Newsflash: September 16, 2022

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

Today is House Activity Day (HAD)… Go Dragons!

HAD is a time-honored tradition in CIS, as it is in most schools around the world in some form (see the Dragon’s Print article below for an article about the history of HAD at CIS). Have you ever wondered why this is? Most students will answer, “because it is fun” – but actually, while that is a good reason in itself, there are many other reasons as well! Here are a few of the reasons – can you think of others?

  • HAD is designed to be FUN in many different ways. At CIS, we typically include a range of activities to enable this, including physical and sedentary games, individual and team activities, and sports and skills/game-based activities.
  • Students are placed in one of four houses, named after common Philippine trees – Mahogany (red), Narra (blue), Molave (yellow), and Acacia (green).
  • Houses earn points in a variety of ways, from creating the best house cheer and where they are placed in completing the various activities, to points for enthusiasm, effort, teamwork, and team spirit in the Elementary division. The use of houses allows students to get to know each other better in smaller, multi-grade groups that are different from their daily mix.
  • The use of houses also introduces an element of healthy competition that encourages students to do their best for their team in a competitive environment, while also learning life skills such as sportsmanship and learning how to cope with winning and losing in a safe environment.
  • HAD activities are good for our students’ physical health and social-emotional well-being.
  • HAD provides opportunities for students to try new skills, and develop existing ones.
  • HAD provides opportunities to develop multiple Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills (refer to the poster), particularly the social and communication skills, but also a number of thinking and self-management skills too.
  • At CIS, HAD is organized by students who are in the ES and MHS Student Councils, with support from their advisors. This brings a further range of benefits to the organizers, such as using research and thinking skills, while also developing leadership skills.

The final combined house competition results of HAD1 2022/23 are:
1st place – Acacia
2nd palace (tied) – Molave & Mahogany
4th place – Narra

Congratulations to team Acacia, but also to all participants who gained benefit from the day. A special thanks to the Student Council members and faculty supervisors for their planning and managing, and the teachers for overseeing the games!

Upcoming events of note

  • Sept. 20: CIS Corporation Meeting (members only)
  • Sept. 27: Parent Coffee Meeting, 8-9am (CIS Annex)
  • Sept. 30: End of 1st quarter
  • Oct. 3-7: Mid-semester break
  • Oct. 22: International day

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

Mandarin Class

by Elaine Jin 老师 and Zirong Chen 老师, Mandarin Teachers

Autumn, a season of change and reflection. For many areas of the world, it is a time to show thanks to fruits of labor from each years harvest season. There are many festivals and celebrations deeply rooted in this season. Along with it, numerous legends and folktales that have been passed on through the generations. One such festival that is surrounded by these fantastical stories is the Mid-Autumn Festival. Celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month on the lunar calendar, an ancient calendar that tracked the progression of time by following the moons cycles. It continues to be one of the most celebrated seasonal festivals across the world. 

ES Mandarin Class

In Elementary School, the children have learned the legend of Hòuyì 后羿 and Cháng’É 嫦娥 as well as the story of the Jade Rabbit 玉兔. Not only did we colored the main characters of these legends, we also connected the festive elements of this day, such as the pomelo (柚子yòuzi), mooncakes (月饼 yuèbǐng), and barbeques (烤肉 kǎoròu). The most exciting part would be the mini book creation. Students created their own mini books and drew the legendary figures of the Mid-Autumn Festival, and we also designed the most beautiful and delicious mooncakes of this season.

MHS Mandarin Class

In MHS the Mandarin students have learned a lot information about Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋节 (Zhōngqiū jié). The festival is about lunar appreciation and moon watching. The students have learned the two different calendars – lunar calendar and solar calendar, and the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on August 15 of the lunar calendar which is September 10 of the solar calendar this year. The students learned four basic stories related to the moon: Hou Yi shoots the sun 后羿射日 (Hòu yì shè rì), Chang’e flies to the moon 嫦娥奔月(cháng’é bēn yuè), Jade Rabbit 玉兔捣药 (yùtù dǎo yào), and Wu Gang cuts down trees 吴刚伐树 (wúgāng fá shù)。Based on the Jade Rabbit story, the students made different kinds of handicraft. Grade 6 to 10 students made a rabbit lollipop to share the festival with their family. The students had a lot of fun making the rabbit. The Grade 6 to 10 students also made a rabbit lantern with a big round golden moon. Through these activities they can make connections between the moon and the Jade rabbit. Grade 11 and 12 students made rabbit lanterns with electric candles in them. Grade 12 students have experienced the traditional Minnan Game played mostly by the Filipino Chinese from Fujian Province.  (Please see the class photos below). 

