Press Release
June 2, 2006


Senator Richard J. Gordon led the Philippine Senate this morning in paying tribute to members of the First Philippine Mount Everest Expedition (FPMEE), led by Heracleo Oracion and Erwin Emata, for successfully scaling the world's tallest mountain, Mount Everest, and making the Filipino stand proud before the global community anew.

During the Kapihan sa Senado forum, Gordon, a former tourism secretary and avid sports enthusiast and supporter of adventure sports activities, presented Oracion and Amata a copy of Senate Resolution No. 79 which commended the first Philippine Mount Everest expedition and other Filipino Climbers for their unparalleled courage and unwavering determination to be the first Filipinos to scale Mt. Everest.

The resolution, which was authored by Gordon, was approved unanimously by the Senate last May 17. During the same forum, Oracion and his team thanked Gordon for the Senate recognition and presented the Senator with a replica of the Philippine flag that was planted at the top of Mt. Everest.

The FPMEE team paid a courtesy call on Gordon and the other members of the Senate to express their gratitude for the overwhelming support showed by the Filipino people for their successful expedition.

Through sheer perseverance, Gordon noted, the Filipino mountain climbers set the Philippine flag at the apex of the worlds tallest mountain proving that with focus, hard work and fortitude, Filipinos can make a difference in the world.

Despite the dangers of the climb and the very high risk of death, they sought to climb Mt. Everest to prove the strength and determination of the Filipino, Gordon said, adding that the success of the Filipino mountain climbers symbolized that we as a people can indeed overcome the greatest of challenges and stand proud among the members of the Global community.

Those honored in the Senate resolution, aside from Oracion and Amata were FPMEE members Arturo T. Valdez, Ari Ben C. Sebastian, Fred B. Jamili, Regie Pablo, Florentino Jong Narciso, Karina Davondon, Juan Aonuevo, Levi Nahayangan, Larry Honoridez, Janet Belarmino, Ariel Ambayec, Noelle Wenceslao, Ted Guevarra, John Tronco and Choi Aquino.

Earlier, Gordon also commended the success for another team of Filipino mountain climbers composed of Romeo Garduce, Jon Villareal, Dale Abenojar for their parallel efforts to conquer Mt. Everest.

"Mount Everest, as the world's tallest mountain, at an altitude that makes it nearly impossible to breathe, buffeted by winds, plagued by fickle weather and covered in snow and ice, represents the greatest challenge and the pinnacle of any mountaineer's career, having claimed the lives of numerous other climbers from around the world," the Senate resolution said.

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