Ateneo Represents the Phil. in the International Biology Olympiad

August 14, 2017

From 23 to 30 July 2017, the Philippines attended the 28th International Biology Olympiad (IBO) as an Observer country. This is a major requirement toward the country being an official member of the IBO, allowing it to participate in the yearly competition.
This year’s IBO was held at the University of Warwick in Coventry, the United Kingdom and had 68 participating countries. Each country sent up to four high school students and at least one jury member. The jury assembled at a specially designated Jury Room where they evaluated the tasks and questions of the examinations and translated them to their official languages.

The competition consisted of two equally rigorous examinations: Practical and Theoretical. The student participants went through three rounds of Practical Tests: Botany, Biochemistry, and Developmental Physiology. Each round was a two-hour test of laboratory skills, comprehension of basic biology concepts, analysis, and problem-solving. After a one-day break, the contestants returned to the competition with two rounds (each three hours long) of the computer-based Theoretical Test, which covered a broader range of topics in the biological sciences.

Haoyu Zhao of China emerged as the top scorer among 245 competitors with a total score of 93.78. In second place was Alexander Tsao of the USA with a score of 89.78 and in third was Aditi Saayujya of Singapore with 86.59. Gold medals were also awarded to 23 other contestants, including representatives of three ASEAN member nations: Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Silver medals went to 47 delegates, while bronze medals were handed out to 72. An additional 26 delegates were given awards of merit.
At the General Assembly of Country Coordinators, the future hosts of the IBO presented their plans for the next competitions; these host countries are Iran (2018), Hungary (2019), Japan (2020), and Portugal (2021). The Country Coordinators of the four Observer countries (Philippines, Croatia, Ghana, and Myanmar) declared their intention to join the IBO and were thus accepted as conditional members.


The Philippines was represented by its Country Coordinator Ronald Cruz, an Assistant Professor in Biology in the Ateneo de Manila University, and another Observer, Marina Salvador, a graduating B.S. Life Sciences senior of the same University. Mr. Cruz participated in the IBO under an Internationalization Grant by the Loyola Schools. He and Ms. Salvador are the joint project heads of the Philippine Biology Olympiad (PBO) 2018, which will select the country’s four official delegates to the IBO 2018 to be held in Tehran, Iran. PBO 2018, called Alpas, will be held from 17 to 18 February 2018 in the Ateneo de Manila University campus and is being organized by the Department of Biology and the Ateneo Biological Organization – eXplore. eXperience. eXcel. (BOx).