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Start of Something New

Back in late August, the ICS Student Council teased the implementation of clubs instead of guilds right before the council elections started with the forms for candidacy. Flashforward to November 4 of this year, the first three official clubs recognized by the school were announced—Project Pambata, the Gaming Club, and yours truly, the Owl Pamphlet. Mayari and FilmAnthropy quickly joined the crew the next day.

With every new creation comes an origin story. Have you ever wondered how all these brand new groups were made in the first place? Are you interested in joining one of these clubs, but you’re still hesitant? Well, you’re on the right track! We conducted an interview with the point persons from each of the current official clubs. Get ready to read on how it all began and why you might want to be a part of this new ICS system.

A little disclaimer though—by “current”, we mean the clubs that were official during the time we wrote this little article for you. If any new clubs were announced by the time this is published, you’ll have to wait a little longer to hear their stories. You’ll also have to stay patient if you want to hear how the Owl Pamphlet came to be too! We’re saving that tale for another time.

Out of the old, into the new

All things have an origin. There’s always a backstory to everything. Whether it be a passion you’ve had since forever or a random idea that popped in your head, you can do so much with the power of thought and imagination. Creating a club follows the exact same formula. So, how exactly did the clubs we have today get to where they are now?

“We always wanted to start an org or a club, so when the opportunity came, we really decided to start one,” Ada Mendoza, the point-person for Project Pambata, said. She explained how the idea of making an organization has always been something her friend group was interested in. They really wanted to make a club centered around education as they have always acknowledged its value.

Meanwhile, for FilmAnthropy, it actually wasn’t their intention at all to be an official club. “What if we make a Netflix Party club?” their point-person, Cali Tiu, recalled how it all started out as a joke, but then it slowly turned into something they actually wanted to do. “From there, it sort of escalated, we kind of developed the idea. What really motivated us is we all have a passion for watching movies. We think it would really be cool if we can watch it with other ICS students as well.”

In a way, the Gaming Club had a similar beginning to FilmAnthropy. It was really random at first, but the organization was made based on their friendship with each other. Vince Dela Paz said, “We created a club so we can also share to them [ICS community] the experiences we experienced when we first started off [gaming together].”

Mayari, on the other hand, was first created out of pressure. Elise Molina, head scriptwriter and point-person of the club, explained how a lot of people were expecting her to start an acting club. She generally wanted to make a group where the youth can use their voices, but she realized she could do both. “I remembered a chapter in Noli [Me Tangere], and it was talking about a priest who was sick, and he knew he was sick but did nothing about it, so it only got worse. That really struck me because it made me realize a lot of us know something is wrong in the world, yet they choose to let it be while there are people suffering.” She talked about how she was encouraged to start something that could make a change even if it’s as small as a student-initiated club. She also wanted to make an evolved version of ICS’s previous acting guild, where you can give a voice to the voiceless and help people in need.

Work this out

With all things that are new, each and every one of us is bound to face a struggle or slip-up at one point. Although this may cause some inconveniences, this is all worth it as long as you learn lessons along the way. Encountering hurdles and hardships is inevitable for every new club, but what matters is how you choose to overcome it.

Ada mentioned that Project Pambata is experiencing one of the hardest parts of starting a club right now. “The whole process of actually making it is really difficult, and now we’re going to be having our Christmas event, which is the first big event that we’re having.” She stated how stressful and hard it is to coordinate with everyone in terms of finding suppliers and partner orgs because it is very new to all of us. However, she closed with, “I think it becomes very bearable because we always remind ourselves why we’re doing this, and who we’re doing this for.”

Showing societal issues in a proper way, especially being limited to online platforms, can be really difficult. Since Mayari’s main mission is to speak up more about the realities of the world, they encountered a problem such as this. Like what Elise said, “We were also thinking of the specifics like where will it be live streamed, how will we reach people, and how will we film and compile the videos?” However, she explained that with enough research, they were able to find a solution to these problems.

“A struggle that we’re facing now is trying to get more members.” Cali explained as she said that it was harder to get people to join their club since joining a club isn’t required. “However, we’re happy with the members we have.” She learned that while they haven’t been able to reach their own expectations, they’re very much grateful with the current status.

“I think for all events and everything new, the hardest part is always the start,” Vince stated as he talked about the difficulty of building the overall foundation of the club and finding the right members who have the motivation and the heart to encourage other people. He also expressed how difficult it was to get members for their club when newcomers may feel intimidated. However, he ended with, “We’re really trying our best to be more welcoming and encouraging to other students.”

Bop to the top

A lot of you might have already seen the various promotional materials these clubs used to explain their mission and vision and why it would be great if you support their cause. If you want a more in-depth explanation as to why you should be interested, we’ve got you covered.

