Balikbayan footballers enjoy touring PHBy Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Football player Armand del Rosario sustained not a few scratches on his arms from riding a mechanical bull at the recent press launch of “The Amazing Race Philippines.”
Being rough-and-tumble guys, Armand and Anton, his brother, race partner and fellow footballer, didn’t mind getting a few bumps and bruises along the way.
(Anton first became known as a member of the Azkals football team. The brothers are now with Kaya Futbol Club of the United Football League. The UFL games are aired on TV5 sports channel AKTV.)
They consider their stint on TV5’s latest prime-time show—a local version of the Emmy-winning reality program—an “amazing” adventure as well.
The sporty hunks, who were both based in San Francisco in the US before moving to Manila, got a grand tour of the country for the nightly show which premieres tomorrow. “We tried all modes of transportation—buses, boats, planes, jeepneys, tricycles, taxi cabs,” Armand recalled. They did mean all: In pivotal episodes, contestants took helicopter rides over Makati and boarded a rickety roller coaster in the middle of nowhere.
Luckily, Armand had gone to college at De La Salle University in Manila. He knew his way around. “When we were younger,” he said, “we took tricycles and jeepneys when we vacationed at our parents’ hometowns, Bacolod and Iloilo.” Anton added: “In Boracay, we rode tricycles all the time. Commuting didn’t bother us at all.”
But of the other physical and mental challenges, Anton said, “It was pretty crazy.”
“Teamwork was our edge [over the others] since we are athletes, and brothers,” Armand remarked. “But though we grew up together, we are two distinct personalities.” Arguments were unavoidable. “But we generally stayed cool,” said Anton. “Plus, we’re very competitive.” Stamina, which they developed on the football field, was another advantage.
“Our only weakness was the language,” Armand revealed. “We can converse in Filipino, but it was sometimes difficult to read the clues and instructions, which were written in Tagalog.”
And they were incommunicado for a month and couldn’t ask help from family and friends. “We practically disappeared from the face of the earth,” said Anton.
Among the racers, they identified gym buddies Mark Duñgo and Kat Tan, and show biz pals Jervi Lisaba and Saida Diola as their toughest competitors. Mark and Kat were “physically fit,” said Anton, and Jervi and Saida were “strong and smart.”
One thing they realized during the show’s taping (from June to July) was that brute strength was not enough to win the P2-million cash prize. Brains and smarts were crucial factors, said Anton.
If they win the race, the brothers plan to splurge on travel. “I’d take my wife to Europe,” said Armand. Anton would watch the World Cup in Brazil next year.
In the meantime, they are grateful that the show took them island-hopping throughout the country. “This program should be endorsed by the Department of Tourism,” said Armand. Anton agreed: “The show also proved to us that Filipinos are the friendliest and kindest people in the world.”
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