The Philippine team had a strong showing at the Last Palm Standing – the 18th Subaru Palm Challenge, bagging the Country Team honors in the process thanks to a combined time of 424 hours and 54 minutes.
The 2019 team, consisting of Donn Marc Pantaleon, Carlo Talahib, Isaah Locsin, Mark Guballa, Cyrus Corpuz, Lordgie Vallente Reggie Purugganan, Nikko Paolo Blancada, Filmark Bernante, and Joaquin Ireneo Fabros, battled the intense heat and humidity in Ngee Ann City, Singapore. The team started strong initially, standing complete after the first 24 hours (the only country to do so). It was only on Day 2 when the team started falling victim to Singapore’s unrelenting climate.
Joaquin Ireneo Fabros was the last Filipino standing and for that, he’s declared as the Country Winner champion as well.
For their collective efforts, the Philippine Team amassed enough combined time to walk away from Singapore with the title of Country Team honors and with that, SGD 10,000 (~P 342,000) which will be divided equally among the contestants. Fabros gets an additional SGD 1,000 (~P 34,200) for being the last Filipino standing with a time of 64 hours and 51 minutes.
“This annual event has grown from strength to strength and emerged as one of the most highly-anticipated endurance competitions in Asia. Through this deceptively simple but immensely grueling contest, we hope to inspire more people to push themselves beyond their limits and achieve their biggest goals, as aligned with the philosophy behind the Subaru brand,” said Debra Soon, head of Group Corporate Management at Tan Chong International Limited, parent company of Motor Image.
In the end though, it was Thai Siripong Toosadee who took the overall crown after 76 hours and 55 minutes and 5 seconds. Besting 399 other hopefuls from nine Asian countries, the 41-year old and six-time Subaru Palm Challenge veteran beat Vietnamese Luu Van Quoc. Toosadee brings home a brand-new Subaru Forester 2.0i-L as well as the title of Asian Winner and Thailand Country Winner.
Toosadee is only the second non-Singaporean to win one of Asia’s toughest endurance challenges. To win the brand-new Forester, Toosadee, like all other contestants had to place their right palms firmly within the surface area of the palm decals, and be the last one standing. They were given a five-minute break every six hours throughout the competition.
After four days of battling fatigue and enduring high humidity under the scorching sun and a short spell of rain on the last day, Toosadee was visibly emotional when he was crowned the winner.