Newsflash: January 14, 2022

Principal’s Corner

by Mr. Andrew Powell, EY-Grade 12 Principal

Rainbows Amongst the Clouds

The impact of Super Typhoon Odette is likely to affect some communities across the Visayas for years to come. For many in Cebu, this was the strongest typhoon and greatest calamity that they had experienced. As a crisis during the prolonged crisis that is COVID, it has been tough for many, especially if they have lost loved ones or suffered property damage. In recognising the dreadful realities of this event, I would still like to take some time to reflect upon some of the positives that we have seen in our community. These positives are likely to influence and shape our children’s lives for years to come.

Firstly, the sense of community and willingness for individuals to support those around them has been incredible. This went beyond neighbours simply looking out for each other. We often talk about building resilience in our students. This was certainly on display in the wake of the typhoon as people banded together to clear streets, repair and rebuild homes, share shelter, food, water and electricity. I know that this is ongoing and has taken place on varying levels, with many of our families still sharing their homes.

As a school our visibility for community outreach and serving others certainly came into play. Some of our students have documented their individual efforts in this Newsflash. I know that our students’ and teachers’ efforts are not limited to these examples, but they do highlight the emphasis and importance of duty and service to others that is a hallmark of our school. Through the leadership of Mr. Ace Pierra and other teachers, CIS has formally coordinated help and support for the communities that we have ongoing service relationships with through CAS and our Week Without Walls programs. Many of these communities have been very much reliant upon us as their primary means of initial support in the wake of the typhoon.

The pandemic has certainly made us as a school more responsive and pragmatic. The way in which our teachers have been able to put together an Adverse Circumstances Learning program during a time of crisis has been inspirational. And the way in which our students have responded to the continuation of their schooling has also been moving. Despite ongoing challenges with electricity and Internet, attendance at our daily Homeroom classes has been high. This is an important avenue for us to provide ongoing Social Emotional Learning opportunities and ensure consistent routines and education at a time when it is most needed. We will continue to review and adapt our offerings to suit the needs and accessibility of our students in the coming weeks.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that our counsellor’s video background has a picture of the most beautiful rainbow shining over the school. I like the analogy of the rainbow amongst the clouds that provides the possibility of seeing hope, even during the most challenging of times. CIS has much to offer our immediate and the wider community and I look forward to our continued efforts to do this over the coming months.

Elementary Art Classes

by Ms. Thea Raagas, Elementary Art Teacher

Early Years

In Early Years, we began our unit on Color. Our central idea in Art is, Colors around us are used and interpreted in a variety of ways.”

The first thing that we did was to conduct a COLOR WHEEL Experiment with M&M’s or Skittles. We arranged the candies in a circular fashion on a white plate, and poured hot water over them. It was a joy to see that all the colors bled into each other and formed what looked like a Color Wheel! We admired the colors, and we identified the names of the colors that we saw, “Red, Blue, Yellow, Green and so many more!” But this was just the beginning, the real Color Wheel making was just about to start!

Last week, to continue our inquiry on color, Bas and Lincoln painted a REAL COLOR WHEEL, by drawing a circle on their sketchpad, and dividing this into 6 pieces. They then painted 3 of these triangles with Red, Blue and Yellow, which are the Primary Colors. The goal of this activity was to identify what the Primary Colors are and the boys did so well!

Last December 7, we had an experiment and saw what happened when we mixed two Primary Colors. When we mixed Red+Yellow…we were overjoyed to see that this gave us a Secondary Color called, Orange! Then we tried other Primary Colors like Blue+Yellow and we learned that this combination gives us a Secondary Color called Green! Finally, we tried Red+Blue and saw that these Primary Colors give us a Secondary Color that we call Purple or Violet.

Kinder/Grade 1

We started the Second Semester with our Pointillism Winter Landscapes. Our central idea in Art is, “The use of materials and color theory in art has evolved through time.”  Our goal is to look at various artists throughout history, and observe their materials and colors, we will then create an artwork inspired by their style.  The first artist that we have studied is Georges Seurat and his style which is known as Pointillism. Pointillism is, “the practice of applying small strokes or dots of color to a surface so that from a distance they visually blend together.” Here are some of the KG1’s fascinating Pointillism Paintings:

After studying and trying to emulate the style of Georges Seurat’s Pointillism, we proceeded to look at the artworks of the Dutch Painter, Vincent Van Gogh. The students observed and analyzed the color choices and brushstrokes of Van Gogh which is known as Impressionism, and then set out to create a work that emulated his style. Here are some of the students’ paintings:

Grade 2

In Grade 2, our focus was to develop an understanding of composition, symmetry, contrast, and creativity as they create their own nature art or ephemeral art. With the goal of connecting to the Homeroom Unit on N natural Resources, the students investigated how natural or recycled materials are used in the art of Andy Goldsworthy. They explored how natural materials can be arranged to create aesthetically pleasing artworks and experimented on how they can create linear and circular designs. In addition to this, they looked at the importance of color contrast and patterns in creating nature art. Their artworks are made of stones, leaves, flowers and other materials that can be found in nature.

Here are some photos of the G2 Nature Art:

Grade 3

As Grade 3 is a shared unit with Grade 2, we had the same activity as Grade 2. We discussed Andy Goldsworthy and Nature Art, then, after the discussion on Nature Art since Christmas was fast approaching, we proceeded to create Nature-inspired Christmas cards, still continuing to focus on the principles of design such as symmetry, asymmetry and contrast.  Here is a screenshot with the students holding up their cards.

Here are individual photos of their Christmas Cards. Some are holding up a Symmetrical Floral Pattern Design, while others are holding up an Asymmetrical Floral Pattern Design. Our focus was being able to differentiate and create both symmetrical and asymmetrical designs. 

Grade 4 & 5

Grade 4 and 5 artists have been inquiring into the form and function of artwork from Ancient Civilizations. We focused on comparing and contrasting Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art.

Our goal in this unit was to develop historical awareness, appreciation for the different cultures and art styles, and an understanding of similarities and differences in art throughout time. 

The students have done an impressive job of illustrating an Egyptian/Greek/Roman Painting, creating an Egyptian/Greek/Roman Sculptures or Artifacts, and finally sketching an Egyptian/Greek/Roman famous architecture while some created their own design of a Greek Column. Here are some photos of our Jamboard Discussions about the similarities and differences between Egyptian, Greek and Roman Art and Architecture, as well as some individual photos of their artworks.

Grade 5 Jamboard showing the similarities and differences between Egyptian, Greek and Roman Civilization.

Here are photos of the G4 artworks. Their outputs vary and depend on which Ancient Civilization inspired each of them the most. 

Here are the Grade 5’s Individual Artworks on Ancient Civilizations:

Some students chose to draw Greek Gods or Goddesses, while others drew Mummies of Pharaohs. Some created 3D Pyramids with paper, while others made Roman Soldiers with clay—their works are diverse and inspired by the Ancient Civilization of their own choice.

Grade 8: Graphic Stories

by Mr. David Gibson, English Teacher

To finish last year, Grade 8 Language and Literature students were encouraged to express their experience of everyday life in the pandemic. The art of the graphic novel was studied while considering visual literacy and the uses of visual text in communication. This is particularly useful as visual literacy, both in the mediums of graphic novels and everyday media, has become a consistent part of IB Language and Literature in the MYP and DP programmes.

Students were given the task of articulating personal experience expressed meaningfully, succinctly and artfully in this form. They did amazingly well and here we present to you a compilation of single images from each of their complete stories expressing their engagement, hope and triumph over the adversities of a pandemic world.

Grade 11: Service Learning

Odette Relief Operations

by Renoa, Grade 11 Student

Argao is a municipality located in the southern part of Cebu. When deciding on which area we wanted to focus our resources on first, we chose Argao because it was one of the areas in Cebu that did not receive any help as it was far from the main action. Initially, our plan was to support at least 500 families in the community, but as donations kept pouring in, we were able to purchase relief goods enough for 1000 families. While distributing the relief packs on Christmas Day, I got to talk with a few residents who shared about what they had to go through under the wrath of super typhoon Odette. They shared about the rising sea levels that forced them to flee to the mountains in the middle of the storm with winds reaching up to 250 mph. As a result, many of them had damaged homes or no homes at all. Right now, what their people need most is food and water. They will also need help in rebuilding the homes they have lost.

