TV5 decided there was only one way to introduce the 11 pairs of contestants of “The Amazing Race Philippines” to the media — ask reporters to race with them.
On Thursday afternoon, 11 members of the press, including this contributing writer for InterAksyon, experienced a preview of the Philippine franchise of the world’s most awarded and most successful reality show. Each one of us teamed up with a pair of “TARP” contestants and took part in a mini-adventure race around Eastwood City in Libis, Quezon City.
For almost two hours, through the occasional drizzle, we ran from pit start to pit stop, chasing clues and fulfilling tasks along the route filled with detours, road blocks, intersections and obstacles as we vied for the P10,000 jackpot and other prizes (camera, luggage, and hotel accommodations).
In the end, Glenn Sibonga emerged the grand winner, with Kelvin Lamboloto in second and Nerissa Almo in third.
The highlight of the race had “TARP” host Derek Ramsay rappelling down from the top of one of the buildings at the Eastwood Open Park near the giant LED billboard.
Afterwards, the participants and the rest of the media sat down with Derek and the competing pairs at Something Fishy Restaurant to discuss the show, which will premiere on TV5 on October 29 after “Wil Time Bigtime”.
The 11 pairs who will race for glory and the P2-million grand prize are: celebrity best friends LJ Moreno and CJ Jaravata, brothers-in-law Dayal Chowdary, Jr. and Fausto Reyes, gym buddies Marc Dungo and Kat Tan, amigas Jervi Lisaba and Saida Diola, reunited friends Sheena Vera Cruz and Gee “Speedy” Canlas, Alabang housewives Pam Spell and Vanessa Ishitani, father and son Ed and Angel Movido, friends Boom Vergara and Cheng Enriquez, football brothers Armand and Anton del Rosario, bombshells Dani Castano and Mish Van Ruyven, and dating couple Crustel Castro and Mykey Lacson.
They were chosen from a series of auditions last summer and took part in a cross-country adventure race from late April through June. They all signed contracts not to reveal the results until the season telecast concludes.
Derek said he envies all the contestants because he and a friend once tried to join “The Amazing Race Asia” but they were not able to submit the necessary papers. Nevertheless, he’s thankful that he was able to join the 11 pairs as they raced around the country in a battle of wits, teamwork, and endurance.
“Kahit na hindi ko na natupad ‘yung dream ko talaga na ako ang makasali sa ‘Amazing Race’, para na rin akong nagre-race, dahil I have to be at the pit stops bago sila makarating there. Minsan lang ako muntik maunahan kasi nasa dagat kami,” he revealed.
Derek said the production team of ActiveTV, the producer of the Asian and Australian franchises of the show and co-producer of “TARP” with TV5, were amazed by the emotional intensity shown by the contestants.
“Ngayon lang daw sila nakakita ng sobrang emotional na version ng program. You will get to see kung ano ang nangyari. Kanina sa teaser, merong namartilyo ang kamay ng partner niya. Aksidente. There’s more. Some of them are really fans of the program kaya more or less, alam nila ang takbo nito,” he said.The Alabang housewives said they joined the premiere season of “TARP” because they were bored with their lives. They quipped that they were willing to buy the show Derek were not the host. The very reason they joined was because they knew Derek would host it.
Jervi, a staff member of “Eat Bulaga”, said he had asked for permission from his executive producer, Malou Choa-Fagar, before joining the show. And his partner Saida, who was once linked to Derek, said she just wanted to take on the challenge posed to her by Jervi.
She also made it clear, “Hindi naging kami ni Derek, We’re friends lang na nagkakilala minsan in a basketball game. Nahiya nga ako. At hindi ako ang dahilan ng anumang nangyari sa kanila ng girlfriend niya. Ang bait-bait kasi ni Derek at ang dali i-approach. But that was the only time na nagkita kami.”
Derek added that when that issue came out, he called Saida to clear things up and to apologize as well. He said he didn’t even know who Saida was when they met.
“Because it was written na sinundo ko raw siya sa ‘Eat…Bulaga!’ studio in a yellow car na hindi tinted. She is attractive and pretty, yes. And let me say this, hindi siya pinagselosan noon ni Angel.”
Real time updates will be provided online via TARP’s official socialmedia accounts @Amazinf_RacePH and hashtag #AmazingRacePH on Twitter and The Amazing Race Philippines fan page on Facebook. Or visit www.theamazingrace.ph for exclusive online contents.