Any achievement by a Filipino abroad is always worth celebrating - moreso if that triumph is by a child. Last month, grade 4 U.P. Integrated School scholar Nathan Arthur Banatao, who hails from Payatas, made the Philippines proud when he competed in the International Mathematics Olympics in Singapore and emerged the champion.
Nathan was one of 96 Pinoys who represented the country, who altogether bagged a total of 16 gold medals, 32 silvers and 48 bronzes. Although the Philippines kept its ranking at second for the third consecutive year (this year, next to China), according to Mathematics Trainers Guild-Philippines president Dr. Simon Chua, this is the first time in three years that the team has received this many gold medals.
What's even more admirable about this young boy, who is a consistent honors student in school as well, is that he achieved this milestone despite having been diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
How did Nathan sharpen his arithmetic smarts? With the financial investment and support of his father, Thom Banatao, who enrolled his son in various training programs early on.
"[What I feel is extreme] happiness. Siyempre you get to represent the Philippines and bring gold," said Thom in an interview with ABS-CBN.
Nathan as well could not hide his joy with all the recognition and support he has received. "[Ang] saya-saya po kasi dati po wala pong sumusuporta sa akin, pero ngayon po pati po si Mayor tumutulong na sa akin, pati po sila Vice-Mayor."