Mountaineer fulfills 15-yr dream by Tarra Quismundo
Inquirer First Posted 03:30:00 06/01/2007
MANILA, Philippines -- Close to the summit of the world's tallest mountain, two of his fellow mountaineers starved for oxygen and died. Even so, there was no turning back for 36-year-old Regie Pablo.
"That was my dream. I talked to God and I told him 'I will take all the punishment you give me, but please let me live here.' I was really determined to reach the summit," the industrial engineer told the Philippine Daily Inquirer upon his return home on Tuesday night. On May 17, Pablo became the seventh Filipino to conquer the 8,848-meter Mt. Everest.
Several others in his expedition had lost heart, given up and turned around. Two lost their lives but the awesomeness of the challenge to conquer the world's tallest peak couldn't weaken Pablo's spirit. His success came a day after three other Filipinos -- Carina Dayondon, Janet Belarmino and Noelle Wenceslao of the First Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition (FPMEE) -- scaled the peak and became the first women from Southeast Asia to achieve the feat. The female trio were expected to come home Thursday night.
On May 17 last year, three other Filipinos -- Leo Oracion and Erwin "Pastor" Emata of FPMEE, and Romeo Garduce -- became the country's first Everest summiteers.
Pablo said he was one of five adventurers who made it to the summit out of a 12-member international expedition, which also included four Americans, two Japanese, two Brazilians, a Czech, a Belgian and a German. A former member of the FPMEE that split up after the 2006 expedition over personal and money problems, Pablo pursued his dream with the funding from the telecommunications company he worked for.
"Honestly, until now, it has yet to sink in... I was wasted upon reaching the top. But still, I was fulfilled... not just happy but fulfilled because I have been planning for this for a long time, and I did it on my own," he said.
Pablo attributed his success to what he said was the Filipino's innate ability to cope.
OTHER NEWS OF REGGIE PABLO'S GREAT FEAT IN THE LINKS BELOW: