“Mensa is the largest and oldest high-IQ society in the world.” – Wikipedia
Mensa was born in 1946 when two British barristers, Roland Berrill and Lance Ware, met by chance on a train from Cambridge to London and made the decision to form a society for people with high IQs. Their original vision was of an organization of intellectual thinkers who might be called upon to solve some of the chronic problems of the post-war years.
The original vision proved to be a bit too idealistic. But the idea of an organization of people with high IQ’s captured the interest of the public, and the organization grew nevertheless.
The name Mensa (meaning table in Latin) was chosen to create an image of all members sitting around a table as equals. Berrill remained leader of Mensa until 1952 when Victor Serebriakoff became International Chairperson. A period of international growth then followed. Other Chairpersons and Honorary Chairs included legendary science-fiction writer Sir Isaac Asimov, and famous inventor Sir Clive Sinclair.
Today, Mensa hosts over a hundred thousand members in more than 80 countries around the world. These include American Mensa, with over 57,000 members, British Mensa, with over 21,000, and Mensa Germany, with over 11,000 members. Mensa thrives on being an international community, and members benefit from gaining new friends from all over the world.
Mensa’s only requirement for membership is to score at or above the 98th percentile of a standardized intelligence test. Mensa itself regularly holds test sessions across the globe.
The official national group in the Philippines is Mensa Philippines, duly registered as a non-profit, non-stock organization under the name Pilipinas Mensa Society Inc. by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Greetings to all the members of Mensa Philippines! And welcome to our new online home!
This Mensa website has been a long-standing project that has finally come together. Combining essential back-office functions with exciting front-office services for our members, we hope that this site will become a significant tool towards enhancing the membership experience of our members.
We hope that you find this easy to navigate and that it will be easy for you to find the services and information that you need. To this end, I’d like to thank all the people who were principally responsible for making this happen.
Enjoy your stay!
President, Pilipinas Mensa Society Inc.
Over the years, many Filipinos became direct members of Mensa International. Finally, in 1992, a group of these international members came together to form Mensa Philippines, the officially recognized Philippine chapter of Mensa International. In October of that same year, Mensa Philippines launched its first major testing event, and membership has grown ever since.
The organization has held a number of memorable events, including an art exhibit featuring works of Mensa members, the establishment of a Toastmasters special interest group that saw a number of its members winning national public speaking awards, creative writing workshops, treks and adventures around the country, stargazing, wine and whiskey tasting, and countless educational talks that have served to broaden its members’ fields of interest.
Mensa Philippines has held much of its activities within Metro Manila. The year 2016 however saw the forming of a chapter in Cebu City, which is expected to be the first of many other chapters nationwide.
It’s an often-asked question that, admittedly, can often be quite a challenge to answer. But that’s because the benefits that you get from Mensa membership are quite nuanced. You do not just get one single big thing out of it. Rather, you get a lot of little things that, taken together, add up to a whole lot of value. Not just for your professional life, but for your personal life as well!
So how does being a Mensa member benefit you?
Members come from diverse backgrounds and professions, but being able to think on the same frequency allows members to work together. They may even point you towards new, out-of-the-box directions that you need for work. Mensa members include everyone from students to military men & women, lawyers, BPO agents, IT specialists, doctors, writers, entrepreneurs, educators, media practitioners, and even a pastor (or two).
Mensans do have a reputation for being critical thinkers, which is a skill that is sought after by high-value-creating firms. For instance, one Mensan who is the owner of a successful online security service confides that their firm prioritizes applicants who are also Mensa members as Mensans have a reputation for doing quality technical work.
So if you’re seeking a network that gives you access to technical and professional excellence, then Mensa is a smart starting point for you. And since Mensa is an international society, your potential network can really span far and wide!
Zabeda Abdul Hamid of Malaysian Mensa thought she wasn’t as clever as the rest of her family. “After I took the Mensa test and passed, I realized that maybe I did have something to offer to the community. I became more confident, more sociable, and I took the opportunity to learn more things. It was basically a change in the mindset -psychologically and emotionally.”
“At the same time, the interesting information and knowledge that I gained from other Mensans as well as experiences when I attend the Mensa gatherings have also equipped me with better teaching methods and information for my students. So indirectly, yes, I do think that Mensa has helped me in my profession.”
Tinka Herrera, a long-time member of Mensa Philippines, moved to Kuala Lumpur for a short-term work assignment and some of the first friends she made there were through the local Mensa chapter. “It helped a lot because I didn’t really know anyone in KL. The first couple of weeks were pretty lonely. Knowing like-minded locals who were so nice and fun to talk to really helped me settle in. They took me to a lot of good local (and sometimes out of the way or hidden food places) that I would never have found on my own! I’ve met lots of new people to have adventures with through Mensa, and I now consider them some of the best friends I’ve made!”
