deadliest deadline

meandering thoughts on the beat

Monday, April 03, 2006

forever Everest

If all goes well, this would be a good year for Filipino mountaineers. Romy Garduce is at the Mt. Everest Base Camp and is just about to launch his attempt to conquer the highest mountain in the world. Hot on his trail are members of the first-ever Philippine Everest team. and unfortunately, watching over them are GMA-7 and ABS-CBN, who have taken their network war to the Tibetan mountains in support of the two groups. unfortunately too, i feel myself torn between cheering for the two groups. Garduch was ahead of me by one batch at the UP Mountaineers. He struck me as an amiable guy, very friendly. and that counted a lot when we were up there trekking in the forests and peaks during my mountaineering days. on the other hand, Choy Aquino and my batchmate Levy are part of the Phil Everest team. Choy was a loud but funny guy who never failed to make the people in the UPM tambayan roll over with his antics. Levi was quiet, soft spoken but ready with his wide smile. i would have thought i should be happy that a Filipino, or a Filipino team, and members of UPM no less!!!, would scale Everest and bring some glory to our country. but the thought of these guys up there but on different teams is, i find, a little unsettling. why in the world didn't they just combine their efforts? but such are mountaineers, i guess. they never back down from a challenge, not even from Everest. if it's there, they (we?) just have to climb it. they will go at it, whether solo or in a group. they just have to be up there. admittedly, my cheer will go to Garduce. after all, this guy has conquered most of the peaks considered as test climbs before Everest, including Aconcagua and Cho-oyu. The Philippine team unfortunately has some ground to cover. but whoever is first, i hope a Philippine flag on Everest's summit will unite us all. of course, i expect politicians will jump all over this when the summit is conquered by a Filipino. such is life. but whatever happens, the local mountaineering community and mountaineers past (like me) and present will celebrate. to hell with these politicians!! I hope and pray that the networks don't jump all over this too much. to goad the two groups as if in a race is dangerous and could risk the lives of the climbers. thankfully, these are some of the smartest climbers i know. and i can think of only a couple of things that will prevent their date with the rooftop of the world: bad weather and lack of preparation and training. PS: maybe its time for me to get into shape for the UPM anniv :)