Sunday, May 20, 2018
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A day of math champs

(First of two parts)

More than half a million students thronged different venues nationwide in January for the elimination rounds of the country’s biggest mathematics competition: The Math Challenge sponsored by Metrobank Foundation, Math Teachers Association of the Philippines and Department of Education.

Qualifying students moved from area, sectoral to regional rounds.  Around 1,200 students made it to the regionals.


Grade 6 and fourth year contestants had a final round to hurdle:  the National Finals held on April 13 at Metrobank Plaza in Makati City.  Only 57 students successfully advanced to the last leg of the competition.

Finalist schools

I headed the board of judges for the fourth year competition, assisted by Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) science and engineering dean Evangeline Bautista and University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman math department chair Marian Roque.

UP professor emeritus Milagros Ibe chaired the Grade 6 competition, assisted by ADMU professors Elvira de Lara-Tuprio and Catherine Vistro-Yu.

The national finalists came from 21 public and 14 private schools. Of the total, 14 schools were in the finals  for the first time—some schools I had not even heard of and I wanted to see how their students fared.   I was pleased to see that most finalists were from public schools.

These were the finalists:

Region 1:  Baguio City National High School (Baguio City),  BHC Educational Institution Inc.  (San Fernando City, La Union),  Teodoro Hernaez National High School (Santa Cruz, Ilocos Sur),  Agoo Kiddie Special School  (Agoo, La Union)

Region 2:  Tuguegarao East Central School (Tuguegarao City)


Region 3:  The Peninsula School Bataan (Limay, Bataan),  Regional Science High School Region III (Olongapo City)

Region 4-A:  Colegio San Agustin-Biñan (CSA-Biñan, Laguna),  Philippine Tong Ho Institute (Lucena City),  Rizal National Science High School (Binangonan, Rizal),  Los Baños National High School (Los Baños, Laguna)

Region 5:  Bicol University College of Education Integrated Laboratory School (BUILS, Daraga, Albay), Blessed Lights International Christian Academy (Naga City),  Philippine Science High School-Bicol campus (Goa, Camarines Sur),  Ligao National High School (Ligao City)

Region 6:  St. John’s Institute (Bacolod City),  Philippine Science High School-West Visayas campus (Iloilo City)

Region 7:  Ateneo de Cebu Sacred Heart School (Mandaue City, Cebu),  Philippine Science High School-Central Visayas campus (Argao, Cebu),  Ramon Teves Pastor Memorial Dumaguete Science High School (Dumaguete City)

Region 8:  Ormoc City SPED Center (Ormoc City)

Region 9:  Zamboanga Chong Hua High School (ZCHHS, Zamboanga City)

Region 10:  Aloran Trade High School (Aloran, Misamis Occidental)

Region 11:  Precious International School of Davao (Davao City),  Ateneo de Davao University (Davao City)

Region 12:  General Santos City National High School (General Santos City)

Region 13:  Butuan City SPED Center (Butuan City),  Agusan del Sur National High School  (ASNHS, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur)

National Capital Region:  University of the Philippines Integrated School (UPIS, Quezon City),  Legarda Elementary School (Manila),  Camarin High School (Caloocan City),  Ateneo de Manila High School (ADMHS, Quezon City),  Ramon Magsaysay High School (RMHS, Quezon City),  Xavier School (XS, San Juan City),  Grace Christian College (GCC, Quezon City)



Contest problems were created by Soledad Ulep of the National Institute for Math and Science Education Development and Ian June Garces of ADMU.  In the individual category, contestants had a couple of hours to write their solutions to complex problems.  Afterwards, they battled each other in the oral round, with questions to be answered in 15, 30 or 60 seconds.

Grade 6 individual competition champions were, in order:  Christian Philip L. Gelera of UPIS (coached by Luzviminda Sibbaluca), Bon Leif D. Amalia of CSA-Biñan (coached by Melchor Minguito) and Edrian M. Octavo of BUILS (coached by Sherry Orozco).

Lorenzo Gabriel D. Quiogue of ADMHS (coached by Ryan Bruce) emerged as gold medalist in the fourth year individual competition.  Jaydee N. Lucero of Camarin HS (coached by Analyn Bandal) bagged silver and Rachel G. Rojo of ZCHHS (coached by Samuel Gayangos) received the bronze.

In the team category, teams of two competed in the oral round, again with each question to be solved within 15, 30 or 60 seconds.

Grade 6 team winners were, in order:  GCC’s Shaquille Wyan T. Que and Adam Christopher Y. Chan (with coach Carolyn Velasquez),  St. John’s Institute’s Natalia Beatrice Q. Dy and Jose Ignacio A. Locsin (with coach Julius Esparas) and Butuan City SPED Center’s Lorems Yrol B. Pedeglorio and Pamela S. Irisari (with coach Joey Makiling).

RMHS-QC’s Raul L. Mendoza Jr. and Alawi J. Sularte (with coach Luz Maraggun) won first place in the fourth year team category.  In second place were  ASNHS’s Ecclesiastes G. Montaos Jr. and Ryan Kier Damian (with coach Marilyn Bacolod).  In third place was XS, represented by Aaron Jevon Anthony S. Dy and Nathaniel Ryan T. Ang (with coach Linda May Hernandez).

(To be continued)

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