Article by: Maia Paterno

In the week leading up to IASAS (Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools), there is always electricity felt in the air by the student body. Athletes impatiently wait for the days to go by before they compete in the highly anticipated three-day tournament. First season IASAS, which consists of soccer, cross-country and volleyball, was held in Manila and Kuala Lumpur last week. With volleyball and cross-country at home, it was easy for our entire school to feel the spirit that makes IASAS and sports so special and enthralling.

One of the beautiful things about IASAS is its ability to bring people together; whether it is school uniting, boys team encouraging their girls chanting “we love our girls!”, or athletes from different schools coming together in one place to compete. Here in Manila, the prevalence of spirit and unity was definitely felt in the gyms and cross-country courses. As our Bearcats battled it out on the court and on the track, those of us watching on the sidelines cheered till our voices were gone.

Every time we host an IASAS event, our school unites and the feeling of school pride is never more evident. Bearcat Council vice president Andrea believes,“It gives the entire school a sense of unison since IASAS is one of the only times all three schools [elementary, middle and high school] can all do something together—cheering as one for our school to win.”

When the teams see the crowds cheering, especially a home crowd, it motivates them to push themselves more and show the other teams what they’re made of. This is exactly how the volleyball teams felt, especially in both finals games for boys and girls. Tim Young, the half of the IASAS-famous Young brother duo, said, “The cheering made the finals experience all the more exciting.” He’s never experienced anything like a big crowd like that cheering for every point earned (especially as it got closer to the end of the fifth set), saying that the cheering affected the way they played because Bearcat spirit really pumped them up during the tight and crucial moments in their game.

An enthusiastic spectator, Mari Guzman shared that the reason cheering is so important for our teams is because they deserve our support, “working hard every season to represent our school to the best of their ability, and IASAS is our time to show our appreciation for that hard work.” It couldn’t be truer that the “positive vibes” felt when we host IASAS are a huge part of what makes IASAS such an exciting time in school.