The Mid-Autumn Festivals most famous food is the Mooncake. There are numerous varieties of mooncakes consumed within China and outside of China in overseas Chinese communities. This year, we are able to find hand-made ice-skin mooncake 冰皮月饼 (bīng pí yuèbǐng) with red bean flavor and egg yolk flavor. The students enjoyed the mooncakes a lot. 

Dragon’s Print

As we celebrate House Activities Day, it is more important than ever to understand what it is and how it came to be. HAD plays a crucial role in one’s experience at CIS and it has an interesting history that seems to be a mystery to even the oldest students and staff.

To discover more behind HAD, make sure to check out

Dragon’s Report Card

Finally, after 2 years of remote and hybrid learning, the CIS Dragons return back to full in-person classes and are excited to discuss their experiences. Additionally, House Activities Day is coming up and the students have a lot to offer. Let’s hear their thoughts.

To listen to more Dragon’s Report card podcasts, follow them on Spotify!

Finance News

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor Corner

College Events (Virtual and Face to Face)


September 17
10:00am – 12:00
Starbucks, Level 4
Ayala Center Cebu
Link to sign up

Singapore Institute of Management Global (Singapore) –In-person info session with the college rep with Q&A.

Sept 21, 28, 29
Oct 5 and 19
(All schedules are US Eastern Time – if you register, you will have access to recordings on their website)

University of Virginia Virtual Fall Event Series

Wednesday, September 21st (6-7PM): Why UVA?

Hear current UVA students speak about why they chose to come to UVA and why they’ve chosen to stay. Register here!

Wednesday, September 28th (6-7PM): First – Year Admission Process

High school applicants, come learn about the admission process from admission deans. Submit your questions ahead of time on the registration form! Register here!

Thursday, September 29th (6-7PM): Common App 101

Learn how to navigate the Common Application, including the UVA supplement. We will talk through frequently asked questions and offer tips and tricks for completing your application to UVA! Register here!

Wednesday, October 5th (6-7PM): Financial Aid at UVA

Learn about the financial aid process, including different types of financial aid and how to apply, directly from the Office of Student Financial Services. Register here!

Wednesday, October 19th (6-7PM): Hoos Talking –  Diversity at UVA

This event will give you a chance to learn about the academic and cultural opportunities available at UVA from current diverse voices on Grounds. Learn about how student advocacy has shaped the University’s community that we see today. Register here!

September 27
9:15 – 10:00am
Venue: Canteen Annex
Link to sign up

York College Pennsylvania (USA) – In-person info session with the college rep with Q&A.

October 4
Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel, Niña Room
Link to sign up

New York University – Abu Dhabi – In-person info session with the NYUAD rep.  Since this is during the quarter break, the venue & time will be confirmed later next month.

October 11
9:15 – 10:00 AM
Canteen Annex
Link to sign up

Hawaii Pacific University (USA) – Info session with the university rep with Q&A.

October 21
9:15 – 10:00 AM
Canteen Annex
Link to sign up

Simon Fraser University (Canada) –Info session with the university rep with Q&A.

SAT Update for 2022-2023

2022–23 School Year Test Dates

SAT Test Date Deadline for Registration, Changes and Regular Cancellation
October 1, 2022 September 2, 2022
December 3, 2022 November 3, 2022
March 11, 2023 (Digital) February 24, 2023
May 6, 2023 (Digital) April 21, 2023
June 3, 2023 (Digital) May 19, 2023

Test dates labeled Digital means that students will bring a device to the test center and take the exam using their device.  The College Board may provide devices for test-takers who do not have access to a device.  All test-takers for Digital SATs are still required to report physically to the test center to take the test.

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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