Mark Christian Mendoza of Samar College Inc. won gold at the World International Mathematical Olympiad held in Tokyo, Japan last December 27 to 30. Mendoza is one of the 9 students from various schools in the country that won gold in the competition and one of the 40 students that comprises the Philippine Team. (photo by Heidi Mendoza)

Part of the Philippine contingent

TACLOBAN CITY – A Grade 4 student from Samar College Inc., based in Catbalogan City, made waves during the recently-held Math Olympiad held in Tokyo, Japan.
Mark Christian Mendoza was part of the Philippine contingent coming from different schools of the country who joined the December 27 to 30 at the World International Mathematical Olympiad (WIMO).
The math wizard was one of the nine participants who won a gold medal. Overall, the Philippine team won nine gold medals, 12 silvers, 16 bronze medals and 3 merit awards, enough for the country to emerge second to overall champion Thailand.
Malaysia finished third.
This year’s Math Olympiad was participated by 328 students from Australia, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Ukraine.
“I feel proud that I brought for my school in an international competition and I feel glad that all of my nights of studying have finally paid off,” Mendoza said in an interview after arriving from Japan.
Mendoza said that as part of his preparations to broaden his knowledge on Math, he enrolled in a program for reading and mathematics called “Kumon” where he learned algebra and calculus and arithmetic sequences.
“I also study every night with my tutor, Teacher Emil Fernando. I am also very good at memorizing, and that’s a very useful skill in math. Usually, to answer word problems fast, you need to memorize many formulas that help get variables or factors required to find the answer. It also helps in multiplication, as not only do I memorize the basic multiplication to 10, but also all the way up to 15,” Mendoza said.
“Along with mental math, as I can usually do most simple calculations in my mind because most of the time, when doing long word problems/equations, even when it is quite simple, some people get lost as to where they were in that specific equation, thus some are forced them to write it down so that they don’t get lost, in which case, they take longer,” he added.
Mendoza credited his parents for supporting him and his tutor and teachers for their encouragement and motivation during his training to do better in math and enable to reach the international competitions.
The young student said that he too also detest the subject but learned to like it upon the prodding of his parents and teachers.
“I too was not good in math, but because of my great teachers, because of my loving parents, and because of my diligence, self-discipline and hard work, I was able to reach where I am right now,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza’s mother, Heidi, said that she is proud on the achievement of her son.
“Mark has an innate talent in him, gifted and I just push him to develop that talent in him. He never says no and he willingly welcome challenges that further hone his skills and develop the best in him even when it is just a school activity or a competition,” she said.
The proud mother said that she encourages her son to join competition that help sharpen his skills on math, commonly the least favorite subjects among students.
Prior to competing in Japan, Mendoza also competed at the Regional School Press Conference held in Tacloban City where he competed on editorial, science and technology writing and radio broadcasting.
He was able to land 1st place on editorial writing out of 90 students.