First Impressions: ICARE

Article by: Kirtana Devaraj

It’s that time of the year again. ICARE is just around the corner. ICARE (International Community Actively Responding to the Environment) is a weeklong service trip which is a compulsory part of the ISM curriculum. It is held in December and there are various ICARE sites offered to Bearcats, both metro and provincial. Two ICARE homerooms have already been conducted and several students have been interviewed about their first impressions on their site.

It is the first ICARE for freshmen and many new students. New to the ISM community, junior Karl C. says, “I think ICARE is going to be a good experience and great way to help and learn things as an individual and as a group.” For many Bearcats, ICARE is eagerly awaited and the ICARE homerooms are key to influencing people’s opinions on ICARE and their sites. Junior Sarah D. says, “I’m really excited for ICARE this year! I think that my site [GK Farm] will be really interesting and a great experience. So far, I don’t know much about what we’ll be expected to do, but from what I’ve heard, it sounds like a lot of fun!”

ICARE experiences have been some of the most important experiences in high school for many Bearcats. Junior David Z. agrees stating, “My past experience with both ICARE Zambales and Banaue are a delight. I had a great first impression when I got to Banaue, because the temperature was just amazing – felt like 20°C. The next four days were just as amazing with a great community at their elementary school and a very thrilling hike. The people at my site really contributed to making it very fun, enjoyable, and enriching!”

Bearcats are also looking forward to the activities that their site offers. Different sites offer different activities. Some sites like Makabata and SBP aim to educate children and are linked to the sustainable development goal of quality education. Other sites like Baguio aim at eradicating poverty. When asked about her site, junior Sally L. explains, “ My ICARE site is Makabata. I like the activities that I will be doing in the site so I am quite excited. I can’t wait to plan exciting activities for the kids. I think it will be fun!”

Bearcats attending ICARE for the first time may be curious about it. However, experienced junior David Z. believes, “After going to ICARE for two times, I can say that if you go into your site with a lot of enthusiasm and hope, you will most likely come out with much happier and fulfilled than expected! Also, if you are going to a provincial site, think about what you’re going to do in the night with your friends and plan ahead!”

Regardless of whether it is your first ICARE or not, be sure to make the most out of it as it has proved to be an enjoyable experience time and again!