Article by: Georgia Limcaoco

Photograph by: Faria Basher

Hordes of students screaming at the top of their lungs, fierce competition, crowds dressed in yellow, green, white, and black, and an atmosphere electrified by spirit and energy – only one day in the school year holds the maximum power to bring a batch together as one driving force, and that is ISM’s annual Battle of the Bearcats!

Every year, the incoming batch of freshmen prepares excitedly for the hyped-up day, although they are not quite sure what to expect. “I thought it was going to be more competitive, which freaked me out,” says freshman Pari P, “but it was really nice because everyone cheers for one another.”

The freshman batch certainly made their mark on BOB, winning gold in boys’ football and Bearcat Idol among other events. “I’m really shocked and excited that we won [Bearcat Idol]!” says freshman Carmel L. “I didn’t expect it at all; I thought our performance wasn’t going to be as good as the seniors’.”

Meanwhile, the seniors mustered their greatest efforts and pulled out all stops to go out with a bang. “The entire grade really showed more spirit than they ever have,” says Sofie J., senior council president. “People were going above and beyond—I didn’t think I saw any seniors eat lunch.” The batch of 2017 put in a great effort towards their ultimate BOB win this year.

“We had a system where we could sign-up to cheer for different events,” says senior Beatrice O. “If there weren’t enough people cheering in an event, we would send a message to a Viber group to recruit more people.”

The final results of BOB put seniors in the first place, sophomores in second, and juniors and freshmen tied for third.

“I think our batch is a bit disappointed, but at the same time, we expected it,” says junior Katie G. “We have a long way to grow in terms of BOB spirit, but I don’t doubt that our batch will pull through for our big year as seniors!”

The sophomores also won the best cheer point this year, a significant improvement from the memorable “Freshmen 2019” cheer they performed last year.

Despite the difference in outcomes, both freshmen and seniors seem to have taken the same things from this year’s Battle of the Bearcats.

“It’s the first opportunity for the grade to truly bond as a batch,” says Sofie. Her favorite part of BOB was when everyone got to hear the cheers for the first time. “I love how you hear the power of the grade through their unified voices and movements.”

The freshmen really enjoyed the opening cheers as well. “We did a lot better than I expected,” Pari says, “we’re usually like, ugh, we’re too cool to cheer, but this time I think a we actually got hyped and tried really hard.”

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