Newsflash: September 29, 2023

Elementary Principal’s Corner

by Ms. Maureen Juanson, Elementary Principal


Congratulations to everyone for making it through the first quarter! Days are going by quickly and our students sure made lots of progress in different areas. This is all thanks to everyone’s collaborative efforts and hard work!

We had a well-attended Parent Coffee Meeting last Tuesday, with a session on International-mindedness and Culture by our Superintendent, Dr. Gwyn Underwood. This is a very timely discussion leading up to one of our much-anticipated school events, the Culture Week (Oct. 16-20) and International Day (Oct. 21) celebrations. Preparations for these celebrations are well underway headed by the International Day & Culture Week committee in collaboration with the PTA. Make sure to watch out for the information that will be shared by the committee and PTA to know how you can contribute and participate in these events.

IB defines international-mindedness as “a view of the world in which people see themselves connected to the global community and assume a sense of responsibility towards its members.” At CIS, international-mindedness goes beyond just learning about the visible aspects of culture but delves into what it truly means to be a global citizen. International-mindedness and global citizenship are central to everything we think, say, and do. They are embedded in our guiding statements, policies, and curriculum to ensure that as a school, we are able to foster international-mindedness among members of our school community and develop global citizens.

The CIS curriculum provides opportunities for students to inquire into global human commonalities. For example, in the PYP, Grade 2 and 3 students inquire about their values, beliefs, and culture and how they shape their identity. In the Early Years, they look into their unique personal and cultural backgrounds and how they enrich who we are as a community. In Grade 4, students investigate how access to human rights impacts opportunities in a changing world.

CIS also creates opportunities for meaningful cultural exchange and action in the local and global communities. These are developed through Action in the PYP, Principled Action in the MYP, and CAS in the DP. Our annual Week Without Walls is also an avenue for all of our students to explore and immerse in the local culture and environment and have dedicated time for service learning.

This weekend, our MHS students and teachers are participating in the Model United Nations (MUN). During the MUN, students will simulate the United Nations and play the role of delegates from different countries. They will attempt to solve real-world issues with the policies and perspectives of their assigned country. Opportunities such as these enable our students to enhance intercultural dialogue and global engagements that lead to their development of international-mindedness.

I’ll leave you with a list of five key aspects that are necessary for developing international-mindedness inside or outside of the classroom shared by Oscar Leyva in his article. I believe these skills are worth considering and reflecting upon together with our students whether in school or at home.

  1. Know yourself
  2. Develop empathy
  3. Be a champion of intellectual humility
  4. Learn languages
  5. Do not fear conflict, and learn to negotiate

I hope you have a restful and safe mid-semester break and we look forward to seeing students back on Monday, October 9th.

Upcoming events of note

  • Sep 29-30: MUN Locals conference (Manila)
  • Oct 2-6: Mid-semester (October) break (School holiday)
  • Oct 10, 3:30-5pm: Grade 11 Students & Parents DP Values Meeting
  • Oct 16-21: CIS Culture week, culminating with International Day on Sat 21st
  • Oct 24: Parent Coffee Morning
  • Oct 25-29: ISAC1 Volleyball (Manila)

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

Grade 12 DP Values Meeting

by Ms. Emily Cornet, Assistant Principal-DP

On Wednesday 27 September, the Grade 12 student, parents, and teachers gathered together for the annual DP Values Recommitment Meeting. This marked our return to a face-to-face event for the first time since before the pandemic.

Parents had the opportunity to meet each of their child’s teachers, and to learn about what lies ahead in this very busy Grade 12 year. Covering Internal Assessments (IAs), the remainder of content for each two-year course, to talk of Mock Exams and Final IB assessments, the sessions were filled with the final checkboxes for our Grade 12 students to tick off of their HS careers.

Finally, our Grade 12 students and their teachers showed their recommitment to the DP Values Pledge, committing to hold themselves (and each other accountable) to reach Graduation in late May 2024.

We look forward to a busy year for our Grade 12s as they work towards completing their High School Diploma, IB Diplomas or Certificates, and reaching their university goals!

Language Acquisition: Mandarin

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

Autumn, a season of change and reflection. The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival, is a traditional festival celebrated in Chinese culture. Similar holidays are celebrated by other cultures in East and Southeast Asia. It is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture; its popularity is on par with that of Chinese New Year. The history of the Mid-Autumn Festival dates back over 3,000 years. The festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar with a full moon at night, corresponding to mid-September to early October of the Gregorian calendar. On this day, the Chinese believe that the Moon is at its brightest and fullest size, coinciding with harvest time in the middle of Autumn.

