Hearing its notorious clacking sound populate social media, the Lato-lato is the next mainstream fascination. The activity used for personal entertainment consists of clashing two plastic balls intertwined by a string, staying in a continuous rhythm.
Lato-lato emerged as a TikTok trend beloved by many. The United States-originated toy (otherwise known as “clackers” or “Newton’s Yo-yo”) is recognizable due to its display of the laws of Physics. The early models featured balls made out of tempered glass, though present manufacturers utilize plastic materials due to their fragility
The resurgence of the regional movement sparked a frenzy, organizing competitions across the Philippines in anticipation of who could keep the balls from dropping. At first glance, the boredom cure tool may be harmless given its plastic nature, accessibility, and affordable price point.
Despite this, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) mentions that selling the toy should be prohibited, considering the absence of proper documentation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Several institutions (such as Abellana National School, Cebu City, and Dadiangas South Central Elementary School, General Santos City) and towns (Barangay Matandang Balara) have banned the Lato-lato due to the harm it brings to children on top of disrupting the classroom environment.
“Everything in moderation”—a saying that explicitly describes the usage of the Lato-lato, especially among the youth. Similar to the iconic fidget spinner, the trinket may be used to amuse oneself, though best in the proper setting and time.