Old ISM Traditions

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Writer: Woosuk K.

Editor: Lauren Z.

January 6 to 8 of ISM’s centennial year marked a period of reunion for Indians and Bearcats, as present students and alumni gathered on campus and at the Manila Polo Club to commemorate the school’s history. During the three day celebration, Bamboo Telegraph had the opportunity to interview some ISM alumni to reflect on past student traditions.

When asked to share her most memorable ISM traditions, A. Cordova (a member of ISM’s batch of 1977) reminisced about her experiences of being part of the varsity cheerleading squad. Even though cheerleading is no longer an activity available at ISM, she shared her excitement of being able to “go watch NBA-Esque basketball games” and “scream her heart out with the wrestling team.” She also remembered her favorite cheer during these events: “We are the Indians, mighty mighty Indians.”

Although ISM has clearly demonstrated a substantial change with regards to available activities, a tradition that has stayed constant throughout the years is the student body’s love for service. With Ms. Cordova sharing how some of her most memorable experiences at ISM were with the Blind School Committee, where she had the opportunity to “coordinate events with the blind community around Manila and read with them,” she expressed how ISM’s tradition of community service taught her what it was like “be humble and extend love.” She further elaborated on this memory by sharing how her service group would “wear candy stripers to Makati Medical” and would be called the “candy stripers” by the patients they helped.

  1. Weathermon (ISM class of 1979) also had a lot to share during her interview regarding past ISM practices. When asked about her favorite ISM tradition, Ms. Weathermon shared her experiences with the “Be a Tourist for a Day” event. Although it is no longer to the current student body, the day signified a period where students would go to historical Filipino landmarks such as the American Cemetry and Rizal Park and sightsee. Some highlights during Ms. Weathermon’s trips were “mispronouncing local terms, wearing loud clothing, carrying heavy cameras, and caricaturing tourists.” However, she expressed that the most important part of the event was getting to truly make the Philippines her home.

With the former and current ISM community uniting to look back on the past, share the present, and look toward the future, the Centennial has certainly granted a much-needed opportunity for reflecting upon the school’s rich one hundred year history.