Philippine participation in the International Physics Olympiad


  • Jose Perico Esguerra National Institute of Physics, University of the Philippines Diliman


The International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) is an international physics competition for pre-university students. It was first organized in 1967 and since then has been organized in a different country every year (except for 1978, 1980, and 2020). It is one of the most prestigious physics competition for pre-university physics students, and is the only physics competition that has been recognized by the International Commission on Physics Education with the ICPE Medal. It is widely acknowledged as the pinnacle physics competition for pre-university students in physics and has been held in a different country almost every year since Poland hosted the first ever. The centerpiece of the International Physics Olympiads are two five-hour examinations held on separate days to test the Theoretical and Experimental knowledge of the student-contestants. These exam questions are usually set at a level even good physics majors in the best universities in the Philippines find challenging. The Philippines has been participating on and off in the IPhO's since 1993. The Philippines participated fifteen (15) times in the twenty-nine (29) IPhO's held from 1993 to 2022. The process of selecting and training the members of the Philippine team to the IPhO has continually evolved, and has been carried out through programs such as the Philippine Physics Olympiad, Program for Excellence in Physics, and the Physics Olympiad Preparation Program. Additionally the Philippines has also participated in the Asia Physics Olympiad, but less frequently. This talk will discuss the Philippine experience in the IPhO and related competitions and programs, glean lessons and potential implications for science education in the Philippines, and propose actions that can improve the performance of the Philippines in future IPhO's.

About the Speaker

Jose Perico Esguerra, National Institute of Physics, University of the Philippines Diliman

Jose Perico Esguerra obtained his PhD degree in Physics from the University of the Philippines Diliman in 2001. He is now a Professor at the National Institute of Physics and faculty member of its Theoretical Physics Group. Perry's research is in the fields of statistical mechanics and mathematical physics, with recent focus on stochastic processes and anomalous diffusion. He served as President of the Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas from 2009 to 2010. He has led the Philippine International Physics Olympiad team for several years and chairs the Philippine National Astronomy Education Coordinator team for the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education.



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How to Cite

JP Esguerra, Philippine participation in the International Physics Olympiad, Proceedings of the Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas 40, SPP-2022-INV-3D-01 (2022). URL: