- You need to follow strict dress codes.
Your blouse and skirt length should be the proper length. Always bring your ID and never wear colored bra. God forbid you wear ped socks, because anything that isn't two and a half inches above the ankle is enough cause for an infraction. Also: ICA. Jacket. Only.
- Always leave room for the Holy Spirit.
When it comes to guys, touching is not allowed. Space is mandatory in every soirée, prom, and ball. Because apparently male skin contact = scandal.
- We get excited about Bacon Day!
Whether you buy food from Anna's, N&W, Big Burp, or Rainbow Caf, you're always excited about Bacon Day, when you would race to the counters and watch in anticipation as the ate hands you a carton filled with bacon, eggs, and rice. Mmm.
- You are expected to be fluent in Mandarin.
Non-Chinese schools, to your chagrin, would ask you how to say different things in Mandarin. Dui bu qi—we're not fluent! Chinese classes mostly consisted of exaggerated hand gestures and garbled "Chinglish" in the hopes that your lao shi would understand you. (Worst case scenario: telling her "Ni hen piao liang" to get a better oral test grade.) Other Chinese schools judged you for your dishonorable Mandarin skills, to which you would say: Shen me(??)-ever!
Bonus: #ICAnKaKung When other schools would assume your fave Disney princess was Mulan, and you couldn't even lecture them on stereotyping because it was the #truth.
- You have to scale The Great Wall + deal with Xavierians.
Being ICAn, chances are you have The Great Wall, meaning you an only date Chinese guys. And what is the nearest Chinese school to ICA? Yup, Xavier. It was frustrating when everyone assumed your future bae would be Xavierian, and you couldn't argue when you saw the number of ICAns who married Xavierians.
- You count the holes on the DTASC ceiling whenever you got bored.
The DTASC has housed everything from your first Holy Communion to your graduation rites. But on many a tedious day, perhaps when you were running rounds during PE or trying not to fall asleep during First Friday Mass, you'd end up craning your neck at the ceiling, counting its numerous holes until you were duling. (Why does it have so many holes, anyway? How does that help in soundproofing the auditorium?)
- Cheering your heart out during Intrams!
December gets you excited for the annual two-day event, wherein four high school batches would fight it out in volleyball, chess, table tennis, badminton, and cheerdance. Aside from donning your respective batch colors and glittery face stickers, you fill the DTASC with deafening screams and choreographed cheers in support (and subsequently lose your voice for the next few days.)
- You pray for suspension at even the tiniest drop of rain.
Amidst sleepless nights over IP and exams, you would pray for suspension. You would refresh your Facebook news feed every second, and if you were in school, you would will the blaring of the PA system.
Bonus: #ICAnKaKung You've tweeted at Mayor Guia Gomez in an attempt to wake her from her mahjong-induced slumber.
- Chinese Holidays: Winning microscopic hopia every Mid-Autumn Festival and watching performances during Chinese New Year.
Ah, Chinese holidays, where red shirts resurface. Not that you're complaining! The dice bowl game every September puts your luck to the test (even if you always won sixth prize, not Chong Wan), and the lion and dragon dance never disappoints!
- You are expected to be a "woman of faith and service."
Sure, this motto has been parodied numerous times, but admit it: despite all the stress and pressure ICA has put you through, you've emerged with just the right amount of resilience and kindness. From greeting MIC sisters (Sister Irene!) to guards (Mang James!), from studying hard and always doing your best, and from being proud of yourself and other successful alumnae (#ICAnYan!)—ICA has made you a better person. And for that, you're forever grateful.
Send this to a fellow ICAn and share more distinctly ICAn traditions in the comment box below! Want to write about *your* school? Let us know!