"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

bisaya bloggers' "amazing" saturday

dragon boat rowing. selling ice candy in front of malate church. trip to thailand manila zoo. selling bottled water in the streets of makati. ice skating in megamall. relay in mandaluyong. all that during one fine saturday!

it all started with gail asking the manila-based bisaya bloggers to block-out their may 20 schedule for her. her group, the YUPPeace (young upbeat professional for peace), was organizing an amazing race-inspired activity and she wanted the bisaya bloggers to participate. fun-loving people and adventurers that we are, zimm, kuya toto, jory, sealdi and i said yes. we committed ourselves to join the one-day activity eventhough we had no idea of the tasks that will be assigned to us. the mere mention of "amazing race" was interesting enough... nice bait so we bit!

the details we got from gail via SMS were: may 20, 2006. meeting place: CCP parking lot, manila bay. be there 7am. wear blue shirt. bring swim wear and goggles. medicines, if you need any. extra money. extra clothes.

ulk... swim wear. goggles... and what?! manila bay?!

when i saw the words "swim wear", "goggles" and "manila bay" i think my eyes popped out, my head spun, and i quickly reconsidered taking back my "yes". there was just no way i was going to take a dip in manila bay... not even with the promise of a million pesos. nooooooooooo.... sure i can get crazy enough to walk on very fine broken pieces of glass, burning coals and tightrope but dip in manila bay?? no way!

gail's reply to my request for "no manila bay dip" assurance wasn't quite assuring: part of the game. not sure if there will really be swimming. bring swim wear and goggles, just in case. be there on saturday, 8am (not 7am as originally scheduled). wear blue shirt.

since i was looking for adventure and after some summer fun, i forgot about backing out and found myself and my backpack in the manila bay area on the morning of may 20, saturday. zimm, kuya toto, jory, gail and the YUPPeace were already there when i arrived and the activity was just about to kick off. ahh, i admire my timing! (let's just forget that i was actually late and gail somehow worried that i got lost in the manila jungle. hehehe.)

bisaya bloggers + YUPPeace = amazing race

amazing race YUPPeace edition 2006. 3 teams, 3 colors: yellow. red. blue.

bisaya bloggers in blue!

1st challenge: dragon boat race in manila bay

i thought i'd never get around to being part of a dragon boat rowing team. what do you know? the opportunity came to me last saturday and i grabbed it with much excitement. yes!!! i'll no longer wonder what it's like to be on a dragon boat, rowing. i've experienced it!!!

after a warm-up session, all of us participants had a crash course on dragon boat rowing courtesy of one of the key people of the national team (read: 2005 SEAGames dragon boat race champion). we were shown how to hold the quite expensive oars (PhP3K each and imported from canada) properly: one hand should firmly hold the "T" and the other should be on the "shaft" to control the angle of the "blade". we were told that "stroke" means right and "bow" means left. the other terms we kept track of were "backwater", "standby position" and "entry".

yes, we're eager learners... but somebody got distracted by the "barako" bodies of the SEAG rowers, hehehe.

then, it was time for the real thing... the dragon boat could hold twenty rowers but for our challenge, only ten rowers were needed: five on the "bow" side and five on the "stroke" side. the experience was great!!! i loved it!

we, members of the blue team, learned things so fast. we're so proud of our performance! when we were already out there in the middle, our instructor and "drum beater" asked four of us in the "bow" side to change positions to maximize the team's potential. the act of standing up and walking on the boat was quite exciting (and scary, too). gail and i had to let out our ear-piercing shrieks because, at one point, we thought the boat would overturn (and you could just imagine what's next!) due to all the motion of people standing up. fortunately, my much feared dip in manila bay didn't happen. all of us had our share of very minor splashes of manila bay water on our arms and thighs though courtesy of how we moved our oars in the water when we were told to row hard. it was such a grand experience to row as a team. every merciless ray of the late morning sun and every drop of water on our skin was worth it! gail, who got kissed by the water (hahaha...), could attest to this.

the dragon boat experience of the yellow team and the red team captured on cam.

the rowing team to beat

after the dragon boat race (what race? the blue team had so much edge, i said so. hehehe), all teams got the 1st clue and raced towards the next stop: fountain area beside aristocrat restaurant, in front of malate church.

leading the pack: happily making our way to the grand fountain

agile and addicted to winning (gail says we have major issues on rejection and losing, that's why -- and i agree with her), our team got to the fountain area ahead of teams yellow and red. in fact, zimm and kuya toto were able to rush to the venue ahead of the game marshalls who're to give the task and the next clue! talk about agility and ability!

