Makati’s freshly gentrified Poblacion has been steadily gaining popularity among the hip and young set of Metro Manila. In just a radius of a few blocks surrounding the Kalayaan Avenue and Burgos St. intersection, one can find a good number of small but spunky bars and restaurants that are each doing their own thing. Because of the bar’s proximity to each other, it’s not uncommon to find revelers walking the narrow streets on their way to one bar after another. And why not? Each one has a unique personality and an experience in itself. Therein lies the charm of Poblacion.

So, on a balmy Saturday night, just a couple of weeks before summer’s last hurrah, Don Papa Rum gathered a small group of urban adventurers for a boozy amazing race through Poblacion’s popular night spots. The group was divided into three teams and given a map of Poblacion. In less than two hours, the teams must go to five bars, accomplish the tasks at each stop and sample the bars’ original Don Papa Rum cocktail, and get back to the starting point before the time is up. The race is deceptively simple until the contestants get to the clues themselves. The primary challenge is thinking straight after downing a few cocktails already, but therein lies the fun.

Stop 1: Agimat 

Who Am I?

It all starts with humble beginnings.

Raised by rough hands for

a proper upbringing.

All my glory. I owe to the Field.

The Sun and the Earth.

I thank for my yield.

I travel the world in

white and brown suits.

But back in the fields.

I find my roots.

Answer: Sugarcane

Agimat’s Hacienda de Flora is a nod to Don Papa’s roots in the sugarcane fields. It’s just got the right amount of sweetness, tempered by the apple kalingag, making it a refreshing start to the evening’s amazing race.

Agimat’s Hacienda de Flora with Don Papa Rum, sugarcane syrup, sugarcane juice, lime juice, and apple kalingag.

Stop 2: Alamat

The Don loves a game and a jolly good time. What better challenge than a tongue-twisting rhyme? Recite each verse without any pause, no hesitation, laughter or flaws.

Kakakanan lang sa kangkungan

Sa may kakahuyan ni Ken ken

Habang Kumakain ng Kakaibang

Kakanin Kahapon.

Palakang kabkab.

Kumakalabukab.

Kaka-kalabukab pa lamang.

Kumakalabukab na naman.

Alamat’s oversized serving (at least’s it’s for “sharing”) of Azucarera de Papa is a tangy take on Don Papa. Refreshing and easy to drink, it’s just what one needs for running down the streets of Poblacion on an extra humid late summer evening.

Alamat’s Azucarerar de Papa, a tart concoction with Don Papa rum, fermented pandan and sugarcane, a twist of lemon, sugarcane juice, and basil and lemongrass served with a lot of ice.

Stop 3: Polilya 

Blending involves precision and balance;

Requiring heart, mind, and talent.

Straight from the barrel and into the mix.

Crafted in the depths of the lush tropics.

Finish your tipple and have a think.

What can be found inside this drink?

A twist to the tropical classic and very popular piña colada, Polilya made the contestants guess what’s in their cocktail apart from the usual ingredients of a piña colada.

Polilya’s Piña Colada harks to the beach with Don Papa Rum, coconut milk, pineapples, and oranges; Ñ’s cocktail with Don Papa Rum, pineapple juice, lemon juice, elderflower liqueur, orgeat and house blend bitters

Stop 4: Ñ 

Accuracy is crucial. So I hope you like math!

A good sense of numbers is key to this craft.

Ten factories produce rum. The second produced twice as much as the first. The third and the fourth each generated 80 more than the first. The fifth produced twice as much as the second. The sixth produced 40 more than the fifth. The seventh and eighth each produced 40 less than the fifth. The ninth produced 80 more than the second. The tenth produced nothing due to drought. If the sum of the production equaled 11,700 liters of rum, how much did the first factory produce?

Answer: 500 liters (but getting to the answer is half the fun!)

Don Papa made the teams work hard with this math problem, but the reward is a unique and alluringly fragrant cocktail created especially for the evening’s race. It has no name and, if pressed, the bartender will name it after you.

Stop 5: Social

Five little creatures hiding around.

Find only one and finish your round.

For the final stop, the teams had to cross to the other side of Kalayaan avenue for The Social on Ebro, a compact food park with a bar at its center. The teams had to hunt for stuffed birds before being awarded the final drink of the night: The Don Papa Punch, an official sweet end to the race.

Don Papa Punch has Don Papa Rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, Grenadine, Angostura bitter, and simple syrup
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