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Joy And Laughter With School ChildrenHealthy bodies, healthy minds – is the mantra of Laughter Yoga Club of the Philippines for our school children in public schools. For its third anniversary, the Commonwealth Elementary School, Quezon City, has been chosen as its beneficiary. Last Saturday, July 16th, together with the President of the Federation of Parents Teachers Association, Mr. Roger Cuaton, I went to check on the water and sanitation situation of the school. The student population of the school is 9,012 plus 199 teachers!

 We were met by the School Principal, Mr. Modelo, who had been on this job for about six months. He showed us the toilets that need to be rehabilitated: many urinals and sinks had been taken away, the floor had to be re-tiled, there were toilets without doors as they had been vandalized! The water tank had to be transferred near the school buildings to allow water to move faster to the toilets. Though limited in financial resources, Mr. Modelo is doing a very good job. The school buildings and ground area are clean and well- maintained.

On the covered court, I saw a gathering of students, who later I found out were class presidents of all sections, having a meeting with some teachers. Ever wanting to spread the magical benefits that Laughter Yoga gives freely -- I seized the occasion to introduce Laughter Yoga impromptu. I asked the principal to give me sometime to conduct Laughter Yoga to the students and their teachers – to enliven their meeting as it was already late afternoon and help the students’ attention span stay focused and prolonged.

it was a very relaxing respite for the teachers already exhausted from household chores and the increasing demands of school works and responsibilities. For the students, an exciting, hilarious break from the rigors of school activities.

It is always a delightful joy to interact with children, who gave their all during the Laughter Yoga session. Their laughter stemming from their belly, lapped up Laughter Yoga gleefully, playfully. Some school personnel and teachers in other classrooms came out and participated. As we were leaving the school premises, as if a send-off gesture of appreciation, the students and teachers continued to the Laughter Yoga clapping and ho, ho, ha, ha-ing. Though physically tired from my whole day activity, I was energized with the feel-good hormones released through laughing. And the feeling of making the children and teacher healthy and happy … more than made my day!

I shall return – was my promise to conduct Laughter Yoga session to the entire student body. Laughter Yoga is the wind beneath my wings. The wind that propels me to greater heights in spreading Laughter Yoga in all corners of the beloved land -- being the first and the original in stirring our Kababayans awareness on the BEST, FASTEST, EASIEST stress buster there is!

In India, some schools had introduced and integrated Laughter Yoga in their class activities. Schools where Laughter Yoga is being conducted on a daily basis, i.e. after flag ceremonies or whenever the teachers feel the children are getting tired, restless, or no longer listening to lectures -- reported that five to ten minutes Laughter Yoga breaks, helps stimulate their minds and re-energize their bodies. These schools have reported: a glaring happy, positive attitude change. Most importantly: ZERO ABSENTEEISM!!! Calling on our Hon. Education Secretary!

On another matter, last month, I visited my cardiologist, Dr. Bingloy-Dorion-Diaz of Makati Medical Center for a regular check up. After checking on me and on my heart, smiling she said -- “I shall live beyond 100 years! My heart condition is like that of a 25 year old person!” Ha, ha, ha! At first I was gladdened by her statement, but when I fully grasped its impact, I protested because my friends, including her, may no longer be around while I am left standing. Kidding, I told her I will already stop doing Laughter Yoga, as it reverses my age – mentally and physically. Ha, ha, ha! Who wants to live beyond 100 years?

Let’s laugh to a healthy, happy, positive us!!! GOOD NEWS for those interested to teach Laughter Yoga to our Kababayans! Under the auspices of the pioneering spirit of Laughter Yoga in our country, Dr. Madan Kataria, Founder of International Laughter Yoga, will be in Manila on Nov. 18th and conduct Laughter Yoga Teacher Training Seminar on Nov. 21-22. For details, please visit: www.laughteryogaphils.com Ho, ho, ha, ha, ha!