When you have the opportunity to make new friends, would you give it up or take it? The whole point of the Gaming Club is to have fun, discover new friendships, and make connections that aren’t only limited to gaming. Vince tackled this subject by saying, “It’s really more on sharing the fun that we experienced when we connected with other grade levels.” You might not be comfortable at first with talking to people you aren’t close to, but it’s worth a shot when they might just become friends you can rely on for the long run.

“Sadly, education is a privilege nowadays. We think people should join our club because we want to make education a right instead of a privilege,” Ada explained as she mentioned how a lot of us in the ICS community might not realize how blessed we are that we get to be educated. A lot of people truly want to be able to go to school but can’t because of many different, unfortunate reasons. Project Pambata aims to reach underprivileged Filipino children and help them be able to study. “It’s a good cause that people should support especially students so that they also realize that outside of their own world, there are other people who don’t have access to education.”

“It’s an opportunity for them [ICS students] to be able to express their opinions freely regarding the different topics we will be discussing especially from the movies,” Cali remarked, talking about how FilmAnthropy wants to raise awareness about the different problems that could not only be seen in movies, but also in our own country. The goal is to help develop critical thinking skills and the ability to create convictions and respond appropriately to the things that happen around us. After all, we’re the youth of our society. Being able to analyze and make sense of the social issues present in our world today can really help us develop a better understanding of reality.

Mayari believes in similar concepts as the two clubs mentioned beforehand. They hope to encourage speaking up and taking action even if you aren’t involved in a certain situation or problem. Just like FilmAnthropy, they want to highlight what’s really happening in our country and how we can all help make things better. Elise sums it up nicely by saying, “Our club is a good way to help people even from the comforts of our homes. Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability and the privilege to speak up, and we have it. So, we should use our privilege and ability to speak for those who are struggling.”

Gotta go my own way

Guilds have always been a big part of GCF-ICS ever since, and having a new opportunity to start clubs has made the student body pumped up and excited to lead their own organizations. However, is letting go of something that has been with us for such a long period of time a good thing? Let’s find out what the representatives of Project Pambata, FilmAnthropy, Mayari, and the Gaming Club have to say about this.

“I personally think that the student-initiated clubs are more efficient and effective than the guilds system because it’s student-led, which allows us to be more motivated to give our best,” Ada said as she expressed how clubs are an opportunity for us to further hone our skills and what we’re good at. She also said that guilds were more limited, and clubs actually allow a lot of students to realize what their talents are which gives them the chance to grow even more.

Cali had a similar answer to Ada. She stated that guilds were limited to certain hobbies, interests, and talents, which may cause the possibility of students not being able to do the things that they love and are interested in. Cali believes that clubs are a good thing because it allows them to form certain organizations based on their true passions. She ended her statement by saying, “Clubs also give the students an opportunity to plan their own events and what they want their org to do.”

Elise explained how she thinks that student-initiated clubs are better because it allows the high school body to practice leadership skills all the more. “Clubs encourage students to step up,” Elise expressed as she explained how the guilds didn’t really peak the interests of other students and how they were pressured to join the guilds that were already laid out for them. She said that clubs allowed students to not only focus on one talent, but they can branch out and learn more.

Vince, however, had a different answer. He said that there were two sides, and he couldn’t choose between them both. “I think clubs are good because it pinpoints the interests of certain students, so it becomes more fruitful in a way,” Vince stated as he was talking about the first side. On the other hand, he thinks that guilds are good as well just because it’s required which makes it easier to push through with their plans, since there would be more members.

If you look at the bigger picture, there really isn’t one that is better than the other. Both clubs and guilds function differently, and people may have varying opinions regarding this. At the end of the day, what’s important is that we stay connected as a high school body through activities apart from academics. The good thing is that both clubs and guilds do just that.

We’re all in this together

After you’ve read the answers of each point-person, you can really see how the ICS students are stepping up and taking action as leaders. It’s inspiring to look at how each club is striving for progress to contribute in creating a closer community. Who would’ve thought that being separated physically would actually bring us closer and give us the drive and motivation to contribute to change in our world?

We can see how hard each club has worked to build a sturdy foundation for their organization and how hard they are working to make it the best they possibly can. With that being said, we really hope that this article encourages you to join at least one or multiple clubs. Not only will they hone your talents and skills, but it may also give you a new set of friends that you can bond with to take a break from academics. Who knows? Maybe you can start a club of your own to widen the set of organizations we have now. Don’t be afraid to step up because a small step like this can really make a difference. We, the youth, are the leaders and hope of our future, so we ought to start taking baby steps now.

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