December 6, 2023

Three seasoned Igorot hikers have just scaled Mount Fuji, the highest peak in Japan at 3,766 meters above sea level, after a challenging ascend on July 31.

Benguet Board Member Ruben Paoad together with lawyer Jerry Marave and labor arbiter JR Gayaman were jubilant as they reached the roof of Japan that is 100 kilometers from the capital city of Tokyo.

SCALING MT. FUJI — Lawyer Jerry Marave took a selfie with fellow lawyers Ruben Paoad, also a board member of Benguet, and labor arbiter JR Gayaman, as the trio of Igorots successfully scaled the peak of Mount Fuji, the tallest peak in Japan at 3,766 meters above sea level on July 31. — JM photo

“It was challenging, but at the same time we had lot of fun as we reached the summit after eight hours of hiking,” Marave said.

Mount Fuji is one of the top favorite destinations of Filipino mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts,  since aside from being a pilgrimage site, it is considered one of Japan’s three sacred mountains and summit hikes remain a popular activity.

In April, the trio of Igorot hikers also scaled Yushan National Park in Taiwan with an elevation of 3,000masl.

What started as just a recreational hiking for Paoad, Marave, and Gayaman, along with lawyers Willy Managtag, Brenda Poklay, Brent Focasan, and Leo Lawana turned into a passion to scale the highest mountains in the Philippines.

The group had already scaled Mount Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines at 3,142.79masl and the ever-challenging Mount Guiting-Gui-ting in the province of Romblon.

The group members also scaled almost all the peaks in Benguet, Mountain Province, Kalinga, and other provinces in the country. – Harley F. Palangchao