By: Rochelle Cruz
CALABARZON once again takes pride as 174 students were recognized in the annual Youth Excellence in Science (YES) Awards last March 12 at RFSQAC Multipurpose Hall, DOST-CALABARZON Regional Office, Los Baños, Laguna.
For this year, two batches of awarding ceremony were held: 31 students from Cavite and 55 students from Laguna schools in the morning session while 80 students from Batangas, 2 students from Rizal, and 6 students from Quezon schools in the afternoon session.
Dr. Alexander Madrigal, DOST-CALABARZON Regional Director, formally welcomed the students, parents, and school representatives. He first recognized the student awardees who were able to win internationally more than once and those who are from public schools. “You already have an edge to succeed, it is up to you how to use those edges,” Dr. Madrigal said in his message to the students. In addition, he encouraged the parents to continuously support their child and bring them to their dreams.
Moreover, Dr. Lydia Manguiat, Assistant Regional for Technical Operations, highlighted that the number of student awardees are increasing yearly. This is a good indication that the schools are supporting and harnessing their students’ talents. She also hoped that the students will be able to balance their academics with their social and moral values.
“Hard work really pays off” - students and parents
Part of the awarding ceremony is the sharing of thoughts and experiences from selected student awardees and parents.
John Florence Dizon is a student from Calamba Elementary School – Special Science Class who won a bronze medal in 2017 International Teenagers Mathematics Olympiad (ITMO), silver medal in 4th International Mathematics and Science Olympiad for Primary School 2017, and bronze medal in 20th Po Leung Kuk Primary Mathematics World Contest.
John shared how hard work, motivation, willpower, and prayer became his formula to be able to win the international competitions he competed. For him, receiving YES award is easy but the process of getting the award is hard. He has to endure solving numerous math problems and reading lots of books as preparation for the competition. Moreover, nervousness filled him during the competitions. But these experiences led him to show that the Philippines is academically talented as he was
featured in ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel (TFC) Wonder where he encouraged the kids to be not afraid of math.
Another student sharer is Aiden Jomeil Bercilla from De La Salle Lipa – Integrated School. He won a silver medal in 13th International Mathematics Competition (IMC), gold medal in Malaysia International Math Olympiad (MIMO) for Individual Category, champion in MIMO for Team Category, second runner-up in overall MIMO, silver medal in Singapore and Asian Schools Math Olympiad (SASMO), and silver medal in Math without Borders (MWB).
Aiden doubted himself first but learned to lift everything to God. Joining competitions not only gave way to show his talent but also enabled him to experience different cultures and improve his self-confidence. He told how he first got a bronze medal in his first contest until how he managed to bag a gold medal at his succeeding competitions. He believed that it is not luck or what they call as “tsamba” but God’s work.
Mr. Jong Dizon, John’s father, narrated how his son calls him from time to time due to uneasiness in the training camp. He shar
ed how important for the parents to show support to their children starting from their training up until the day of the competition. He also mentioned his proudness as a father to become privileged of having a son who competes for the country.
Ms. Myen Bercilla, Aiden’s mother, also shared her experiences as a parent. Working as soldiers, she told that their salary is only enough for their daily expenses. She al
so recalled how they went through asking for solicitations, cash loans, and donations just to send Aiden to international competitions. As a parent, she felt guilty of not being able to support his son physically. So with the help of her co-parents, they raised money in order for Ms. Myen to join Aiden to another country. Watching his son compete makes her nervous and restless as many thoughts keep running in her mind. But these turned into excitement and tears of joy every time his son was announced as a winner. All their expenses and hard work really paid off as she sees her son enjoying competing and winning in the competitions. She ended her speech saying, “Ang pera nahahanap yan, pero ang pagkakataon hindi sa lahat binibigay.”
Championing in the field of science and mathematics
Medals and certificates were awarded to 18 Cavite schools, 17 Laguna schools, 18 Batangas schools, 1 Rizal school, and 2 Quezon schools. The following schools are as follows:
- Bacoor Elementary School
- Cavite School of Life Bacoor Campus
- Child Development and Learning Center
- Dasmariñas II Central School
- Dasmariñas Elementary School
- Dasmariñas National High School
- Divine Light Academy – Molino
- Elizabeth Seton School South
- Imus Pilot Elementary School
- International British Academy
- St. Edward Integrated School
- St. Paul College Island Park
- State Fields School
- Tagaytay City Science High School
- The Palmridge School
- University of Perpetual Help – Molino Campus
- Vel Maris School, Inc.
- Young Shepherd’s School
- Calamba Elementary School
- Calamba Institute
- Canossa Academy – Calamba
- Caritas Don Bosco School
- Colegio De San Juan De Letran Calamba
- Colegio San Agustin – Biñan
- De La Salle University Integrated School – Laguna
- Emmanuel Christian School – Santa Rosa
- Montessori House of Learning
- Morning Star Montessori School – Calamba
- Morning Star Montessori School – Los Baños
- Pacita Complex I Elementary School
- Post Elementary School
- Santa Rosa Science and Technology High School
- Sirang Lupa Elementary School
- University of the Philippines Rural High School
- Xavier School Nuvali
- Canossa Academy – Lipa
- De La Salle Lipa – Integrated School
- Faith Catholic School
- Gov. Feliciano Leviste Memorial National High School
- La Milagrosa School
- Lilyrose School
- Lipa City National Science High School
- Montessori East Tanauan
- Multiple Intelligence Learning Center
- Our Lady of Caysasay Academy
- St. Bridget College – Batangas
- St. Paul College Balayan
- St. Philomena Academy of Lipa Inc.
- Stanford School of Batangas
- Stonyhurst Southville International School – Batangas
- Stonyhurst Southville International School – Lipa
- Tangway Elementary School
- University of Batangas
- Shining Light Academy
- Holy Rosary Catholic School
- International School for Better Beginnings
One way of boosting the students’ competence is through the conduct of YES Awards. As years pass by, it can be observed that there is an increasing trend of student awardees from CALABARZON. Awardees from the previous years are as follows: 114 students were awarded in 2017, 71 students in 2016, and 47 students in 2015.
Ms. Emelita Bagsit, Supervising SRS and OIC-ARD for FAS, closed the program encouraging the students to serve our country first. She also mentioned about applying for DOST scholarships if they wanted to pursue science, technology, and mathematics.
The YES Awards is a DOST institutional award for exemplary achievement of the youth in the fields of science and mathematics. The Secretary’s Medal is conferred to winners of international science and mathematics competitions that have been duly recognized by Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI).