By Hannah Torregoza
The Senate on Tuesday adopted a resolution commending Lt. Junior Grade Carina Dayondon, the first Filipina mountaineer to conquer the “Seven Summits”, which are the tallest peaks of each of the seven continents.
Senator Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay said the resolution aims to recognize Dayondon, a member of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for having “displayed the brilliance and excellence of Filipinos despite insurmountable odds that brings immense pride and honor to the country.”
According to Binay, the Seven Summits is considered the premier mountaineering challenge in the world. She said Dayondon is actually the second Filipino to climb the Seven Summits after Romi Garduce who finished his voyage in 2012.
Senate Resolution No. 985, authored by Binay, was adopted in today’s plenary session with Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senators Richard Gordon and Risa Hontiveros signifying their intention to be co-sponsors of the resolution.
All senators who were present on the floor were made co-authors. Dayondon was present in the gallery during the adoption of the resolution. She personally received the commendation from Senate President Vicente Sotto III and other senators.
She successfully reached the summit of Mt. Vinson Massif in Antartica on December 16 and was one of the three Filipino women to reach the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, as part of the “Kaya ng Pinoy “ Expedition in 2007.
Other summits included in the list are Mt. Everest in Asia, Aconcagua in South America, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Denali in North America, Elbrus in Europe and either Kosciusko or the Carstensz Pyramid for the Australian continent.
Dayondon climbed Denali in 2006, Everest in 2007, Elbrus in 2013, Kosciusko in 2014, Kilimanjaro in 2015, and Aconcagua also this year.
A native of Don Carlos, Bukidnon, Central Mindanao, Dayondon was first introduced to camping and hiking in the Philippine Girl Scouts and took up sport climbing in 1978. She was also a member of the Xavier University-Ateneo Mountaineering Society.
“Most of us get to see only the fruits of other’s labors. Rarely do we get a glimpse of the hardships they face to get where they are. Nagawa ni Lt. Dayondon ang lahat ng ito, sa kabila ng mga hamon na hinaharap ng mga climbers na mula sa maliliit na bansa gaya ng Pilipinas (Lt. Dayondon was able to do all of these, despite the challenges climbers face especially those who come from a small country like the Philippines),” she said.
Binay noted that Dayondon, bearing all the disadvantages of being a woman from a developing country—succeeded despite the lack of logistical support, difficulty in acquiring funds to finance her expedition and even a PR team to document her exploits.
“Nakakaantig ang kwento ni Lt. Dayondon, sapagkat nasasalamin sa pinagdaanan niya ang karanasan hindi lamang ng bawat Pilipina, kundi ng lahat ng Pilipino (Lt. Dayondon’s story is compelling because her experiences reflect the challenges that all Filipinos face, not only of the Filipinas,” she said.
Binay also said Dayondon is a testament of the potential and capability of all Filipinos to rise above serious challenges.
“Patunay siya na sa pagkiling sa pangarap, pagsusumikap na bumangon tuwing tayo ay nabibigo, at sa pagiging bukas natin sa tulong ng iba, kaya nating tahakin ang sarili nating mga bundok (She is a living testament that sticking to dreams and rising up each time we fail, and accepting the help offered by others, we can conquer our personal mountains),” she further said.
“Bilang kapwa babae, nakakapagpa sigla ng kalooban ang mabigyan ng paalala sa potential namin na kaya naming makipag sabayan ng lakas, na kaya naming kamtam ang mga bagay na maituturing na imposible sa karamihan (As a fellow woman, her experience is an encouraging reminder of our potential and our strength to achieve the things which are impossible to others),” Binay stressed.