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Friday, May 28, 2010

My First Ever CouchSurfing Manila Activity

This same time last week, I remember, I was with my team (Team Mikoy) running around the Metro. My first ever CS Manila Activity is the CS Manila Summer Scramble!

Just to give a short background about how I came across the CouchSurfing. Well, basically I learned about it when I was researching about Thailand. I was viewing a couple of travel web sites and blogs and stumbled upon an album of a CS member here in multiply. I read about it and the idea was so appealing to me. I thought for a while if I should join or not. After reading some more, I have then decided to join and so check it out. I registered on January of this year.

So I joined a few groups. Posted some questions about my trip to Thailand and it was good I got a few responses in a span of a day or two. Looks promising.

I usually just viewed the posts in the groups and was still hesitant to join in the activities knowing I don't know anyone. However, I get to read about their Summer Scramble last year. And being an aspiring 'Amazing Race' contestant, it got me interested to join this year's activity. And so I did. I've registered as soon as I knew the date.

I honestly have no idea what could be in store for me. But the idea of doing the race, a race around the city sounds soooo exciting! I know I don't know much about different places especially in the city but hey, I can probably try and google them up with my phone. LOL

So after registering for the Summer Scramble, I get to be paired with another CS member and then towards the day of the race, the pairs are joined to form 4 members in a group. This got me excited again. I know I was supposed to prepare but I didn't. I wasn't all to aware that the race is harder than what I thought!

The day of the race came and I was all prepared I think. One of my team mates has sent me instructions and what things to bring. I was even supposed to bring a map! haha!


Ok so on the day itself, I went to QC Memorial Circle. Meeting time is 9:30 but I guess I arrived there before 9am. I didn't want to be late or anything for my first CS Activity!

People start coming at around 9:15am. I've met my team mates and a few other CS member who were so welcoming to a newbie like me! It was overwhelming how they knew each and everyone.

I was in the team with Totto and Jay. Our other team member Mikoy was a little late so we had a substitute for him, Mark who is from London and resides in Cavite. So I'm the only girl in the group...


The CS organizers headed by Ronnie started to read the rules and then we had a few more photo ops. Everyone was all too excited by the looks of their faces. I'm excited too!

The race started at 10am. As soon as the first clue is given, everybody started running fiercely to get to the clue! I on the other hand, by the rush of adrenaline also joined in the running but I was such slow turtle compared to how fast they zoomed into the clues! I followed my team mates! Waaaaaah! Jay had to check up on me and take my bag so I can run faster. Thanks to him!


So the first clue leads us to go to Tomas Morato. Had to find something in the clue card. It's Ronnie holding two eggs. I haven't been to Tomas Morato to say what it could be. Totto was quick to say it's Heaven and Eggs! but we didn't find was actually 'I have two eggs'.

The next clue brought us running to the Triangle in the middle of the intersection. Totto and Jay got there to figure out where we head next. I was so tired by this time actually. It was so hot and the running in the first leg made me a little sprainy!

The clue tells us to go and find some kind of intersection - Sct. Torillo!

Then the next gets us going to the MRT station to head to Makati Ave and find Sultan Kudarat! Dang...I go to Makati everyday and I don't even know there's a statue of Sultan Kudarat along Makati Ave!

After looking for the statue, we were supposed to go find the Nielsen Tower. We took the cab hailed by Totto. The driver knew all too well were that tower is and said it should be at the airport. We gave in and put our confidence in him.

We have quite a long time spent inside the cab and had a chit chat with the rest of the guys.

I enjoyed the rest and the refreshed my tired spirit! LOL

We got to the Nielsen Tower the driver told us, but it was the wrong one! We just realised it was just along Makati Ave. We had to google and yes indeed we got to the wrong place.

We have to travel back to Makati and we are now 100% that we are the last group.

Ok we arrived in Makati after like 45 mins I think. And happy to see that the clue givers are still in their post! Thanks for patiently waiting!

The next stop is to go to the Salcedo Weekend Market. Alas! It's time for lunch is it?

We arrived last as we expected. But Jay has to do some eating challenge before we get to rest. Our time is 12:30. We have to leave after 1 hour for the next clue to be given.

We had an hour to rest and grab lunch. I had a beef empanada and melon juice which is quite good to keep me up and going. It was also cool to discover the Salcedo weekend market. I've never been there before and it was a nice place to check out great stuff! I wanna go back there sometime soon!

At 1:30 we left the Salcedo market to head to the next stop. We are directed to go to Dangwa as the clue suggests an intersection after the two pen name of Rizal...that's Laong Laan and Dimasalang. So we are also learning some history here!

We got to the flower shop and we are now given clue to go to the Chinese Cemetery! Well, it's another first time for me to go that place. There is a temple where we need to offer the flowers.

We need to head next to the Eco Park. We thought it was the last stop and since we are quite sure we are the last we didn't do much effort to get there as fast as we could.

We just walked back to get a taxi. Luckily, a family offered us a ride to Sto. Domingo! All tired and sweaty we happily jumped in!

A little hungry and thirsty, we checked in at KFC to get food. At this time, we are now lazily walking. But we have no idea that the race isn't over yet!

Next stop is at La Mesa Eco Park. And as usual, I've never been there. We were expecting the game to be over so we were just looking around if they are all now just waiting for us.

Until we still saw some CSers running...woah! It wasn't over yet!

There's was actually some more activities around the Eco Park! We still got to the flower garden, to the lagoon and figure it out from the numbers at the back of the clue cards. We missed the swimming match and the boat lagoon as it's closed already.

And whola! We still finished 11th (out of 12 teams!) We weren't expecting that.

So we got to the finish line, everybody was already resting...haha

I immediately sat down. I was tired and sore! But it was worth the fun, experience and new people I've met.

Candie another CSer offered to let us in their home to have shower and change clothes.

There was a post-race party at another CSers place - Tin. We capped off the night with fun stories and laughter. I was happy to meet new faces and share that fun filled experience.

This blog is actually not enough to document everything but all I can say is that I've enjoyed my first CS event. The CS Manila community is definitely a whole bunch of fun loving peeps!

I got home by sharing a ride with Brenda. She is such a well-travelled CSer too!

So there you go! I'm looking forward to adding more of these CS events in my list! Till next blog! Carpe Diem!

Some are mine, some are from Mark, from other CS Members

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