Despite his young age of 13, Daryl Unix Samantila has been piling up trophies and medals in practically every chess competition he has joined. Now, another award has been bestowed on the young chess master by his hometown.
Samantila was recognized as one of this year’s outstanding citizens of the city of Malabon during the city’s 31st Gintong Parangal awarding ceremonies held last May 21, 2012 at the Pescadores Restaurant. He was conferred the Gawad Pagpapahalaga in the field of sports for “bringing honor, pride, and recognition to the City of Malabon through his exemplary accomplishments and outstanding achievements,” as his citation reads. The award was given to Samantila and other outstanding citizens by the city government of Malabon and the Kalipunan ng mga Samahan sa Malabon in commemoration of the city’s 413th Foundation Day.
Only a high school sophomore, Samantila has been outclassing his peers and taking home victories in all the competitions he has joined after taking chess seriously at age seven. At age eight, he won his first international tournament. More titles have come in since then, including multiple titles in age-group tournaments in and outside the country. Samantila made his highly anticipated debut in the UAAP last season, where the team won silver in the juniors chess tournament and where he was given the Rookie of the Year award. At age 12 he was the youngest player to receive the award.
The young son of Malabon also translates his chess board victories into academic achievements. Samantila has been a consistent honor student since preschool and is currently on athletic scholarship at Adamson. While there have been school days missed because of competition, he and his parents make sure he catches up with his lessons and turns in all homework required of him as soon as he gets back.
Prior to receiving his Gawad Pagpapahalaga, Samantila won two more tournaments in Bulacan and Makati and placed sixth in the 9th Leviste Cup, all of which took place days before the Parangal. Despite all these achievements and honors, Samantila continues to be humble and grounded.
Samantila will have another packed school year in front of him. He is slated to join several local and Asian competitions in the coming months before preparing for the UAAP chess tournament, which takes place in the second semester.