Mabuhay!  Welcome!

This is a celebration – a celebration of the passing of (the first) 100 years of ISM’s existence and we are delighted that you can all be here to join us in this celebration.

In March 1920, a group of American and British expatriates established the American School Manila, originally located in a loaned church building, with 8 teachers and fifty students from Grades 1-12. The school subsequently moved locations twice in this decade to cope with increased enrolment.  As numbers continued to grow, in 1936, the school moved again; this time to a campus which became home to the American School Manila for almost 30 years.  In 1941, war came to the Philippines and the school campus was used by the American Army and in 1942, the Japanese started their occupation of Manila when American and British nationals along with their families were imprisoned at the University of Sto. Tomas; the school continued to run at this internment camp such that, during WWII, 34 students graduated from the American School. In 1946, a year after the Japanese surrendered, the American School reopened its doors.  In 1960, the American School was awarded a grant from the US State Department and the Filipino Scholarship Program was launched.  This grant also led to another move, this time to a five-hectare property in Makati. In 1970, the American School changed its name to International School Manila at the recommendation of the US Embassy to reflect the growing student diversity on campus.  ISM continued to grow and it was evident that the Board of Trustees needed to find another location. This led to the School’s move to the current BGC campus in 2002. To date, ISM has over 2,300 students with a diverse community of over 100 nationalities represented.  

So… Mabuhay!  Welcome to the Philippines, to International School Manila and to this unusual “Super-IASAS” for Season 1 of the 2019-2020 academic year to celebrate our centennial year; unusual because ISM will be hosting all three end-of-season tournaments.  I would like to start therefore by saying a warm welcome to our cross-country, soccer and volleyball teams, their coaches and, of course, to all the travelling parents that make the time on the bleachers and by the sides of the fields, so much fun for everyone.

Due to the vastness of scale to host an event of this magnitude – both in terms of logistics during the tournament and the organisation needed in the run-up to it – the first group of people to deserve our thanks and great praise are, of course our Athletics Director, Mark Pekin, and his team, who have done such an awesome job.  The second group of people that I would like to recognise for their unselfish contribution are our host parents; never before have we needed to find enough beds to host 330 travelling athletes and this willingness to help is a tribute to the relationship and love that our parents have for their school and for the work of the IASAS organisation.  And finally, I would like to recognise the tremendous effort and dedication that all the coaches have made in preparing these athletes for the competitions and for accompanying them here to Manila.

Thanks again for joining us at this auspicious time in ISM’s journey.  Have a great 3 days of competition.

Best wishes,

Mike Dickinson

High School Principal

International School Manila


It is a great pleasure for International School Manila to host this year’s IASAS Soccer/Volleyball and Cross Country Championships in our centenary year. We look forward to exciting competition and to the friendly interactions and competitive rivalry between all IASAS teams. 

Congratulations to all team members on the hard work and dedication you have demonstrated to be selected for your school’s team. The results of your preparation and efforts will be reflected in your individual and teams’ performance over the next three days. In any competition it is often the mental preparation on match day that is so important. Can you be and give your best on that day? That is the question that will be asked of you during the days ahead. My hope is that all of you will be able to find your “best form” and be able to sit at the closing ceremony happy with your individual performances and your contribution to the team. 

At ISM we value all the ethics of good sportsmanship. It is important to cheer hard and loud for your own team and also to appreciate the great performances that you will see from your fellow competitors. Genuine congratulations and appreciation of great sporting effort(s) from individuals on opposing teams is a true reflection of an “athlete”. 

I would like to give a special thanks to all our ISM families that have volunteered to house the IASAS athletes. Three hundred and thirty athletes are housed for this event and without the generous support from our parent community events like this simply could not happen. I would also like to recognize and give my special thanks to all those that have helped with the planning, organization and running of this first IASAS event for 2019-20 school year and give special thanks to my IASAS colleagues the AD's from each school who have provided great support for the hosting of this event. 

I wish all 396 IASAS athletes and their dedicated coaches the very best and hope that you enjoy the season 1 IASAS Championships in Manila 2019-20.

Yours in Sport, 

Mark A. Pekin 

Director of Athletics 

International School Manila