Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Chino Roque, the First Filipino Astronaut to Fly into Space

Last January, AXE – the no. 1 fragrance brand in the world – unveiled a campaign to take the first Filipino to space with over 20 others from over 160 countries worldwide to celebrate the launch of AXE Apollo, its newest and possibly most iconic fragrance yet.

With over 28,000 applications for the opportunity to become the first Filipino to ever go to space, the Philippines was among the top countries that participated in the global campaign. From  thousands, three candidates were selected to represent the country at the international AXE Apollo Space Camp held at the Kennedy Space Center in the U.S.  The three candidates underwent astronaut training with over 100 others from all over the globe.  Finally, one has been chosen to take to space by 2015 as the first Filipino astronaut.
 Chino Roque has emerged as the first Filipino astronaut in the AXE Apollo Space Academy (AASA) Space Camp at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida.
After five days of grueling tests and challenges at the AXE Apollo Space Academy Space Camp, 22-year old Crossfit trainer and De La Salle University psychology graduate Chino Roque was declared the first Filipino astronaut by no less than legendary Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.  The ceremonies were held at the Kennedy Space Center Rocket Garden.

“At the awarding ceremonies, when they called my name, all I could think about is how fortunate I am.  From the start, this had been the experience of a lifetime.  I’m grateful to the team of admirable guys I went to Space Camp with – Ramil and Evan – as well as the support of family, friends, and my countrymen,” said Roque.

No less than legendary Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin announced Roque’s inclusion in the elite group of 24 AASA astronauts who will fly to space in 2015.
Roque is set to become the first Filipino astronaut by 2015, joining 23 other AXE Apollo Space Academy winners on a sub-orbital space flight.  The AXE Apollo winners are Patrick Carney (USA), Théo Abbaci-Nel (Canada), Marco Gorrasi (Brazil), Oliver Knight (UK), Felix Stach (DACH), Cyril Garnier (France), Jordi Ollebek (Netherlands), Eduardo Luruena  (Spain), Róbert Vokál (Slovakia), Denis Efremov (Russia), Halil Kayıkçı (Turkey), Omar Samra (Egypt), Vinay Singh (India), Takanobu Yoneya (Japan),  Rizman Adhi Nugraha (Indonesia),  Pirada Techavijit (Thailand), Thanh Long Vu (Vietnam), Tim Gibson (Austrailia),  Hamish Fagg (New Zealand), Tale Sundlisæter (Norway), Mandlenkosi Maseko (South Africa), Qing Guo (China), and Daniel Angelo “Chino” Roque (Philippines).

The three Filipino representatives – Evan Rey Datuin, Ramil Santos, and Chino Roque – underwent training at the AXE Apollo Space Academy in Orlando, Florida.  They experienced Zero-gravity Parabolic Flights on board a Boeing 727, Air Combat Training on-board an SIAI Marchetti SF260, and Hyper-gravity G Force Training.

The entire Filipino delegation, especially Roque, impressed the AXE and Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) judges with their performance on the challenges.  Roque was one of the few who were able to maneuver the plane.  All three delegates pushed their bodies to the limit as they took on the incredible pressures of hyper-gravity at four times the force of Earth’s gravity.

AXE Apollo’s Space Camp officially ended with the graduation of all 107 delegates and the awarding of the 24 space flight winners.  The graduation ceremony was led by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the chairman of the judging committee.  Other members of AXE’s judging committee were XCOR Aerospace COO Andrew Nelson, whose rocket engine company is manufacturing the space craft that will fly the 24 winners to space; Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) CEO Michiel Mol; SXC Test Pilot Mission Control COO Harry Van Hulten; and SXC Director of Commercial Space Marlous Mens.

“AXE Philippines, as I am sure the Filipino people as well, are proud to have had Chino, Evan, and Ramil represent our country at the international AXE Apollo Space Camp.  They showed that Filipinos are courageous, determined, and resilient,” says AXE Brand Manager Gem Laforteza.

Axe Philippine Team Homecoming Party

 The Axe Philippine Team,  Ramil Santos, Chino Roque, Evan Ray Datuin, received a warm welcome at their homecoming party held in a Taguig City Bar, last  December 9, 2013.



The event was hosted by Axe brand ambassadors, Ramon Bautista, DJ Gino and Sam YG.
Chino Roque was overwhlemed and when asked what he would bring to space, he  said he would bring a Filipino flag and rosary. The handsome actor, Luis Manzano, also graced the event.


“AXE Apollo is about heroes.  It’s about setting out to do what seems impossible,” says AXE Apollo Philippines judge Luis Manzano.


“We would like to believe that AXE’s campaign has inspired Filipinos and people everywhere to imagine the unimaginable,” says Laforteza.

Since its launch, AXE has received more than 1 million AXE Apollo Space Academy entries globally with the Philippines ranking 4th in the world and 1st in Asia in terms of applications.  The space flights are set in 2015.
With Axe brand ambassador na super pogi, Ramon Bautista #IfYouGiveSpaceSomeoneWillReplace

 

20 comments:

  1. I watched him guest in Tito Boy's Ikaw na! segment in Bandila. He is intelligent and he is really determined to be the first Filipino astronaut. We are so proud of you, Chino! Go for your dreams!

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  2. So lucky! Hope someday makapunta din ako jan.. Hehe

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  3. Goodluck! Filipinos are very proud of your achievement!

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  4. Look at Ramon's face so funny talaga :))

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  5. I watched him a while ago in Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho. Goodluck Chino! ^^

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  6. good luck to our first filipino in space!

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  7. I saw him last night on a TV5 show. For him to endure all those tests, it makes me really proud that I'm a Filipino. Congratulations Chino!

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  8. anther pinoy pride :) congrats to him

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  9. another pinoy's pride.congrats to him :)

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  10. wow, first pinoy astronaut i'm so proud to be pinoy. i hope they would have a safe journey in 2015.

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  11. Congratz! Pinoy all over the world bringing pride to us all Pinoys!^^

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  12. wow.congrats chino and to all th filipino out there

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  13. wow galing naman..congrats and good luck Chino

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  14. So happy to be Pinoy! So excited for him! :)

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Any comments, my dear?