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White Flower, Jimini Pizza, and 8 other signs you’re from Chiang Kai Shek

Cover Photo by Allyson Mendoza

We all have wonderful memories of our high schools. After all, for many of us, it’s where we’ve really spent much of our teenage years, growing into (hopefully) better people; they were days filled with successes, failures, laughter, learnings, and of course, crushes as well.

It’s no different for students of Chiang Kai Shek College in Manila. Though many of their students are Chinese-Filipino as much as anyone, they’ve developed their own unique traditions and memories, and as they venture into the COVID-19 new normal, they’ll undoubtedly create more for sure!

For now, though, let us celebrate what has been. Here are 10 signs someone studied in Chiang Kai Shek College (CKSC):

1) Clinic? White Flower.. Every single time

Image from SCMP

Feeling sick or is it just Chinese class? One very relatable experience for CKSians when it comes to clinic visits is that staff would always give the ever-reliable, ever-available, and ever-dependable treatment of all time: White Flower, regardless of the sickness (or lack thereof). Though White Flower is a common treatment in perhaps all Chinese-Filipino school clinics as well, maybe, just maybe, CKSC takes its to a whole different level.

2) Flag ceremonies they better not be late for

Image from CKSC (Facebook)

It’s 7:00 a.m. on a Tuesday, you’re a few minutes away from school, and everything’s normal.. Except for the fact that there’s a flag ceremony in a few minutes and traffic’s real bad. All schools require their students to be punctual and present during flag ceremony, and CKSians clearly know what happens when they aren’t: closed gates, a trip to the discipline office, and perhaps a morning sermon. Familiar?

3) Those occasional movies in Da Litang (大禮堂) 

Image from CKSC (Facebook)

But not everything’s all that bad, especially when it involves movies in the auditorium! These required occasional movie gatherings in CKSC’s auditorium serve as, perhaps for many students, a time to unwind and rest from academic work. And speaking of unwind..

Image from Jarynil Lao Burlado

4) The Jimini Craze #Pizza #PizzaBars 

Pizza! Crazes and cravings for food are completely normal and for a collective many CKSians, that was manifested in the craze for Jimini’s Pizza when it was opened in the cafeteria! Seriously, who doesn’t love a small warm pizza for merienda after perhaps that difficult subject right before it?

5) HOLD ON, don’t forget Sizzling after dismissal!

Another very relatable place for many CKSians is Sizzling, where many would go and dine right after class. Java rice? They’ve got it! BBQ? Yes! Maybe some iced tea? Of course! Indeed, after-class meals are the very best because they serve as a reward after a long day’s productive work.

6) Remember F&G?

CKSians must really love food (well, who doesn’t), but another place that once served as a haven for them was this place called F&G. It has since closed down, but what many students will remember is the variety of things they could buy from the place: from pancit canton to pasta. Sadly, generally speaking, these usually open-air food parks with numerous places to buy all sorts of food didn’t really click as much as we might’ve wanted.

Image from The Mandarin Corner

7) Xiaokais and Mopit galore

Ah yes, now we’re really getting serious! Xiaokai and mopit/maobi are VERY familiar terms to all students of Chinese-Filipino schools, and the two really just have one goal: to make your life harder. Kidding aside, as what students know very well, the xiaokai helps make sure we aren’t writing our Chinese characters too big and of course, the mopit (calligraphy pen) is used in the ancient skill of calligraphy. Cheers to living the culture!

8) “AHH, zuowen na naman!!! Hlwdhfdfhgmd”

Nobody loves writing long academic compositions, most especially if it’s in Chinese. It really is, in the full sense of the word, intense. In CKSC, though, intense is brought to a whole new level. Students cannot leave without finishing their compositions, and there is a strict character limit to be followed. In addition, the teacher has to actually check the composition itself before allowing the student to leave the class.

9) Ghosts in the garden?

Of course, we get to the inevitable: the local school ghost stories. In CKSC, there’s a rumor among a number of students that there are ghosts in the garden, and that in order to avoid them remembering you, you have to flip your ID such that your face isn’t seen. Of course, that’s perhaps just one of many versions of the story and not everybody has the same testimony but one thing’s clear: every school has their own version of horror stories happening on campus.


The garden! Image from 菲华网

10) Creative class names and equally creative class shirts

Image from CKSC (Facebook)

In CSKC, many sections are named according to letters and numbers, and this has provided the opportunity for classes to come up with their own creative section names! Some examples include “Amazynx” for a certain Section A and “Cyclonix” for a certain Section C but really, the thing with this is that there’ve been so many creative class names and it’s really impossible to list every single one! This just goes to show how enthusiastic CKSC students are and how capable they can really be.

And I think that pretty much sums up the story of Chiang Kai Shek College and its students: they’re very capable and they always have been.

It has to be pointed out that this doesn’t encompass the story of all generations of CKSians, but one thing is clear: tough challenges do not bring them down but instead make them stronger people, something we all ought to emulate.

Therefore, it’s without a doubt that even as they face the unique new challenge of online learning, education, as their vision and mission goes, will always be for excellence.

Special thanks to Wesley Carag, Robin Chua, Nicole Co, and Christopher Go


The author of this article: 

An accomplished young Chinese Filipino writer and media personality, Aaron S. Medina is associated with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Ateneo de Manila University Chinese Studies Program, the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies, and CHiNOY TV. He has a passion for truth, justice, and Pokémon, too! Follow him on Facebook:

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