Article by: Joaquin Mayo
Photographs compiled by: Anjo Nagallo
With ISM’s annual ICARE service trip quickly approaching, students were quick to select the top four sites that piqued their interests. With plenty of local and provincial sites to choose from, this gives ISM students the opportunity to engage with issues of global importance. This year marks the arrival of two brand new mystery sites which promise exciting and fun-filled adventures for those fortunate enough to be assigned to them.
After the ICARE student assignments were released, it was revealed that the two mystery sites would be La Union and Antipolo. La Union, a province located in the Ilocos Region of Northern Luzon, is known for being the “Surf Capital of the North” due to its convenient location and strong waves. Other must-sees in the coastal province include Tangadan Falls, Baluarte Watch Tower, and the historical Pindangan Ruins.
Antipolo, on the other hand, lies much closer to Metro Manila in the Rizal province, as it is located only 25 kilometers from the country’s capital. Described as a “highly-urbanized city,” Antipolo is a popular site for pilgrims because of the various shrines and cathedrals.
When asked why these two sites were added to the already wide selection, CAS & Activities Coordinator Mr. Woods remarked that, “The new provincial sites were added for two reasons: firstly, to achieve a 50/50 split between Metro and provincial places, and secondly, to add diversity to the options available for students.” He further added that “Each site is quite different, but the central themes of engaging in global issues at a local level, as well as experiencing a new and exciting aspect of the Philippines, still exist.”
With all the intrigue and excitement, it was no wonder many students were curious about what the two sites had to offer. Sophomore Luis V. “really liked the idea of ambiguity as to whether the site would be interesting or not.” He also noted that the uncertainty of the sites “adds to the excitement.” However, after attending the first ICARE assembly on the 26th of September, Luis remains thankful for being chosen for the La Union trip as he states, “It seems great because we’re surfing everyday!”
Undoubtedly, both La Union and Antipolo look to be exciting additions to the ICARE program. Selected ISM students hope to make their experiences meaningful and worthwhile by taking in what the Philippines has to offer but at the same time, contributing to the local community, the ultimate essence of ICARE.