Team PH wins Country Team Prize
The 2016 Mediacorp Subaru Car Challenge finally came to a close at around 5:00p.m. last Tuesday, November 8, with 38-year-old Singaporean Sunawr Ali Idris Ali emerging as the big winner of a brand new Subaru XV 1.6L I-S without COE (Certificate of Entitlement – applicable only to Singaporean residents) worth SG $69,600.
After falling short of the prize when he finished in 2nd back in 2013, the relentless 12-time repeat challenger was finally hailed overall champion with a total standing time of 75 hours and 58 minutes – a remarkable feat for an average citizen, who like all the other participants, was only given measly 5-minute breaks every six hours of standing out in the open, with palm fastened on a Subaru car.
There to present the grand prize were Executive Director of Tan Chong International Limited – Motor Image Group’s mother company – Glenn Tan & Head of Mediacorp’s Family English Segment, Debra Soon.
It was truly a nail-biting, fourth and final day of the competition as the triple A’s – namely: Ali, last female standing ‘Analiza’ Bte Mokhtar, and the Philippines’ very own ‘Alex’ Neblasca battled it out for first place at the car challenge grounds in Ngee Ann City’s Civic Plaza – located right in front of Takashimaya Mall in Singapore.
Thirty-eight-year-old Analiza, who is also Singaporean, would have been the second female winner to ever win the Palm Challenge grand prize in 15 years, should she have championed the event. Sadly, she was outlasted by Ali by a very lean margin (her time was 75 hours & 57 mins), keeping her stuck in 2nd place – exactly the same place she finished back in 2014!
Meanwhile, our very own 34-year-old Alex Neblasca finished 3rd in the competition, clocking in an impressive 73 hours & 50 minutes – beating his all-time personal record and earning himself a cash prize of SG$2,000. He also won the Philippine Country Prize (country prizes are awarded to the last person standing of each participating country team, with the exception of Singapore), which is worth SG$1,000; and was hailed the Asian Winner (the Asian Winner is the last person standing amongst all the other regional participants – including Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and the Philippines) which won him an additional SG$5,000.
Alex recounts that on the fourth day, he was already hallucinating as he was convinced that he was standing in the middle of a barren desert. Truth of the matter was, the rays of the sun were penetrating that day, and he stood in a position that was in direct sunlight; unlike the two other competitors who had the benefit of the shade. It was Alex’s eighth time to participate in the Grand Finals in Singapore.
But perhaps one of the favorite highlights of this year’s Mediacorp Subaru Car Challenge is the amazing triumph of Team Philippines in bagging the Country Team Prize. The Country Team Prize is awarded to the country whose challengers collectively clock in the most number of standing hours in the game. Simply put, they add all the hours of each member of the team, and the country with the highest combined score wins. Unfortunately for the Philippines, one Filipino finalist was unable to make it to Singapore, and therefore it handicapped the team score by immediately registering a zero for the no-show!
Despite many other teams and spectators teasing the Philippines that they just lost their chance to win this award, our Philippine team rose above the challenge and conquered the Country Team Prize – worth SG$10,000, to be split equally among its members – with their collective standing time of 490 hours 42 minutes—much to their rivals’ dismay.
It is times like these that makes this writer feel extra proud to be Filipino – we are a resilient people, and hurdles like these are never enough to break our spirit. (A. Rivero, PS)