Article by: Jim Kang

Photographs collated by: Joshua Soroño

A quilt of international cultures, the International School Manila (ISM) may witness its very first multi-cultural music festival this year. Officers of the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Cultural Clubs have already met and made plans to evolve the previous Korean Idol into an Asian Idol. In the past, the Idol was a musical show that featured specifically Korean pop music, appealing to the broad K-Pop fan base at ISM. In contrast, the Asian Idol will encompass music traditions across all of East Asia.

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ISM’s Korean Cultural Club has been organizing the Korean Idol for five years. Whenasked about the Idol’s upcoming cultural expansion, KCC president Jay Yoon mentioned that, in general, Korean Idol has only appealed to Koreans within the ISM community. He hopes that the broader Asian Idol will introduce Korean music to a wider audience. JCC vice president Tomoaki Koide also sees great benefits to the Idol expansion project. He believes that less popular or less populated East Asian cultural clubs will get the chance to reach out to the student body and showcase their music and traditions. Although the expanded Asian Idol will be time-consuming and costly, it is already helping cultural clubs to bridge their differences and work together towards a common goal. Students interested in any kind of music will find something to celebrate in the Asian Idol with the event featuring music genres as diverse as its cultural inspiration: soulful ballads, rock and roll, pop, traditional music, to name a few.

This fledgling event represents more than just another fun ISM competition. The Asian Idol is a great start to a new cross-cultural mingling within the student body, with three cultural clubs leading the way. As a community, we can only hope that more cultural clubs will join the movement.

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