I can clearly remember the times when I enganged myself in a copycat version of Bruckheimer’s Amazing Race. The first was when we were in Botany class where we were like kids-gone-wild racing to identify scientific names of campus plants (how nerdy!). I thought being part of the race itself was hard, so in the next two versions of ‘Amazing Races’ (the BioRace in UST and the Retreat Race in Caleruega) I was involved in, I chose to be one of the organizers. To my disappointment, I found out that being in charge of a scheme to cause commotion and panic to teams of bestfriends, lovers, and strangers was more complicated than I ever thought. Whether an organizer or a team member, a race is a matter of strategy.

The first question I asked when I saw Amazing Race on TV is, “Are those backpacks full of real stuff?” Well, I can’t imagine myself running around the streets of Tokyo carrying a ton of clothes and flying to a US state carrying even a heavier load. More pressing questions came – How many cameras do they use? How do they manage to edit such a lengthy race? Where did they get all the resources? I found the answer in one name – JERRY BRUCKHEIMER. He really changed the face of reality TV. After several runs and reruns of the international version of the popular race, AMAZING RACE ASIA finally arrived.

In the Asian version, I always knew that Filipinos would rule. After all, living a day in Metro Manila is like a simulation of Amazing Race – even worse. We find ourselves lost in the unnamed streets, run after transport vehicles, and get late due to heavy traffic. Okay, so we didn’t make it to the first installment of AR Asia with boldstars representing our country. Good thing I didn’t waste my time tuning in to Ernie and Jeena plus Aubrey and Jaq, who were all eliminated even before they have gone halfway through Asia. But on the second season of the race’s Asian version, Pinoys rule!

Marc and Rovilson, the consistent number 1 team of the AR Asia 2, make me proud. They are very fluent in speaking in English and even sound better than the show’s host. They always finish every task ahead of the rest because of teamwork. In terms of friendship, they really set a good example – “I’ve learned to accept him as a friend, even with his faults” (Marc on Rovilson when interviewed for their team profile). In every task, you seldom see them panic. They never blame each other. Instead, they always end up laughing at their mistakes. Yes, they are serious about winning the US$ 100,000.00 prize money, but they see to it that they have fun. They never run out of jokes and they see to it that they enjoy every thing they do. No matter how hard the other teams try, they cannot beat the Pinoy boys’ strategy. Their way to win is a mixture of physical advantage, linguistic ability and social maturity. (Well, they are really sports-minded, have a lot of travel experience, and are good local TV hosts)

The race isn’t over (as of this moment I am writing this blog) but this one is for Team Philippines – win or lose – you’re amazing!