Five-year-old Ryan Warren Merdegia, Jr. of Barangay Saguin was hailed as champion in the Abacus Learning Of Higher Arithmetic (ALOHA) International Mental Arithmetic Competition held July 20 in Guangzhou, China.
The competition was opened to ages 5-12 years old who were divided into different age brackets. Each contestant must correctly answer 70 math problems in just five minutes without the use of calculator or any computing tool.
With his exceptional intellectual abilities, Ryan landed as champion in the Level 1 category and 3rd place overall champion.
Gem Merdegia, Ryan’s mother, said her son was among the three representatives from Pampanga who were sent to China to compete with more than 600 kids from different countries around the world.
“First time po niyang sumali sa isang kompetisyon kaya hindi ko po in-expect na mananalo siya. May mga nakalaban din po siya na mas matanda sa kanya at parehong magagaling din,” she added.
Aside from attending formal school as a kinder student, Ryan is also enrolled in ALOHA Pampanga which offers an educational program for children in the field of numerical computational skills in arithmetic.
For his part, Mayor Edwin Santiago expressed his warmest congratulations to Ryan not only for bringing pride to the City but also for showing Fernandinos’ ingenuity to the whole world.
“Natutuwa ako na sa kanyang murang edad ay nakapag-uwi na siya ng malaking rekognisyon sa ating bansa, lalawigan at minamahal na syudad. Buo ang suporta ng lokal na pamahalaan sa mga kabataang tulad niya na nais pang hubugin ang kanilang mga kakayanan at galing,” he furthered.