Vol. 1 Issue 3, March 2016 ….page 8
MHAGE GERRIAHLOU SEBASTIAN
School: Flora Central School
Achievements: gold medalist 2016 CARAA; champion Singapore ASEAN Age Group 2015
Mhage Gerriahlou Sebastian is just an average student.
In fact this Grade V pupil at Flora Central School (FCS) is a silent type of a girl on first impression when she showed-up for an interview just a week after coming home from a successful stint at the just-concluded Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) Meet in Baguio City.
Her class adviser, Mrs. Agrifina Roque however, says that Sebastian brought high grades when she transferred from Binsang Elementary School in Pasuquin this current school-year.
Roque admits that her student is not that excellent in class but definitely not at lower bracket either which could mean she’s also doing just good enough to be recognized.
But as an athlete, Mhage can silence her opponents, literally. Her achievement in her chosen sport is exemplary.
At age 10, she has not only proven her mettle at the chess board in local and national scenes but also a force to reckon with in international competitions.
Sebastian easily took home the gold in girl’s chess and led the team to another gold at CARAA where Apayao compiled a total of 6-10-5 gold-silver-bronze medals to finish sixth over-all in the elementary division.
With that, she will return to Palarong Pambansa this coming April in Albay Province to represent CARAA this time and give her a chance to improve her 5th-8th place finish last year in Davao City when she was still representing Ilocos Region.
“Kailangan lang mag-praktis palagi para makamit ko ang minimitho kong tagumpay,” says Sebastian when asked of her chances in Palaro.
She will also compete next moth in the National Age Group to be held in Metro Manila.
Her young chess career started to shine well when she finished 5th place overall during the Batang Pinoy in Pangasinanwhen she was seven, the youngest player to achieve this feat.
After that she was given the chance to compete abroad and made good of it as she got team bronze in the ASEAN championship in Macao and team silver in Thailand both in 2013.
As a lone representative at the Asian championships in South Korea in 2015, she managed to make it to 5th-8th overall.
But the biggest break for Mhage was in the 2015 ASEAN Age Group in Singapore where she bagged the gold in the standard category and silver in team.
Her father says, “the Municipality of Pasuquin is also very supportive then to Mhage. Actually she was given Plaque of Recognition and cash award for her achievement last year in Singapore.”
The sterling performance has earned her a Women’s Candidate Master (WCM) from the International Chess Federation (FIDE), the world’s governing body in chess.
Mhage idolizes the world’s current top player Magnus Carlsen, the Norwegian athlete who became the youngest player to become a grandmaster at 13.
With the right training, support and sponsor, this golden girl of Flora can achieve her ultimate goal and make her hometown proud by representing the national colors as she is seriously aiming to become a GM herself someday.
Her father Gerriahzon Sebastian, an executive assistant at the governor’s office, is a native of Flora and her mother is from Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte.