Dale Sto. Tomas Abenojar is an AFP special forces graduate, a certified AFP military instructor, a Filipino mountaineer and an adventure sportsman and a mountain guide by profession, he is the founder an evangelical Christian ministry called Gospel Expedition Ministries and Victory Hills Evangelical Christian Fellowship, Incorporated. In December 1995, he graduated from Living Waters' U. S. A. School of Biblical Evangelism and is now a practicing missionary evangelist. On May 30, 2006, he was recognized by veteran Himalayan expedition chronicler Elizabeth Hawley as "the first Filipino" to reach the summit of Mount Everest. According to Hawley Dale reached the summit on May 15, 2006. Abenojar was certified by the China Tibet Mountaineering Association on May 20, 2006 to have summitted Everest via the North Col on May 15, 2006 at 10:45 a.m. Beijing time. Dale Abenojar is the 2,614th Everest summiteer. In contrast, Leo Oracion is the 2,740th Everest summiteer. Both Abenojar and Oracion is in the full list of successful ascents of Mount Everest from 1953 to 13 February 2009 in pdf file submitted by German Himalayan Archivist and former adventurestats.com compiler Eberhard Jurgalski of 8000ers.com.
The Himalayan DataBase published by American Alpine Club had included Dale in the list of Everest North summitteers for Spring 2006 on May 15. On August 4, 2006, Dale's documentary film "CHILD IN EVEREST" was shown to family, supporters and representatives of the Philippine government. Curator of Malacañang Museum is now evaluating of giving Dale the presidential citation and recognition of "Champions for Life.". On June 18, 2007, the Office of the President of the Philippines Malacañang sent an official invitation to Abenojar for his conferment of the Presidential Award on June 20, 2007; the Discovery Channel though its Footage Source director Margaret Majorack has confirmed via e-mail to ABC 5 TV station's News & Current Affrairs Chief Atty. Dan De Padua that they had a 30-minute video footage of Dale at Camp 3, 8,300 metres; the film has a tag price of PHP 7 million. Dale was a former member of the University of the Philippines Mountaineers, he was the first Filipino to publicly announce the intention to climb Everest in 1994.
His intention drew criticism from Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines headed by Rolando Francisco. The MFPI wrote a letter to the President of the Philippines not to support his Everest Expedition. After 10 years he resumed his bid to climb Everest, he pawned his car. During the early stage of his expedition he took a short alpine mountaineering course provided by his Sherpa and was given proper acclimatization. In performing the first acclimatization in North Col Dale spewed blood due to lung infection, he was brought down with the assistance of two Sherpas and treated by the Indian doctor in Base Camp. After recuperating he proceeded to assault the summit, his summit assault was monitored by radio communication between Monterosa Treks and Expeditions camp manager Ram Krishna and Abenojar's lead trekking guide Tsiring Jangbu Sherpa from China Base Camp at 5400m on May 10, Advance Base Camp at 6400m on May 10, North Col-Camp 1 at 7000m on May 12, Camp 2 at 7900m on May 13, Camp 3 at 8300m on May 14 and on the summit day at 8848m on May 15, 2006 at 10:45 a.m.
Beijing time. Upon arriving in the Philippines he and his Sherpa were brought to Cardinal Santos Hospital; because Dale was suffering from severe frostbite climbing Everest, his left big toe had to be amputated while his Sherpa had frostbite to all his toes and had to be amputated as well. Sports medicine surgeon Dr. Gar Eufemio and his team had waived all their professional fees to help the cash-strapped Abenojar. Lucio Tan, a sponsor of FPMEE paid the hospital bills and praised his achievement. GMA7 TV reported on April 28 that Mountaineers Romi Garduce, Del Adelujar, the Philippine Everest team are the acknowledged Filipinos on Mt. Everest to try their luck in becoming the first Filipinos to reach the peak of the mountain. On May 11, GMA7 News said that Filipino mountaineer Dale Abenojar has not backed out of an international expedition to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, Abenojar is part of a 15-member team from different countries which would take the North Col, the route from Tibet. On May 15, Abenojar's summit date, GMA7 News reported that another Filipino mountaineer Dale Abenojar was seen climbing the mountain from the Tibet side.
Newspapers in the Philippines reported a bitter rivalry between the maverick Dale Abenojar, who claimed the first Filipino ascent via the Northeast Ridge on May 15, a national team that reached the summit from the south side two days later. The news was first reported in Philippine media on May 17, 2006 by GMA 7 and ABS-CBN, but first came to light through a posting on May 16, 2006 by Outdoor News Wire and Mt. Everest. Net; the Filipino climbers on the South Col. had reached the peak of Everest, all of whom had climbed the Nepalese side of the mountain. For this and Emata were awarded Athletes of the year by the Philippine Sportswriter Association. Garduce on the other hand was awarded Order of Lakandula by Malacañang. However, Abenojar was not included in these awards; the Himalayan Database published by American Alpine Club had included Dale in the list of Everest North summitteers for Spring 2006 on May 15. Dale summit feat is disputed based on the same list. China Tibet Mountaineering Association - Abenojar was certified by the CTMA on May 20, 2006 to have summitted Everest via the North Col on May 15, 2006 at 10:45 a.m.