AN octogenarian Singaporean residing in Baguio City has recently become the oldest person to ever climb Mt. Apo, the tallest mountain of the Philippines.
80-year old Peter Chong, who lives in Baguio with his wife, began the ascent to the 2,954 meter-high peak of Mt. Apo from the Kapatagan starting point on May 17 and finished it 48 hours later on May 19, accompanied by a team including local mountain guides.
“I have climbed many mountains, but this Mount Apo is incomparable to anywhere I have climbed. It is really an adventure,” Chong said in a video posted on the Digos City Government Facebook page.
The record for oldest Mt. Apo climber was once held by a 78-year old Filipino before Chong completed his climb.
According to Chong, he did not intend to break the record, but was aware of the previous record and record holder.
At the peak, Chong was met by Perla May Griffin, Digos tourism officer, who gave the climber flowers to celebrate the achievement.
“I was tired, yes, but not extremely tired. I was so exhilarated and overjoyed but I forgot to stay longer to enjoy the view. Perhaps the fear of rain hastened me to descend to base camp,” Chong said.
Chong says he started his mountain-climbing hobby at the young age of 69, inspired by a huge poster of Mt. Pulag that he saw in Baguio City. He has since climbed multiple mountains, both in the Philippines and abroad in Nepal, Australia, and New Zealand.