2006 Philippine Mount Everest expedition

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The 2006 Philippine Mount Everest expedition was the quest for the first Filipino's to climb Mount Everest, and to put the Philippine flag on top of the mountain.[1]


The expedition, consisting of Filipino triathlete Leo Oración and Erwin Emata, was backed by Philippine television network ABS-CBN; Romeo Garduce, who was climbing at the same time, was sponsored by rival GMA-7.[2] Despite having rival sponsors, both teams maintained that it was not a race to the top of Mount Everest.[3] They made their ascent via the South Col route.[4] A third Filipino, Dale Abenojar, climbed independently, using the North Col route.[4][5]


On May 13, 2006, Oración left Base Camp, and proceeded up the mountain. He reached the summit of Everest on May 17 at 3:30 pm NPT.[6][7] Upon reaching the top, Oración radioed, "The Philippine Eagle has landed."[7] His statement is based on Neil Armstrong's message "The Eagle has landed" when the Apollo 11 Lunar Module, nicknamed the "Eagle", landed on the moon.[8] The following day, Emata officially became the second Filipino to climb Mount Everest when he reached the summit at 5:34 am NPT.[9][3] The following day, Garduce reached the summit at 11:20 am NPT.[10]


According to a press statement by Dale Abenojar's wife Liza, her husband actually reached the summit of Mount Everest on May 15, two days before Oración, but his attempt was undocumented.[5] After nearly a month, Everest chronicler Elizabeth Hawley listed Abenojar as first the Filipino summiter on her Himalayan Database.[11][12]


The ascent was celebrated in the Philippines, appearing on the front page of several Filipino newspapers.[9] Then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called it "a mark of Filipino excellence, perseverance and courage in braving the hard trek of nation-building."[13] Team leader Regie Pablo compared it to "putting a Filipino on the Moon."[13]


  1. ^ "Filipino Everest climbers encourage Oro climbers to pursue dreams". Philippine Information Agency. Cagayan de Oro. 4 July 2006. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  2. ^ Romero, Paolo; Villar, Joey (May 18, 2006). "Tri-athlete Leo Oracion Conquers Mt. Everest". Philippine Headline News Online. Manila. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  3. ^ a b Gulle, Jimbo; Arce, Gerald Peter (May 19, 2006). "Second Filipino conquers Everest". The Manila Times. p. 1. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Mountaineer Abenojar recovering from frostbite in Kathmandu". GMA News. May 24, 2006. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  5. ^ a b Villar, Joey (May 22, 2006). "Now, who's really first on Everest?". Philippine Headline News Online. Manila. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Mountaineer Leo Oracion reaches Mt. Everest summit". GMA News. May 17, 2006. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  7. ^ a b Papa, Alcuin (May 18, 2006). "Pinoy on top of the world". Philippine Daily Inquirer. p. 1. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  8. ^ Jones, Eric M. (1995). "The First Lunar Landing – Corrected Transcript and Commentary". NASA. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  9. ^ a b Calipayan, Mitchelle P. (May 18, 2006). "Celebrations as 2nd Filipino reaches top of Mt. Everest". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  10. ^ "Garduce on top of the world". GMA News. May 19, 2006. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  11. ^ Papa, Alcuin (June 15, 2006). "Chronicler says Abenojar first on Everest summit". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  12. ^ Hawley, Elizabeth. "Himalayan Database Expedition Archives of Elizabeth Hawley". Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  13. ^ a b Papa, Alcuin (May 19, 2006). "Second Filipino Conquers Everest". Philippine Daily Inquirer. p. 21. Retrieved 16 February 2013.

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