Playing for Keeps

Mondelez Philippines Supports Play among Adopted Students

If you asked kids these days, “Sikyo or Searching the Web?” what do you think they would choose? It may not even be a surprise that they don’t know what “Sikyo” means for this long-forgotten game of Teams trying to capture each other’s “bases” does not seem to be played on streets anymore. What does this mean for the health of children?

Not good, says the World Health Organization (WHO). In their discussion on the causes of overweight and obesity, one key reason emerges. The imbalance between calories taken in and more importantly, calories burned through physical activity. In short for many children and adults, the calories they take in no longer equals the amount they should be burning by being active.

Locally the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) has recommendations for a balanced intake of foods among children aged 7-12 years old. The WHO on the other hand has recommendations on the levels of physical activity that children aged 5-17 years old must achieve.

It says, For children and young people, physical activity includes play, games, sports, transportation, chores, recreation, physical education, or planned exercise, in the context of family, school, and community activities ( 2010).”

Active Play for Well-being. While a concerted effort among families and communities is needed to get children to be more active, Mondelez Philippines is working to do its share to promote active play inside its adopted Joy Schools. Mondelez Philippines is the new name of the Company formerly known as Kraft Foods, maker of Tang, Eden Cheese, Cheez Whiz, Toblerone, Oreo, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Tiger Energy Biscuits, and Halls.

In Mondelez Philippines’ Joy School in Tacloban, a playground has been installed to promote active play and to serve as a water pump to provide water for use in bathrooms.

Started in 2013, the Joy Schools program is Mondelez Philippines’ initiative to create joyful centers of learning among its six adopted public elementary schools; 5 of which are in Metro Manila and 1 in Typhoon-Yolanda devastated Tacloban, Leyte. The program aims to accomplish this by providing interventions for teacher training, nutrition and facilities improvement.

To fulfill these last two areas of intervention, in 2014 Mondelez Philippines provided its adopted schools with sports equipment to facilitate their Physical Education classes and sports training.

“These may seem like simple things to give; rackets, balls, and ping-pong tables,” explains Maria Cindy C. Lim, Head of Corporate and Government Affairs of Mondelez Philippines. “But it may surprise most people to know that a lot of schools don’t have enough of these materials. What could have been good materials to help promote physical activity and improve their sports skills are not available to a lot of students.”

Lim continues, “As a food company, one of our missions is to promote the well-being of consumers by advocating balanced diets and physical activity. We have efforts globally to help people make better choices in their diets like fortifying our food with vitamins and minerals and providing single-serve packs of our brands. Calories in must equal calories out. That’s why we’re also supporting being physically active through play among our adopted students and our people too.”


Play to Win, Play as a Way of Life. “It’s something that we appreciate very much,” shares Principal Antonio Gagala of Bayanan Main Elementary School in Muntinlupa. One of Mondelez Philippines’ adopted schools, they received rackets for badminton and table tennis, volleyballs and basketballs, and a ping-pong table.

Bayanan Main Elementary School in Muntinlupa represented by its Principal Antonio Gagala (center) receive the active play materials from Mondelez Philippines. The school has since won 11 gold/1st place awards in various sports competitions.

“These have helped sharpen our students’ skills in sports, because they are able to practice better. In fact we have since won nine gold medals in Badminton and two 1st place wins in Table Tennis in various school meets since we received these materials,” adds Principal Gagala.

“More than our wins in sports, it’s the habit of being active that’s being instilled in our students,” agrees Principal Eden Dioquino of Padre Zamora Elementary School in Pasay, another of Mondelez Philippines’ adopted schools. “We must work to encourage our students to be more active for their health and well-being and this equipment surely help us a lot in doing so.”

In 2014, 20 gold medals and 1st place wins have been won among the five adopted Joy Schools in Metro Manila. “Being active through play and other types of physical activity is an important lesson for our students to learn,” ends Lim. “Right now we’re also working on providing more active play materials so the schools can continue the good work they have done in instilling these values among students. We aim to bring them joy through the fun of play, for them to create joy for themselves in the future as well.”

In Tacloban at the Company’s 6th adopted school, a playground has been installed which has a dual purpose. Not only to promote active play but also to provide water for the school. The playground’s carousel and seesaw have deep well pumps attached to them. So that while students play, water is pumped in reservoirs and are stored for use in bathrooms. This is joy created through play for the students and the school. Currently Play Therapy sessions are also being held at this school, to help Teachers use play to alleviate trauma students experienced during the Typhoon and to help them in their development too.

For more information on how Mondelez Philippines creates delicious moments of joy, visit