task: sell 20 pcs. of ice candy (PhP5 each) in the bay area

hehehe... imagine us (read: people in blue, sweaty from the walking/running we had to do in order to get from the CPP parking lot area to that grand fountain in baywalk) selling ice candy to people we don't know and convincing them to shell out PhP5 for ice candy that actually costs only PhP2! we're quite good, we completed the task in no time and got the next clue for the next stop.

we all got on a jeepney in front of malate church and egged the driver on to go as fast as the streets would allow and head right away to manila zoo!

smiling faces: we're going to the zoo!

task: give the scientific names of hippopotamus, african lion, leopard, eagle owl, tiger, philippine cockatoo...

wanted: scientific names! ack!

only four of our teammates were allowed to go inside the zoo to look for the scientific names. the rest of us waited outside...

hay! this task took more time than what we were willing to spend. it's the marshalls' fault, not our teammates'! (hahaha, gotta blame others! *winks*) as a result, the yellow team caught up with us and we lost this round to them. what?! yellow team got our precious lead from us? we lost our preciousssssssssssss?

anyway, while we waited for our teammates to finish their task inside the zoo, we camped by the zoo's entrance and played a fun round of "shagidi shagidi shapopo". we followed jory's graceful movements while chanting. in no time, we were quite a sight! we shamelessly provided a short-lived entertainment showcase by the zoo's entrance with our cultural dance-inspired actions and "shagidi" chanting. oh, what fun!!!

at the zoo's entrance

our next stop was somewhere in filandia. we rode on a jeepney (taxi cab rides and hitch rides were not allowed by the marshalls) and got to this car shop...

task: car washing!

when we got to the shop, the yellow team was already there. three of their selected members were quite done with putting "shampoo" on the car they were tasked to clean. as for our team, we had to wait for a car to drive in...

...until finally, dzan dza raaaaaaaaan... fanfare and drum roll please: jory and gail found a new calling... car washing!

after they made the car look squeaky clean, we got our next clue and off we went to the next stop: don bosco - makati... to catch up with the yellow team.

as soon as we got off the jeepney that took us near don bosco, we immediately headed for the spot where the game marshalls were... to ask for our next task.

task: sell bottled water (15 bottles at PhP15 each)

this task made us realize how very difficult it is to convince people on jeepneys and on the sidewalks to buy bottled water. it's not easy to find yourself on the street calling out to people to buy something from you. moreover, it is quite disheartening when the people you're trying to sell to completely ignore you. lesson learned: at least acknowledge the presence of the vendor. even if you don't buy anything, be kind enough to at least make the other person feel that you're aware of his/her presence... it means a lot to a person who's making an honest living.

blue team eventually completed the task (after the yellow team did and before the red team got their share of bottled water to sell). we had our lunch and after a few minutes of rest, it was our time time to proceed to the megamall for the next task.

at this point, we were able to catch up with the yellow team as we managed to get on the same train with them. hehehe. when we got to our stop in ortigas, teams blue and yellow raced against each other to get to the skating rink.

task: ice skating

only 6 members of each participating group were allowed to do this part of the game. the 6 "skaters" of each team were required to make two complete trips around the rink without holding the sidebars. lucky for us, there are members of our team who really knew how to skate... blue team (our team!) was the first team to get the clue for the next and last stop. we were quite a sight as we (and the yellow team as well!) rushed out of the megamall. destination: don bosco - mandaluyong for the final showdown.

task: swimming relay

who won? blue team with the manila-based bisaya bloggers, of course!

the team, our team: where winners belong.

do i still have to say that we had a saturday that's so full of fun?

click here for more pictures.
photos included in this post are courtesy of val, zimm, and gail.


  1. regards ko ni jory.

    alumni namo xa sa corpus christi sa cagayan de oro. classmate sa ako maguwang.

    small kalibutan.

  2. Pretty amazing and so fun. Wish I was there. Maybe in the future…

  3. Yep, I think we should acknowledge the presence of the vendors at the very least. I used to ignore people who distribute leaflets (usually condo leaflets) and vendors. Now, as much as possible, I always return a smile with the "No, thanks!" gesture.

  4. gail, thanks a lot for inviting us! thanks, too, for convincing us to be there... fun, fun, fun!

    balikbayan_box, lingaw jud! :D

    zimm, i only did what i said i would... a write-up. hehehe. (",)

    gEEEmail, when are you joining us?

    baktin, yup, yup, small world.

    major tom, we're looking forward to meeting you... so you can really take part in the fun.

    joker, here's hoping other people will do their part, too. (",)


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