While some Filipinos go abroad to further their studies, there is one family who returned to the Philippines expecting to get a world-class, relevant, and excellent education. After all, if expatriates and missionaries can entrust their children’s schooling to the Philippine educational system, why can’t balikbayans do the same in the comfort of their homeland?
“Upon arriving in Southville I had my doubts; doubts about moving to a foreign country, going to school all over again, the safety of my family and just starting over. As terrifying a decision as it was, my wife and I decided to take the bold step with faith and hope. We have been here for about three months and the amount of love shown for our family is overwhelming. We are so excited to be here in the Philippines, attending a top international school, and are beyond excited to see what the future holds for our family especially as this is the first time we are studying in the Philippines.
– Matthew Uson
Matthew and Tiffany chose to build a family at a young age which was an unconventional start that eventually became a beautiful twist. Blessed with three gorgeous daughters – Chryslynd, Kyliahna, and Trinyti – the couple had learned to manage the challenges of young parenting that includes their children’s EDUCATION.
From Utah, U.S.A., the family arrived in the Philippines with high hopes of not just advancing their children’s education but also fulfilling their own dreams to be college graduates. “It’s never too early, never too late!”
Both Mathew and Tiffany agree on how they balance each other out. The couple has a shared interest and passion for the arts and sports. With such a perfect blend, they have yet to explore their intellectual life as students.
Now in their late 20’s, Matthew and Tiffany have developed a much more different perception of academic life being wiser and more interested than ever. It has been a full spin of learning experiences in both classroom and real-life settings.
Surprisingly, attending school with their children has turned out to be uniquely refreshing. Tiffany considers this opportunity to be particularly empowering as a mother who can keep an eye on each family member from home, school, and beyond.
“School life for us as parents is just like any other. We go to school, and soak up all the knowledge we can from our teachers and peers,” shared Matthew and Tiffany.
The couple chose the BS Information Technology (IT) course to keep up with the digital age which is the time period their kids are born in. There may also be Google, Amazon, and Facebook branches set up in Utah in the future, thus providing them with exciting career opportunities when they go home.
Tiffany further shared, t“My mother, a Samoan by ancestry, also works in the computer department so we’ve been in the loop using technology for some time now. I took a break from that and tried other fields but this time I’m in it for the long run.” As for Mathew, lessons about national hero Jose Rizal captured his interest as he never got to study Philippine history in the States.
A Perfect Transition
Chryslynd Ku’uleikealohalani Uson is a name that carries a special meaning in the eyes of her parents. Ku’uleikealohalani means My Lei of Love from heaven. Like a wreath of fresh flowers that she is, Chryslynd has a reserved and gentle personality that serves her well as the eldest among Matthew and Tiffany’s three daughters. “Chryslynd is reserved. Her personality comes from her dad who taught her never to let her guard down,” shared Tiffany.
Chryslynd describes herself as a natural leader yet a quiet achiever. She knows the balance between being front and center, and in the background. “When others don’t know what to do, I take the initiative yet I’m also the type who would learn from my peers,” Chryslynd shared.
Currently in Grade 9, she did not find it hard to adjust from what used to be her academic routine in the United States. All her previous subjects were credited and Southville’s campus environment allowed her to easily make new friends from diverse backgrounds. Chryslynd shared that SISC is a notch higher than the reputable middle schools she’s been to, especially the cosmopolitan style of teaching and learning. She added, “I learn best when it’s fun. When the teacher uses humor, I learn better.”
Chryslynd surprisingly developed her love for the sciences in Southville. Indeed, the institution has produced a roster of graduates who ventured into the sciences in top universities like Harvard, King’s College London, Seoul National University, Imperial College London, and London School of Economics. “Back in the U.S., Science was my least favorite subject but here, they make it so much fun! Chemistry is my favorite to be exact, one of the subjects I’m best at,” she said.
Chryslynd has all the traits expected of a first-born. Much to say, she is well-rounded, a 14-year-old who does well in school, specializes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and shares equal talents in sports and the performing arts, Chryslynd dreams of becoming a medical practitioner in the future.
A Bright Future
Kyliahna Sionenoa Uson is named after her mother’s sister. “Sionenoa” resembles the significant influence of Tiffany’s sister during her younger days. Kyliahna is extroverted and confident, loves to express herself, and be friends with everyone she meets. She always looks forward to exciting days in class at the Junior Kinder level.
With her outgoing personality, she enjoys activities that hone her interpersonal skills and has no trouble connecting with Southville students of different nationalities. “She has the qualities of a leader as she can work with everyone with no conflict,” shared Ms. Kezia Viray, Kyliahna’s homeroom adviser.
“Kyliahna is definitely our curious critter,” Tiffany shared. The broad-minded second-born is enticingly receptive to things that stimulate her interest. She’s particularly into numbers and would “think Math” in any situation. The five-year-old does well in her three R’s – reading, writing, and arithmetic. Kyliahna is the type who learns things as easy as one-two-three.
She loves dressing to the nines that even when wearing her school uniform – she would go a little extra which makes her more adorable. Furthermore, Kyliahna is innately a gifted speaker with a confidence she got from her mother. She likes talking and engaging in a wide range of activities from watching movies to grasping scorpions. “When they say ‘The sky’s the limit’ this girl is the definition,” Tiffany commended.
Kyliahna is amazed by the new learning environment that gives her a vast room to grow, from reading and solving to singing and dancing. It includes Southville’s signature tenet of keeping the environment clean through 5S. “I like learning how to balance with my classmates, sounding out letters, eating, playing, and cleaning up all the toys,” said Kyliahna.
A Fun Learning Community
Trinyti Faith Kahōkūoka’iulani, which means the highest point in heaven, possesses a bubbly personality. At a tender age, her Philippine educational experience was jump-started at Southville’s Learning Village (LV) in full preparation for regular schooling. The Southville Learning Village is an interactive learning place that caters to children aged 1-7 years old. Children develop their cognitive and emotional skills by doing essential skill-building practices and activities such as imaginary play, exploration, and discovery.
Southville Learning Village is the perfect place for her to learn through play. At one year old, her parents observed Trinyti’s use of different gestures to express herself, “She touches her head, shoulders and then down to her toes,” said Tiffany. She will most likely resemble the combined traits of her elder sisters, learning quickly as she imitates them.
A Family Learning Together
The Uson family confidently entrusts their academic life to Southville International School and Colleges, the only international school in the Philippines offering a wide array of educational programs from K-12 to Graduate Studies. The family noted the institution’s excellence, global standards, safe environment and core values of Character, Competence, Collaboration, Creativity, and Commitment to Achieve (5Cs). The school is situated in an exclusive, gated community that is convenient and safe.
With the roster of globally competent graduates Southville has produced in 30 years, more and more Filipino families based abroad are making the institution their next step in their educational journey. Expatriates, missionaries, and balikbayans joining the Southville community is living proof of the institution’s scholastic competence, and assurance that the knowledge gained will help them anywhere in the globe.