To my companion, my biggest love, my greatest artwork: this BLOG...

all throughout these years I am so happy we have surpassed many an adventure!!!




Sunday, October 12, 2008

to slumber or not to slumber? AMAZING RACE ASIA 3

Are we going to see an episode where the "quit-when-tough" attitude is finally going to go out the window?

Let's see...

The infusion of commercialism into the race has been subtle but very incongruous. Of course any intelligent television outfit would see the benefit of sponsors to keep a show running. And the Amazing Race is not by any means gonna veer away from that belief.

The teams had to go into a Sony Style Electronics store to choose among a selection of one thousand CDs, place one inside a DVD player and see if the words "CORRECT (rest of the statement LOL)" would pop up on the television screen to be able to get their first clue.

This seemed easy enough if you have repetition, luck and patience at your side as key components in finishing. Luck was totally lacking though in the case of Ida And Tania who were almost ready to give up after they saw team after team leave the room. But they decided not to incur the four-hour penalty by just crawling through the mountains of CDs.

Luck only plays a certain percentage THOUGH in this tricky venture, patience would rather be a virtue a team wants to acquire here. This was why Mai and Oliver were stuck for hours inside the store until it closed at night time. And to think most of them came in at the opening hours of the store in the AM.

The Chinese guys Sam and Vince however created their own luck during the next couple of moments. The first to finish at the Sony Store, both of them were very lucky to face the ONLY ever Fast Forward in the Race. Fast Forward is a situation where both teams can bypass all the tasks and straight into the next Pit Stop by accomplishing something. This one dictated that they had to have tattooes to get the Fast Forward opportunity. With only a bit of hesitation they proceeded to the designated tattoo parlor afterwhich they proceeded to finish the race by being first at the pitstop naturally after finishing only one task!!!

Team Hong Kong seems to be a heavy favorite going into the final three as of speaking time :)

Many of the teams are stuck at the Sony establishment for some time while others will never get through.

Henry and Bernie are the next team to take on the next Road Block task of digging through a pile of coal inside a cart to retrieve a souvenir, a smallish coin. A Road Block requires only one teammate finish a job. This one requires Herculean proportions and Einstein-like precision because not only do you have to toil through the digging but you also have to be alert for the tiny souvenir in case you miss it and pile it among the rubble! Hahaha. But since A.D. and Fuzzie were present in the coal mine compound with Henry and Bernie, both teams decided to help each other by identifying the souvenir whoever finishes first.

Geoff and Tisha fought a lot while driving around looking for the Coal mine museum. Team Philippines appears to be crumbling emotionally because of Geoff's clear lack of patience and snappy ways. Like many of the teams that had become desperate with the problems brought about by directions in the map and with the confusing roads of Taiwan, they enlisted the help of a taxi eventually....

After digging through the dirt in the musem, the teams were faced with a Detour, Pick or Pail...

The Pick task dictates the players to bring out their precision and powers of estimation by picking up three stuffed toys inside a toy machine. First team to accomplish this would be able to get through to the next Pit Stop....

Unbelievably Mai and Oliver are still stuck at the Sony Style store sifting through the CDs from the very first task, and the mood is not jovial and energetic anymore. Trudging through the seemingly mountainous pile of CDs, they talk about giving up and incurring the four hour penalty....I was disheartened to see this scenario as the Thai team was among my favorites :(

Forward to the second task in the Detour, Pail required the team to go to the Grand Tong Temple to fill a bucket of water and then carry the pail through the stone steps to a monk waiting on top of the hill with his measuring stick to gage the correct amount needed. This was work reminiscent of a Bruce lee movie where the martial arts king carried two bucket loads of water through a flight of stairs towards the top of a temple as his apprentice duties dictated him. Eventhough this was not so easy for both women, Ida and Tania eventually labored at not spilling too much water while climbing through the steps. With a sigh of relief as the monk's stick indicated they had brought him just the right amount of water, they had just wisped through to the next pitstop.

The second team to finish HOURS later after Sam and Vince were Henry and Bernie and then A.D. and Fuzzie. Geoff and Tisha were fourth and Ida and Tania finished fifth.

