Racing Through the Original Chinatown: BAR 2015

Last February 2, nine teams, composed of five to six members each, rose up to the challenge and took part in Ateneo Celadon’s second Binondo Amazing Race. The race, organized by the External Affairs managers, Ian Quintin, Roche Chua, and Ann Jillian Co, was covered by CHInoy TV.

The whole day affair started at 8 a.m. when the groups assembled at the steps of the Matteo Ricci Hall. The race, themed after Chinese dynasties, began with a contest where the teams used sets of red packets, or ang paos, to create their best model of a Chinese lantern. Celadon President Aldrin Chua judged their creations, setting the teams off one-by-one accordingly from Ateneo. The teams undertook an hour-long journey via an LRT and jeepney ride to the heart of Chinatown, Binondo, where they received randomized routes that took them all around Binondo.

The stations infused fun into the Chinese-Filipino culture. Among them, the lunch station held in Mr. Ube was a crowd favorite, where teams had to finish one bowl of their signature noodle soup. Sandra Duenas, after “first time to eat Mr. Ube,” said that “[she] will [go] back there someday.”
“Pagdating ng Mr. Ube sobrang sarap talaga (it was really enjoyable when they got to Mr. Ube) [because it offered] food plus aircon and rest!” said facilitator Aldwyn Tan.

Other unforgettable stations included the Kim Folding station and, in Lucky Chinatown Mall, the Wushu station.
The teams in the former had to first solve a problem to figure out how many of each of the various folds for the golden sacrificial paper did they have to make. The latter required the participants to correctly repeat a wushu routine taught to them.

Kim Folding station facilitator Lean Yao remarked that although the walk to the station was long, “the teams were [hyperactive] in folding the kim.”

Wushu veteran Ralph Uy, stated that “when they were learning the routine, some were frustrated that they weren’t getting it right [but] some just laughed it off and tried again.” Uy, however, shares that, “In the end, what matters is if they had fun or not because wushu isn’t all about the hardcore stuff—it’s also about enjoying while doing [them].”

Other stations include ones in Crown Prince, Manila Downtown YMCA, St. Stephen’s High School, Yellow Pop Food Center and Seng Guan Temple which entailed tasks such as testing their skills in Chinese painting, learning to use the abacus, experiencing exotic Chinese food, and even pouring tea using their legs and foreheads.

The race ended at 5 p.m., in the Manila Downtown YMCA, where after a surprise birthday greeting for the Vice President for External Affairs, Hero Go, the facilitators announced the winning teams.

Team Tikoy finished first, comprised of Keith De Leon, Sandra Duenas, Alexander Dumas, Ysabelle Miranda, and Carl Ochura; followed closely by Team Xion, composed of Abigail Christine Chen, Celinka Chun, Patricia Gallardo, Meredith Gaw, Elaine Pineda, and Imma Simbulan; and for third place, Team X 1/4, comprised of John Cheng, Patrisha Conception, Julienne Khoo, Claudine Mendoza, Janna Payba, and Michaelben Yap.

When asked about the experience, team leader Hilton Ang recalled, “it was fun, kahit paikot-ikot kami (it was fun even though we went around and around a lot).”

Team Aldwyn and Friends shared the same sentiments as they “[had] four to five [rides] in the tricycle [going] back and forth.”

Associate Vice President for Cultural Affairs, Isaac Cheung, on the other hand, jokingly stated, “naputol paa ko sa race (I raced my foot off), but it was worth the limb.”

Each of them took home their own Hawk Bags, Forma.ph gift certificates, Lock & Lock water bottles, Mr. Ube giftboxes.

 

Written By Himig Marcos