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Filipino adventurers set sail in a 4-year epic

By sly silvestre l. quintos     Jun 28, 2009 in Travel
Leo Oracion, who most believed to be the first Filipino to summit Mt. Everest, and Nestor Emata, will lead a team of eight others in an ambitious four-year adventure on a replica sea vessel around Asia and hopefully unto the African continent.
They set sail yesterday with the Philippine Coast Guard in their shadow to give them all the external support they need.
The sea vessel, christened “Ngandahig”, is a 15-meter long and 3-meter wide copy of the ancient wooden boat excavated in Mindanao in the 1970s carbon-dated to 320 A.D.
The Philippine Star daily newspaper described the replica boat as made of carved planks held together with pins and dowels.
Oracion and Emata and eight others, will visit every major port in the Philippines covering an estimated 2,100 nautical miles.
They will then sail over to Sabah in Borneo and then to the Micronesia and Madagascar by year 2010. They are expected to be back to the Philippines in 2013.
According to historians, the boat excavated in Mindanao was among the oldest seafaring vessels found in the Philippines.
Sea nomads once roamed the Southeast Asian and the Pacific waters, including the Philippines.
Oracion is a sportsman from the town of Lucbán, province of Quezon. Prior to adventure racing, Oración worked as a lifeguard at the Shangri-La Hotel in Mactan Island, Cebu. He quit his job to pursue his passion full-time.
Along with Emata, he is currently an enlisted officer at the Philippine Coastguard Authority.
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