Philippines hails feat of 3 Filipina conquerors of Everest

May. 17, 2007

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo hailed today the three Filipino women who made history Wednesday by becoming the first female mountain climbers in Southeast Asia to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, the worlds highest peak.

The feat of Noelle Wenceslao, Carina Dayondon, and Janet Belarmino, according to the President, honored not only the country but the entire region as well.

“The summit of Mt. Everest proved to be a smooth conquest by three brave Filipino women who honored not only the Philippines but the Asean community with their inspiring achievement,” she said in a statement.

Wenceslao became the first Filipina to reach the summit of Mt. Everest in Nepal and also the first woman from Southeast Asia to reach the peak measured at around 29,035 feet above sea level.

She reached it at 6:10 a.m. Nepal time (8:10 a.m. in Manila Wednesday).

Dayondon arrived 10 minutes later while former varsity tennis player Belarmino, who got caught in a big traffic jam of more than 150 mountain climbers, arrived at 9 a.m.

“Noelle, Carina and Janet are now at par with the toughest nountain climbers of the world,” the President said.

“We are awed by their sense of adventure, physical strength and endurance as well as the passion that led them to the top of Mount Everest, the worlds tallest mountain,” she added.

Last year, three Filipinos Leo Oracion, Pastor Emata and Romeo Garduce became the first Filipinos to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, earning the same accolade from the President who honored them in Malacanang. (OPS)

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