Smart Choices, Better Results

Since the start of the Pandemic, most of us stayed at home. Some were happy at first because finally we could have a break - break from tons of school works, test, lectures, and even seeing the people that you don’t like at school. We finally could have time for games, movies or series marathon or as simple as sleeping all you want. But as time passed by, days became weeks and weeks became months, we started missing the thinthat we thought we hated. Yet we could not just go back to the way we were, just because we wanted to. Some of us began to feel empty and felt that we didn’t have a choice but to feel sad and became stagnant.

However, this young man proved that we always have a choice, that in spite of all these barriers around us, we could still ameliorate and become a better version of ourselves. I would like you to meet Lance Gabriel Sanone. His classmates from Grade 7 Newton call him Lance or "Pres" which is in short for President, and to his family, he is Gabgab. The eldest from 3 siblings, he is a former student of Pinaglabanan Elementary School and now a Junior High School student from San Juan Science High School. Despite the pandemic pitfall, he chose to spend his time wisely with the help of his parents.

Last September 25, 2021, Lance participated in the Southeast Asian Mathematical Olympiad (SEAMO). Thenceforth in October 24 of the same year, he was once again invited to join the Thailand International Mathematical Olympiad (TIMO). As a brief backgrounder, TIMO sets a global standard for academic excellence, the largest number of international students among Asia. TIMO is among the most respected and desirable competitions in the world. Unlike other Mathematical Olympiad competitions, each candidate will receive his or her own evaluation report showing the individual's strengths and weaknesses in areas such as Logical Thinking, Algebra, Number Theory, Geometry, and Combinatorics. Out of the 14 regions/countries such as Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Ukraine, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Taiwan, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia that TIMO invited, Lance won a BRONZE award from this competition and qualified for the final round for TIMO 2022 which would be held in Thailand. What a certified Mathematician indeed! But wait, there’s more! Aside from the Math subject, Lance is also fond of Science.

Despite the written works and performance tasks in the online classes for 10 subjects, Lance carried on with his journey as if there is “no rest for the weary”. He became a part of the Philippine Team on October 31, 2021 that would compete then for the Copernicus Olympiad. In case you missed it, Copernicus Olympiad was participated by 26 countries which include Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Myanmar, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Spain, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, USA, Vietnam, Zambia, and our very own Philippines. Together with 1, 531 participants, Lance competed for Physics and Astronomy Category and once again won a BRONZE Award. This qualified him to compete as part of the Philippine Team in Texas, USA.

Furthermore, he competed for the Hong Kong International Science Olympiad (HKISO) last November 28, 2021. HKISO is an International Science Competition held annually around the world. It consists of 4 main categories: Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Integrated Science. HKISO is open to students from Grade 2 to 12 levels. It closely follows the Hong Kong School Science Syllabus and assesses what students have learned on each subject level. This helps participants to prepare well in several categories, allowing them to understand their strengths and weaknesses in terms of preparation. Winners of the HKISO Heat Round would have the opportunity to collaborate with participants from other areas to try out experiments in Singapore or Hong Kong. Last December 16,2021, the results came out and yes, Lance won the Gold Award!

Moreover, Lance became one of the participants of the Big Bay Bei Heat Math Olympiad Online. For your information, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Mathematical Olympiad (Big Bay Bei) is an annual international Olympiad competition organized by OCEC from Hong Kong. The Big Bay Bei is divided into two stages: Big Bay Bei Heat Round and Final Round. In the Big Bay Bei Final Round, participants will have to travel around locations in the Greater Bay Area, such as Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, and Zhaoqing. Students who will win the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Prize Awards in Big Bay Bei Heat Round 2021/22 or High Distinction/ Distinction/ High Credit in Depth Of Knowledge Assessment 2021 (DOKA) will advance to the Big Bay Bei Final.

Consequently, the Top Achievers of three Gold Awards in TIMO Final, Big Bay Bei Final & HKIMO Final in the Year 2021-2022 will be awarded the much coveted Legend Award. This crystal trophy is rightfully conceived to commemorate and encourage outstanding students to persevere in their skills and aim for excellence. All Big Bay Bei, HKIMO or TIMO Final Gold Award Winners will be invited to attend the World International Mathematical Olympiad (WIMO) be tofully sponsored by the WIMO Foundation January 7-8, 2023. ALL WIMO participants will get the opportunity to attend a 10-hour intensive training course and learn from the IMO Trainers. And so, consistent to his winning streak, Lance bagged the Silver Medal just before 2021 ended.

These are some of the achievements of a student who chose to be better despite the challenges of the pandemic. Whatever comes our way, whatever battles we have raging inside us, we always have a choice. It’s the choice that makes us who we are and we can always choose to do what is right. And to the young man who brings pride and joy not just to his family but also to his friends, classmates, teachers, schools, and the Division of San Juan as well, we are all rooting for the success of Lance Gabriel Sanone.

Congratulations and Mabuhay ka, Lance!

Article Written by:

Jean Paz Cezar - Teacher I

San Juan City Science High School

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