Orphans, widows of drug war victims shake off grief, anguish through laughter yoga sessions

Published July 24, 2019, 3:11 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Raymund Antonio 

The Office of the Vice President has new private partners that gather orphans and widows of drug war victims to undergo laughter yoga sessions for therapy.


The orphans and widows belong to the families of victims of extrajudicial killings participating in the laughter yoga sessions conducted by Pinoy Laughter Yoga in Quezon City.

Faced with grief and anguish, they shook various parts of their body as a way to evoke laughter and overcome the traumatic experience brought by the loss of their loved ones.

Vice President Leni Robredo, who opposes the administration’s bloody war against illegal drugs, said the yoga aims to help the families of EJK victims as a form of healing.

“Ito, hindi ako nakapag-attend ng session, pero parang sila, parang nado-draw out nila iyong mga tinatagong mga sakit. Tapos nako-convert ito into something positive,” she said.

(I was not able to attend a session, but this drew out their hidden pain. Then they converted it into something positive.)

“Talagang sobrang happy sila sa nangyari doon sa mga session,” Robredo further said.

(They were very happy on what happened during the sessions.)

The OVP partnered with Pinoy Laughter Yoga, founded by Paolo Trinidad, Rotary Club of San Juan North, and Abot-Kamay Alang-Alang sa Pagbabago (AKAP) of Caritas Novaliches as part of a program to support the widows and dependents left behind by EJK victims.

Some 40 orphans, aged 8 to 16 years old, attended the laughter yoga sessions held recently at the St. Peter’s Parish Church along Commonwealth Avenue. They were from North Caloocan, Novaliches, and Bagong Silang, Quezon City.

Apart from the yoga sessions, this intervention also included art therapy workshops for the healing of orphans, whose parents were killed in anti-illegal drug operations.

“Nagkaroon nga kami ng display, ng exhibit sa opisina. Pero ano talaga, iyong mga bata, iyong tanong na nila, ‘Kailan iyong susunod?’ Nagustuhan nila,” Robredo said.

(We had put up an exhibit in the office for their artworks. The question of the children was when will be the next? They liked it.)

The controversial anti-drug campaign has killed anywhere from 7,000 to 12,000 persons, according to multiple and conflicting reports from the police and human rights groups.