Leg 18.12 – “Temporary exhaustion is worth two million pesos.”
This is it! The Final Leg begins as teams fly home from Singapore (via Manila) to their final destination province, Cagayan!
They will arrive in Cagayan’s capital Tuguegarao on a Cebu Pacific flight at 10:10am. Upon arrival at the Tuguegarao Airport, teams will choose one of three brand new Kia K2700 flatbed trucks.
Teams must direct their driver to the Magapit Suspension Bridge in Lal-lo where they will find a Double Road Block: Who’s down and up for this Road Block?
The team member who is “down” will rappel down from the roadway to retrieve a flag from a floating buoy. The team member who is “up” will use a mechanical ascender to return to the roadway with the flag which they can exchange for the next clue.
When teams reunite back on land, they can open the clue which directs them to find this flagged rice field in Barangay Mabuttal West in the coastal town of Ballesteros.
Here, teams must search their muddy rice field for wooden signs representing countries and cities visited on the Race. Teams must keep these signs until further notice.
Teams must continue down the national highway into Ballesteros and find the Domingo Rice Mill in Barangay Cabuluan West.
Here, teams must lay out palay to dry in a marked section before then scooping up the adjacent section of already dried palay to fill two sacks.
They must then load five sacks of already milled rice onto this Domingo Rice Mill truck for waiting customers. Teams will be given some patupat and their next clue.
Teams must now carry the two sacks of palay they filled and the patupat to the beach, following Race flags along the highway and along this path. They must find a waiting fisherman and deliver the patupat and palay to receive their next clue.
And that clue reveals a Road Block! Who can place it? As this is the 13th Road Block, any team member can perform this one.
For this Road Block, teams will be accompanied by the fisherman who will take them out to the water to floating posts. Teams must place the wooden signs they retrieved in the rice field on the posts in the order they visited the locations on the Race, left to right.
Once their signs are correct, teams must now run along the beach, following the Race flags, to Barangay Centro West where they must find the People’s Park on foot.
The People’s Park is located in front of Ballesteros Town Hall and here, teams will find the Final Road Block! The team member who did not complete the first Road Block must perform this one.
For this Final Road Block, teams will participate in the town’s landmarks competition. Teams will assemble iconic landmarks from the countries and cities they visited on the Race. Once they have assembled all the landmarks they need, they can run to the Finish Line!
The rooftop of Ballesteros Town Hall!
The first team to cross the Finish Line wins everything of course!
So, my parents and I traveled to the motherland last January and if I had thought to stage a Leg in my family’s hometown, I would’ve taken better photos and videos instead of having to dig through photos and videos from past trips. lol
I think this is a pretty nice, physical Final Leg. But actually, I think this could be a great regular Leg on a foreign TAR with even better tasks and a Detour. Ballesteros, Cagayan, if I do say so myself, is a great little town and a wonderful place to feature on TAR. Especially for a foreign TAR, this would be a great location for a rural Leg.
Starting out, Tuguegarao is the main airport in Cagayan province. But actually, we could have teams do a private jet flight from Manila direct to the brand new airport in Lal-lo, erasing the need for the one hour drive from Tuguegarao to Magapit Bridge. It would also be a nice opportunity for a scenic private jet ride to start off the Leg!
The Magapit Bridge Double Road Block is just to get a nice extreme-ish task on the Final Leg. I think we could do something else with the rappelling and ascending. We’ve done so in the past. But this is just a basic option that can definitely be improved on.
Most of this Leg of course takes place within Ballesteros. And that’s about another 30-45 minutes from Lal-lo and the Magapit Bridge.
There’s plenty of rice fields along the national highway and we could certainly stage the plank digging anywhere between Lal-Lo and Ballesteros. We could also do any number of tasks at this point also. Anything related to farming as well. (Maybe more suited for a regular TAR Leg.)
Next, we have teams visiting my family’s rice mill! Hehe. This is definitely a physical task. Having to lay out the palay, scoop up the palay and then carry sacks of rice. It’s not going to be easy. Especially if it’s hot out. (And it usually is! Hehe)
And fun fact, that’s my grandmother (who passed away last year) and her sister (who passed away last December) in the Domingo Rice Mill truck up there. =)
The walk from the rice mill to the beach is a short walk. Probably around 10-15 minutes. But I guess longer while carrying those big sacks of rice of course.
Patupat is a delicious treat made of sweet rice and coconut milk and wrapped in banana leaves before being steamed. DELICIOUS.
Here at the beach, it would be great to get teams in the water. The waves can get pretty crazy, especially as the beach has suffered from severe erosion in recent years thanks to illegal mining nearby. =( But again, any number of tasks could be done here at the beach and in the ocean.
Now teams will run down the beach for about 30 minutes I think (I wouldn’t know, I’ve never done it hehe) to the town center. And then to the plaza in front of the town hall.
Last December, the town held a landmark competition for each of the town’s districts. The residents worked together to build the best replicas of international landmarks for big prizes! And they were all pretty amazing to see! So I thought why not have teams do it here.
Finally, the Finish Line is on the rooftop of the town hall. Partly because I have a picture of it. Lol But another possible location would be in front of the Catholic church about a block or two away as well. A sunset Finish Line would be great here though.
Overall, a very nice, physical Final Leg in my family’s hometown! Hehe. And another fun season of TARPHDME wraps up!