Wednesday, June 21, 2006

From Everest to Bataan


Everest is just a dream for everyone of us but for Romi, its something that he can already cherished for a life time. He made a mark on our history and soon to amaze us in the future.

Garduce3His return to his hometown in Bataan, is like another journey for him. He had never seen his family for quite sometime during his full time preparation and training for his big dream on Everest. So this time, his return is made possible with the full support of his fellow mountainers and his major sponsors.

FloatGarduce2Allow me to share my photo essay. Although this is not my usual travel blog, Please consider it as a new experience for us as I once travel in a life of a very ordinary, simple person yet so determined and full of passion for his sport. The name who made headlines-- Romi Garduce.

Garduce_band6:30 -- Our convoy started from the backgate of GMA 7. We drove in a Revo with my writers while Romi rode in a van with his fellow UP mountainers and Northface group. His loyal friend, Henry who is the current UP Mountainers President drove his F150 with his wife. We had a stop-over at Shell station by the North Express way for breakfast.

Garduce_float8:30 - We arrived at the boundary of Pampanga and Bataan where the motorcade team and local supporters are waiting. He can't believe what he sees, and even hesitant to jump off from the van. Waiting fans cheered when they saw Romi marching towards the float made for him. They all wanted to shake hands with this man who had conquered the Everest. As he went near the float, the band starts to play. He was meet again by Jemo, the GMA 7 cameraman who joined him at Everest basecamp with Jiggy.

Garduce_hand9:00 - He is on his float fully decorated with a replica background of Mt. Everest. Posters and streamers of congratulations are on every vehicle who will join the motorcade. As we passed by the barangays, all cheered for him with such pride and chanting furiously his name. The motorcade created heavy traffic because of the narrow roads going to his hometown in Balanga. And as the sun heats up, the motorcade starting to go slow because of the crowded area in some municipalities. It's good that somebody volunteered to get an umbrella for Romi or else he will be fried again with the scourging sun.

Garduce_float211:00 - We arrived at the Provincial Capitol where the Governor and ten of his officials are waiting to congratulates him. His aging mother and four of his siblings are also there. After a brief chat with the officials we all get inside the Provincial Meeting Room for the start of the Program.

Garduce_jollySeveral awards and Merit on his honor was given to him. And as usual this politicians are all ready specially for the photo op. A 5-minute film showing was shown in a projector to showcase his successful feat. In return, Romi give the Governor his personal souvenir from Everest to the people of Bataan. It was a picture of him and colored flaglets which he used during his climbed. They said that it was blessed by the Lama to give him guidance on his journey.

Garduce_motor2Garduce_motor12:30 - The governor treat us with buffet lunch. Its about time for all of us especially Romi to relax after the 3-hour motorcade. The food are nice and really mouth-watering everyone are quite and so busy with the food. After that lunch and a stick of "yosi", another pictorial session for the group together with the local press. Then, the group decided to go to Romi's place to rest.

Crowd1:30 - We are at Romi's residence and a simple buffet of steamed crab was prepared by his family. He invited us to join them but we rather prefers to stay at the sala and sip a couple of beers he gave us earlier. GMA 7 camera starts to roll to document and conduct some interviews with his family, they have to do this for their news update deadline.

Garduce_gov2:30 - The sirens rang, the band played and the float came to pick us for another round of motorcade. This time, its only in the municipality of Balanga. Romi's visitors came and his neighbors were alerted of his presence and immediately flock the area. By the way, he lives in a village and it has a narrow street to accomodate more vehicles. Earlier, our arrival at his house is just like an ordinary visitors who knock on door and it did not alerted his neighbors. May be they don't realized that Romi was with us.


4:30 - The city government of Balanga had also prepared a program for Romi. Upon our arrival, people are running towards our direction. Most of them are youth and they scattered all over with their cellphones on to get his pictures. The funny thing is that on his way to the stage to meet the Mayor, the crowd were so excited that it even bumped the mayor to get a clear shot of Romi. I know for sure he's quite irritated with the scenario:). Again, for the second time...awarding ceremony follows.

7:00 pm - we decided to go back to Manila..the view of heavy rains is like a back massage for me after this event. I'm so tired same with my two companion chick who find their own comfort at the back of our service vehicle.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Sidetrip to Everest

June 7, 2006

The hype over the climb to Mt. Everest continues and everyone were so excited to get the latest update that leads to some sort of network war on their coverage of the 1st Philippine Expedition to Mt. Everest.

Well, at first, I'm not interested to the news when it was first announced. But when the news broke up that Filipino made it to the summit. I have this deep admiration and sense of pride realizing that a Filipino can make it.

Actually, as the news broke out about the climb, we have conceptualized a book on Mt. Everest quest by Filipinos. Our writers starts to gather the news and starts on their research while on the wait for the actual events of the said ascend. My only role is the conceptualization of the book design and help the writers for the possible title.

I started my research by downloading some images i found on the net for my visual concept presentation. During this course, i have seen and appreciated the beauty of Everest from countless stock photos available and feel the drama behind those who had earlier conquest of the Summit.

Then, here goes the chance to meet one of the conquestor—Mr. Romi Garduce, a veteran climber, member of the UP Mountaineers and the third Pinoy who had reach the Big E.

We had an interview with him at a Cafe' in Greenbelt 3 last June 7 and were so lucky to hang with him in spite of his countless visitors at the adjacent table. His schedules are hectic and talking to him about his quest is like a Side trip to the Summit and much excitement awaits us when he showed to us his personal photos of the great Everest. He's very accommodating and very funny, just like any other mountaineers who always crack a joke to relieve their exhaustion during climb.



I don't want to elaborate more on our conversation but one thing for sure, Mr. Garduce is in love with his passion more than anything else. His quest for the seven (7) peaks in the world is his ultimate dreams and you can stop this man with great determination and passion.


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