Newsflash: February 16, 2024

Principal’s Corner

by Mr. Benjamin Martin, Middle & High School Principal

Learning through Service at “the Summit” in Bangkok

This week our grade 9, 10, and 11 students are having an exceptional opportunity to connect with peers, continue and expand their own service projects, and learn more about their passions in service learning. This conference – “The Summit” – aims to provide valuable student-led workshops, inspire change, and foster the growth of service within your school communities.  Gathering a diverse group of high school students from international schools around the world, students are also getting an opportunity to explore Thailand’s unique cultural landscape through our “Taste of Thailand” experience and cultural expedition in Bangkok.

On Day One, these students visited the Grand Palacelearned how to cook some Thai meals and visited some other popular destinations. On Day two, they visited Keerapat International School and sat in on some AP classes to see how they differed from the IB. And currently, they are working with other students at the International School of Bangkok in collaboration with Inspire Citizens. We know that they take back what they have learned from others and create some great memories along the way!

Upcoming events of note

  • Feb 8-18: G11/G12 Art Exhibition
  • Feb 15-23: G12 Mock Exams
  • Feb 20-23: Week Without Walls
  • Feb 24 (Sat): Public Holiday (Cebu Charter Day)
  • Feb 25 (Sun): Public Holiday (EDSA)
  • Feb 27 (Tue): G5 Students & Parents Info Session
  • Feb 27 (Tue, 7:30): PTA Coffee Morning

Please refer to the CIS Event Calendar for the complete calendar of school events.

Mandarin Class Special: Lunar New Year Activities & Events

by Ms. Elaine Jin 老师  & Ms. Jiana Liu 老师, Mandarin Teachers

The Chinese Lunar New Year, is the most significant traditional celebration. It commenced on Saturday, February 10, 2024, marking the beginning of the Dragon year. Within Mandarin classes, we engaged in various enjoyable cultural activities to honor this significant occasion.

ES Mandarin

At the Elementary School, students immersed themselves in Chinese legend stories related to Chinese New Year and participated in a range of interactive activities to celebrate the occasion.

Chinese New Year Performances 新年表演 (Xīnnián biǎoyǎn)
ES children have been preparing and practicing for our New Year performances. Here are some highlights of pictures and videos from the CIS Chinese New Year Assembly.

KG1 performed the classica Chinese New Year dance: Gongxi Gongxi (恭喜恭喜). You can watch the video here.

Grade 2 and 3 performed the joyful dance He Xinnian (贺新年).You can watch the video here

Grade 4 and 5 played the most important role during the opening of the Assembly and performed a joyful Dragon Dance 舞龙 (Wǔ lóng) and greeted the audience. In addition, the G4/5 students performed the 新年Yeah(xinnian Yeah)song and a Chinese traditional scarf dance. You can watch the dragon dance video here. You can watch the Xinnian Yeah dance video here. You can watch the Chinese traditional scarf dance here.

Receiving the Red Envelopes 红包 (Hóngbāo)
The ES Mandarin students received red envelopes from their Mandarin teacher as a symbolic of best wishes for the students for the Year of Dragon. Students enjoyed the little delightful and yummy treats from the Hongbao.

Hanging New Year wishes  新年愿望 (Xīnnián yuànwàng)
The Mandarin students have written their new year wishes on red pieces of paper and hung them on the peach flower wishing tree as an old tradition for the New Year. 

Making the Dragon Mask 制作龙面具(Zhìzuò lóng miànjù)
The Mandarin students designed their own dragon mask to celebrate the Year of Dragon.

MHS Mandarin

In the MHS Mandarin class, the Chinese New Year celebration was a vibrant and engaging affair filled with various activities. As this year marked the auspicious Year of the Dragon, students enthusiastically participated in diverse cultural activities to honor the occasion. The classroom buzzed with excitement as students crafted traditional Chinese decorations. Language learning was intertwined with festive elements, as students practiced Mandarin through traditional New Year greetings and exchanged well-wishes. The event not only fostered language skills but also provided a rich cultural experience, promoting a deeper understanding and appreciation for Chinese traditions. 

Chinese New Year Assembly

The MHS students presented their performance in the whole-school assembly, showing their enthusiasm for celebrating traditional holidays.

Grade 6/7, together with volunteered teachers and staff, concluded our assembly with a dance titled “Long Live Dragon” and invited the whole school to join in.

Grade 8/9 Mandarin class prepared a play about “红包的故事” (Hóngbāo de gùshì) – The Story of Red Envelopes. They presented the reasons why the older generation gives red envelopes to the younger generation.

Grades 9 to 12, along with ES K to Grade 3 classes, presented cheerful songs expressing New Year wishes to the audience.

Leo and Eve from Grade 11 performed a beautiful song on the violin and piano titled “月亮代表我的心” (Yuèliàng dàibiǎo wǒ de xīn) – The Moon Represents My Heart.

