Members of my AMCI family were on a recon climb in Zambales when storm Frank hit. 3 of the climbing group's members and 1 guide were washed away by a flooded and raging creek. Bojo Torres, was found alive yesterday and is in the hospital. Jhoana Pimentel's (2k6) body was found on sunday. Thads (2k5) my batchmate is still missing. I'm still hoping for the best. Please include them in your prayers.
Here's a news article written about the incident, which i got from TonyBoy's site.
2 mountaineers drown, 1 missing, 9 rescued
By: Mamer Bañez
SAN Antonio, Zambales -- Two mountaineers drowned while another
was missing when they were swept by flashfloods while crossing a
creek at the foot of Mount Pundakit at the height of
Nine of their companions were rescued by the police, Navy and
barangay officials of Pundakit. Police chief Insp. Modesto Dadural,
Jr. identified the fatalities as Joseph Felarca of Project 8, Quezon
City, and Joan Pimentel. Missing was Thaddeus Reantaso. They are all
members of the AMCI Mountaineering Club, Inc. based in Makati City.
Rescuers recovered the bodies of Felarca and Pimentel floating off
the coast of Barangay Pundakit.
Rescued were Robert Joseph Torres, Kimberly San Juan, Teejay Sakuma,
Suzzeth Santiago, Joseph Paulve, Marris Zapanta, Virgilio Zapanta
Lean Vellongco and Broji Forcadela, all from Metro Manila.
SPO2 Roberto Llorico said the group climbed Mount Pundakit Saturday
and went downhill at 12:30 p.m. yesterday when the accident occured.
A large volume of water cascading from the mountain swept the
victims downstream. The survivors were able to hold on to each other
and anchored their feet on the rocks in the middle of the creek.
Torres, who sustained bone fractures, was taken to the San Marcelino
Rescuers continue their recovery operation for the other missing
The last time i saw Jho was Friday, June 20 just before they went to Pundaquit, Zambales for the Recon climb. It was Genie's bday and AMCI was there in full force to celebrate. I remember screaming Hitad!!!!! When Jho and Kim arrived. I even danced with Jho when we were already tipsy and enjoying the music. She was even telling me to join TC 1 where she was supposed to be an assistant team leader. Who knew that when i gave her a kiss and hug as we said goodbye, that it was the last time i'll see her alive.
Jho described herself as a Mountaholic, because she really loved mountain climbing and nature. She was an outdoorsy girl, always challenging herself and pushing herself to the limit. There was no mountain she can't conquer with her positive attitude and a sense of humor. She was also one of the Raspakids' drinking buddies. And when we would get get drunk and silly up in the boondocks, there was no dull moment. Laugh-Out-Loud happiness everytime Jhoanna was with us in a climb. Tag team sila ni Kim --and i fondly refer to them as the Hitads. Jhoanna was also very compassionate, try searching for Jhoanna Pimentel in Google and you'll find an article about her organizing a book drive for public schools in the mountains.
She really loved the outdoors and nature, and she would join a climb every chance she got. It's just so ironic that nature would be the one to cause her untimely death. She will be missed tremendously. She was truly a wonderful person. And her Multiply signature bets captures how she lived her life- -"Live, Love , Laugh."
Whereever you are sweetie, keep us your fellow moutaineers safe in the mountains. I know that once a mountaholic, will always be a mountaholic even in the after-life. See you when i do. Dapat may welcome drink ako ok? Rest well my mountaineer friend. This is how i'll remember you. :-)
P.S. Thad is still missing, but i fervently wish that he be found alive.
My 2k5 batchmates and other AMCI members have volunteered to help in the search and rescue of Thads and are en route to Zambales. I was supposed to join them, but when i asked permission from my Mom she went ballistic. Now i feel so guilty and helpless for not being able to actively look for Thads along with Janz, Joven, Ryan, Mercy and some other AMCI batchmates. I really wish we find him soon. It's his birthday tomorrow and that would be the perfect birthday gift.