Article by: Joshua Tan
Photographs by: Liah Gomez
In line with its mission of striving for excellence, ISM has continuously been upgrading its facilities. Among its recently completed projects is the improvement of the Bearcat Den, the school’s official store. This store allows SM students to purchase merchandise to promote bearcat spirit and overseas visitors to buy souvenirs to bring back to their countries, in order to help them recall highlights of their stay on campus. Since ISM will be hosting four IASAS events this school year, Bearcat Den will definitely be a busy “shopping venue” for all athletes and delegates.
According to Ms. Mapua, the Human Resources director of ISM, the Bearcat Den was revamped in order to make it more accessible to the students. Previously, “the Bearcat Den was managed by volunteers and only ran according to their schedule. However, now, it is open Mondays to Fridays, from 7am to 4pm, certainly making it convenient for all its customers.” She added that the renovations were done in the light of the school’s need for “a larger space to properly display all its products.” Since the rest of the school had undergone changes in the recent years, it made sense that the Bearcat Den was“a reflection of what the rest of the school is.”
Matt Sicat, a varsity tennis player, believes wholeheartedly in the Bearcat Den’s new look. He affirms that the renovation is “very state of the art” since it is able to “instill renewed faith and enthusiasm in students to get involved in ISM.” He believed that the renovations had changed for the better, since the old Bearcat Den was similar to “a run-down candy shop.” The new Bearcat Den bolsters not only pride in the varsity team, but also in the student body, who feel more confidence about school. Rom Villarica, one of the mainstays of the high school’s swimming team, adding onto Matt, says that the change “makes the school feel larger and more extensive,” even bringing in “the atmosphere of professionalism.”
Despite the fact that it has been only three weeks into the new school year, the Bearcat Den’s effect on the entire school student body is ubiquitous, with students seen sporting in new outfits. Looking into the future, we can assume that the quality of ISM’s campus will soon get closer to the “levels of collegiate campuses,” as Rom describes. For now, the facelift that the Bearcat Den has undergone over the summer is a step in the right direction of upholding ISM’s place in the league of trailblazers among the world’s international schools.