An Indian Adventure
Like No Other!
Alister Jan Lusuan, Assistant News Editor Hoofprint Online
Posted Wednesday, 27-Oct-2004 7:10 AM
India! Participating in the First India Mathematics International Competition
(IEMIC 2004) last September 10 in the City Montessori School of Lucknow
as a representative of Xavier School and the Philippines, was a wonderful
feeling. India! The anticipation of finally seeing the Taj Mahal was overwhelming.
India! My determination to win in the competition paralleled my desire
to visit the fantastic Indian landmark known throughout the world.
Our voyage started on September 7 with a ten-hour international flight
from Manila to New Delhi. After a six-hour wait at the New Delhi International
Airport we took an hour and a half domestic flight to Lucknow touching
down the following day at 10 A.M. India time (12:30 P.M. Manila time).
It was a long tiring trip for the entire delegation composed of 28 contestants,
trainers and parents, among which was another proud Xavierian, Charles
Lim of 7H. Everybody was relieved to finally settle down into our assigned
accommodations at the school dormitory and get some much-deserved rest.
There was a welcome presentation by the host school, with about 1500 students
of City Montessori School participating in the event. The Indian students
ranged from nursery to high school and they spoke very good English. They
were well mannered and disciplined. The other delegations from Bulgaria,
Iran, Indonesia, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand, South Africa and Vietnam
also appreciated the hospitality of our hosts. It was really a warm welcome!
We spent the next day sightseeing and shopping in the town center. The
tour was very tiring because of the heat and it did not help that our
bus had neither air-conditioning nor electric fans. We appreciated the
places of interest as well as the souvenirs they had available, but we
were still in a hurry to get back to our air-conditioned rooms. We also
discovered that Indian food was too spicy for most of us, so we made do
with cup noodle meals throughout the day.
The competition started in the morning of September 10. After a hearty
breakfast and catnaps, we all reported to our assigned seats and were
given our individual test papers. I felt nervous at first amid all the
200 contestants but I soon calmed down and finished an hour and a half
later. After lunch we reassembled for the team competition. I was part
of Team A, along with Paul Hao of Chiang Kai Shek, Patrick Ong of St.
Jude) and Ervin Dy of St. Stephen’s. The competition ended at 3 p.m. and
we all returned to the dormitory exhausted. In the evening we presented
the Igorot Dance together with the other cultural presentations of the
The awarding and closing ceremony was held the following day. I was both
excited and apprehensive about the results and then the announcements
came. I scored 12 out of 15 in the individual category for second place,
one point away from first place. Our team won second in the team category.
Charles got third place in the individual category and his team also placed
second in the team category.
With the competition over we were finally able to see the Taj Mahal the
next day! The palace was a huge and splendid sight and its story touched
me. The wife of the prince asked him to promise her two things before
she died, namely to never marry again and to build her the most beautiful
palace, which was to be the Taj Mahal. It took six years to finish the
palace, which was made entirely of marble. The reflections of light make
it appear to change color, gray at night and yellow at noontime. The sight
of the Taj Mahal was the perfect ending to our Indian adventure!
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