Who will be the next sudoku champion in the Philippines?
In 2008, SM Supermalls and the Mathematics Trainers Guild-Philippines (MTG), an organization of math experts, started a partnership to hold the 3rd Philippine Sudoku Super Challenge.
Ten years later, the partnership has continued and is stronger than ever with the prime goal of finding the creme de la creme among sudoku enthusiasts in the country.
SM Supermalls and MTG signed a new accord to launch this year's 12th Philippine Sudoku Super Challenge (PSSC) and Family Math Quest competitions.
SM Supermalls was represented by Millie Dizon, SM senior vice president for marketing and communications while MTG was represented by president Dr. Isidro Aguilar, chief operating officer Dr. Simon Chua and adviser Myrna Agtarap at the signing held at the Filmfest Cafe and Restaurant owned by film director Brillante Mendoza.
For SM Supermalls, the sudoku contest is a way of helping kids to love math.
“We’ve been in this for 10 years and we’ve seen how important math is for children. This group [MTG] has nurtured champions. But the most interesting thing is how the parents, teachers and children bond together. This is, I think, a very, very good project and we're happy that they asked us to be part of this,” Dizon explained.
The support of SM Supermalls has been one of the keys to the contest’s success.
“We are very thankful to SM Supermalls and our other partners in making the contests a success every year. MTG started the sudoku contest in 2006 and we will continue to hold the contest as our way of inspiring love for math among Filipinos especially the kids,” said Dr. Aguilar.
For the 12th PSSC, the regional eliminations will be held on October 14 at SM Supermalls and Centers in Cagayan de Oro, Dasmarinas (Cavite), Baguio, Cebu, Pampanga, Iloilo, Lucena, Baliwag, Bacolod, Lipa (Batangas), Rosales (Pangasinan), Tarlac, Davao, Naga, Olongapo, Cabanatuan and San Lazaro.
The Skydome at SM City North EDSA will be the venue for the 12th PSSC national finals on January 27 next year, and for the Family Math Quest national finals on December 9 this year.
MTG and SHARP Calculators also signed an agreement for the holding of the new MTG-SHARP-SM-DepEd NCR Math Trail and Problem Solving Competition, Family Math Quest, 12th PSSC and the Young Mathematicians In-House Intensive Training Program.
At the signing, SHARP Calculators was represented by assistant marketing manager Mark Joel Galvante and brand marketing assistant John Christopher Domingo.
Through the years, PSSC winners represented the Philippines and became victorious in different international sudoku competitions.
In 2008, Sarah Jane Cua, who was then 14 years old, emerged as champion in the BRAND's Sudoku Challenge Asia Pacific Open in Singapore. She would later repeat this feat in the 2010 Singapore contest.
John Robert Valcos and Cua won as champion and first runner-up, respectively, in the 3rd BRAND's Sudoku Thailand International Open 2009 Princess Somsawali Cup in Bangkok.
Organizers are hoping that the Philippines will produce another international champion through the PSSC.