A proud Team Philippines during the closing ceremony of the 50th International Chemistry Olympiad in Prague, Czech Republic.
The 50th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) was held last July 19 to 29, 2018 in two European countries. The opening ceremony to welcome all participants had been in Bratislava, Slovakia, while the closing ceremony was held in Prague, Czech Republic. This has only been the second year that our country has been able to participate and raise the Philippine flag at the IChO stage, and this year’s participation was made possible by the people behind the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies (PFCS); the Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers (PACT) in which the Team Philippines’ country coordinator or head mentor is a part of; the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) and; the Kapisanang Kimika ng Pilipinas (KKP). It is also due to the financial help provided by the Main and Calabarzon Campuses of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) and the group of Team Philippines would like to thank all of these organizations and groups for the support they have provided.
This year’s IChO was participated by 76 countries with 300 high school students, for a maximum of 4 students per country. The four Philippine representatives were chosen from the winners of the Regional and National Chemistry Olympiad that were held and handled by the KKP earlier this year. They are composed of three students from Philippine Science High School-Main Campus and one student from the Philippine Science High School-Central Luzon Campus. Mr. Julius Victorious A. Saluria, from PSHS-MC, acted as the coach while Dr. Jose M. Andaya, the Campus Director of the PSHS-Calabarzon Region Campus, acted as the country coordinator or head mentor.
Among the 300 students, 35 received gold medals; 65 received silver medals; and 95 received bronze medals. Two of our students, Israel M. Aguba and Julius DL. Macling, received bronze medals. Our other two student contestants are Arthur Reiner V. De Belen (bronze medallist, 49th IChO) and Galen Noel G. Nifas. The top 5 students who received the Gold medals were from China, Russia, Korea, USA and Singapore, and it was the student from China who topped the Olympiad.
As mentioned, this has only been the second year that the Philippines has joined the Olympiad. Considering that the high school Chemistry curriculum in the Philippines still isn’t aligned with some foreign countries, receiving two bronze medals counts as a great achievement for us. We are optimistic that this year’s competition and our experiences with it will further open up a lot of opportunities for the years to come for International Chemistry Olympiad.
This article was written by Dr Jose Andaya, director of the Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers, campus director of PSHS-Calabarzon Campus, and the coordinator of Team Philippines to the 50th IChO. The ICP is very proud of the performance of Team Philippines in the 50th IChO.