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The First Filipino Astronaut - The First Filipino in Space by AXE Apollo contest

Mario Mendoza Jr. (right) and Evan Rey Datuin are accompanied by models after it was announced on Saturday that they are top two candidates to be the first-ever Filipino to travel to space.

MANILA -- After braving grueling physical challenges, a pilot for the Philippine Air Force and a young man from Cavite emerged as the top two candidates to become the first-ever Filipino to travel to space.

Air Force pilot Lt. Mario Mendoza Jr., 31, and Evan Rey Datuin, 24, bested 400 other applicants in the AXE Apollo Space Academy Philippines’ as they battled it out at the AXE Apollo National Challenge at Bonifacio Global City on Saturday.

To test their endurance, the last 50 contestants were asked to stand in poles while accomplishing various physical tasks such as lifting 15-pound metal weights.

Mendoza and Daturin will be sent to the Axe Apollo International Space Camp in Orlando, Florida for training. One of them is guaranteed to travel to space in 2014.

The two will also be joined by a third candidate to be picked via an electronic raffle promo. The three candidates from the Philippines will experience astronaut training in the US this December together with over a hundred other candidates from all over the world.

“It’s been over seven months since we started this nationwide search for the first Pinoy astronaut. Now that we are down to the Top 400, I think it’s really starting to sink in that pretty soon we will be sending one of these people to space,” AXE Philippines brand manager Gem Laforteza said in a statement.

“I’m proud to have been involved in the selection process for the first Filipino astronaut. Naniniwala talaga ako na talentado ang mga Pinoy. We deserve this opportunity. And that’s why we’ve tried our best to make sure that whoever gets it really deserves the one-in-a-hundred-million chance to go to space,” added AXE Apollo national selection director Luis Manzano.

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1 comment

sageness said...

thanks for the post, at least we can raise our foreheads now in reaching space. Have added you on my blogroll list. I would be grateful if you can leave a comment as well in juanblogs.com. Thank you, take care!

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