Hidilyn Diaz. One of our good friends, Dani Bautista, has been with Set Forth since its early days. He is also the Olympic coach of Margielyn Didal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It was there he met Hidilyn Diaz. While preparing for our relief operations, we called on Dani to help us document the project. He then asked if we were looking for any more volunteers to help in the distribution since Hidilyn was in Cebu, and together with her team, they wanted to help with relief operations in any way they could. Given the opportunity to have an Olympic gold medalist join us while needing more hands on deck was one that we could not pass on. Through generously sharing her time and efforts with us on Christmas Day, she was able to bring a lot of smiles to the people in Argao.

Currently: We continue to pack relief packs for those affected by Typhoon Odette which went to various donation drives for the various different islands affected by the typhoon. We also have over 1000 slippers which we have been donating to children in islands off the coast of Mactan. Moreover, we have already collected enough roofing sheets to help rebuild all the damaged homes in Gilotongan.

Advocacy in Action Relief Distribution

by Julianna, Grade 11 Student

On December 31, 2021, “Advocacy in Action” carried out a relief operation in a small community within barangay Lahug that was devastated by Typhoon Odette. The aim of this relief operation was to provide water, rice and bundles of other goods to 101 families in the area. Moreover, they hoped that it would bring these families some relief and necessities since they didn’t have access to running water and electricity. The club leaders, Selly Park and Anya Chan, planned the logistics ahead of the mission. This included creating donation channels, designing posts, allocating the funds, purchasing the goods, and looking for volunteers. Among the volunteers were CIS students Sabi Fernan and Reesha Sy, and others. On the day of the relief operation, the volunteers met up in the Beverly Glen clubhouse to create the relief packages. The packages carried instant noodles, canned goods, sanitary pads, and biscuits. Moreover, rice and drinking water were distributed to the community. All in all, the 101 families were able to receive these packages ahead of the new year thanks to the kind donations received and the efforts of the volunteers. With the remaining donations, Advocacy in Action plans to organize another relief operation in Carcar City within this month.

Relief Operations in Alcoy & Cordova

by Renzo, Grade 11 Student

I contacted the LGUs to help organize the distributions, and to advise us which communities were heavily affected. On the days of the distributions, there were some volunteers who came to help.

In Cordova, I supplied water through the use of 5 IBC water tanks, helping 700 families.

In Alcoy, I distributed 500 relief packs to the families who lived by the mine. Previous to the typhoon, I was already initiating a couple of projects to help the community. However, due to the severe damages brought by the typhoon I felt there was urgent need for me to focus my efforts into helping those affected by it.

Homes of Hope Fundraiser (Spreading hope by rebuilding broken homes)

by Isabelle Fernan, Grade 11 Student

The day after the typhoon, my family decided to drive to my grandparents’ house since we couldn’t contact them. We wanted to know if they were okay and if they were safe. As we were driving around, I saw all the destruction in the city. It made me feel very sad. I knew I had to do something. I reached out to my cousin asking her if she wanted to help me with this fundraiser. Together with my cousin from Manila, we started Homes of Hope. My cousin helps me with the social media aspect of the fundraiser since the internet connection in Cebu is still a challenge. 

Homes of Hope aims to help rebuild the homes of Typhoon Odette victims. Donations are used to buy walling and roofing materials as well as the corresponding nails and screws needed. Each preselected beneficiary receives 10, 000 pesos worth of materials. 

As of January 10, we have distributed 200,000 pesos worth of materials to 20 families in Barangay Busay in Cebu City. On January 15, we will be distributing another 200,000 pesos worth of materials to 20 families in Barangay Ibo in Mactan Island. We hope to do a third batch of another 20 homes if funds permit.

