Filipino climber reaches summit of Mount Everest

Mountaineer Erwin Emata on Thursday became the second Filipino to reach the summit of Mount Everest, less than a day after his compatriot hoisted the Philippine flag on the peak and won the nation's praises, organizers said.

Emata, 32, set foot on the world's highest peak at 23:34 GMT Wednesday (5:34 a.m. Thursday Nepal time), ABS-CBN television reported from the Everest Base Camp, quoting First Philippine Mount Everest Expedition leader Arturo Valdez. ABS-CBN is one of the sponsors of the climb.

Cheers broke out among the Filipino members when Emata radioed that he has reached the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit, the report said.

Adventure racer Leo Oracion, 32, was the first Filipino to scale the top Wednesday, according to the organizers and Nepal's Tourism Ministry.

"The conquest of the world's highest peak is a mark of Filipino excellence, perseverance and courage in braving the hard trek of nation-building," Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said in a congratulatory note.

"Pinoy (Filipino) on top of the world," the Philippine Daily Inquirer said in a banner headline.

The climb pitted the Philippines' largest television networks in a race against each other, S-CBN television is a major supporter of Oracion and Emata's teams, while GMA-7 television backs a third climber, Romeo Garduce.

The networks have been airing regular reports on the progress of their respective teams since they left for Nepal early this year, reports the AP.

I.L.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team