Celebrity best friends LJ Moreno and CJ Jaravata recounted the triumphs and struggles they encountered in 13 weeks of racing around the Philippines. The two girls emerged as the first ever winners of The Amazing Race Philippines (TARP), which recently concluded on TV5.
The reunion episode, hosted by Derek Ramsey, was aired last Saturday, December 15. LJ and CJ recounted the challenges that eventually led them to snatching the top spot in the final leg that took place in Samal Island, Davao.
The two girls were able to beat two other teams: Marc Dungo & Kat Tan (team gym buddies) and Fausto Reyes & Dayal Chowdary Jr (team magbayaw).
During the 12th leg that took place in Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan, and CJ were kind enough to let Marc & Kat ride in the same jeep that they were in, allowing their competitors to catch up with them.
LJ recalled: “Marc & Kat were definitely our toughest competitor, palagi kami nag-nu-number 2! Then nung may chance kami mag number 1, tinulungan pa namin sila.”
CJ added, “Maawain kasi kami, 7 kilometers na daw ang nilakad nila. We forgot that we were in a race.”
The team celebrity friends were able to beat 10 other teams in the "karera ng bayan" that took place in 13 cities around the Philippines. Both self-proclaimed fans of The Amazing Race, CJ & LJ admitted that joining the race was a dream come true for them.
“Not only did CJ watch The Amazing Race Asia, she also watched The Amazing Race U.S. from seasons 1 to 20…basta to the last season,” LJ revealed about her friend.
CJ revealed, “It’s not that I did my homework, but I watch the show talaga when it’s on. Tapos pag bored ako, manonood pa ako sa YouTube. Addict talaga sa Amazing Race!”
CJ and LJ managed a come from behind win after landing in the third spot at the previous leg. As luck would have it, plane schedules brought the game on equal footing and the two girls raced their way through Davao with minimal problems along the way.
“The good thing about this race, lagi ko sinasabi, is that every leg, no matter what place you’re in, you’ll always have a chance kasi maraming pwedeng mangyari. And not one person is good in all the tasks that you do. Halo-halo yan. So kahit sino kaya ito. Basta ilagay mo lang ang puso mo and your mind to it,” says CJ.
CJ was instrumental in the team’s success during their final leg since she completed both roadblocks impressively. The first roadblock, a memory challenge, significantly increased their lead time against the two remaining teams. The second roadblock, however, brought the pretty model to tears as she struggled to ride a motorcycle in rough terrain.
“Advice that I can give those to want to join TARP? Never give up! Siya nga kahit muntik na siya mamatay… never give up!” said LJ, as she referred to CJ’s accidents during the motorcycle roadblock.
CJ added: “Amazing Race is a combination of wit, yung brains, of course, skill, at saka definitely physical andyan din yun, at saka luck also. Kailangan may kasamang luck din 'yan, e.”
What do they plan to do with the P2 million peso prize money?
LJ plans to use her money to buy appliances for a new kitchen and treat her staff to a Boracay vacation. Meanwhile, CJ wants to save the money for her 15-year-old daughter Phoebe.
LJ pointed out: “I have a cake shop, small lang naman staff ko, like 10 or less. Gusto ko silang dalhin sa Boracay. Some of them hindi pa nakakasakay ng plane, so gusto ko ma-experience nila yun. Saka gusto ko sa okay na hotel para ma-experience din nila yung first class na hotel and everything.”
CJ, on the other hand, wants to save the money for her daughter but will definitely pamper herself a bit too.
“I’m going to save money for my daughter’s future. Siyempre tuition fees…siyempre ang hirap ng mag-isa lang ako nagpapalaki ng bata. I don’t have support from someone. But I’ll definitely pamper myself too,” said the single mother.
The Amazing Race Philippines is a race around the country that brought them to several beautiful destinations in the Philippines. These includes Pampanga, Benguet, Davao, Cebu, Albay, Palawan, and Ilocos Sur.