•Four high school students emerged as the top contenders at the recently concluded 2019 Philippine Biology Olympiad.
•The students, who hail from different schools and regions, will represent the Philippines in July at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO) in Hungary.
•This year’s IBO will mark the Philippines’ second time to participate in the prestigious international competition.
Four high school biology whizzes topped the second Philippine Biology Olympiad (PBO) 2019: SISID, and will face off against delegates from 70 other countries in a prestigious international competition later this year.
The recently concluded PBO, which took place at the Ateneo de Manila University last February 23 to 24, tested the biology expertise of 368 students from 97 schools across the country. The top 4 delegates will comprise the official Philippine team at the 30th International Biology Olympiad (IBO), which will take place in Szeged, Hungary from July 14 to 21, 2019.
Diving into victory
On the first day of PBO 2019, the teams competed against one another during the Quiz Bee and Lab Skills elimination rounds.
Day 2 involved a practical test in cell and molecular biology for the top 15 Lab Skill contestants. Meanwhile, the Quiz Bee finals had the participants competing as individuals. They endured two rounds of questions about neurobiology, plant biology, animal biology, and Philippine biodiversity and bioinformatics.
After the competition, IBO Country Coordinator of the Philippines Ronald Cruz announced the top 4 contenders:
Jeremy Ace Ng, Saint Jude Catholic School
Elizabeth Rae Peralta, Philippine Science High School-Ilocos Region Campus
Samuel Drury Wood, Regional Science High School III
Matthew Keizo Yuda, Manila Science High School
Time to shine, once again
Last year, the Philippine team performed well at its IBO debut, winning two medals and a merit citation.
Yuda, who will be joining this year’s team, was also part of last year’s roster. The 2018 team included Gabrielle Erwin Awitan and Nathan Ross Bantayan (Philippine Science High School-Main Campus) as well as Maria Janine Juachon (Philippine Science High School-Central Luzon Campus).
Cruz will lead the Philippine team once again, with Dr Crisanto Lopez of Ateneo’s Department of Biology serving as Deputy Team Leader.
Two of the schools that participated in this year’s PBO (Tabaco National High School and Laguna Senior High School) were sponsored by alumni of Ateneo’s BS Biology and BS Life Sciences programs, through the “Sponsor a School” initiative.
PBO 2019 was organized by the Ateneo Biological Organization – eXplore. eXperience. eXcel. (BOx) and the Department of Biology, School of Science and Engineering, Ateneo de Manila University, with the support of the Office of the President of the Ateneo de Manila University. The event was sponsored by Beedee Garments, J. Amado Araneta Foundation, Science Centrum, SOSE Sanggunian, and Universal Robina Corporation.
Cover photo: Ateneo de Manila University
Author: Mikael Angelo Francisco
Bitten by the science writing bug, Mikael has years of writing and editorial experience under his belt. As the editor-in-chief of FlipScience, Mikael has sworn to help make science more fun and interesting for geeky readers and casual audiences alike.