Text and photo by Neil Pagulayan
The only contest that lets you win a car simply by holding it continues this year for the 2017 edition of the Subaru Palm Challenge. The Philippine finals was held last September 9along 9th Avenue, Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City. Five All-New Subaru XV’s marked where the contestants were to stand and place their hands for the challenge, and would bear witness as to who would become this year’s top ten to represent our country in the finals in Singapore.
The prevailing weather conditions were a close simulation of what the top ten will experience in Singapore later this year where the weather could be unpredictable, with hot and sunny mixed with some cloudy and even rain at some points as if to mock the contestant’s will and resolve to stay in the competition.
As the competition started and the clock started ticking, the hopefuls looked uncertain of what to expect as the first few hours passed and the full force of the noontime sun bore down on them. Among the many first timers were a few veterans from last year’s Singapore finals hoping to snag a Top Ten slot again this year and try to bring home the big win for the Philippines. These veterans were FilmarkBernante on his 5th attempt, Juan Furiscal, Jr. on his 4th, Juntie Torres on his 4th, Donn Michael Yap, Francisco Gomez, and Carlo Talahib on their 3rd try and Mark Trinos on his 2nd try. Our last man standing in the Singapore finals last year, Alex Neblasca managed to come in a very close 3rd place on his eighth try. This year would be his 9th attempt.
It’s hardly won by a rookie as last year’s top winner in Singapore was already on his 12th attempt. That’s the kind of commitment long time contestants invest in this competition.
Day turned to night and eleven hours later, challenges were put forth to thin out the herd and really put the contestants’ determination to the test. Finally,nine emerged, and the last man standing was Juntie Torres.
The top 10 areMark Joseph Trinos, Alex Neblasca, Reggie Purugganan, Lyza Joyce Montejo, Donn Michael Yap, Jaspher H. Galura, Juntie G. Torres, Rheden G. Pinoliad, Carlo T. Talahib Sr. and Juan E. Furiscal Jr.
They all get to fly to Singapore this October 27 to November 1, and pit themselves against the best of the best from the other participating countries. We wish them luck and hope one of them wins the top prize.