Friday, May 19, 2006

Second and Third Filipino atop Mt. Everest

(4th UPDATE) A SECOND Filipino mountaineer has reached the summit of Mount Everest early Thursday, according to reports culled by

Erwin “Pastor” Emata reached the top between 5:30 a.m. to 6 a.m., according to the reports, including one in which Emata himself was said to have radioed his camp to inform fellow mountaineers of his feat.

Emata’s achievement came a day after his partner, Leo Oracion, made the historic climb.

A third mountaineer, Romeo Garduce, was due to complete a hat-trick of ascents this week in a race to the top of the world's highest mountain that has engrossed the tropical Southeast Asian nation.

In Malacañang, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the entire nation was rejoicing with the successful climb of Emata and Oracion.

“The entire nation also shares the joy and pride of the First Philippine Mount Everest Expedition team led by Leo Oracion on their achievement. Even as we speak, we also heard news of the outstanding featof another Filipino, Erwin Pastor Emata,” said Arroyo in a statement.

“The conquest of the world's highest peak is a mark of Filipino excellence, perseverance, and courage in braving the hard trek of nation-building,” she added.

At the Senate, Pia Cayetano, Manuel Villar, and Richard Gordon issued separate congratulatory statements to the Everest mountaineers.

Cayetano, a sports enthusiast and member of the Philippine National Duathlon Team, said that the Everest conquest was "a testament to the Filipino's strength of will, stamina, and character.”

"The Everest conquest is akin to our country winning an Olympic Gold...(It) shows the world-class stuff that Filipino athletes are made of. With proper training and support, our athletes can conquer anything," she said.

“The perseverance and bravery of Filipino climbers show the whole world the Filipino's solid determination and indomitable spirit. Not even the highest mountain in the world is unconquerable when the Filipino sets his mind to conquering it,” Villar said.

In Senate Resolution 483, Gordon also congratulated team members Arturo T. Valdez, Ari Ben C. Sebastian, Fred B. Jamili, Regie Pablo, Florentino Jong Narciso, Karina Davondon, Juan Añonuevo, Levi Nahayangan, Larry Honoridez, Janet Belarmino, Ariel Ambayec, Noelle Wenceslao, Ted Guevarra, John Tronco, and Choi Aquino, who “risked their lives to bring honor to the country.”

Gordon also cited Garduce, Jon Villareal, and Dale Abenojar for their parallel efforts to scale Mount Everest.

Gordon said the climbers should be feted by the Senate "for their contribution in the history of our country and to the pride of the Filipino people."

“The climbers, who caused the setting of the Philippine flag at the apex of the mountain, worked hard in conditioning themselves for the climb,” he said.

At the House of Representatives, Bayan Muna Representatives Satur Ocampo, Teodoro Casiño, and Joel Virador; Anakpawis Representatives Crispin Beltran and Rafael Mariano; and Liza Maza of Gabriela filed House Resolution 1252 commending Oracion, Emata, Garduce, and the other Filipino mountaineers.

“Whereas, such feat of Oracion, Emata, Garduce, and other Filipino mountaineers showed the Filipino’s capacity to overcome insurmountable odds, a trait that is very important in confronting the huge national and social problems the nation now face,” the lawmakers said in the resolution.

“Whereas, such feat has been aptly welcomed with much rejoicing as a triumph of the entire nation and as an example of patriotism worthy of emulation by every Filipino,” they added.

Emata, 32, radioed his base camp at about 5:30 am Nepal time to report that he had reached the top, said expedition leader Art Valdez in a live interview with ABS-CBN television in Manila.

The Filipinos' base camp broke out in celebration when Emata sent in his radio report, he said.

"We were not even finished with the excitement and jubilation over the success of Leo Oracion yesterday," said Valdez.

"It shows our faith in the Filipino. The Filipino is great. Erwin and Leo proved this by reaching the top of Mount Everest," he added.

Earlier on Thursday, GMA Network’s “Flash Report” said Emata reached the peak at about 6:00 a.m.

Garduce is expected to reach the summit on Friday or Saturday, according to GMA Network, his main sponsors. Oracion and Emata had been part of a team sponsored by ABS-CBN.
Source: INQ7.NET 18/05/2006
Duh: cheers!


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