THEY may be small and young, but they have made the nation proud.
Five children from Iligan City and one from Cagayan de Oro City, bagged all the golds at the Thailand International Mathematical Olympiad (TIMO), held last April 5 to 8 in Phuket, Thailand.
TIMO is an annual Mathematical Olympiad competition organized by the Thailand Mathematics Society.
While the majority of Mathematical Olympiad competitions focus only on 0.1 percent of the elite students, TIMO provides an opportunity for all students with strong interest in Mathematics to participate in the competition.
Jadon Kedrick Domo and Zyrhene Hinosolango from City Central School; Shadi Kent Al Hamoud of Corpus Cristi School; Denn Ethan Josh Castro and Samantha Kaye Asuncion of St. Mary's School; and Imran Jibril Panolong and Ethan Bryan See of Oro Christian Grace School each won gold medals in their respective categories.
Samantha Kaye also received a special award for finishing first runner up in Primary 2 category.
"Math is actually Sam's weakness. She is a competitive person and she has somehow managed to like and make Math one of her strengths," John Asuncion, Samantha's father, said.
John shared that Samantha bagged silver during the qualifying round of TIMO, which was held in Cagayan de Oro, without any preparation.
He said that Samantha did it to assess her capability and the school curriculum.
"We were surprised when she had a gold and qualified for the TIMO. It was then that she had supplemental reviews once a week. We did not pressure her at all. She wanted to join the olympiad herself," John said.
When they learned about Samantha's gold award in TIMO and the second placer in the world ranking for Primary 2 category, John said he was shocked and in disbelief.
However, he added, he was very thankful for the blessings.
"We did not expect her to top it against other students because we knew she enjoyed Math quite recently only. We know how serious the other kids are," John said.
Lawyer Allan Panolong, for his part, also expressed happiness and is proud of his sons Imran Jibril, who got a gold, and Raja Fareez, who got a bronze medal.
Denn Ethan Josh's mother, on the other hand, congratulated her son in a Facebook post, saying she was so proud of her son and that he is "indeed a Star Baby."
She also thanked Denn's coaches and the St. Mary's School for "molding Ethan to become what he is now."
Silver medalists from Cagayan de Oro City are: Kristina Isabela Sur and Leonaidaz Maersk Manzano of City Central School, and Rafael Ethan Joseph Abas of St. Mary's School.
Bronze medalists are: Karlo Francisco Sur of City Central School, Precious Anne Gomez of Corpus Christi School, and Raja Fareez Panolong of Oro Christian Grace School.
Merit awardees are: Rudy Anthony Kyle Villanueva of Oro Christian Grace School, Shera Theresse Tancawan and Rash Gabriel Tancawan of Phinma Cagayan de Oro College, and Mil Gerard Tancawan of Xavier University Junior High School.
All of TIMO gold medalists are qualified for the World International Mathematical Olympiad, which will be held in Japan in December this year.