Article by: Angelo Manaloto
Photo by: Jasmine Banos, and MUN Twitter Page
That MUN educates students about current events and international relations is in itself an invaluable feature that differentiates it from the otherwise more conceptual teachings one commonly comes across in a classroom. But what makes MUN such an enduring facet of our school community is its ability to inspire such a fervor for global issues with the concurrent development of its participants’ research, public speaking, and critical-thinking skills.
At ISM, MUN has always been more than an extracurricular activity; it’s a school staple. As early as 8th grade, students are introduced to MUN as part of the Social Studies curriculum—and by the time high school comes around, everyone is ready to jump on the wagon.
On October 9-10, over 250 delegates from schools all around the Philippines arrived at ISM to participate in what was the biggest Model United Nations (MUN) Locals Conference in history. Indeed, whereas some of these students came from just across the street, others flew in by plane. Students from the British School Manila, Chinese International School, Beacon Academy, Brent Baguio, Brent Manila, Brent Subic, Saint Jude, and the Cebu International School, all arrived at ISM ready for fruitful debates. ISM was transformed into a vibrant, brimming center of diplomacy.
Having Locals at the same time as IASAS Soccer created an interesting situation. The scent of savory chicken barbeque from the Chupacabra taco stand lingered on thousand-peso hairdos and Tom Ford silk suits. During the lunch break, delegates braved the field in stilettos to watch the games. But the real highlight of the two-day conference were the debates with topics ranging from the question of Kurdish independence to the growing income inequality in Latin America, fluctuating invariably from thought-provoking and poised to downright ridiculous.
For years, ISM has established itself as the school to be reckoned with at each Locals conference, winning the “Best Delegate” award in every committee each year. BT is pleased to report that this year was no different.
MUN Locals 2015 was for some an eye-opening first, and, with deep melancholy for some, a teary-eyed last. “I never thought printing paper and scouring Makati high and low to find a decent store to make tarpaulins could have ever been so fulfilling,” said senior John Hadaway, one of this year’s MUN council members. When asked where to go from here, he says after a not-so-dramatic pause, “to infinity and beyond.”