Calling all Teachers and Alumni of the American / International School of Manila!

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ItÂ?s reunion time in the summer! ISM, in cooperation with Jeepney Gang Alumni Association, is celebrating its 85th anniversary (1920 - 2005) with a spectacular jamboree for all its international teachers and students who attended either the pioneering American School or its successor, International School of Manila.

From June 10 to 12, hundreds of Indians, Bearcats, and lost alums from around the world will converge at the Hyatt Hotel in sunny San Jose, California to recollect, reminisce, rekindle, and ripen old friendships. The weekend fête jumpstarts with Friday’s Mabuhay Mixer -- a cool and casual poolside affair with an outdoor barbeque and a no-host bar, followed by an evening of frenzied intermingling and festive camaraderie in a friendly, relaxed setting.

The next day, attendees will have the choice of touring surrounding city attractions or simply lounging around the hotel grounds, catching up with old schoolmates and getting the juicy lowdown and chismis about each other. Evening action, dubbed Saturday Night Fever, promises traditionally prepared, native Filipino fare, fun and lively entertainment, and an appreciation and awards presentation. Some classes will throw individual anniversary parties, while the whole gang will be treated to group photo commemoration sessions. Faculty and alumni and their families are urged to haul their usual ISM spirit and participate in a riotous and rowdy pep rally before dancing the night away.

It was 85 years ago that a group of American multinational executives founded the private American School Inc., a non-stock, non-profit place of learning within the walls of Santo Tomas University in Manila for the children of U.S. military personnel, expatriate businessmen, government officials, and Protestant missionaries. Sustaining the students’ command of English and bridging the cultural gap were integral functions of the School, which subsequently moved its grounds to a new location in the city of Pasay and re-opening in the summer of 1946. While students admitted were still predominantly Americans, some Europeans, and a few select Filipinos came on board. By 1960, a blooming pageant of students from all over the world began to filter through the School, auguring a name change for the once exclusively white teacher and student bodies and relocating to the affluent suburb of Makati.

Today, the International School’s spanking new edifice sits on a well developed parcel of land within the Fort Bonifacio Complex in Makati. Its grade school, middle school, and high school facilities are equipped en suite with art and music classrooms, the latest science and computer labs, audio-visual media centers, and a competition-level sports multiplex.

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Carmela Farolan
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