Elementary School Mandarin

In Elementary School, the children have learned the legend of Hòuyì 后羿 who shot 9 suns out of 10 suns and saved the earth, and Cháng’É 嫦娥 who lives on the Moon as well as the legend story of the Jade Rabbit (玉兔 yùtù). Not only did we color the main characters of these legends, but we also connected the most important festive element of this festival, which is the mooncake (月饼 yuèbǐng) tasting. Students tried different kinds of mooncakes and got very excited. We also designed the most beautiful jade Rabbit of this season.

Middle & High School Mandarin

In MHS the Mandarin students have learned a lot of information about the Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋节 (Zhōngqiū jié). The festival is also known as the Moon Festival. It is a cherished Chinese celebration that falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. It is a time when families gather to admire the full moon and enjoy delicious mooncakes. The students have been learning about the festival’s rich food tradition, exploring the legend behind this special day: 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). One of their highlights was creating colorful lanterns to carry while indulging in delectable mooncakes. It’s been a delightful journey for our students as they dive into Chinese culture and embrace the spirit of togetherness this Mid-Autumn Festival brings.

Grade 6/7: Folding Card and Lantern
The Grade 6/7 Mandarin students embarked on a series of engaging handcraft projects. Students enthusiastically made their folding cards with mooncakes on the outside and adorable rabbits inside the card. This handcraft project connects to the food people eat during Mid-autumn festival as well as the legend of the Jade Rabbit. The students also made paper lanterns, each adorned with a special song about this festival, demonstrating their dedication to both art and language.

Grade 8/9: Scratching Painting Paper and Rabbit Lantern
The Grade 8/9 Mandarin students had the opportunity to delve into the captivating world of Chinese legends, where they chose one of these legends and brought it to life on scratching painting paper. This not only allowed them to explore the ancient stories but also honed their artistic skills. Additionally, the students have been crafting rabbit lanterns, making connections to the Jade Rabbit story.  

Grade 10: Different Flavors of Mooncake and Lantern
The Grade 10 Mandarin students have been on an exciting journey exploring the rich traditions of the Mid-Autumn Festival. They’ve delved into the world of mooncakes, discovering the diverse flavors that this iconic treat comes in. From traditional lotus paste to modern variations like chocolate and fruit-filled mooncakes, our students have been on a culinary adventure. The students have also embraced the spirit of the festival by making their handmade lanterns. With balloons, glue, tissues, and other natural materials, they’ve crafted unique and beautiful lanterns that reflect their artistic flair and connection to the environment.

DP Mandarin B and Mandarin AB Initio class
The DP Mandarin B and Mandarin Ab Initio classes joined forces for an enriching exploration of the Mid-Autumn Festival. As part of their immersive experience, students had the chance to partake in the traditional dice game, a beloved Mid-Autumn Festival activity. This not only added an element of fun but also deepened their understanding of the festival’s customs. In the spirit of creativity, the students crafted stunning lanterns. Of course, no Mid-Autumn Festival celebration would be complete without indulging in mooncakes. This collaborative effort between the DP Mandarin B and Mandarin Ab Initio classes allowed our students to not only learn about the Mid-Autumn Festival but also experience its traditions firsthand, fostering a deeper connection to Chinese culture and language.

The Mid-Autumn Festivals most famous food is the Mooncake. The students tried four different flavors of the mooncake this year: red bean, green tea, black sesame, and egg yolk. 

Here are some voices from the students. 

I liked making the lantern because we were able to bond as a class and I’m excited to see how they turn out. As for the moon cake I enjoyed the egg yolk moon cake the best because it had a sweet and salty flavor.


The moon shape of the moon cake represents family reunion and to reconnect with friends. The flavor of moon cake I liked the most was egg yolk. It wasn’t too sweet, and had a very subtle taste. 很好吃!


I liked learning about the legends because they helped me understand more about Chinese culture.


Grade 9 Individuals & Societies

by Ms. Joy Pierra, Individuals & Societies Teacher

In the first quarter, the MYP I&S 9 students explored the unit “The Impact of the Past on the Present.” This unit focuses on the past inventions and innovations that led to more advanced technology in modern times that have changed people’s lives. Students evaluated the profound impacts of these technologies on individuals and societies. The class culminated the unit with a talk show that informed everyone about the multifaceted effects of technological advancements.

How did they prepare?
Students dedicated themselves to in-depth research, seeking to uncover the myriad ways in which technological breakthroughs have reshaped our world. They engaged with the related concept of “identity” by analyzing how these innovations impact personal and cultural identities and the broader global identity of societies.

Counselors’ Insights
Adding an invaluable layer of insight to their exploration, students conducted interviews with our esteemed guidance counselors, Ms. Jenny Basa and Ms. Abby Gorgonio. Their knowledge and expertise have helped the students understand the impacts of these technologies on the psychological and emotional well-being of individuals.

