Category Archives: Events

HS Musical 2019: 17-19 October in FAT

This year’s HS Play, the musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, opens on October 17th and runs for four shows. Although it is labeled a pop opera, the score covers a multitude of styles from folk and blues to electronic dance and Broadway Ballard. The show was written by Dave Molloy, who based it on a 70-page segment of Leo Tolstoy’s iconic Russian novel War and Peace. It first staged off-Broadway before transferring to Broadway in 2017, where it was nominated for 13 Tony Awards. 

What is War and Peace about? 

As the Huff Post puts it, “War and Peace revolutionized the modern novel by packing in more human experience than any other work of fiction had ever attempted. In 361 cinematic chapters of a few pages each, he moves seamlessly back and forth between ballrooms and battlefields, marriages and massacres, private lives and public spectacles… If a human being has ever experienced it, War and Peace depicts it” and uses Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 as the backdrop.

Which parts of War and Peace does The Great Comet explore? 

Tolstoy shows that people can either face their flaws and grow from this awareness or ignore them at their own peril. The main characters, Countess Natasha Rostova and Count Pierre Bezukhov, are old family friends who both struggle with flaws that drive them to extremes. Natasha is obsessed with the pursuit of romantic love, but unrealistic ideals blind her to reality. Pierre shuts himself off from the world to read about life rather than actually live it; he is only 26, yet everybody already calls him “old man”. The Great Comet picks up their stories just after Pierre has introduced Natasha to his great friend, Andrei, who quickly proposes. Andrei’s family thinks he is rushing into marriage and send him off to fight Napoleon’s troops. While waiting for Andrei’s return, Natasha and her cousin, Sonya, visit Natasha’s Godmother, Marya, in Moscow. Despite the war, high society still seems more concerned with amusements such as operas. Amidst this social whirl, Natasha’s beauty catches the attention of the notorious playboy, Anatole. Meanwhile, Pierre is now also living in Moscow, having just married Anatole’s sister, Helene. Helene only cares for Pierre’s money and title, which makes him miserable.  In the past, Pierre and Natasha have always been able to advise each other wisely, but never quite find the time to reconnect until the Great Comet of 1812 is seen in the skies above Moscow and it is perhaps too late…..

Why The Great Comet at ISM? 

When deciding upon a musical for the school’s 100th anniversary, we wanted to do something epic that celebrated ISM’s continual quest for innovation, challenge and, most importantly, community building. A musical based on parts of the great novel War and Peace seemed to fulfil the epic remit. Being the first school in the world granted full performing rights for the show certainly provided our talented students with a challenge. In terms of community building, the most appealing aspect of The Great Comet is the way it blends actors, singers, dancers, musicians, crew and audience together onstage to create an innovative immersive experience. We hope you will enjoy your journey to 1812 Moscow as much as we have! 

Performance Details 

  • Show times: Thursday, October 17th and 18th at 6PM/ Saturday, October 19th at 2:30PM and 7PM. The show is a full length musical so should run at 2 hours, which includes a 15 minute intermission. 
  • Buying tickets: The play will use immersive, cafe-style seating, which limits the amount of seats available at each show to 200 and means there will be assigned seating. To ensure you get the date and seats that suit your family, buy tickets early. Tickets cost 200PHP for students and 300PHP for adults. All tickets need to be brought at the ISM Cashier’s Office so you can select your seat. 
  • Where to sit: This is an immersive theatre experience; some seats put you right amidst the action, whilst others let you sit back a little and take it all in with a more traditional seat. We’ll leave it to you to decide how much a part of the show you want to be! With this style of seating, it is highly difficult to seat latecomers and you will end up missing a big portion of the show if you are late. If someone in your family requires wheelchair access, please seek advice from Marsha Hillman or Denis Lagdameo in the Fine Arts office before buying so we can support you in selecting seats that allow your whole group to sit together. 
  • Audience advisory: Being based on a classic work of literature, the themes in the play suit a High School level of understanding and maturity. That said, the music and dance performances are exciting in places so even if the storyline is lost on them, Middle School students should enjoy the performance with parental supervision.

