MANILA, Philippines - After 21 seasons of bringing exciting races around the world in its original American version, The Amazing Race is now in the Philippines with a show that features Filipinos from the contestants to its host.
While we saw Filipino teams compete and even win in The Amazing Race Asia that featured other contestants all over the region, The Amazing Race Philippines on TV5 sees 11 pairs who are all Filipinos.
They are football brothers Anton and Armand, father-daughter team Ed and Angel, kumpare Boom and Cheng, reunited friends Sheena and Gee, dating couple Crystel and Mykey, childhood bestfriends LJ and CJ, brothers-in-law Fausto and Dayal, gym buddies Marc and Kat, Alabang housewives Pamela and Vanessa, bombshells Dani and Mish and friends Saida and Jervi.
Week One saw contestants at the pit start at Paco Park that took them to the Manila Yacht Club where they had to decode the nautical phrase, “Blue skies and calm waters.” Then they were off to Midas Hotel casino where they had to dress formally to play baccarat game and guess the next clue which is “Astrodome.”
The roadblock was at Cuneta Astrodome where they were challenged to play free throw basketball then the teams went on to Plaza Miranda in Quiapo to sing the Bingo song with 12 participants. Audie Gemora gave them their next clue that took them to Star City.
The detour gave teams a choice between “Pindot” (press) with the Star Flyer or inverted roller coaster where they had to take a photo or “Ikot” (spin) with the Frisbee, where they had to answer math questions from comedian-TV host Arnel Ignacio.
Pit stop for the first leg was at the University of Sto. Tomas, the oldest in the country at 400 years old.
There is perhaps no better host to do The Amazing Race Philippines than Derek Ramsay. He is the athletic and adventurous type ideal for the show.
Week One winners were Marc and Kat who opted to keep their Salvage Pass rather than save couple Crystel and Mikey, who were the first team eliminated. Marc and Kat won P200,000 for coming in first place.
The second leg started with a 12-hour land trip to Vigan, Ilocos Sur. The first stop was at the historic Bantay bell tower, the oldest in the Philippines. Marc and Kat made use of their Salvage Pass to gain a lead of 30 minutes ahead of all the other teams. They didn’t have to wait for the 8:30 a.m. opening to enter the park.
The detour gave contestants a choice to eat or make Vigan longganisa. Then all the remaining 10 teams were off to Pagburnayan District, known for pottery. The intersection challenge required participants to team up with another pair and transport 60 export pots to Calle Crisologo.
Marc and Kat teamed up with LJ and CJ, Anton and Armand with Boom and Cheng, Ed and daughter Angel with Saida and Jervi, Fausto and Dayal with Dani and Mish, Pamela and Vanessa with Sheena and Gee.
For the roadblock, one had to rapel down the bridge while his partner went kayaking to meet him. At Plaza Burgos, one had to break the pot to get the next clue. Then, the teams were off to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the pit stop of the second leg.
Marc and Kat received another P200,000 for being the first team to finish the leg. LJ and CJ came in second while Saida and Jervi were third. Anton and Armand came in fourth but were eliminated because Anton made a call to their mom. It is stated in the rules of the game that you cannot get in touch with anyone during the race. Ed and Angel placed fourth instead, while Pamela and Vanessa were the ninth team.
The third leg took participants to a seven-hour trip to Bontoc, Mountain Province. Once they got there, detour was a choice between “Magkarga” to carry chicken and deliver to market or “Magsaka,” where they had to farm.
For the roadblock, one member of the team had to dance with a “palayok” on his head then both had to carry 20 kilos of rice to the pit stop. For the third time, Marc and Kat won P200,000 for coming in first place.
Pamela and Vanessa came in last but since it was a non-elimination leg, they got another chance to continue in the race.
The teams were instructed to race safe, fast and hard. Although most of the tasks and challenges in every leg were tough, all of them are competitive. After all, P2M is at stake at the final leg of the race.