Leg 22.12 – “Top to bottom, not bottom to up!”
This is it! The Final Leg of The Amazing Race Philippines: DryedMangoez Edition Season 22 is here! Teams will board their last flight of the Race on the Philippine Airlines A350 and fly from Jeju Island, South Korea to their final destination: Cebu!
Teams will arrive at Mactan-Cebu International Airport and be taken to the Pit Start on the deck of the about-to-open Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway. All three teams will begin the Leg at the same time at 9am.
The first clue tells teams they will have to rappel off the side of the roadway to waiting boats which will take them to shore. But as they make their way to the water, they will encounter ten different pairs of photos representing tasks or locations on the Race. Teams must decide whether they encountered the left photo “Before” or “After” the photo on the right. Teams will pull a flag with either “Before” or “After,” depending on their answer at each pair and continue their way down. Each team member must answer five pairs.
Upon arrival in the boat, teams will get their flags checked. If they get all flags correct, they will get the next clue. If not, teams will incur a five-minute penalty for each incorrect flag which they must wait out under the bridge before they can receive the next clue.
Teams will now direct their boat driver to one of three landing points along the shore. It is first come, first served. And each landing point only has one 2023 Kia Sportage waiting for them.
Inside the Sportage, teams will find a clue telling them to drive themselves to Apo Cement Factory in Naga City where they will find a Road Block: Who wants a good load of this task?
For this Road Block, teams will use a frontloader to fill a truck with limestone in the quarry. They will then drive to the grinder to unload the limestone in order to receive the next clue.
Teams must now search the quarry for three concrete slabs. They will use provided tools to break a sword out of those slabs in order to receive the next clue.
That clue directs teams to the Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary and Art Gallery where they will find another Road Block: Patriotic Butterfly. The team member who did not complete the first Road Block must complete this one.
For this Road Block, teams must assemble large butterflies depicting the colors of the flags of the countries they have visited on the Race. Once they have placed the butterflies in the correct order on a tree from top to bottom, they will receive the next clue.
Teams must now drive to Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino de Cebu. Here, they will collect Spanish Era shields representing each Leg of the Race along with the next clue.
That clue tells teams to drive to Mactan Shrine where they will find the Final Task of the Race, a Double Road Block: Lapu Lapu or Magellan. Teams will participate in a unique interpretation of the Kadaugan sa Mactan, commemorating the Battle of Mactan between Lapu Lapu and Magellan.
There are 12 rows of standing shields. Each row represents a Leg of the Race and the shields of each row contain variations of the Road Block prompts from that respective Leg. The team member who chooses to be Magellan must identify which Leg that row of potential Road Block prompts corresponds to. When they have correctly placed the correct shields in each row, they will be able to tag their Lapu Lapu partner in.
That Lapu Lapu teammate must now battle the shields by weaving their way through the maze of shields in a choreographed fashion and within a set time limit. They must slash at the shields containing the actual, usually “pun”ny Road Block prompts from the Race. If they reach the end of the maze of shields with incorrect slashes, they will have to start all over again.
But if Lapu Lapu can vanquish all the correct prompt shields, teams will receive the Final Clue of the Race.
And that Final Clue tells teams to drive themselves to the Finish Line, where this Leg started: the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway!
The clue advises teams that they must enter the bridge from the Cebu side. Teams will abandon their 2023 Kia Sportages at the entrance of the bridge and then run to the Finish Line between the two towers.
The first team to cross the Finish Line will win all these amazing prizes!
And that’s wrap! Like I said at the start of this season, I was pretty burned out and bored by all things Amazing Race. Especially after the disastrous TAR32 and TARAu5. But somehow, I was encouraged to churn out another TARPHDME and this was the end result. I think it was a pretty good season. Having to figure out COVID-safe locations and tasks was an extra challenge that ended up being both fun and annoying. But through the process, I saw that yes, it is possible to stage an international route in the COVID Era. As long as you have your two national airlines helping to pay for your travels lolol
Anyway, we return to Cebu for this Finish Line. TARPHDME20’s Finish Line was actually Cebu as well. And for this TARPHDME22, I was looking at a Batanes Finish Line in order to have a secluded Final Leg, of course because of all the COVID considerations.
