House honors Frayna as PH’s 1st female GM
posted September 19, 2016 at 12:01 am

LEGAZPI CITY—The House of Representatives will honor on Monday the Philippines’ first-ever female Chess Grandmaster, Janelle Mae Frayna of Albay, in special rites deserving of the historic title she recently clinched at the 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan.

In a recent session, the House lawmakers unanimously passed Resolution No. 12, congratulating and commending Frayna, based on a resolution filed by Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, immediately following her victory. The new chess grandmaster comes from his district.

Salceda said Congress has scheduled a special ceremony on Monday where House Speakers Pantaleon Alvarez will honor and present Frayna a “specially engraved enrolled bill at the rostrum of Congress, in the presence of all Bicolano lawmakers and in the company of her family.”

Frayna, a 20-year-old  BS Psychology student of the Far Eastern University, drew with International Master Davaademberel Nomin-Erdene of Mongolia, and amassed the required 6.0 points on four wins, four draws and one loss. She had a 2281 rating at the end of the competition. She bested three male Grandmasters, one of whom has an international master title, and two other lady competitors with international master tile during the week-long competitions.

Frayna became an international Chess Grandmaster even younger than Eugene Torre, the first Filipino International Grandmaster who won the title in 1974 in Nice, France, at age 22. The new grandmaster is also a candidate for cum laude honors at FEU. She is the daughter of Engr. George Guillermo Frayna, chief of the Housing Division of the Planning Department of Legazpi City, and wife, Corazon Sonia Bermas-Frayna.

Salceda noted that Frayna’s win not only empowers women to excel in sports, even in a male-dominated one like chess, but also encourages the youth to strive hard to attain their goals even at a younger age.

“Her pioneering and historic achievement in the field of chess is a source of pride and inspiration to all Filipinos and a testament to the world of our admirable spirit of competitiveness and excellence,” he stressed.

At age 12, Frayna was registered by her mother with the Mayon Chess Club in Legazpi City and started playing in local competitions. Her games improved so rapidly her mother would often accompany her to national competitions, among them the 2008 Palarong Pambansa in Palawan where she placed fifth. Her potentials were noticed by Filipino Grandmaster Jason Gonzalez, the Chess Team Coach of FEU and encouraged her to transfer to their university where she became an athletic scholar, and started beating some Filipino Grand Masters.

Salceda said he wasted no time filing a resolution in Congress to honor Frayna since it is “proper that we render the recognition while the great feeling of achievement is still in the air and the good vibes are within our grasp. We have let go unnoticed, unrecognized and unrewarded in the past some great achievements of Albayanos, and I no longer want to be remiss in allowing such memories to fade so that most of us have forgotten them.”

More here: