A hero's welcome for Mt Everest conquerors

Makati welcomed home the three Filipino "conquerors" of the 8,848-metre high Mount Everest — Leo Oracion, Erwin 'Pastor' Emata and Romi Garduce — with a confetti parade along Ayala Avenue on May 31.

By Guil Franco (Our Correspondent)

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Published: Sat 3 Jun 2006, 12:19 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:41 PM

"As in the past, Makati is giving a world-class welcome for a group of world-class Filipinos," Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay said before the start of the parade on Wednesday.

It was a 1-2-3 finish for the Pinoys to the top of the world's highest mountain. On May 17, Oracion became the first Filipino to set foot on the summit of Everest. On May 18, Emata followed suit. And on May 19, Garduce made three. Describing his feat then, Garduce said the Everest summit was only about six square metres in area but was sloping.

"There weren't much people up there because of the bad weather so there was space," Garduce said, referring to other climbers who reached the summit about the same time he did. He said he had little time for picture taking, and had to take turns with seven other climbers so that he could have his picture snapped.

Speaking in a live interview over GMA-7's '24 Oras' evening newscast, he said, "On behalf of the Pinoy summiteers Leo and Pastor, we offer our success to the Filipino people as a symbol that the impossible dream is possible."

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