19th Philippine Mathematical Olympiad

The Philippine Mathematical Olympiad, a nationwide mathematics competition open to all junior and senior high school students of the Philippines, is carried out in three stages.

The qualifying stage (to be held on October 22, 2016, Saturday) consists of a written exam administered in fourteen (I think) regional testing sites. The exam consists of fifteen multiple-choice questions worth 2 points each, ten multiple-choice questions worth 3 points each, and six answers-only questions worth 6 points each.

The area stage (to be held on November 19, 2016, Saturday) consists of a written exam administered in testing sites for the four areas (Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and National Capital Region). The exam consists of twenty answers-only questions and three open-ended questions that require full solutions.

The national stage (to be held on January 21, 2017, Saturday) consists of a written exam and an oral exam administered in Metro Manila. The written exam consists of four open-ended questions that require full solutions to be answered in 4.5 hours. The oral exam (which is open to the public) consists of 30 questions read to the participants and to be answered within a specified time for each item.

Each school may send up to twenty participants (students with a final grade of 88% (or its equivalent) in mathematics in the previous school year). The participants with the top fifty scores in the qualifying stage per area will qualify for the area stage. The participants with the top twenty scores (national ranking) in the area stage will qualify for the national stage. The national finalists will be qualified to join the International Mathematical Olympiad Summer Camp (IMOSC). The representatives of the country to the International Mathematical Olympiad will be selected from the participants of the IMOSC.

I am the regional coordinator for Region V (Bicol Region). Schools in Region V that are interested in participating should complete the official application form and submit it to me on or before 12:00 noon of September 23, 2016 (Friday). My contact information can be found in the official brochure.


This is my second Tanknator. (My first was in dark olive green.) It has a rotating turret. I had earlier blogged that “[a]lthough it belongs to the HW Daredevils series (and not the HW Ride-Ons series), it seems that it can hold a LEGO Minifigure in its turret.” It seems that I was mistaken. According to the Hot Wheels Wikia, a LEGO Minifigure doesn’t fit; this model was made for Mega Bloks figures.


Alice fails to sell

A few months ago, I learned from Fine Books & Collections that the auction house Christie’s was selling a copy of the first issue of Alice‚Äôs Adventures in Wonderland in a stand-alone sale on June 16, 2016. They estimated it to sell for $2,000,000 to $3,000,000. The copy “is one of ten surviving copies still in original red cloth, only two of which are in private hands, the other described as “heavily worn.””

After the auction, I was excited to see what price the copy would realize, but a quick internet search did not yield any information. Even the Christie’s website was silent about what had happened.

It was only a few days ago that I learned from FB&C that (even though the bidding reached $1,800,000) the copy “failed to meet its reserve and did not sell.”

Unrestored is better?

I understand why amateur restoration (such as putting tape over a tear or trimming an edge) can seriously decrease the value of a comic book, but given a choice of a damaged comic book or the same comic book with the damages repaired using professional restoration (such as leaf casting), I would prefer the latter.

That’s why I’m a little uncomfortable with the recent case of an unrestored Action Comics #1. (Of the around 100 copies of Action Comics #1 that still exist, only 37 have been certified by the Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) as unrestored.) The copy was graded 5.5 (from a scale of the lowest 0.5 to the highest 10.0), and was sold by Heritage Auctions last August 4, 2016 for $956,000. (The image below is an edited version of one from here.)


The price that was realized is a little high considering that it was estimated to sell for $750,000 and that an unrestored Action Comics #1 graded 9.0 was sold a few years ago for (only) $3,207,852.

But the thing that disturbs me is that this CGC 5.5 comic book was originally graded an apparent 7.5 when it was bought in the 1990s for $26,000. (The CGC uses the word “apparent” in its grading to indicate a restored copy.) Quoting from Heritage Auctions:

This copy was previously certified Apparent 7.5 by CGC, with tear seals being the only restoration noted. The tears at the top and bottom of the spine had been sealed using an archival quality glue, which bonded to the spine without degrading the integrity of the paper. The book was recently submitted to Classic Collectible Services (CCS), who were able to safely remove the glue, returning the book to its former state.

It thus seems that removing the glue resulted in the value being multiplied by almost 37 times.

This veneration of unrestored copies is also seen in the unrestored coverless 0.3 copy sold in the same auction for $65,725. (The image below is an edited version of one from here.) (CGC does not grade coverless comic books, so this one was certified by Comic Book Certification Service (CBCS).)


But it seems that CGC is making some effort to recognize the value of professional restoration. In 2014, it updated its restoration grading scale to differentiate restoration from conservation.