy, positive us. Ho ho, ha ha ha! To register for July 10 LYoga session, visit: www.laughteryogaphils.com; to laugh, visit youtube: lycphohohahaha.
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