MANILA -- Toy collectors, hobbyists and enthusiasts from all over the country gathered under one roof to share their passion for collectible toys in the First National Swap Meet: For Collectors, By Collectors at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Premiere in Taguig City.

The event, organized by the Philippine Toy Groups Association (PTGA) and Artiste Space, features talks and workshops aimed at providing information and new insights into the world of toy collection and the psychology behind this hobby.

More importantly, the Swap Meet organizers will donate part of the proceeds of the toy auction to provide toys for the children of Marawi City who have been battling stress, boredom and badly in need of cheering up.

Earl Patrick Manga, PTGA acting spokesperson, is hopeful that the donation of toys to Marawi will address the pressing need for mental stimulation and the psychological healing of children traumatized by the ongoing conflict in that city.

Boxes will be placed around the event area so that visitors can drop in pre-loved toys and give it new life through its new owners.

“We all know that Marawi has been stricken with the tragedy of war and the kids have been having problems like war shock, grief and other discomforts. Since we’re all blessed we want to give back and we want to give something back to those kids because toys were really meant for kids,” Manga said.

“The stress of war and conflict is something that’s really too much for a child to bear,” Manga added.

Letters for Marawi, on the other hand, provide a way to reach out and touch the hearts of those in Marawi through notes and messages of hope.

“We want the people of Marawi to realize that we are here for them. We want them to fight and not give up. We’re fighting for them so we hope they would fight for themselves,” Manga said.

The First National Swap Meet, which opened on Friday, will run until Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the SMX Convention Center in SM Aura Premiere. (PNA)