NEW DELHI, India— It’s “mission accomplished” for the 20-member Philippine team to the just-concluded 2009 Wizards at Mathematics International Competition (WIZMIC) where it finished in second place.
The young Filipino numbers whizzes won a total of 25 medals in the Math contest for elementary students held in Lucknow, capital of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, 516 kilometers southeast of the Indian capital.
The four gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals the math wizards garnered were good for a very respectable second place finish in the seven-nation contest.
Indonesia topped the competition, winning 24 medals, including eight golds. Thailand came in third with 20, Bulgaria was fourth with nine while host India was fifth with 33 medals, mostly bronze.
Zimbabwe and Nepal also took part in the contest, taking home six and five medals, respectively.
The Math teams from South Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Taiwan failed to show up for the one-day contest due to what a contest official called the “H1N1 (virus) scare.”
The Filipinos’ individual gold medals came courtesy of Adrian Reginald Sy from St. Jude Catholic School in Manila, Timothy James Tan from Trinity Christian School in Bacolod City and Nathaniel Ryan Ang from Xavier School in San Juan City.
The fourth gold was won by Philippines Team B, composed of Lara Andrea Montales from Colegio San Agustin in Makati City, Andrew Lawrence Sy from St. Jude Catholic School, Tan and Ang.
The silver medalists were Trisha Nicole Aman from Naga Hope Christian School in Naga City; James Daniel Cordon and Angelo Gabriel Llamas from PAREF-Southridge in Muntinlupa City; Wilford Jason Julio, Martin Lewis Koa and Keith Brian Yu from St. Jude Catholic School; and Leo Emmanuel Sombiro from Solomon Integrated School de Iloilo in Iloilo City.
The Philippines A, C, D and E teams bagged one silver medal each in the team competition.
The bronze medalists were Mark Davidson Cua from Pangasinan Universal Institute in Dagupan City, Caisa Subia from San Beda College-Alabang in Muntinlupa City, Emmanuel Joshua Pena from La Salle Greenhills in San Juan City, Joseph Ma. Francis de Leon from Blessed Lights International Christian School in Naga City, Zac Tyrone Bais from ABC Learning Center in Dumaguete City, Christian Jared Balayan from St. Mary’s College in Quezon City, Paul Carlo Salise from City Central School in Cagayan de Oro City, Shawn Gabriele Cabanes from Zamboanga Chong Hua High School in Zamboanga City, Andrew Lawrence Sy, and Lara Andrea Montales.
Ed Malaya, spokesman of the Department of Foreign Affairs, commended the Filipino students for a job well done.
The medalists were trained by Mathematics Trainers’ Guild-Philippines (MTG), a non-stock, non-profit group that aims to promote excellence in Math education in the Philippines.
Dr. Simon Chua, MTG president and co-founder, led the Philippine delegation to the WIZMIC, hosted by the City Montessori School in Lucknow, a UNICEF awardee for peace education.
The Math competition is one of the 20-plus international events hosted each year by the City Montessori School (student pop.: 37,000), founded in 1959 by educators Jagdish Gandhi and wife Dr. Bharti Gandhi.
The Philippine team garnered 22 medals in the 2007 WIZMIC.
According to Chua, the WIZMIC “provides another opportunity for young math wizards worldwide to gather and display their remarkable mathematical skills. This small circle of math educators and young wizards are not just doing great things for the improvement of math education but also to understanding cultural diversity.”
“It is evident that part of the WIZMIC goal is to bring out the best from every participant,” Chua said.
Like Jagdish Gandhi, the MTG head said the competition “also helps in promoting world peace and unity.”
During the CMS event, Chua also invited WIZMIC participants to the Philippine International Math Competitions, scheduled for later this month in Iloilo City.
To date, at least 22 countries have confirmed their participation in the contest, including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Thailand, Nigeria, Bhutan, Iran, South Africa, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cyprus, Romania, and South Korea. –Jerry E. Esplanada, Philippine Daily Inquirer