Leo Oracion, The Pinoy, and Mt. Everest

A Pinoy has made it to the peak of Mt. Everest! The last I heard, two Pinoys have actually made it -- Leo Oracion reached the top on May 17 (Manila time) while Pastor Emata followed shortly after.

Leo Oracion and Pastor Emata are reported to be the two strongest climbers of the First Philippine Mount Everest Expedition set to make a climb in 2007. This year is said to be a reconnaisance climb for the whole team which intends to take on Everest next year. The plan is for two groups of climbers to climb from two different points starting from base camp and then eventually meet at the summit. According to their website, such a feat has been attempted by a few climbers but none have succeeded. The team will likewise attempt to have the first ASEAN woman to reach the summit.

What can I say? Can anyone tell me how a country which has absolutely no snow can have not one, not two, but I think 4 climbers scaling Mt. Everest (the world's highest mountain) all at the same time? The fact that they have successfully made it to the top is unbelievable and just downright amazing. I have yet to hear word on Romi Garduce whom we earlier wrote about in a previous entry. He is likewise on his way to the top and we also hope for the best for him.

Anyway, Leo, Pastor, or Romi - a Pinoy is a Pinoy is a Pinoy. We all rejoice in their individual triumphs. Of course, we will all remember better the first climber who got there but whether you are first, second, or third, just by reaching the top (and getting down safely too!), you have demonstrated just how strong, determined, and skillful the Filipino climber is and we salute you all!

Mabuhay ang Pilipino at ang Pilipinas! Marating natin sanang lahat, sama-sama, ang tugatog ng tagumpay. =) (Long live the Filipino and the Philippines. May all of us, working together, reach the summit of success.)

[By Angelica Viloria | Friday, May 19, 2006]

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