This year, we invited ES Chinese students to join our traditional performance, and they participated in a Gongfu dance alongside three Grade 9 boys. Following this, there were fan and scarf dances performed by girls from Grades 5, 8, and 9.

Please click the picture below if you would like to watch the performance.

G6/7 long live the dragon
Violin and Piano by Leo & Eve
New Year Songs

Writing 福(Fú)
The Gr.8/9 and DP Mandarin students have tried their calligraphy skills and practiced writing 福 or 龙(龍 as the traditional character)on red piece of papers. 福 in Chinese which offers “fortune” or “good luck”. 龙 is to welcome the year of dragon.

Hanging New Year wishes  新年愿望 (Xīnnián yuànwàng)
The Mandarin students have written their new year wishes on red pieces of paper and hung them on the peach flower tree. 

Making Dragon 做舞龙(Zuò wǔ lón)
The Grade 10 students have made their own dragons with recycled materials.

Drawing Dragon  画龙(Huàlóng)
The Grade 6/7 students have drawn dragons with different design to celebrate the year of Dragon.

Cutting papers 剪纸(Jiǎnzhǐ)
The Mandarin students have cut red pieces of paper and decorated them around the classroom.

Drawing  Plum Blossom画梅花(Méihuā)
The Grade 8/9 students used water color to pain the Plum Blossom, which holds a special place in Chinese culture as a symbol of beauty, resilience, and the arrival of spring.

Receiving the Red Envelopes 红包 (Hóngbāo)
This year the MHS Mandarin students received red envelopes from their teachers. Giving red envelopes is one of the traditions of the New Year. 

AI Dragon Dance photo AI舞龙头像 (AI舞龙头像 )
The students have experienced using AI to make their photos into animation version with the theme of dragon dance. It is a fun experience.

Food competetion about New Year Eve Dinner 做年夜饭比赛   (zuò nián yèfàn bǐsà)
The Grade 11 Mandarin B and AB Initio class have have a cooking competetion. They have tried different receipts and make delicious New Year Eve dinner, which  includes fried noodles, stir-fried vegetables, stewed beef, candied haws. 

Making dumplings 包饺子 (Bāo jiǎozi)
This MHS Mandarin students practice their dumplings making skill and try to experience the culture of family gather together and make dumplings together. They taste the steamed dumplings, and enjoy the moment of trying cooking. Here are some voices from the students. 

In today’s mandarin class, we made dumpling and I think it was really successful because we learned how to make dumplings with different shapes as well as how good the taste was. Our unit festival also represent the food that people eat in specific festival. Also, in China people eat dumplings because it represents the Chinese money.


Today we learned how to make delicious dumplings and boba milk tea. We learned how to cook them because it is related to our lesson which is to learn about the different practices and traditions of Chinese festivals/holidays.


Today we made dumplings in class. In china dumplings are a traditional food because the shape of dumplings are similar to money. The dumpling were so yummy and helped me appreciate Chinese culture more.


College & Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College Counselor


February 24
1:30 – 4:00 pm
Fili Ballroom 1 
Nustar Resort
Link to register


Seminar:  Define your Hospitality Career Roadmap – ideal for students interested in a hospitality/business career.

March 2 Saturday
12PM – 5PM

Study Abroad Hybrid Expo Philippines 2024 in Cebu by AMS Global

Participating Universities and Colleges

Australian Catholic University
Australian Learning Group & IKON Institute of Australia
Charles Sturt University
Conestoga College
Deakin University
Flinders University
Griffith University
Holmesglen Institute
Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
James Cook University Australia
James Cook University Brisbane
Kaplan Business School Australia
La Trobe University
Macquarie University
Monash University
Murdoch University
Sault College
Southern Cross University
Sydney Met
TAFE International Western Australia
The University of Adelaide
The University of Sydney
The University of Western Australia
Torrens University Australia
University Canada West
University of South Australia
University of Tasmania
UNSW Sydney
UTS College
Victoria University
William Angliss Institute

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March 5
9:00 – 9:40AM
Canteen Annex
Link to sign up

University of Sydney (Australia) – face to face chat with  the recruitment rep of U of Sydney and learn about the application process, programs and scholarship offered.

March 16 Saturday
EducationUSA events:
Parent Conference at 9:00AM – 12:00PM
Link to register for Parent Conference

Grade 11/12 Student Bootcamp 
2:00 – 6:00PM
Link to register for Student Bootcamp

Venue: Holiday Inn, Cebu City

Education USA Events in March

SAT Update

2023–24 School Year Test Dates

Test Date Deadline for Registration, Changes and Regular Cancellation
March 9, 2024 February 23, 2024
May 4, 2024 April 19, 2024
June 1, 2024 May 16, 2024

To register for the SAT, you may click on this link.  If you need assistance or have any questions, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at

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why didnt we make dumplings 🙁