When the nail sticks out

rants, raves and randomness

To Ariel

Years ago, I was struck by the fact that, while the Philippines seems rife with disasters and replete with crimes, the people involved were never directly linked with me. The closest I got was still three degrees away – a neighbor of a classmate, a cousin of a friend. It was desensitizing. The crime was over-reported, over-hyped. Surely, it can’t happen to me (or someone I know)!

As I grow older, I got to travel and meet more people. My network expanded. The disasters seem to get closer and closer. Finally, they seem to strike the people around me directly, one person at a time. Reality seems to have finally caught up with me. The Philippines is no paradise, I get that now. I am not – and neither are my friends and family – immune.

Two weeks ago, I heard that a fellow mountaineer and a friend, Ariel Ambayec, has been found dead in his tent in Makiling.


The news left me shocked and sad. Who would do such an evil thing to another human being? And why?

From Tempo :

SANTO Tomas, Batangas – A mountain climber was found dead by his friends in the vicinity of Station 18 of Mt. Makiling’s Sipit trail, about 1600 feet above sea level, in Barangay Santa Elena, this town, last Wednesday.

Ariel Ambayec, 39, a resident of Calhun St., Makati City, failed to come home since he left on October 5, 2014 for hiking.

Ambayec’s wife, who got worried when she could not contact him, sought the help of her husband’s mountaineer friends to locate him.

The victim’s friends – Gilbert Uy y Nueva III, Regidor Pablo, Juan Anonuevo and Michael Abanes – went to the supposed destination of Ambayec where they found his decomposing body at about 6:30 a.m., Wednesday.
Police investigators, who arrived at the scene at about 3:15 p.m. on the same day, said the victim’s body bore a gunshot wound and his hands and feet were slightly tied up.

Recovered from the victim’s lap was an Armscor .45-caliber pistol with five bullets. A spent shell from the same gun was recovered beside the victim, along with his other personal belongings.

Due to bad weather condition, the police and rescue team did not bring down the victim’s cadaver from the mountain. Instead the body was airlifted yesterday upon the request of his relatives.

Police submitted the recovered items for forensic examination. (Vicky Aclan Florendo)

They finally confirmed that it was ‘suicide’. But no one is convinced. Suicide just seems too out of character for a person like Ariel. Besides, who would bind his own hands and feet before committing suicide?


In the end, no one can really  be sure.

Ariel was a member of The Everest Expedition Team. Paalam Ariel.

One of the many many climbs and travels you were with us Ariel Ambayec Today, you’ll be gone forever Our brother, dearest adventure and drinking buddy. We love you! You will truly be missed Wait ka lang dyan… https://slide.ly/view/cc6bc471a1193fe159eb553edda9502

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This entry was posted on October 21, 2014 by in Uncategorized.
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