MANILA - With three consecutive first place finishes to their name, Louisa and Treasuri of Indonesia have firmly established themselves as an early favorite to win this year's "The Amazing Race Asia." However, it quickly became clear that a single bad decision can be costly, especially with a pair of determined Filipino teams ready to pounce.
For Thursday's episode, all of the remaining six teams flew to the Philippines from Vietnam. The leg began with the teams doing charity work, storming the busy streets of Quiapo for things to put inside their disaster preparedness packs, which they then had to donate to families in care of the local Red Cross in Pasig.
As expected, the teams of Eruption and his wife Rona, as well as beauty queens Parul and Maggie Wilson, breezed through the first challenge, with their familiarity with the area and where to buy items like first aid kits proving to be a huge advantage.
They didn't get a chance to fully capitalize on their early lead though as they then had to travel by bus to Vigan City up north and make their way to the Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone. Nearly all the teams got on the same 7 p.m. bus, with only Thailand's Tom and Anita forced to take a later trip.
But yet again, the teams' effort to distance themselves from the rest of the pack were erased after finding out that the tourist attraction doesn't open until the next morning. And with all the teams bunched up, the pressure got to Rona, who could not complete the challenge of needing to hit a target several feet below with a flour bomb while riding down a zipline.
It led to Rona and Eruption becoming the second to the last team to leave the Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone (Parul and Maggie were third by this point) --a tight spot they barely managed to squeeze out of.
For this leg's "Detour Challenge," the teams had to pick between making longganisa while taking a long kalesa ride through Calle Crisologo or learning the Ilocano version of "Tatlong Bibe" and belting it out in a plaza.
Justin and Mike of Singapore picked the latter, and it proved to be the better choice of the two, landing them in first spot for the first time --a statement win having been last in the previous leg.
Parul and Maggie, and Eruption and Rona, followed suit and placed third and fourth, respectively. Yvonne and Chloe of Malaysia came in second after similarly picking the karaoke challenge.
Back in Calle Crisologo, Louisa and Treasuri had trouble in correctly making longganisa, but their huge lead over Tom and Anita, who left the Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone last, spared them from being eliminated.