Mathematics, among all the academic subjects, is often perceived by students as the most challenging in school.
We can commonly hear students say that it is not their favorite.
But that is not the case for the young achiever from Camiling village in Balaoan, La Union.
Rhine Joshua Arciaga, a 15-year-old Grade 9 student of the Regional Science High School (RSHS), is among the few who thinks otherwise and rather believes that, “Math is fun and is not supposed to be hated.”
A testament to that is his success during the International Mathematics Open for Young Achievers (IMOYA) held in Singapore on March 24-27, 2023 where he took home the bronze medal under the individual competition and placed 2nd runner up for the team category.
Rhine shared in an exclusive interview that participants from the Philippines, Vietnam, Hongkong, Macao, and Indonesia were challenged with questions on Algebra, Geometry, and Recreational Math during the contest.
“May mga questions din po na advance sa Grade 9 Level kaya nagko-consult po ako kay coach,” Rhine said.
But this is not an overnight success as Rhine, along with his coach and parents, have undergone various preparations.
Handout reviewers became Rhine’s companion and training under the Mathematics Trainers Guild became his habit.
And of course, behind the victory is the support and guidance of his coach, Bernardo Mayrena, Jr. and the entire RSHS, and his parents, Jonald and Annie Arciaga.
Jonald and Annie, the proud parents who are both public servants, funded most of the expenses of Rhine during his trip to Singapore.
“Once in a lifetime lang ‘yong pagkakataon na makapunta siya sa ibang bansa para maki-compete kaya gumawa talaga kami ng paraan para maigapang ‘yong panggastos,” Annie said.
The couple also recognized the support and financial contributions of all the sponsors who helped them with Rhine’s needs for the competition such as Balaoan Mayor Aleli Concepcion, RSHS Principal Nancy Hoggang, Punong Barangay Michael Bravo, Provincial Government of La Union, Department of Social Welfare and Development-Field Office 1, family, friends and other private individuals.
Meanwhile, with this success, Rhine was recently awarded with a Certificate of Commendation from the Local Government through Resolution No. 129 s. 2023 signed by Mayor Concepcion, Vice Mayor Carlo Castor Concepcion, and Sangguniang Bayan Secretary Rollidel Concepcion which cited that his victory had proven the exceptional skills and talent of a Balaoanian. (JCR/AMB/CGRC/PIA Region 1)