Fine Arts Events 2019-20

MUN Locals ConferenceSept 20 to 21All dayFAT/LT/Lofthouse
Dance ExchangeSept 20 to 22All dayISKL
Great Works ConcertSept 255:30 pmFAT
Robotics ThurderdomeOct 4 to 5All dayLT
HS PlayOct 17 to 19All dayFAT
IASAS Art and FilmNov 6 to10All daySAS
IASAS MUNNov 6 to10All dayISKL
Grade 2 ConcertNov 88:00 amFAT
Robo RumbleNov 8 to 9All dayES Gym
All Choirs ConcertNov 135:30 pmFAT
THIMUNNov 18 to 22All daySingapore
All Strings ConcertNov 205:30 pmFAT
ES AMIS Honor ChoirNov 21 to 22All dayHong Kong
All Band ConcertNov 275:30 pmFAT
MS/HS Art Exhibition OpeningNov 273:00 pmFAT Lobby
MS/HS Art Exhibition Nov 27 to Dec 13All dayFAT Lobby
Robotics TAS Formosa CompetitionDec 5 to 8All dayTAS
ES/MS/HS Dance RecitalDec 73:00 pmFAT
AFAC RecitalDec 103:00 pmLT
ES International Day Grade 3 ConcertDec 138:30 amFAT
ES International Day Grade 4 ConcertDec 1310:30 amFAT
ISTAJan 23 to 26All dayChang Mai
TRI-M Jazz NightJan 235:30 pmLT
ES Children’s Musical TheaterJan 30 to February 1All dayFAT
Manila Student Film FestivalFeb 15:00 pmFAT
AMIS Boys and Girls ChoirFeb 5 to 9All dayISKL
HS GIN AsiaFeb 7 to 9All dayBangkok
MS AMIS Honor Band and OrchestraFeb 12 to 16All dayShanghai
IASAS Music; Dance, Drama and Debate & Forensic PreviewFeb 26 to 295:30 pmAMR/LT/FAT
ISM Filipiniana Centenial CelebrationMar 4All dayFAT/LT
IASAS CULCON, Music; Dance, Drama and Debate & Forensic Mar 5 to 9 All dayISB/SAS/TAS
IB2 Visual Arts Exhbit OpeningMar 243:00 pmFAT Lobby
IB2 Visual Arts Exhbit Mar 24 to Apr 2All dayFAT Lobby
HS Finale ConcertApr 165:30 pmFAT
ES Art ShowApr 20 to 24All dayFAT Lobby
Robotics VEX World CompetitionApr 21 to 27All dayUSA
100% Dance CoApr 213:30 pmFAT
HS Film FestivalApr 223:00 pmFAT
PS ConcertApr 248:00 amLT
MakerFaire Robolution 2020May 5All dayLT
ES ISM Sing RecitalMay 53:00 pmLT
MS PlayMay 8 to 9All dayFAT
MS/HS Art Exhibit Opening May 83:00 pmFAT Looby
MS/HS Art ExhibitMay 8 to 19All dayFAT Lobby
MS Finale ConcertMay 125:00 pmFAT
MS Film FestivalMay 1311:40 amFAT
Kindergarten ConcertMay 158:00 amLT
ES/MS Dance RecitalMay 163:00 pmFAT
IB1 Art Exhibit Opening May 20 3:00 pmFAT Lobby
IB1 Art ExhibitMay 20 to June 1All dayFAT Lobby
ES AFAC RecitalMay 213:00 pmLT
Grade 1 ConcertMay 228:00 amLT
HS Dance FinaleMay 273:30 pmLT

Dance Performance in Collaboration With E.sperimenti Dance Company- Sept 7th in FAT

During the week beginning September 2nd MS & HS Curriculum Dance classes will be working with the Italian Dance Company E.sperimenti to explore contemporary practice. The week will culminate in a performance on Saturday, September 7th at 6:00pm in the ISM Fine Arts Theater. There will be a collaborative performance with dancers from all of ISM’s HS Dance classes (approx. 25mins) followed by E.sperimenti presenting their original choreography Convergenze (approx. 55mins). This is a free event for the ISM and Italian Embassy communities. No tickets are required; however, any ISM security card holder who would like to bring an outside guest should email for a link to the security clearance form, which will need to be completed before you can bring your guest onto campus. Please come and support this exciting collaboration.

This residency and performance has been made possible with support from the Philippine Italian Embassy in Manila and is part a wider project where the group travels between IASAS Schools with support from their respective Italian embassies. The collaboration will culminate at the IASAS Dance Exchange, which runs from the 20 to 22 of September where 10 students from each IASAS school and the various members of E.sperimenti come together to work on a final collaborative piece.

Convergenze explores the engaging and energetic relationship between the rhythms of electronic music, the ground and light. The choreographer, Federica Galimberti, sees this interplay of elements as a way of explore the ‘infinite fragility’ of man in relation to a changing environment. An all-male ensemble uses contemporary dance styles such as hip hop to explore the physical nature of environmental influences on humans. The convergences of various technical elements such as lighting design create heightened states for performers. In some moments this pushes them to the point of crisis and in other moments it encourages a dynamic, exalted state of being.

Choreography: Federica Galimberti

Music: AAVV and electronic processing

Number of dancers: 7

Duration: 55 min

IASAS Cultural Convention 2019: Preview dates

It is almost time for IASAS Cultural Convention 2019, but before we travel the students would love to share all their hard work with the ISM community. Here are the dates and times for these events:

PreviewDate Time Venue
Film (All ISM entries)Thursday, Feb 14th@3pmLT
DebateTuesday, Feb 19th@3pmLT
Music Part OneTuesday, Feb 19th@5pmAMR
ForensicsWednesday, Feb 20th@3pmLT
Dance/ Drama/ FilmWednesday, Feb 20th@5pmFAT
Music Part TwoThursday, Feb 21st@5pmAMR
Dance/ Drama/ FilmSaturday, Feb 23rd@3pmFAT

HS Play 2018: Tickets now on sale

This year’s High School play is an adaption of the novel Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which was originally written by Salman Rushdie for his young son, but has since attracted readers of all ages.

Buying tickets: This year, the play will use reverse staging , which limits the amount of seats available at each show to 186 and means there will be assigned seating. To ensure you get the date and seats that suit your family, buy your tickets early rather than wait until the day. Tickets cost 150PHP for students and 300PHP for adults. There are two ways to pay for tickets:

  • Pay in  cash at the cashiers office
  • Pay at the electronic kiosk, print a receipt, and take this to the cashier’s office to exchange for a ticket.

Show information: The play will be performed in the ISM Fine Arts Theatre 5 times:

  • Thursday, October 11th @ 6pm
  • Friday, October 12th @ 6pm
  • Saturday, October 13th @ 10am, 2pm & 6pm

The show starts with a unique entrance so arriving late won’t be possible; please be on time. There will be no intermission as the show is estimated to last about an hour and 15 minutes.

Plot summary: At the beginning of the play, young Haroun is finding life difficult. His mother, Soraya,  has gone and his famous storyteller father, Rashid,  is losing his ability to tell stories. Haroun discovers a way to help his father, but it involves a dangerous journey to the Sea of Stories and through a war between the Kingdoms of Gup and Chup. A long the way, he is assisted by many unique and magical beings.

Who is this play appropriate for? This play is appropriate for the whole ISM community. ES students will enjoy the magical costuming and unique set design, MS students will love the physicality and humour, and HS and adult audience members will appreciate the deeper morals of the story, which speak of the important role stories play in our lives.





HS Great Works Concert Links

For those who didn’t get a chance to see the 2018 HS Great Works Concert on September 20th, here is the live steam video. If you only have time for one musical piece today, I’ve set the first link to start with the last ‘Great Work’ of the night, which was Hallelujah from “The Mount of Olives” by Beethoven. At one time it was a controversial piece, but the sheer verve of the music meant that it has transcended the centuries to become a rousing classic:

The focus of the Great Works Concert is developing collaboration between ISM HS music groups through working on a challenging work together. We also bring in professional musicians to work alongside our students to further stretch their capabilities and develop their musicianship. The whole concert can be watched from the start via this link:

The program is also attached here so you can follow along and celebrate the ISM students, staff and visiting guest artists who were performing. Congratulations again to the ISM Middle and High School Music Department for preparing the students so well for such a challenging concert.
The recording above is via the live stream. We also recorded a higher quality audio and will synch this with the video when editing. This copy will be place in the Parent Portal for download a copy for your records. Instructions about finding this video can be found here:

IASAS MUN 2018@ ISM- Housing Form

ISM will be hosting students from the IASAS schools (Singapore American School, International School of Kuala Lumpur, Taipei American School, International School Bangkok, and Jakarta Intercultural School) and also Friends-of-IASAS schools for IASAS MUN 2018.  In order to run this event, we need to provide home stays for visiting students while they are in Manila. Groups will arrive Wednesday, November 14th and depart on Sunday, November 18th.

