Marawi survivor nabs medal for victorious PH team at HK math contest

Young Filipino elementary students, including one from Marawi City, won at an international math competition in Hong Kong.

Filipino contestants together with their coaches show the medals and trophy they won at awarding ceremony of the 21st Po Leung Kuk Primary Mathematics World Contest (PMWC) in Hong Kong

The delegation, composed of eight contestants, won one silver and two bronze medals in the individual contest and two merit awards in the team contest at the 21st Po Leung Kuk Primary Mathematics World Contest (PMWC), according to the Mathematics Trainers Guild Philippines (MTG).

Grabbing a silver medal in the individual contest is Grade 4 student Jerome Austin Te of Jubilee Christian Academy while winning bronze medals are Grade 5 students Mohammad Nur Casib of My Precious Child Learning Center in Marawi City and Tracy Lauren Lei of Saint Jude Catholic School.

In the team contest, Philippines Team A, composed of Ervin Joshua Bautista of Southville International School, Maria Bernadette Landicho of Stonyhurst Southville International School-Batangas, Lei and Te, won a merit award.

Also winning a merit award is Philippines Team B composed of Neo Angelo Gatlabayan of British School Manila, Adrian Guanson Soriaga of Saint Jude Catholic School, Michael Gerard Tongson of Stonyhurst Southville International School-Malarayat and Casib.

The contestants were accompanied by MTG team leaders Dr. Simon Chua and Renard Eric Chua and deputy team leaders Quennie Sarabia-Flores and Angeline Orosco.

This is the first international math contest for 12-year-old Casib, who experienced the horror of the Marawi Siege in May last year.

The Casib family fled to Cagayan de Oro on May 24, 2017, a day after the siege started, enduring a 13-hour journey with no food and water. In Cagayan de Oro, the young Casib found solace in math and became an MTG trainee last year.

“The experience was terrifying. It was horror! He saw the burning of the chapel from the balcony of our home. He heard deafening gunfire and saw the people literally running for their lives coursing thru a dangerous terrain, a road not identified by the GPS (we took diversionary road because of the traffic.). No food, no water for 13-hour travel,” according to his dad, Dr. Norodin Casib.

The father added, “It was such a traumatic experience to him that he always cried everytime Marawi is mentioned. Mathematically speaking, according to him, it was beyond limit. We took shelter in Cagayan de Oro and there we found MTG. Gradually, this horrific experience vanished from his mind. God is good.”

Besides the Philippines, other countries and territories that joined this year’s contest, held from July 16 to 20, are Australia, Bulgaria, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, US and Vietnam.

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