The Philippines offered a mixed bag of facilities depending on what level you live in society. In what would be the lower classes you will often find kids just making fun out of nothing relying mainly on their own ability to entertain themselves. I often see kids wandering around who are happy yet have very little toys or things to do they are generally just playing in the streets with what they can find.
The middle classes which are generally the people working in management or small business owners their kids generally have Yaya’s (Nanny/Maid) who take care of the kids on a day to day basis a lot of this is down to the work routines as you find most people are working long hours and have long travel distances to and from work. Its the social group that is becoming the backbone of the economy as these are where the OFW’s appear from generally as they have the income to get abroad or at least can raise a loan to get them offshore. Problem with this sector of society I can see the same as what has happened in the UK where the kids become displaced becoming closer to other relatives or Yaya’s than parents purely because they see them more often and spent most of their life with them.
On the entertainment side of things this group can buy some toys and can afford to take the kids on days out to things like the play-parks in the malls or to localised theme parks.
The final group would be the wealthy which have a lot of similar traits to the last group as regards the parents as businesses don’t run themselves but at the same time I have found the kids in this group more likely to be spoiled brats due to excessive wealth being used to compensate for the lack of parental time meaning they have all the latest gadgets but not enough discipline or guidance.
Its a changing society that is becoming Westernised at a very fast rate and things like the children’s play park in the photo less than 3 years ago I was thinking when wandering around the malls there is a lack of facilities and it could be a good business as there were none. Now every mall already has at least one. The kids market is starting to boom and no doubt will move more to developing the market as it quickly becomes the hot cash earner for businesses.
There are many things that can cause these changes and I think the trend is similar to the UK truth of the matter in the UK most of the “FREE” facilities are gone. Same as discounted things like swimming, the open spaces have been replaced with housing developments and the children’s facilities in the UK have downscaled for various reasons (the government owned ones). But in the Philippines a lot of these facilities didn’t exist to start with or have been run down by lack of upgrading or repairs such as the park in Minglanilla which is not only run down but an eye sore especially with it being in the centre of the town where the area should be a welcoming to people to encourage localised tourism as well as a safe environment for people to take their children and meet up. I can only assume the money went elsewhere as it seems to have been rundown for over a decade.
In the UK these open spaces are slowly being removed due to anti-social behaviour and drug abuse as people use them in the early hours. At the same time I think people have become so disconnected with youth they are seen as an annoyance instead of getting to the root of the problem which is generally no money and nowhere to go. We were all kids once and its important these facilities not only stay but are maintained to keep the community groups together rather than let sectors splinter. More should be done in the Philippines to get these areas back in full use otherwise they can look to many of the things that have happened in the UK as traits that are likely to follow into Philippines society. Communities take a lot of work to build and letting them slide apart can only be a bad thing.
The other thing I have found over reading things about these type of parks is that the community generally just wants organising and a bit of funding to get things going in a positive way as they know of the benefits. Making it social project can also reduce the risk of things becoming rundown as everyone takes part in it.