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Saturday, May 24, 2014
SUCCESSFULLY climbing Mount Everest, world's highest peak, reflects how a trekker or climber shows "muy excellente" (excellent) skills.
Mountaineering can obliterate persons of weaker hearts and stamina.
Distinguished men and women must know how to climb the rugged terrain of catastrophe. Thereafter, they must smash through the wall of logistical, practical and geographical hardships. Ultimately, a leader of this climbing group must lead her/his team of varied talents and personalities so they can stamp their boots through a common path of success and surging triumph.
In Angeles City, particularly, we see strong leaders who profile honesty, integrity and upright principles. Harmonizing the principle of "Ora et Labora" or "Prayer with Work", they walk on the pathway of goodwill, gratitude and great service.
May I take my hat off to these outstanding leaders.
Zooming in on another place of worldwide interest, let us zero in on this site. I am fascinated by a city that suffered a volcanic eruption more than about 1,ooo years ago.
This great city of Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was mostly destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Research shows it was founded in the seventh or sixth century BC by the Osci or Oscans and was captured by the Romans in 80 BC. By the time of its destruction, 160 years later or in 79 AD, its population was probably approximately 20,000, and the city had a complex water system, an amphitheatre, gymnasium and a port.
The eruption was cataclysmic. Evidence for the destruction originally came from a surviving letter by Pliny the Younger, who saw the eruption from a distance and described the death of his uncle Pliny the Elder, an admiral of the Roman fleet, who tried to rescue citizens.
Suffocating volcanic gases mummified its people. When discovered, many women, men and children stood in the position of trying to run away from the raging volcano.
The site was lost for about 1,500 years until its initial rediscovery in 1599 and broader rediscovery almost 150 years later by Spanish engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre in 1748. The objects that lay beneath the city have been well preserved for centuries because of the lack of air and moisture. These artifacts provide an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city during the Pax Romana.
Pompeii has been a tourist destination for over 250 years. Today it has UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2.5 million sightseers every year.
What a historical tragedy!
Today, we are alive on the planet earth. Walking on the path towards exhilaration, enthusiasm and excellence, we pursue our journey.
In the 20th century, you and I escaped death from the unforgettable eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.
Unlike the citizens of Pompeii who perished from the fumes of gases and weight of falling debris/crashing rocks from Mt. Vesuvius, we who are denizens of the Kapampangan heartland or terra firma are the lucky ones.
Gracias to our Creator for saving us. We bow our heads in profound thanksgiving.
Ultimately, may you and I maximize our gifts of life, health and well-being. Truly, feeling the golden sunshine on our faces, we smile with an orange glow as we stroll on the grounds in this merry month of May.
Blessings to all of us for all times !
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Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 25, 2014.