MANILA, Philippines – Lone Filipino Grandmaster (GM) of Memory Mark Anthony Castañeda and GM candidate Erwin Balines barged into the Top 100 list of world memory athletes.
The 23-year-old Castañeda is now ranked No. 64, while the electrical engineering graduate is at Top 67 in the latest list released by the World Memory Sports Council.
Castañeda and Balines are part of the Philippine Memory team, which will compete in the World Memory Championships in London later this year.
Casteñeda said he wants to break the world record in spoken numbers category.
"Sa ngayon ay nakaka 150 spoken numbers na ako. I hope sa December ma-break ko ‘yung world record na 300 sa spoken numbers," he said.
Mandaluyong City-based Balines, on the other hand, wants to achieve the GM of Memory title.
"Naka 9 deck of cards na ako sa isang oras and hopefully sa World Championships, makalampas ako ng 10 deck of cards in an hour para makumpleto ko na yung GM title status ko," said Balines.
GM candidate Johann Randall Abrina is currently ranked No. 119.
The UP Sports Psychology graduate bagged the bronze medal in the Historical/Future Dates category in last year's World Memory Championships.
He memorized 12 deck of cards equivalent to 624 points en route his second GM norm in the marathon event cards competition.
Other members of the Philippine memory team who made it to the World Rankings list are:
No. 263 Christopher Carandang,
No. 266 Roberto Racasa,
No. 338 Mary Sharmaine Dianqinay,
No. 380 Cristine "EON" Barao,
No. 396 Anne Bernadette Bonita,
No. 494 Princess Grace Mendoza, and
No. 542 Jamyla Lambunao.
The team, backed by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Bagong Henerasyon party and Mandaluyong City, will be heading to the United Kingdom this December for the 2012 World Memory Championships.
Aurelio "Reli" de Leon serves as delegation head, while US chess master Almario Quiroz Bernardino Jr. is the team captain.
Also supporting the team’s campaign are House Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte Jr., Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali "Boyet" Gonzales II, Bayan Muna Party Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares, Luke Rojas of St. Francis Square, Bicycle playing cards, Willy Ortiz of ACCEL, Dra. Regina Canlas of Makati Medical Center, PBA legend Robert "Sonny" Jaworski, the Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee. – By Marlon Bernardino