“The Philippine Eagle has landed.” www.philippine-everest.com
“Congratulations to the first Filipino in Mt. Everest, Leo Oracion!! Well done, the entire Philippines is celebrating your success and at last a Filipino is on top of Mt. Everest! This is a very symbolic quest for us, Filipinos and you are the official winner for the amazing race for the First Filipino to reach Mt. Everest. Let’s not pretend that this is not a race, it is a race (why do you think there were 4-5 Filipinos suddenly climbing Mt. Everest all at the same time). A race in itself is not bad. It is very healthy because we, Filipinos, thrive in competition and this is where we give our best. We Filipinos love rivalries Globe vs. Smart, GMA7 vs. ABS-CBN2, La Salle vs. Ateneo, Pacquiao vs. Morales, and so on. This should not undermine the achievement of the other Filipino climbers who would also reach the top of Mt. Everest. After all, Mt. Everest is a personal journey and it is every mountain climbers dream to reach this highest point on earth. Lets continue to pray for Leo Oracion, Pastour Emata and Romi Garduce, (and the other 4-5 or so people) that they may be able to go back safely in the Philippines after reaching the highest peak in the world.
As for Romi Garduce, he is a ribbon cutter and in his post on his thoughts on his E attempt, he said:
“I see that my role is also evolving, I’ve shared before that I see E as 1 giant door to open, and with it, other possibilities and adventure opportunities await. So now I see my role not just as a climber, but a gate-opener, a ribbon cutter. I may or may not climb the peak, but making the attempt alone already brings major significance in the history of mountaineering and adventure sports here, it means we are now taking on the challenge. “
So after conquering Mt. Everest, a Filipino needs to conquer the 7 highest summits in all the seven continents! After Romi is able to successfully climb Mt. Everest, he would have climbed 4 out of the 7 summits within a span of 6 years. Here is the scorecard:
Mt. Kilimajaro (Africa) 5,895m (1st climb-for-a-cause Sept. 2002)
Mt. Denali (North America) 6,194m
Mt. Everest (Asia) 8,848m (4th climb-for-a-cause May 2006)
Mt. Elbrus (Europe) 5,642m (completed)
Mt. Carstensz Pyramid (Australasia) 4,884m
Mt. Aconcagua (South America) 6,960m (2nd climb-for-a-cause Dec/Jan 2004)
Mt. Vinson (Antartica) 4,897m
A long way to go but this is a matter of national pride and achieving world class excellence in Mountain Climbing and Adventure Sports. So, we’ll we see a race for the 7 summits, anyone?