By Devesh Rai

October break approaches. It is like an energy drink, a checkpoint, a rest-and-go station. It gives us the chance to refresh and relax, and to let go of responsibilities – unless you are a senior and have to complete the Extended Essay and fill in those pesky college apps. It is the beacon that shines bright for many as they plod sleepily through these last few days. For many of these students, however, what adds to the fervent longing for the week-long break is the anticipation of the event that precedes it – ISM’s annual Filipiniana celebrations!

Filipiniana is an extravaganza held every year on the day before the October break, where the daily routine of school life is broken by food stalls and parades. It is a celebration of Filipino culture, bringing us closer to our local community. Senior Diego G., who came to ISM last year, thought that his first Filipiniana was an amazing experience. He states that, “It was just nice to be able to sit and talk with my friends in such a vibrant and lively atmosphere.” While Diego enjoys the buzz, for Senior Umar M., it is the food and drink that makes the event: “I especially like the Taho and Sago Gulaman on sale.”

Of course, behind every good cake is a good baker, and the joy of Filipiniana would not be possible without the Philippine Cultural Club (PCC) and the significant amount of work they put into organizing it. Senior Liana S., the club’s president, states that, “It’s definitely a lot of work to organize it, but a lot of fun too! We have to come up with a theme to base all the decorations around, coordinate with parents about the food and reservations, and meet as a council every week to discuss ways in which we can promote the event. While the process of organizing it has remained unchanged over the years, it’s just getting everything done on time that is hard!” When asked about how the preparations this year are coming along, she said, “Quite well so far! There’s just so much to do to make this event enjoyable for the ISM community, so we hope that everything goes fine during the event!”

The hard work and dedication by the PCC undoubtedly pays off every year, as Filipiniana has seeped into our memories and has become an integral part of ISM culture. The anticipation of this year’s event is palpable, and there is no doubt it will be one to remember. October break approaches, and with it, the lively energy, delicious food, and intricate traditional attire that await us at Filipiniana 2015.