Mensa members always have something in common despite the differences in culture, religion, or even political affiliation. This rings true for Cedric Mabilotte, a social entrepreneur and a member from France. He has met Mensa members outside his chapter through his travels, including the Philippines. “There are so many important aspects to consider when we self-reflect, like understanding that it is normal to be different, or that we all process things differently. Thanks to Mensa, I met other crazy people around the planet who can relate to these same thoughts.”
Using an international Mensa service called SIGHT – the Service of Information, Guidance and Hospitality to Travelers- members will be able to quickly link up with people who can help navigate unfamiliar territory. SIGHT enables Mensa members to link up with fellow Mensans in over 40 countries. This can be in the form of showing tourists around, or guiding them on where to stay or dine. And the great thing about it all is that Mensans are duty-bound to help fellow Mensans, wherever they may come from!
Ryan Gerard Menchate is 8 years old, and has been a Mensa Philippines member for three years. He says that he enjoys getting to hang out with “really cool people” – his intellectual peers – with whom he can be himself. But through the assistance of American Mensa’s Gifted Youth Coordinator, Ryan was able to enroll in the Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY) of Stanford University. In addition, he was taken in as part of the Bright Kids class of American Mensa.
Many international Mensa Scholarships are open to Mensa Philippines members. The Mensa Foundation’s scholarships, for instance, are specifically for international members attending colleges outside of the US. Dependents of international Mensa members attending college in the United States may also be given opportunities to qualify for scholarships through the foundation.
One of Mensa’s stated purposes is to promote stimulating intellectual and social opportunities for its members. And since members love to learn more about what piques their interest, Mensa encourages them to join or create Special Interest Groups, or SIGs.
SIGs exist online or locally, and you can join as many as you like wherever it may be. There are SIGs for cosplay, chess, gardening, photography, ramen, running, and probably whatever quirky interest you may have. Some of the SIGs we have in the Philippine chapter include SIG for Adventure (or SIGA), a group of TED enthusiasts called SIGhTED, a stock investment SIG (SISIG), a puzzle group called the Breakfast Club, a movie group called Sine Gang, gun enthusiasts in SIG-Guns, and a supposedly mature group of drinkers called AA (that stands for alcohol appreciation)!
And if you want to learn about even more different things, Mensa Philippines has regular Brown Bag sessions. Pitched as casual introductory courses about anything and everything, Brown Bags may just jump start or fuel your next new passion. Members have learned self defense with arnis, got to try their hands at boxing and fencing; received workshops on first aid and basic life support, learned contract bridge, got to savor beer pairing and learned how to make comics. They have gone on outdoor adventures such as bird watching at the University of the Philippines, and got to try sailing on their own at Taal Lake. They’ve familiarized themselves with online rights and the different personality types, and even took a shot at being voice actors for a day!
Initially intended as a meet and greet, Annual Gatherings have expanded to become a venue to reconnect with members and be updated on what’s new in the national chapter. International gatherings have grown to become a heterogeneous collection of programs, forums, games and entertainment, and is the perfect excuse to travel with other Mensa members. Such is the anticipation for these gatherings that when the Asian Mensa Gathering in Korea in 2015 was cancelled due to a viral outbreak, Mensans from Asia, Europe and the US still went to Seoul that week to get together. And have fun they still did. (Just to be clear, nobody went home with an exotic new virus).
“I enjoy the member gatherings and the different programs Mensa offers,” says Lemna Parvini Sani of Singapore as she attended an American Mensa Gathering. “It’s an amazing opportunity to meet over 2,400 members and have several interesting debates and discussions on all matters of the world.”
You get access to a global network of brilliant thinkers from all walks of life who are sworn to assist you as you navigate the world that you live in. Whether it’s for business, socials, travel, learning or simply having fun, being in touch with a Mensa community wherever you may be can be a valuable and possibly even life-changing resource!
We have a lot of great stuff in store for our Mensa Philippines members:
To enjoy these benefits on our website, you must be a regular Mensa Philippines member. If you want to be a Mensan, sign up for the next Mensa qualifying test!
Mensa is an international organization where the only requirement for membership is to score in the top two percentile (98th or 99th percentile) of a standardized IQ test. You can either present verified results of an IQ test, or you can take our own Mensa qualifying tests!
Mensa Philippines holds test sessions around Metro Manila two or three times a year. These are standardized IQ tests that are culture-fair—they do not ask questions that involve language, history, or cultural knowledge. Instead, the use of abstract reasoning reduces the risks of culture bias and ensure that, regardless of your language, age, or knowledge, your intelligence is what is being tested!
The Mensa test is calibrated to take forty minutes to complete. We normally hold several test sessions during an announced test day, with tests being held every hour on the hour. Test fees are also reasonable and offer a significant discount over international test rates. What’s more, we also offer discounts to groups of test takers.
Ready to become a full-fledged Mensan?