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A Momma Abroad is where I share my perspective of life abroad and my love for the Philippines, there is so much to love!


You’ll Always Find What You’re Looking For: Playworks Early Childhood Centers

You’ll Always Find What You’re Looking For: Playworks Early Childhood Centers

Almost all of my ‘firsts’ as a mom happened in Manila. My first pregnancy. My first OB. First hospital visits for the kids (and a very frantic mom). First road trip as a family. It’s also the first and only place where my kids have gone to school. 


Aaker and Mom at Playworks Birthday Party 2013

Before, and even a little after, I became a mom I was an educator. I was fortunate to be an early childhood educator for severely impacted children on the Autism spectrum. I got to wipe noses, change diapers and feed small children before I even had my own. Before I mommed full time I was able to teach at International School Manila before baby 3 was the clincher in me putting my career on hold. My short career was perfect preparation for being a parent. It was also the best preparation for making education choices for my children. When the time came to enroll Kuya Aaker in his first school I knew what values were important to our family. Manila really does have everything and we were fortunate to find Playworks (formerly Toddlers Teachers in 2013 when Aaker attended) at the perfect time. 

A Trip Down Memory Lane With Play Works 


Playworks design is one of the reasons that hooked me! They are so functional, bright and inviting for families and children.


Back when I only had two kids I was a mom who could make capes for loot bags. Ha! No more. This was from Aaker’s 3rd birthday at Playworks.

And Today

Today you’ll find the same magical approach at Playworks that first hooked me in 2013. Playworks is grounded in the philosophy that play (you guessed it!) is the best vehicle for early childhood development. I couldn’t agree more and want to sing their praises! Being in a region of the world where academics are front and center when calculating a student’s worth, Playworks’ approach gives me confidence in an education institution that hasn’t lost sight of what is truly important, an individual’s happiness and sense of self, regardless of scores or grades. It’s a bold move to be paving such a brave education stance in SEA and Play Works deserves a round of applause. Their curriculum is backed by research, the teachers are well trained and the students are well loved and that is why they have such amazing success the last 15 years. yes, 15! Congrats Playworks. 

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SM Aura, Salcedo, Infants and Toddlers (all photos credit: Sheila Catilo )

While they’ve expanded campuses, their core values have remained intact. In fact, they’re stronger than ever. Play Works has the original campus in Salcedo, along with the sweetest infants and toddlers campus just down the road, SM Aura campus and the newest campus in Rockwell. Inspiration for mindfulness and wellness  started with the partnership at the Rockwell Campus but mindfulness and wellness is integrated in all campuses and all classrooms and routines. This includes yoga for kids and teachers who focus on positive mindset. This approach is not only for the kids but also for the teachers & staff. While play is the ground work for learning that takes place at Playworks, an Inquiry Based approach is very much married into the curriculum. Teacher Gabby put it best, “In the age of Google, inquiry based is so important.”

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Community and continuity are also core values for Playworks. Recently, a new branch of Playworks was created by the original owners and also the teachers who bought into the company and have an ownership stake in the school. The educators are very much a part of the business model. This is significant in terms of business practice in Manila and also creates a strong desire to keep teachers invested in their community and strengthening the Play Works dream. A praise to the Playworks teachers, their main goal is to let the families know that they sincerely CARE. What more could you ask for? 

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Manila, you really are a gem. I am grateful for brave individuals like Gabby Roa-Limjoco and Lisa Bernardo who followed the journey to blaze a new path for education that enriches the lives of students, teachers and families in our community. I feel so fortunate so may of my ‘firsts’ have been in this big bustling city. I love you forever Manila. 

Kita Kita,



Teacher Gabby Roa - Limjoco

Center Directress

Mobile Phone: (0920) 950.0078

Aguirre (Preschool) Campus

2/F Aguirre Building

108 HV Dela Costa Street,

Salcedo Village, Makati City

Three Salcedo (Infant/Toddler) Campus

2/F Three Salcedo Place

123 Tordesillas Street,

Salcedo Village, Makati City

SM Aura Campus

6/F SM Aura Tower

Mc Kinley Parkway,

Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Groundwork by Playworks

Rockwell, The Metropolitan Club

Estrella corner Amapola Street

Design Mom Feature

Design Mom Feature

Starfish Island, Calatagan Batangas

Starfish Island, Calatagan Batangas