But as I was putting the route together, I came across the news of the Cebu-Cordova bridge about ready to open. As I was putting this together back in February/March, the bridge was going to open in April. So I thought a Finish Line on the bridge with the roadway all to ourselves would be amazing! A wonderful 8K UHD-worthy Finish Line. And as you’ll see in the Race Tracker recap, it could be the site of an exciting three-way footrace to the Finish! Hehe.
Anyway, I decided to have the Finish Line here in Cebu just to have it at the new bridge. So I had to scramble for some tasks to fill the Leg. Especially when I filled out the TARPHDME20 Final Leg with some pretty good tasks already.
First up, I recycled this Before/After bridge rappelling task which TARPHDME16 first had at the San Juanico Bridge, another iconic span in the Philippines. I modified it a little here, but essentially the same premise. It’s a good physical and mental task.
The three landings thing is just another extra twist for teams. But we will make sure there is not a huge time disadvantage for one location over another.
Google Scouting turned up the Apo Cement Factory in nearby Naga City. I think it would be a great location for any kind of task, to be honest. We could have a memory task of some sort here. But I just simply put this random physical task instead. It’s okay at the start of the Leg anyway.
To maximize our time here and limit our time where there might be a lot of people, I put the extra task of having to chip at a huge cement block. A Switchback to the real TARPH1. But also of the many ice breaking tasks from the past on TAR as well. Originally, it was just to break a clue out, but once I finalized the Mactan Shrine task, I thought it would be cute to break the sword out of the stone. Hehe
Next up is the Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary which also popped up on my Google Scouting. I had to think of what kind of task we could do here. Then I vaguely remember a similar kind of task on a TAR Canada finale? I dunno. I’m too lazy to look it up on Wikipedia. Lol But anyway, for this one, I think it’s a simple, straightforward task. Notice at the start of every Leg this season, we specifically included the flags in the first clue! So teams should be aware of what the flags of each country should look like. Instead of having to just simply pick the flags up, we use the butterfly setting to merely include the colors or patterns of such flags. It helps to make things more challenging for teams.
Also! The clue says to order the butterflies top to bottom. For maximum drama, let’s hope a team goes bottom-up so they will grow frustrated. Hehe
Finally, the big Final Task of the Race. So I knew I wanted to do something cool with the reenactment of the Battle of Mactan. But I wasn’t sure what. At first, it was the match your partner’s answers task. And teams had to weave through the shield maze according to what they think their partners answered. Since I moved that task to the Penultimate Leg, I had to come up with something else.
Then I thought, why not do something with the Road Block prompts. All season, I’d chosen to do random, pun-type prompts. Not the usual question. So I tried to figure out how to incorporate that into a task here.
I think on paper, it looks alright. It’s still a memory task, after all. The one team member must remember which Legs they saw those Road Blocks. And the other team member will then have to remember what kind of pun-ny prompts they actually got. It should be interesting. Our hope is that it is very challenging and confusing and frustrating. Especially when there is a time limit and a war is happening all around you with smoke and loud grunts and yells and everything.
We hope so!
Finally, the highlight of this Leg will hopefully be the Race to the Finish Line. In the Race Tracker, you will see that an ideal scenario would be seeing all three teams arriving at the bridge entrance within seconds of each other. So it is a footrace all the way to the Finish Line in the middle of the yet-to-open bridge.
Also! Teams might not read the clue closely and approach the new bridge from the Cordova side since the Mactan Shrine is on the same island. That would add even more excitement!
Imagine all the 8K UHD drone shots we could get of teams running across the bridge, eliminated teams cheering them on. Teams neck and neck. A camera on a car following teams step for step. It has potential to be an insane, edge of your seat finish! And at a spectacular, unique location as well.
Overall, I think this is a solid Final Leg. Especially in the COVID Era.
And I think this season has actually been pretty good. Especially in the COVID Era. Lol Some tweaks to the basic format, but nothing too drastic or outrageous like Australia and Canada have done recently.
And also, let it be known that TARPHDME22 did the no-Non-Eliminations (sort of) first before TAR34 lololol
Anyway, see you next year! Maybe. lol