Why host? Hosting is an excellent opportunity for ISM students to forge international friendships, which often last beyond High School into College. Indeed, there are many instances of IASAS friends becoming roommates or joining together for regular social events at colleges around the world. In addition, hosting also has a very practical purpose as it keeps the costs of running the event at a manageable level for families. Many ISM students have already benefited (or will do so in the future) from home stays in other countries for various sporting and cultural events. Therefore, hosting students for this IASAS MUN is a chance to repay past and future kindnesses! Finally, we tend to use students hosts as student helpers for running the event. This provides CAS opportunities and also builds leadership/ management capacity.

General guidelines/expectations for host families when housing for an IASAS event:

  • Pick up and drop off from and to school on arrival and departure days
  • Transport to school each morning and transport home each day of the event (can be bus in the mornings on school days).
  • Provide all breakfasts and some evening meals. (Students buy their lunch at the canteen.)
  • Ensure there is adult supervision when visiting students are at your home each evening. (This should be an adult family member, not a paid helper.)
  • Enforce the 9pm curfew for all IASAS delegates.
  • Answer curfew calls from the visiting students’ advisors each evening.

Answers to commonly asked questions:

What guidelines are there for sleeping arrangements?

  • You will need to provide each student with a place to sleep, bedding and a towel.
  • If you have a double bed, it is fine: the visiting schools try to pair friends together so this isn’t an issue and we forewarn people so they have a chance to opt out if they are uncomfortable with this idea.
  • Airbeds, mattresses on the floor of your child’s bedroom and sofa beds are also fine.
  • Students sharing a room must be of the same gender.

What expectations are there regarding supervision?

  • There must be an adult member of the family home during the evenings. If this is to be a relative other than a parent (e.g grandparent, aunt or uncle), please state the name and family connection on your housing form.
  • In a car, there must always be a member of the host family. This may be an ISM student or parent.
  • Answer the curfew call from the visiting teachers, who do this after 9pm each night.


When will I know who I am hosting? Unfortunately, hosting is like a giant puzzle. We can place the students until we have all the beds. We are starting very early with requesting housing for this event because of the October break falling only a short while beforehand. We hope to be able share this with you at least a week before the event.


I am an IASAS Delegate. Does this mean I need to house? Yes. All delegates need to house in the year they travel for an IASAS event. When a student is part of an IASAS event hosted by ISM, it is expected that they host for that event. If the student is travelling, then they must host for any event in that school year. If you cannot fulfill your obligation, you must find a family that can do so on your behalf.

I am not going to be an IASAS Delegate. Can I still house? Hosting an IASAS event will always involve many more people than just the selected ISM IASAS group. This is what makes hosting so fun! We will need around 40 volunteers who are not actual MUN delegates to run the various aspects of the convention. We tend to use students who offer to house to undertake these roles because they end up having more of a social connection to the visitors. Of course, there is no expectation to help. If you simply want to house, this is also fine!

What do I do now? If hosting is something your family is happy to do, please fill in this Google IASAS MUN 2018 Hosting Form.  If you have any additional questions regarding the hosting process, please feel free to call or email me (Marsha Hillman- 028408400 ex 630/631). We will then contact you a week before the event to let you know the details of the students you will be hosting and other important logistical details. Thanks for supporting IASAS MUN 2018 at ISM!

ISM Fine & Performing Arts Events 2018-19

The calendar for the 2018-19 school year cultural and arts-based events is below.  We hope you can join us in celebrating the creative endeavours of our Bearcats throughout the year:

ISM Cultural and Arts Calendar 2018-19

As a reminder, if you are looking for videos of past arts events, please refer to the parent portal where there is a folder marked Fine Arts video. Increasingly, videos are also shared on the ISM Live YouTube channel.



HS 100% Dance- April 19th @ 3:30pm in the LT

ISM’s Dance Company presents their final show for the school year on April 18th, starting at 3:30pm in the Little Theatre. The class has taken inspiration from the game Clue (originally known as Cluedo in Europe), which is a murder mystery board game that has also inspired several films. Each dance explores one of the rooms represented in the game and unravels another part of the mystery.  Here is the poster, designed by Dance Company senior Nicole Bitanga, for the event.


HS Film Festival-April 18th@3pm in FAT

The HS Film Festival brings together films from Intro, Explore and IB Film classes to celebrate the best of what ISM film makers have created this school year.  The first part of the festival showcases the best films made for individual projects in all year groups. The final part of the program is used to showcase the culminating IB2 projects made by the Grade 12 film makers. Please join us on April 18th at 3pm in the FAT to watch these on the big screen! (Poster design by G10 student Rhia Mitsuhashi)