Balancing of Views
In the talk show, students presented both the positive and negative consequences of technological breakthroughs. They highlighted the remarkable improvements and the efficiency brought by these advancements while also delving into pressing concerns such as privacy, addiction, ethical issues, and the digital divide.

The I&S 9 students have not only showcased their critical thinking skills but also their capacity to connect the key concept of “change” to the related concept of “identity” within the global context of “technical innovation.” The task has given them the know-how and abilities to be informed citizens who can confidently and effectively handle the challenges of our fast-evolving technology-driven society.

Here are some of the thoughts from the students:

In our group, we were able to identify if these particular breakthroughs have had a positive impact on our health, especially on an individual’s mental health. This is why we believe that this group worked really well in terms of research and information gathering, in addition to the interview conducted with Miss Abby.

Nathalia, Andrew, Angqing

We learned about all the positive and negative impacts of smartphones and how they affect us, which was really interesting. Although we communicate our ideas, concepts, and examples well, nobody is perfect, we have plenty of room to improve.

Hugo, Hinata, Lucas

When working on our group summative, answering the questions helped broaden our understanding of how technological breakthroughs have impacted our present-day selves. It has been fascinating for our group to learn about how the past may have influenced our present on such a wide scale. Our group worked well in communicating our ideas with each other to create an interesting and collaborative video.

Chloe, Ashna, Jimin, and Rebecca

Our group’s strengths included our ability to analyze these impacts from different perspectives, such as that of a psychologist, user, and expert… However, our group could have improved by making our video more cohesive in terms of the different people featured in it. The video mainly consists of cuts and individual shots of us, rather than showing all of us together in one shot.

Niño, Peter, and Blu

PTA News

by Mr. William Edward Belda, Admin & Faculty Rep for the CIS PTA

One Fine Day
The second leg of the CIS Touch Rugby Championship series held last Saturday, 23 September 2023, at Cebu International School, turned out into a very fine day and resulted in another success for the series despite a gloomy weather forecast. Led and organized by Mr. Damon Freeman (CIS  Language & Literature teacher and our Touch Rugby Coach) and supported by the Cebu Dragons Football Club, the CIS Touch Rugby Championship Series is one of the many sporting activities CIS offers via its after-school activities program.

In full support and alignment with this event, CIS PTA officers and parent representatives led by Ms. Meg Kim, the current Chairperson of the CIS-PTA Board, organized a food and drink sale to kick off the many fundraising activities planned for the year. 

As committed partners of CIS towards the continuous achievement of the school’s mission and vision, the CIS-PTA aims to always be engaged to participate and provide support and assistance through various means and ways toward the learning and enhancement of students. Thank you, PTA for your service in raising supplementary funds that can purchase items that assist our students’ learning!

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor Corner

Mini College Fair – September 29 at the Canteen Annex



October 10
9:00 – 9:45 AM
Canteen Annex
Link to sign up
(Grades 9-12 are invited to attend)

Study in Japan visit: Meet admission reps from Japanese universities and learn about their programs, the application process and scholarships offered.

October 11
9:00 – 9:45 AM
Canteen Annex
Link to sign up

University of Navarra (Spain) Info session with the admissions rep about the application process, requirements and programs offered.

October 12
9:00 – 9:45 AM
Dragon’s Dome
Grade 9-12 students are invited to attend

Education USA College Fair  – talk to university reps face to face and learn about their university, programs, application process and scholarships offered.

October 13
9:00 – 9:45 AM
Canteen Annex

Mini Workshop for Grade 11 students: Writing your College Essay – Students will learn strategies on how to write a college essay.  The resource speaker is an admissions representative from York College Pennsylvania, USA. Seniors who missed this workshop last school year are welcome to attend.

October 13
10:15 – 11:25 AM
G11 & G12 IBDP  Visual Arts Classes
Venue:Canteen Annex

Workshop on How to prepare your Art PortfolioLearn from a graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design on how to prepare your Art Portfolio for college applications to art universities.

October 17
9:00 – 9:45 AM
Link to sign up

University of British Columbia (Canada) – Info session with the admissions rep about the application process, requirements and scholarships & programs offered.

October 19
9:00 – 9:45 AM
Link to sign up

IE University (Spain) – Info session with the admissions rep about the application process, requirements and scholarships & programs offered.

SAT Update

2023–24 School Year Test Dates

Test Date Deadline for Registration, Changes and Regular Cancellation
October 7, 2023 September 22, 2023
December 2, 2023 November 17, 2023
March 9, 2024 To be confirmed
May 4, 2024 To be confirmed
June 1, 2024 To be confirmed

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

Dragon’s Print

Dragon’s Print is back and better than ever this school year with a new article surrounding the scholars that make up our diverse community. In a special edition of Dragon’s Tells, our members asked several scholars about their journeys to CIS and their advice for prospective students who wish to earn a scholarship to our school. Read all about it at!

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