It was probably the most important climb of his life.
For Christoffer John “Cedjie” Aquino, a Filipino rock climber and English teacher based in Thailand, joining the rescue team for the 13 trapped Wild Boars players and coach was almost like an impossible mission.
“I was called in to help as the cave entrance attempt was becoming quite a challenge due to rising water level. People were becoming restless and angry at the slow progress. So they sought another way in,” Aquino said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
Along with other volunteers from different parts of the world, Aquino was part of the “Camp Geo” team composed of rock climbers, cave experts, and paramedics all looking for a way to extract the boys out of the Tham Luang cave complex.
“Was there a trail? No. Is climbing limestone in wet conditions difficult? F*** yeah! Is climbing limestone on trad gear in wet conditions more challenging? F***ing suicide,” he recalled. “Nonetheless we did it.”
Aquino, who admitted feeling the pressure in “single-handedly representing an entire country,” said he does not consider himself a hero.
“Heroes are six feet under. If you knew you could make a difference, wouldn’t you do something? I was just at the right place at the right time in a really bad situation,” he said.
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