Solidarity Amidst Adversity: ISM Hosts IASAS Touch & Rugby

Article by: Jess Cuadro

At its core, IASAS (Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools) has always placed cooperation above competition. Although students, teachers, and parents sometimes get carried away with pride and rivalry as the six international schools go head to head in various athletic and academic events throughout the year, the true spirit of IASAS always triumphs when the time requires it and the recent events in Jakarta have been no exception.

Recently, twin bombings in Jakarta on January 14 left at least eight dead and around 25 wounded. Jakarta’s major institutions have heightened security measures amid recent events. With ongoing investigations and with the interest of all its participants, the IASAS schools have decided that Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) should withdraw from hosting this year’s IASAS Touch/Rugby. International School Manila (ISM) has been quick to help its fellow international schools by volunteering to host IASAS touch and rugby this week. As a testament to the solidarity and cooperation that defines IASAS, members of the ISM community immediately assumed the responsibility of making hosting arrangements for 140 touch and rugby athletes in a period of less than 10 days.

Former JIS student and current ISM junior Bea H. reflects, “The bombings took place where I used to go church, and when I heard about what happened, I was shocked at first, because you don’t expect something like this to happen so close to home. But I’m proud of how fast ISM responded to everything, because we want to help in any way we can.”

Back in Jakarta, residents have responded to the attacks with music and movement, taking to the open roads in optimistic protest against the recent violence. Instead of inciting fear, the attacks fortified the strength and resilience of the Indonesian spirit.