The Amazing Race Philippines: DryedMangoez Edition Season 21, Leg 12 – South Cotobato, Philippines

IntroductionRace TrackerMeet the TeamsLeg 1Leg 2Leg 3Leg 4Leg 5Leg 6ALeg 6BLeg 7Leg 8Leg 9Leg 10Leg 11Leg 12

Leg 21.12 – “Listen to me when I bang it!”

This is it! The Final Four(!) teams set off on the Final Leg of the Race. And teams begin by learning their final destination is the province of South Cotobato! Teams will fly via Santiago, Los Angeles and Manila and arrive in General Santos City at 6:40am.

Upon arrival, teams must choose a 2020 Kia Sportage and drive themselves to the General Santos City Fish Port Complex. Babala! All traffic and speed laws must be observed or teams will incur a 4-hour penalty for each violation at the Finish Line.

At the fish port, teams must find a boat in the water and pick-up 12 large freshly caught tuna. They must load the tuna on a cart which they will then deliver to a marked stall inside to receive the next clue.

And that clue reveals the Road Block: Who’s a cut above the rest?

For this Road Block, teams will help weigh each tuna they have delivered before learning how to and then properly cut one fresh tuna.

After the Road Block, teams must make their way to Plaza Heneral Santos where teams must correctly assemble a traditional kulintang. When the kulintang is correctly put together, they will receive the next clue.

And that clue reveals another Road Block! Who’s feeling melodic? The team member who did not perform the previous Road Block must perform this one.

For this Road Block, teams must choose a teacher from whom they will learn and memorize a short piece on the kulintang and perform it without mistakes to receive the next clue.

That clue points teams to the Dole Plantation in Polomolok. And here, they will find a Double Road Block: Hanger or Loader.

Teams will drive themselves through the sprawling plantation and find where harvesters are already working. The Hanger will join the line and must hang 100 pineapples on the boom harvesters. Meanwhile, their teammate Loader will carefully load them onto a waiting truck. When they have completed the tasks, they will receive the next clue.

Teams must now search the sprawling plantation for the next clue and ride the pineapple truck to that location.

And here, teams will encounter the Final Double Road Block of the Race. The teams will determine who performs which part of the Double Road Block based on which Road Block they performed earlier in the Leg.

For this Double Road Block, teams will use large balance scales to depict the route they’ve traveled on the Race. There are six weighting scales of different heights. The team member who was a Cut Above the Rest must use pineapples to balance the scales in a way that depicts the route in a clockwise fashion, left to right.

However, only their Melodic partner knows which scale corresponds to which country and Leg. And that Melodic partner can only communicate with their partners using a single kulintang gong, unique to their team.

Teams are able to discuss how to attack the task before they separate. However, if they communicate in any other way than the gongs, they will incur a 30-minute penalty per violation. Meaning, teams may reconvene to discuss their strategy, but will be issued a 30-minute penalty before leaving this Route Marker. If teams specifically state which scales correspond to which Leg, they will incur a two-hour penalty. If a team opts to use an Interchange, they will be given a different set of corresponding scales, but will not get an opportunity to strategize without incurring a penalty.

Once their scales are positioned correctly, teams must then place flags in the pineapple piles to represent matching Legs in which similar tasks were performed:
-Which two legs involved underground ovens? Legs 6 and 9
-Which two legs involved assembling musical instruments? Legs 10 and 12
-Which two legs involved tea? Legs 1 and 9
-Which two legs involved pineapples? Legs 9 and 12

When teams have correctly placed the photo flags, they will receive the final clue of the Race. And that clue tells them to drive, safely, to Strawberry Guyabano Farm in Tupi…


The first team to cross the Finish Line will win all these things!



“Director’s” Commentary

And so the last Amazing Race Philippines: DryedMangoez Edition for a long while has come to an end. I must say, I actually very much like this Final Leg. And if this is the last TARPHDME evah, then it should go out on a high note with this one. (hehe)

It is fitting that this Leg is full of Road Blocks and Double Road Blocks. For a season that introduced the Interchange, it would be interesting to see a team use it on this Final Leg. And that of course would up the drama and tension.

For much of TARPHDME, I usually just luck into tasks and Legs. A simple idea turns into a pretty interesting (to me) Leg design. And that was the case here. I’ve always had more trouble finding Philippine Legs to do than Legs in other countries. There’s only so much you can do, based only on Google scouting, in most of the Philippines which would be either rural or tropical areas. And you can’t have every finale in Metro Manila.

This is actually the very first Final Leg for TARPHDME in Mindanao. I’ve wanted to do one in Mindanao for a while, but just have never had enough things to do in any one, logical area to fill a Final Leg.

It was after our family’s trip to Hawaii in 2019 that I learned there was a Dole Plantation in the Philippines as well. And I knew I wanted that to be a location on TARPHDME. So since then, I’ve held on to the Dole Plantation in South Cotobato and waited until I would be able to fashion a Leg surrounding it. And this is what I came up with.

First of all, having teams drive themselves is just a necessity. We could have a local driver essentially be their chauffeur, but that adds an unnecessary element into the Final Leg that opens up to possible unfair situations. Having teams drive themselves, while making sure they remain safe and not pretend they are in The Fast and the Furious is the way to go.

Arriving in GenSan, I needed to look for a Route Marker in the city. And the fish port is an easy location to use. And seeing that tuna is a major commodity here, it was perfect to make into a task. The weighing then coincidentally matched up with the final Double Road Block as well.

Then, the kulintang is a good cultural task to have. And there’s precedent in other TARPHDME Final Legs to have local instruments play a big part. Having a judged task on the Final Leg can be problematic. But we will make sure there is no bias here. TARPHDME is an honest production, unlike others…

The first task at the Dole Plantation is just a physical task and gets them working and hopefully exhausted before the final Double Road Block.

And this Final Double Road Block is a very interesting task that looks amazing in my head and on paper, but not sure it would be executed well or if I even explained it well enough.

It’s part riddle and puzzle. Part communication. Part physical. Part mental.

Basically, one team member needs to somehow direct their partner to position the scales in the correct order. And it will be up to the teams to figure out the best strategy. How will they inform each other which scales correspond to which Leg? How will they know if the scales are in the best position?

And realizing that this could be impossible to figure out, I added the 30-minute penalty that could be a very strategic play.

The final piece of the task is just a nod to TARPHDME’s penchant for repeating tasks in the same season. lol And partly a memory task as well.

Overall, I really like this Final Leg and it has big potential for some high drama and exciting competition.

As for TARPHDME, while completing this season, I kind of felt bored with it. It wasn’t as fun doing this anymore as it had been in years prior. I enjoyed editing the fake opening credits. That’s always been my favorite part of this whole thing.

But my boredom with TARPHDME, I think, goes hand in hand with both TAR32 and TARAu5 really souring me on the franchise. Both horrible seasons for their own unique reasons. And then this strange clamor from TAR fans for the Race to get back out into the world while COVID is still raging and things are so politically and socially heavy. It’s all really a turn off. Like, TAR is not an essential business. It can wait a year or two. There is absolutely no reason (other than giving TAR crew some work) for a TAR to be forced back into production. And if we’re just going to get another TAR32 or TARAu5, then forget it. Just cancel the show right now.

And so, TARPHDME21 will be the last one in a long time. It’s not canceled, but it’ll go on hiatus. Until when? Who knows. Once COVID is under control. Or when TAR excites me once again. We’ll see! TARPHDME is certainly not essential either, to be quite honest. lol

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