PH Consul General receives Fil-Am chess player and Woman FIDE Master Megan Paragua

(Left) Fil-Am chess prodigy Megan Paragua shares a light moment with Consul General Senen T. Mangalile, showcasing her trophies from the World Cadet Rapid and Blitz Championships 2024 in Durres, Albania. (Right) In a friendly yet competitive chess match after the courtesy visit, Paragua demonstrates the skills that secured her victory against Mangalile.

On 08 May, Consul General Senen T. Mangalile proudly welcomed Megan Althea Obrero Paragua, an 11-year-old Filipino-American chess prodigy and fifth-grade student at Columbia Grammar Preparatory School, to the Philippine Center in New York City. Paragua recently achieved remarkable success at the World Rapid & Blitz Cadet Chess Championship 2024, held from 25 to 29 April in Durres, Albania, where she won back-to-back world titles in the Rapid and Blitz categories for under-12 girls.

Paragua previously earned her Woman FIDE (International Chess Federation) Master title at the 33rd Pan-American Youth Chess Festival 2023 held in Chicago, Illinois.

Reflecting on her victory and what chess means to her, Paragua shared, “Chess allows me to showcase my strategic thinking. It’s a unique achievement that proves challenging yet rewarding.” Paragua attributed her passion for chess to her family, particularly her father, Jan Vincent Paragua, who has been a significant influence. Jan Vincent, an expert chess player and active competitor, is also the brother of renowned Filipino chess Grandmaster Mark Paragua.

In her inspiring message, Paragua emphasized the importance of resilience and perseverance for young individuals aspiring to achieve their dreams. She stated, “Work hard, dream big, and your efforts can turn your dreams into reality.” Paragua further elaborated on the significance of embracing challenges and setbacks as part of the journey towards success. Her words highlight a mature understanding that success is not just about triumphs but also about how effectively one can learn from failures and continue striving with renewed determination.

Consul General Mangalile expressed immense pride in Paragua’s accomplishments, stating, “Megan’s victory at such a young age brings tremendous pride to the Filipino-American community. The Consulate will always support the flourishing talents of our Filipino and Filipino-American youths.”

Following the press briefing, Consul General Mangalile gave Paragua a tour of Sentro Rizal New York, where they enjoyed a round of chess. END