PHL Wins Overall Champion Trophy in Memory Sports Competition

“Not your ordinary sports.

“If there are Physical Sports which focuses on body strength and techniques, Mind Sports or Memory Sports focuses more on the extreme abilities of the human brain and aims to break its limits.”

Philippine Memory Sports Association (PMSA) President Anne Bernadette Bonita


By EDD K. USMAN, SDN, Twitter @edd1819

REMEMBER the names: Erwin G. Balines and Jamyla D. Lambunao!

Ring a bell? Not really?

That’s perfectly understandable.

But here’s the thing.

Balines and Lambunao, as members of the Philippine Memory Team, captured the Overall First and Second Places, respectively, in the 6th Philippine International Memory Championship (PIMC) held on July 13-14, 2019.

Coming with the win of Team Pilipinas is a trip to world-famous Bali in Indonesia for the regional championship later this year.

You are going to come across their names and their fellow mind sportsmen again in some future time as they continue to put their names in the winning circle.

They beat memory sports teams from China, Indonesia, India, Uzbekistan, and Malaysia in the event the Philippines hosted at Hotel Dreamworld — North EDSA, Quezon City, Metro Manila.

In the process the country’s national team snatched the Overall Champion Trophy.

So, be aware, there is such a thing in the competitive world as memory sports, if you did not know yet. It is interchangeably called mind sports.

Anne Bernadette Bonita, coach of Lambunao, relayed this piece of inspiring news to SDN — Science and Digital News. Bonita is the president of the Philippine Mind Sports Association (PMSA), Inc.

Memory Sports 2

From left: Anne Bernadette Bonita (president, Philippine Mind Sports Association, Inc.); Raj Jain (National Coach, Team India); Jamyla Lambuna (Overall 2nd Place); Erwin Balines (Overall 1st Place); Shafa Annisa Rahmadani Arianata (Team Indonesia), Yudi Lesmana (president, Indonesia Memory Sports Council); Renan Ponce Morales (president, National Movement of Young Legislators — Region 3). (Photo: PMSAI)

The competition, she lamented, is not yet officially recognized as sports by the Philippines National Sports Association (NSA).

Memory sports is not yet registered with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympics Committee (POC), she added.

Bonita said “the competition involves remembering large quantities of information perfectly in order, such as hundreds of words, numbers, binary digits, names and faces, shuffled deck of cards, images and dates in a very short time.”

It is a competition where Filipinos, in fact, have been making a mark and continue to shine in international and regional memory sports competitions, one bright spot for the Philippines.

This month’s competition served as another example of Filipinos excelling in the sports which involves memorizing lists of names, deck of cards, among others, in the exact order of which they were shown to a contestant.

The Philippine Memory Team has 39 players; all in all the total of local and foreign mind athletes who competed in the 6th PIMC numbered 74 participants from the six countries. It was dubbed the “Battle of Mind Agility and Mental Prowess.”


Family picture of memory sports athletes, their coaches, and heads of Philippine and foreign memory sports associations during the 6th PIMC. (Photo: PMSAI)

Balines and Lambunao shone bright in the event’s International Open Category, Bonita said, as they grabbed the Overall First Place and Overall Second Place with scores of 5,835 points and 4,973 points, respectively.

Rounding out the Top 3 in the category was Shafa Annisa Rahmadani Arianata, who generated 4,805 points. She played for Team Indonesia.

In the Kids’ Division, on the other hand, Shi Jiaming of China (2,328 points), Muhammad Daffa Dhiyauddin of Indonesia (1,873 points), and Patricia Vnyz R. Lopez of Philippines (1,667) got the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place, respectively.

Shafa Annisa Rahmadani Arianata (4,805 points) topped the Juniors’ Division, while Aisha Nadine Sharikha (4,085 points) of Indonesia placed second, and Ananya Narayanaswamy (3,922 points) of India, third place.

The Philippine Team’s Balines and Lambunao dominated the Adults’ Division, with Liu Renjie of China taking the third place (4,315 points).

For the Country Rankings, after getting the total score from the Top 3 Players of each country, Team Philippines got a total of 13,178 points which gave them the event’s Overall Country Champion. Team Indonesia was in Second Place with their 10,589 points, and China in Third Place with 9,937 points.

Bonita described the competition as an exceptional struggle.

“It was an exceptional battle of the mind as each country try to outperform each other in a friendly competition that attempts to break the limits of the human brain through Memory Sports,” she said.

Several Medals were also given away to the Top 3 Memory Athletes in the 10 Memory Sports Disciplines, 10 Best New Players in each Division, and the Memory Practitioner Title achievers, she said.

“Team Pilipinas continues to grow in strength and numbers. This competition serves as our warm-up round for the upcoming Asia Memory Championship to be held in Bali, Indonesia on October 5 and 6, 2019.”

Here is the Philippine Memory Team:

1. Erwin G. Balines
2. Jamyla D. Lambunao
3. Jan Jelo Q. Juanir
4. Enzo Gabriel L. Castillon
5. Nico Angelo Esperanza
6. Joel Micus Delgado Lolong
7. Patricia Vnyz R. Lopez
8. Janice Faith A. De Belen
9. Chloe Andrea B. Galamgam
10. Jaychelle Miranda M. Calumpong
11. Adriel Padolina Simbol
12. Chelsea B. Acogido
13. Katrina Camille H. Que
14. Jay Matthew Ganzan
15. Isidro Dorillo
16. Alexa Sophia Caisip Canaria
17. Kristine Marie Sy Francisco
18. Aaron David Dela Cruz Sorilla
19. Jansen Jewel A. Santoyo
20. Jan Ivri M. Payawal
21. Janous Galoy Abad
22. Don Vito B. Andaya
23. Louise Jane L. Del Rosario
24. Pamela Glenda S. Cueto
25. Ushuaia Elisse Carritero
26. Kesiah C. Rarang
27. Robert Samuel M. Pelingon
28. Ma. Katrina Fabre
29. Melchisedech M. Malamion
30. Cyril T. Quitoriano
31. Maricon G. Caluya
32. Charles Andrei B. Galamgam
33. Nicholas Bert Tejano
34. Jersey Alen A. Santoyo
35. Maia Cathleen Virtusio
36. Raine Sebastian Flores
37. Julian Charles Tejano
38. Catelyn Julia D. Navarro
39. Kenaniah Roi C. Rarang

The PMSA organized the competition which was sanctioned by the Asia Memory Sports Alliance (AMSA) and the Global Association of Memory Athletics (GAMA).

Eurotel, Hotel Sogo, Megasoft Hygienic Products Inc., Paragon Group of Companies, and The Brain Republic, Inc. supported the two-day event.

Bonita, herself a former “mentathtlete,” as memory sports players are called, and a full time national coach of the sports and Lambunao’s, and her colleagues have been struggling hard to bring memory sports to the national consciousness of the nation.

They have also been trying to get an audience with world boxing icon and national boxing hero and multi-belt and multi-weight champion Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao to get his help.

So far, the PMSA has been unsuccessful. But they are not resting quite yet. (SDN/PMSA)


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