Leg 1 – How to Be a Legend?
It’s sunrise over the acres of farmland in Naic, Cavite, Philippines. It is from this typical scene of everyday Filipino life that 12 brand new teams will embark on a Race around the world.
Friendly carabaos are welcoming tricycles carrying six brand new Filipino teams to the Starting Line which originally served as one of the Pit Stops for the 25th season of The Amazing Race US.
The teams will wonder why there are only six of them there. That’s because this is a very special season of The Amazing Race Philippines.
Six more tricycles are arriving down the road carrying six… INTERNATIONAL ALL-STARS! That’s right! It’s a battle between Filipino Race fans and All-Star teams from Amazing Races around the world! (Meet the teams here!)
But that’s not the only surprise! For the first time ever on any Amazing Race, Legs 1 through 9 will each have a Trigger Point. A Trigger Point is a set of certain conditions that if met, will activate a U-Turn or a Yield on the next Leg. Legs 2 through 10 will each have one of a U-Turn or Yield available.
Teams will not know when a Trigger Point will appear on a Leg. And teams will not know the Trigger Point conditions until after they have passed that certain task or Route Marker. Also, teams will not know if a U-Turn or Yield has been activated until they reach the respective boards.
But back to the Starting Line and the first task of the Race. Teams must jump into rice fields and search for letters that will spell out their first destination: “the capital of Japan.” Teams can only bring one letter back at a time to their labeled boards. Once they have correctly spelled “TOKYO,” they will be given their first clue.
That clue tells teams to figure out a way to get themselves to the brand new Manila International Airport on Manila Bay. (!) Most teams will realize the only method of transportation is a jeepney for transfer to a taxi that will get them to the new airport.
There are two possible flights for teams to fly on to Tokyo: Philippine Airlines which departs at 2:40pm and Japan Airlines departing at 2:50pm. What teams don’t know is the Japan Airlines flight is scheduled to arrive 10 minutes earlier.
Once in Tokyo, teams must make their way to Shibuya and the famous scramble crossing where they must search the area for their next clue which is wandering around. Quite literally.
Teams must find a life-sized Amazing Race clue which will be wandering around Shibuya with their next, normal-sized clue.
That clue tells teams to take the Shinkansen to Kyoto.
And this is the Race’s first Trigger Point. If any team misses the last direct bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto, the U-Turn or Yield will be activated on the next Leg of the Race.
Upon arrival in Kyoto, teams must search for their next clue in Kyoto Train Station. The clue will actually appear on the lighted steps… in Japanese.
That LED clue points teams to Nonomiya Shrine which they must access by walking through the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.
And here, teams will find HOURS OF OPERATION! Their clue will be available at 8am.
After the little overnight rest, teams will head to the Nishijin Textile Center where they will find the first Road Block of the Race: Who is good with their hands?
For this Road Block, teams must weave a section of a traditional Japanese kimono which they must keep until further notice. If their work is satisfactory, they will also be given the next clue.
Teams must now make their way to Maruyama Park.
Here, teams must take turns pulling a traditional rickshaw around a mapped route while collecting specific items along the way, including a full kimono matching the section they weaved in the Road Block. They will then exchange the items for the next clue.
That clue directs teams to Fushimi Inari-Taisha where they must hike through the torii gates until they find the flagged shrine.
At this flagged shrine, teams must buy a small tori gate to place along a marked fence to receive the next clue.
And that clue finally tells teams to continue through the torii gates up to the summit of Mt. Inari… the Pit Stop for this Leg of the Race.
The first team to check-in here will win P200,000 courtesy of Shell V-Power Nitro+.
The last team to check-in… WILL NOT be eliminated! This is the first Non-Elimination Leg and that team must choose a penalty envelope which will be enforced on the next Leg:
And off they go again! I’ve been wanting to do a “versus” season for a while now. And last summer, the idea of Philippines vs The World popped into my head and I decided to run with it.
This is definitely a big, major major season to undertake. Having to try and convince the international teams to sign on would probably be the biggest hurdle for a season like this. But also, TARPHDME has recycled plenty of tasks in the past. So for this season, that definitely has to be kept to a minimum if at all. Especially when some of the All-Stars may have Raced on the season a task might be recycled from. Lol
Anyway, let’s talk about this Leg.
First, the starting line at TAR25’s Naic rice field was just an easy location for the Starting Line task which I had saved from way back. Having teams all muddy right at the start would be hilarious fun. Especially when they have to take public transportation to the airport.
And speaking of… that airport is the proposed San Miguel Manila airport. =)
Also, because Philippine airports aren’t as open as LAX where teams can go running in to make plane reservations at the ticket counter, this is one of the few times where teams would get that “first to depart, last to arrive” trick.
Once in Tokyo, a visit to Shibuya is simple and easy. But since the teams are arriving at night, it’s a great location for the Route Marker before hopping on the train to the real first destination city, Kyoto.
The LED steps at the Kyoto train station look very cool. It’s a task that is also reminiscent of a similar first Leg task in Busan, South Korea on a previous TARPHDME. (Recycle!)
The Nonomiya Shrine Route Marker is basically just to get teams to walk through the bamboo grove which, as any TARPHDME fan will know, will look AMAZING in 4K UHD. No drones yet though lol
The Nishijin Textile Center and the Road Block is an easy task to put on this Leg.
But the highlight, and really the biggest reason I had Kyoto on this route is the rickshaw task. Should be a great, physical task that could provide lots of comedy and drama right on the first Leg.
Finally, a visit to Kyoto has to have a visit to Fushimi Inari-Taisha. Another beautiful 4K UHD-ready location. And a great, physical task at the end of a long Leg having to hike up the mountain.
I decided on the Non-Elimination just to get an extra Leg with all the teams.
Finally, the Trigger Point. It’s my little attempt at spicing up the U-Turn and Yields. It could also add an extra element to teams’ Race strategies. It looks interesting on paper, but of course we won’t know how it will actually play out.
Overall, a very full, big first Leg! And fitting for a battle against The World!