By John Noel E. Herrera
A 12-year-old kid from Iloilo brought honor to the country as he won medals in an international math competition in Bali, Indonesia.
Gihun Ng Yoo, a Grade 8 student and math wizard from St. Joseph School Iloilo Inc. won a bronze medal in the Primary Math Theoretical Round (Individual Category) and helped his team bag the second runner-up award in the Exploration Round at the Asian Science and Mathematics Olympiad for Primary and Secondary Schools (ASMOPSS 12).
He was the only Ilonggo student who made it to the 14-person Philippine team that competed internationally and secured a win after dominating students from Vietnam, Thailand, Tajikistan, and Indonesia.
“I am honored and it feels great to bring honor to the Philippines,” Gihun said as he relived the fun and thrilling moments during the competition.
“He is the only one from Iloilo. This is history-making as they are the first batch of students to compete internationally after the two-year hiatus in the in-person international competitions,” Yoos’ math teacher and coach, Iris Mae Palomo said in an interview.
Palomo said the school helped Yoo with his review as he needed to hurdle the elimination and the national rounds, which were held online, for him to be qualified for the international competition in Indonesia.
“The school helped him in the preparation for the contest through the aid of all the math teachers for the review sessions and the moral support of the whole Josephian community,” she said.
Gihun’s mother, Dr. Pamela Ng Yoo shared that she noticed her son’s interest in mathematics when he was just a toddler, and it was developed when he transferred to St. Joseph School Iloilo Inc. during his fourth grade as he got a perfect score in the math entrance examination.
Dr. Yoo also encouraged all parents to support their children, especially in the field where they excel.
“Proud gid ako nga makahatag siya sang dungog sa tanan, and I advised (parents) nga i-support lang gid ang kabataan, kung diin sila maayo, i-support para magmayo pa gid sila. Pamati man kung ano ang ila uyon kay sometimes hindi lang aton gusto ang masunod, pamati man ta para maintindihan man sila as you need to connect with them,” she said.
Gihun also competed and won in other international math contests before the pandemic started, while he is again set to compete in another online math competition based in Macao this coming Sunday.