C.O.R.E.  the Center for Outdoor Recreation and Expedition

CORE SUPPORTS FILIPINA MOUNTAINEER’S EXPEDITION TO SOUTH AMERICA’S HIGHEST PEAK

CORE SUPPORTS FILIPINA MOUNTAINEER’S EXPEDITION TO SOUTH AMERICA’S HIGHEST PEAK

Filipina mountain climber Carina Dayondon impressively climbed one of the most arduous mountains that the planet has to offer as she successfully reached the summit of the Argentine mountain Mount Aconcagua last January. It was the sixth of her seven-mountain climb that would make her the first Pinay to complete the task.

The tallest building in the entire world, Dubai’s famous Burj Khalifa, is a towering 828 meters in height. Meanwhile, Mount Aconcagua, the tallest of all South American peaks, is a staggering 6,960.8 metres (22,837 ft) meters.

The man-made structure pales in comparison to one of Mother Nature’s very own. A quick and simple Math leads us to Filipina mountain climber Carina Dayondon impressively climbed one of the most arduous mountains that the planet has to offer as she successfully reached the summit of the Argentine mountain Mount Aconcagua last January. It was the sixth of her seven-mountain climb that would make her the first Pinay to complete the taskmind-boggling conclusion that one of Mother Nature’s finest is over ten times the size of the man-made behemoth.

The mere consideration of attempting to climb Mount Aconcagua already requires immense courage and fortitude. Even more so when someone is already making an ascend while keeping up with the extreme conditions that the environment ruthlessly throws at climbers.

Filipina mountain climber Carina Dayondon impressively climbed one of the most arduous that the planet has to offer as she successfully reached the summit of the Argentine mountain last month. It was the sixth of her seven-mountain climb — yes, you read that right — that would make her the first Pinay to complete the task.

“The idea of coming up with the seven summit project came after my successful Mt. Everest marathon in May 2008. A few months after finishing the said marathon, I invited Janet and Noelle to come with me in doing the Seven Summits. This is in continuation of inspiring Filipinos, especially the young ones, to dream big and embrace that fact that nothing is impossible for us if we put our heart into something that we want to achieve.” said Dayondon. “However, it did not materialize that year because Janet and Noelle have their own priorities. And I also had to ask permission from Sir Art Valdez and he told me that it will come after our Balangay Boats Voyage project.  After the project, I went to train under a Coast Guard Officer Course and became a full-fledged PCG Officer, serving in some offices as any other regular service officer. In 2012, my sister had breast cancer and it made me think again of climbing the seven summits. It crossed my mind because I wanted to create awareness and, in some way, raise funds for cancer patients.”

Dayondon recounts the unique challenges that each of her first six climbs involved.

“Every climb had its unique and memorable experiences. Mt. Everest had the altitude challenge. For Mt. McKinley, we were up on the mountain for 28 days instead of the usual 15-18 days.”

“Mt. Elbrus was about being with a new Filipino team. Then I had myself traveling alone for Mt. Kosciuzsko and because my visa came a day late so I bought another plane ticket. Mt.Kilimanjaro was another solo climb for me and

I was bumped off from my flight and the airline staff told me that they are a budget airline and they have no transit accommodation in Qatar International Airport, so I bought another ticket.”

“And finally, I had to actually attempt twice in climbing Mt.Aconcagua, which cost me a lot but, luckily, there are people who helped with my fund.”

Through this myriad of experiences, one thing remained constant and that is the assistance provided by CORE — the Primer Group’s advocacy arm — via proper gears and equipment. CORE has a fleet of athletes who each serves as an ambassador, promoting a more active lifestyle as Filipinos continue to strive for their dreams.

With the Primer Group known for being a distributor of quality outdoor gears for brands such as Columbia Sportswear, Osprey, and The North Face, among others, it was only fitting for Carina, a CORE athlete, to have the best equipment in her climbs.

Kristine Villaflor, CORE’s program manager, speaks out on the non-stop support for the Seven Summits mission.

“That is the distinct advantage our athletes enjoy; having nothing short of the best gears and equipment in their endeavors. We are extremely proud of what Carina has accomplished and it goes without saying that CORE won’t miss a beat in supporting her future climbs.”

Staying true to her mission, she admits to having offered prayers for the cancer patients whenever she reached the top. According to Carina, while the climb was already tasking, the descent was harder after having used so much energy already.

Next for the Filipina wonder woman is Mount Vinson in Antarctica. While she gears up to finally completing her superhuman challenge, Carina is also looking forward that more Filipinas will be inspire in exploring places that no Filipinas have gone yet and they will have this sense of pride that because they are Filipina, nothing is impossible for them to achieve!

Lastly, the nation’s pride extends a valuable message to Filipinas who will look to follow her lead.

“Even if challenges are thrown your way as you try to achieve your dreams, those still aren’t reasons for you to give up. If you love what you’re doing, the more you will be inspired and become determined. It’s already been proven by many Filipina achievers; whatever platform we belong, let us continue to demonstrate that we are not lesser than any other female achievers in the world.”

Kaya ng Pinay!