MANILA, Philippines – The Amazing Race Asia is back for its 5th season, with the Philippines fielding two teams to battle it out with representatives from other Asian countries. (READ: ‘The Amazing Race Asia’ season 5: Meet the Pinoy contestants)
Former It’s Showtime host Eric Tai and wife Rona Samson-Tai, and former beauty queens and best friends Maggie Wilson-Consunji and Parul Shah are the country’s bets in the race’s 5th season, hosted by Allan Wu.
Here are a few things to know about the Philippine teams on The Amazing Race Asia season 5.
1. One of the reasons Eric and Rona joined Amazing Race was because they plan on having a child.
“With the prize money, we hope to start a family. We were told basically that we can no longer start a family naturally, we can no longer get pregnant naturally. So we have to resort to IVF and that does cost money. So we use that as a motivation,” said Rona.
2. Another reason was Rona’s personal advocacy: body positivity.
“And aside from that, my personal one is to break that stigma… a lot of women, especially the big women, to embrace themselves, and at the same time show to everyone, just because we’re big it doesn’t mean we can’t run or we can’t jump or we can’t do any other thing,” Rona said.
The two agreed that body-shaming is a big concern especially on social media. Eric said that there are times when he has to tell his wife to calm down when it comes to replying to people online.
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“Everyone is entitled to their opinion. You don’t reprimand, but you can educate them maybe. But for me, that’s not the way I go. I just turn the other cheek and let it be, if there is any hate or anything that’s not so good. I’ll just act accordingly. My wife goes on there and puts on that personal blast, because that’s definitely her advocacy. She won’t tolerate that,” he said, adding that Rona does every now and then ignore the criticism.
Rona for her part said: “Sa akin na lang (For me) is first of all, I always try to think [that] you know what, there’s a reason why they’re hating on me. So I always tell people just because you do not feel so good about yourself, it doesn’t mean you have to make other people feel bad about themselves.”
3. They may already be married, but the two still learned a lot about each other and themselves as they ran the race.
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“For me, what I found out about myself first was wow, I can hold my tongue,” Rona joked. “No, I do have patience pala if I choose to. And one thing that I did notice about Eric is that he’s very talented. Talented siya especially when he’s not distracted because siyempre (of course), it’s hard on your day to day life, you have cellphones, you have social media, everything else, and he’s a gamer. He actually plays online games and what I’ve learned is may advantage pala ‘yung paglalaro niya ng video games (there’s an advantage to him playing video games). Because he’s really good at figuring things out like patterns, ang galing niya (he’s great).”
As for Eric, he said: “[I realized] that I could do something like this with my wife. I never thought that we could go through challenges together physically, mentally, because sometimes, wives and husbands have their own separate life. At the same time, not separate as a couple but different types of interests, and I never thought that we could really do this together, and we’ve conquered ourselves as individuals and also as a team, the best that we could in every challenge that we did.”
4. Maggie Wilson-Consunji and Parul Shah are beauty queens.
Maggie was Binibining Pilipinas World 2007, while Parul was Bb Pilipinas Tourism in 2014 and represented the Philippines at the Miss Grand International 2015, where she placed 3rd runner-up.
5. It was Maggie who wanted to join the race first.
“When they [my friends] were doing the race, they were doing viewing parties at the house, siyempre naiinggit ako (of course I got jealous),” Maggie said. “Sabi ko (I said), I want to experience that. So when the race came back after 6 years, sabi ko (I said), this is it, this is my chance. So that’s why I wanted to do the race because why not? I don’t know anyone na ‘pag sinabi mo (that if you said), ‘I’m doing the Amazing Race,’ they would’t [say], ‘Oh my God!’ This is my dream, I want to do that. We have a lot of friends who want to be in their shoes as well.”
The friends she was referring to include TV hosts Rovilson Fernandez and Marc Nelson.
6. Maggie asked Parul to be her partner.
Parul agreed to join the competition because she was going to be with Maggie, her best friend and one of her pageant mentors.
“Because I know if you were going into a race, you have to have the right partner. So the second she asked me – I wasn’t her first choice though, but that’s okay – and in the second she asked me, I said yes in a heartbeat,” Parul said.
7. Parul and Maggie aren’t the only beauty queens in season 5.
Another pair – Miss World Malaysia 2012 Yvonne Lee and Miss World Malaysia 2011 Chloe Chen – also competed.
When asked about having another pair of former title holders, Maggie said: “Funny enough, they’re also very much like us. Chill lang din sila na beauty queens. (They are just chill beauty queens) They’re not maarte (high maintenance). They’re not what people perceive a beauty queen to be. Like I said in one of the early interviews, they’re going to see a different side to Parul and I in this race. And hopefully, we get to change the perception of beauty queens during the course of the race.”
8. They may be best friends, but both Parul and Maggie agreed that their patience was tested during the course of taping the competition.
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“One of our rules was we should never fight,” Maggie said.
“If anything, if we do get frustrated, let’s talk it out. It’s better talking things out…” Parul added.
“Or don’t get mad na because if you get mad, you won’t be able to do the task at hand,” Maggie said.
When asked what they learned about themselves during the race, Maggie said: “[I realized] that I was a lot more patient that I thought I was. I always say to myself that I’m impatient, that I snap very quickly. During the race, I learned that I’m a lot more patient, that I was a lot stronger than I was emotionally.”
“The race taught me that I was a lot stronger emotionally,” Parul also said, though Maggie added that she saw a “beast” side of her friend during the show.
The Amazing Race Asia season 5 began airing on Thursday, October 13, on AXN Asia.
Who would you choose to be your partner if you joined Amazing Race? Let us know in the comments! – Rappler.com