The Thai team were never able to get out of the Sony Style Store. They relegated all their tasks to the next day and decided to sleep in their car with the hopes of renewed vigor in the morning.

But they never make it through to the store opening as host Allan Wu knocked them out of their exhausted slumber by waking them with a knock on their windows. He announced depressingly that all the teams had checked in so they would virtually be the last team to finish. They were eliminated from the race!
This signalled the end of the Thai team's quest for glory and it was a depressing way to end it....This quite astounded me because the Thai team was a young and rigorous tandem and were as "never-say-die" as any of the other teams left in the competition. This kind of behavior was so unlike them....
Ohhh now all of the Thais in the race are eliminated starting off with Pailin, the beauty queen in the third race and then now, Mai and Oliver....
A bad day for Thailand indeed on the fifth leg of the race!!!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


i am no stranger to change...

i have been through a lot of changes in my life, both physical, and mental, as well as in many aspects of my social and cultural upbringing...

the beautiful background in my blog suggests a new beginning for blog has always been a barometer of the changes brought about by the windmills of time and fate in my has always been reflective of my mood at the moment and my own sorrows and happinessses...and it has contained so many of my eccentricities as well as my momentarily relevant pursuits....

Aren't terminals the platform for the transportation of commodities and people and indirectly the stage for the movement of ideas from one place to another?

This is why I have chosen the sublime background of a terminal/subway station.

I feel that I am in a period of great transition and change which is why outwardly I have felt it is very relevant to utilize a background which symbolically stands for movement and dynamism...

I just want to remove the cobwebs that have prevented me from progressing and mobilizing my life into another dimension which is why I have started in no place like own heart and blog...

Everyone's support has been superb for me and my arrival into such a segment of my life has been facilitated by people who have helped me tremendously with sound advice and unrelenting encouragement...

Goodbye old leaf...Hello to the new leaf of my life...

Note: i would like to thank the website (which is one of my favorite website reviews on digital cameras) for letting me use the gorgeous picture as my background...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008

the usual suspect - Amazing Race Asia!!!

For the second leg in a row, it seems from almost the very beginning we could obviously pick the loser of this part of the race....

The contestants had to fly from Hue to Ho Chi Minh and then onto the country of Taiwan for their next set of tasks and the next pitstop. It was pretty disappointing as the airport in Hue was closed for the night therefore no outgoing flights were on course. Most of the contestants were on the same plane towards the Ho Chi Minh and then Taipei as the airport opened only at a certain time of day.

The minute they set foot on Taiwan, there were marked cars waiting for them outside the airport. Tisha was so happy the gears were on automatic LOL. They then had to drive to the capital city, Taipei, for their next set of tasks. Trouble sets in for the Indian team of Niroo and Kapil as they find themselves stuck with vehicular trouble as the keys to their car got stuck inside the ignition key. Tantrums arose as arguments over directions ensued. The father and son tandem threatened to just quit it right then and there but grudgingly trudged through the whole race ironically.

The rest of the teams found themselves facing a Detour. It is a point where they have to choose one among two tasks to make it through to the next destination. The two tasks are called, "Shoot it or Shape it." In "Shoot it" they need to take a picture of the Amazing Race Asia card inside a miniature museum. The catch is the card has also been miniaturized haha! So this is quite a task for those who do not want to strain their eye looking for the clue. "Shape it" is a task they have to do in the middle of the Rao He Street market where they have to make four forms out of pieces of a Chinese puzzle. Most of the teams opt for the Shoot It task while only A.D. and Fuzzie chose the Shape it task.

The teams after completing the task, had to go to the Institute of the Blind to decode their next clue. In Braille!!! The Braille system is a series of dots placed strategically together to indicate letters of the English alphabet. Surprisingly, most of the teams breeze through the task which is totally astounding to me! I suppose the Braille system would be better learned by people with sight rather than blind people??? LOL

After picking up the next clue, the Malaysian team of Ida and Tania are first on this part of the race to get to the Chinese restaurant where a Roadblock awaits them. This Roadblock designates only one teammate to accomplish the task. One of them has to eat a big bowl of a tofu dish. Seems easy enough except that this recipe has duck blood, fermented tofu and vegetables inside it. And the stink is overwhelming.

