This past weekend saw the Philippine Face-Off of the Palm Challenge take place during the 2019 Subaru Festival. After the dust settled, and with a lot of rain, determination, and true grit, the top 10 finalists were officially named for the PH delegation in the Finals that will be held in Singapore this November.
Even the unpredictable weather was not enough to sway more than 100 individuals from joining the challenge. In the end, it was a good mix of veterans and newbies who made it to the top. After more than 8 hours of keeping their palms planted, plus a few challenges thrown their way, 3 veterans from last year - Filmark Bernante, Carlo Talahib, and Mark Guballa – saw it to the end.
The surprise is that 2 bets from 2017’s winners’ circle, Rheden Pinoliad and Mark Joseph Trinos, did not make it. The real battle, though, seemed to be between veteran Reggie Purugganan and newcomer Nikko Blancada, who tried to best each other for the top spot, and the PhP 12,000 cash prize for the one who had the longest time with his hand on the outlined stickers.
The Philippine contingent will be composed of the following individuals: Reggie Purugganan, Nikko Paolo Blancada, Don Marc Gerard Pantaleon, Lordgie Vallente, Isaah Kevin Locsin, Filmark Bernante, Mark Alber Guballa, Joaquin Ireneo Fabros, Carlo Talahib, and Cyrus Corpuz.
The 10 Filipino finalists are now set to represent the Philippines in the final round of the Subaru Palm Challenge from November 2 to 5 at Singapore. The 18th edition of one of Asia’s largest and toughest endurance competitions will be held at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza.
Will this finally be the year, after coming so close in the past Challenges, that a Filipino will win the Subaru Palm Challenge? Let’s hope that it’s time.