SLC’s Trip to Manila Ocean Park

Article by: Devesh Rai

On November 8, countless upperclassmen collectively hunched over their SAT papers. Their sleep-deprived eyes were filled with determination, as they tried to maintain their focus for the entire four-hour duration of the test. For an evanescent moment, the quiet was broken by the gentle rumbling of an engine, as a bus made its way out of the front entrance of the school. The bus gently coasted through the calm early morning traffic until it arrived at the Manila Ocean Park, where a motivated group of ISM students spent their Saturday. For them, this particular Saturday morning didn’t equate to the SAT- it meant that it was time for Saturday Service Trip!

The Saturday Service Trip that happened two weeks ago at Manila Ocean Park was co-hosted by the Service Learning Council (SLC) and KASAMA. ISM students and KASAMA kids reveled together, watching the countless fish floating serenely through the water. They watched stingrays, jellyfish, and even tilapia dance in their aquariums! The trip not only served as a great educational experience for both ISM students, as well as the children from KASAMA as they learned about various aquatic wonders, but also helped these students give back to the community dearest to ISM – the staff who keeps the school functioning smoothly throughout the year. The primary purpose of the trip, however, was simply to have fun; something that was highlighted by the President of SLC, Bernice Delos Reyes, who stated that “I believe that having a trip to have fun out-of-school locations really adds a fun twist to how we usually do service.” The emphasis on enjoyment that was placed on the trip, according to Bernice, is “something new and exciting that I and the other members of the SLC are bringing to the table.”

Thankfully, if you missed it, there will definitely be opportunities to experience this type of service trip later, as the Service Learning Council plans to make it an annual event. The Saturday Service Trip proved to be incredibly successful since it created joyous, long-lasting memories for both the ISM students and the kids from KASAMA. While early morning weariness had hung over the school at the time of the bus’s departure, ISM was wide awake and cheery by the time the bus returned, a mood that intermingled the relief of students who have finally taken the SATs with the happy reminiscence of students who had just returned from a truly memorable Saturday Service Trip.