As Ida volunteers to sit down and feast on the dish LOL, she makes a fatal error of eating slowly whereas digesting the food faster would have been the easier route. The result is a tear-stricken, vomitting and agonized Ida after a coupla minutes plowing through the horrid dish! If there was a most genuine episode of suffering during the whole race it would have been this moment where Ida is just crying because of the foulness of what she was trying to consume and Tania was encouraging and motivating her companion to finish the whole disgusting bowl! The Chinese team from Hong Kong breezes through the whole task exclaiming that they weren't Chinese if they could not eat anything at all hahahaha Damn right!!! Almost a coupla hours later, Niroo and Kapil never finished the bowl and opted for the 4-hour penalty.

Not surprisingly and most well-deserved, Ida and Tania where the first to race to the pit-stop where their host Allan Wu and a pretty Chinese thing waited to greet them there. Sam and Vince are in next place with Mai and Oliver in third place. The last team as expected is Niroo and Kapil as they did not accomplish the Stinking Tofu task and therefore incurred the time penalty. Father is very quick to defend his son saying he is unable to compete mentally anymore.

Oh well even if Team Philippines finished second to the last, I hope they make it better in the next round!!!! Go Team Singapore and Thailand!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

no excuse pretty!!!

Amazing Race Episode 3

As cited in our last entry, there is no excuse for losing in this gruelling competition. Whether you look like a goddess or teach for a profession, you will lose fair and square if you don't make it to the pit stop...

Vietnam is a beautiful country and I was set to go there late in January until last minute plans were made which sidetracked me back to Singapore.

Our race teams start from the Museum of Vietnamese History in Hoh Chi Minh. They must catch a bus to their next destination Hue, in Central Vietnam. The deal is Hue is 1000 km away from Ho Chi Minh and the bus will take 25 hours to get there. In the confusion that was the purchasing of tickets, some teams misunderstood the bus cashiers saying 25 minutes or an hour and a half instead of the whole day journey ahead of them. Well they were just shell-shocked to find out how far it was.

The team's next task when they reached Hue was to change the tires and oil of the truck they were going to use while setting on about in their tasks while within Hue. Some of the teams set about doing the task like one two three as far as vehicle mechanical repair and maintenance are concerned while others lumbered in a flurry of grease, rust and heat from the metal tools due to exposure from the overhead sun.

As far as I'm concerned Natalie and Pailin seemed to be the teams on the losing end because Natalie expressed her exhaustion and discouragement at what the competition had thrown her way so far. Even while Pailin was asking her to help with replacing one tire, Natalie was like dropping her shoulders and showing her lack of motivation. Pailin even had to tell her to at least try in a really disconcerted tone.

The teams then drove to Khai Dhin tomb where their next task was found. The next task, a Road Block, where only one teammate can operate while the other stands by does not prove helpful for the two beauty queens again. The task to be completed is to look for seven coins from a neighboring tomb called Minh Mang tomb. The coins represent each of the seven emperors that ruled the Nguyen dynasty. The catch is they have to arrange the coins in chronological order in the Khai Dhin tomb with respect to the reign of each emperor. Natalie wanted to uplift her team's mood so she volunteered for the task but it took her another trip to the other tomb to try and finish what she was doing and eventually the fact that she gave up gave their team a penalty of four hours!!!

In the end of course because of this penalty their team lost. I guess so many of the Natalie and Pailin fans were distressed at their loss but even half-way across the show Natalie's attitude sucked big time and her lack of motivation almost delayed the inevitable anyway....Pailin did not hide her discouragement at their loss. She said it takes two to make a team float so she could never quite understand why Natalie did not even try...and it's sad too because of course their superstar looks make the show more interesting although I'm sure the competition will continue to thrive without them...

Onwards to the next episode and good luck to team Singapore, Philippines and Mai and Oliver LOLOLOL !!!!

(Thank you AXN asia official website for the photos!!!)