LUNA, Apayao – Apayao chess prodigy Mhage Gerriahlou Sebastian was a hit again as she pocketed three (3) gold medals in the just concluded 18th ASEAN Age Group Chess Championship in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia held from November 25 to December 4, 2017.
This came after her excellent contribution in an overwhelming victory of the selected 8-member Philippine Team against the Indonesian chess champions in Jakarta, Indonesia last September in an inaugural chess duel.
Sebastian, a 12-year old Grade VII student of Flora National High School (FNHS) reigned supreme in the Blitz (5 minutes time control) games and bagged an individual gold medal in the Girls 12 years old and under category from an almost perfect score of eight out of possible nine points from seven wins and two draws. She added two (2) team gold medals for Rapid and Blitz Games.
The three gold medals contributed by Sebastian had helped the Philippines of total final medal tally of 83 gold, 37 silver and 29 bronze medals to snatch the ASEAN Chess Championship overall trophy which the Vietnamese held for a long time in this.
Apayao Governor Elias C. Bulut, Jr. was delighted for the feat Sebastian has exhibited in international competitions.
Bulut lauded the recent achievement of Sebastian, a consistent gold medalist for the Province in the past two (2) years for the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) meet.
During the visit of Sebastian to the Provincial Government of Apayao, Bulut assured Sebastian that she will receive a gift and/or incentives for this rare opportunity that a young Iapayao could offer to the province.
Just after her arrival from Malaysia, Sebastian, her father and Ms. Eleanor Tabuena, representative from FNHS, made a courtesy call to different offices in the province as a humble way of showing gratitude their support.
During the regular session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Apayao in which Sebastian and her father visited for a courtesy call, the father and daughter duo expressed their utmost appreciation for taking their valuable
time even suspending their session for a while just to hear words from their visitors.
Vice Governor Remy Albano fully recognized this latest contribution of Sebastian. Albano and all the SP Members present cherished her triumph and vowed to support her.
The Iapayaos, including Department of Education Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Ronald Castillo, congratulated Sebastian for pushing through with her dream to become a prominent chess icon in the country even with the limited support from the school in this kind of competitions.
The parents of Sebastian conveyed their gratitude to all provincial and municipal officials and also to relatives and friends who had faith in the ability of the younger Sebastian who is capable of giving honor in this mind game not only for the Province of Apayao but of the country as well.
In order for a faster improvement of their daughter and for them to send their daughter in national and international competitions to earn ratings, they are praying for benevolent sponsors to support her airfares and accommodation expenses.
“To let our daughter soar to higher heights, talent is not only the very factor, financial support is a great deal to consider. We ask and thanking in advance those who are able and are kind enough to let their blessings be shared for the consistent campaign of Mhage in national international tournaments,” older Sebastian pleaded.
BY: GERRIAHZON S. SEBASTIAN