Fundraiser details

  • Current situation: Due to the strength of super typhoon Odette, Cebu has been greatly affected. Roads are blocked, access to basic supplies are limited, there is no electricity and water, and worst of all, lots of homes were destroyed. During this dark time, we want to be a ray of hope by giving affected families a boost on rebuilding their homes. 
  • Goal: Our goal is to help rebuild and repair the homes of typhoon Odette Victims in Cebu.
  • Our Project: All proceeds will be used to buy materials to rebuild the homes of the typhoon victims. This will then be distributed to different households. Each household will be given 10,000 PHP (200 USD) worth of materials. Materials to be Distributed


Ways to Donate

Every Peso counts. Please double check the name and account number before sending

1 Household = 10, 000 PHP (200 USD) 

Name: Isabelle Fernan
Phone Number: 09175800561

Account Number: 000260045731
Name: Joyce J. Fernan or Michael N. Fernan
Branch: Unionbank Cebu Business Park Branch

Account Number: 1002 6109 3841
Name: Joyce J. Fernan or Michael N. Fernan
Branch: Unionbank Cebu Business Park Branch

Account Number: 1932724712
Name: Joyce J. Fernan or Michael N. Fernan
Branch: 1093 SM City Cebu Branch


Interact Philippines Typhoon Odette Relief Operations

by Chynna, Grade 11 Student

After devoting time to community service in the past two years through Interact, I was able to activate teams across the country to work towards immediate relief operations for Typhoon Odette as soon as it was possible. Coordination was difficult due to intermittent signal and personally having no power or water in my own household for almost a month, but work had to be done. Fundraising efforts started the day after the typhoon, and help was received at our first location at the Umapad Dumpsite Community in Mandaue a few days later. Since then, relief drives in multiple areas have followed simultaneously every week in Barangay Balisong in Argao, Municipality of Dapa in Siargao, Caohagan, Pangan-an, Pandanon, and Bagonbanwa islands. Relief goods include canned or instant food, containers of drinkable water, powdered milk for kids, trapal, basic medicines, and hygiene kits depending on the community’s needs. A few feeding drives were also organized in Jubang, Siargao through our local partner teams. 

I plan to continue heading fundraising and relief efforts in the organization for the rest of the month of January in different affected areas where Interact teams are able to extend to. Currently, about a thousand relief packs, 1,700 liters of drinking water in separate containers, and a few hundred hygiene kits have been distributed with more to come. Here are a few upcoming relief operations to expect from Interact soon: Feeding Drive at Poblacion Talisay-Coastal Community, Relief Distributions at Southern Leyte State University, Limasawa Island, and Pangan-an Island.

Upcoming Relief Operations Schedule:
• Feeding Drive at Poblacion Talisay-Coastal Community
• Relief Distribution at Southern Leyte State University
• Relief Distribution at Limasawa Island
• Relief Distribution at Pangan-an Island

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Question of the Week:

How is studying in an internationally accredited high school important in a college application?

Universities usually have a list of eligibility requirements for prospective applicants. One of the most common requirements is for an applicant to be a graduate of an internationally accredited institution.  Cebu International School is accredited with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Council of International School’s (CIS).  A student who is expected to graduate from our high school is eligible to apply to a university if international accreditation is indicated as an eligibility requirement.  Click here for more information on the Council of International Schools’ Global Recognition.

Upcoming Virtual Events and Fairs: (students & parents are welcome)


January 20
7:00 – 10:00 AM
Link to register


University Technology Sydney (Australia):
Information Day

January 26
8:00AM (EST)
Link to register

January 29
12:00PM (EST)
Link to register

Study in the Metro New York City Area – Info Session with a Student Panel featuring: Fordham University, Fairfield University, Hofstra University, Montclair State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Pace University and St. John’s University

Johns Hopkins University – “Explore Engineering Innovation” : a Pre-College Summer Program Information Session

January 30
2:00PM (JST)
Link to register
(if you are unable to attend, you can get a recording if you register)

How to Apply to Ritsumeikan University

SAT Update

2021-2022 TEST DATES* Registration Deadline
March 12, 2022 February 11, 2022
May 7, 2022 May 5, 2022
*The Optional SAT Essay and Subject Tests have been discontinued. 

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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