I received an e-mail one morning from Wrangler congratulating me for being a finalist and that they are inviting me to a small send off party but before that, I should drop by at the Glorietta to pick some clothes and meet the other finalists. Yes, it sounds exactly like a movie. You win a competition and you go pick up clothes head to a bar then party. I kept on joking while I was at the store that there should be a soundtrack for all of this and the song that I had in mind was “I’m gonna be a supermodel”.
The schedule was really tight, I received the e-mail just two days before the party and a day after that were going to have to prepare for our 5 day journey. Excited was not really the feeling that I was having, I was stressing myself a lot t since theres a lot of things to finish at work and I also have to plan for the ride all at the same time. The timeframe was so short that I have to cram a lot of things in one day.
The store was bigger than I expected. I met some of the marketing representatives from Wrangler which to my surprise were all females and they introduced me to the other finalist and told me that I can start picking up the clothes, the requirements are 5 pants, 3 jackets and 5 tops that could either be a long or short sleeved polo shirt or just a t-shirt. The amount of clothes were daunting for me, I have never in my life shopped this much clothes in one go.
The other finalist started coming in and we had some casual conversations while we were choosing the clothes, after fitting 3 pants, 2 jackets and 4 shirts, I already felt exhausted. Good thing the female sales person accompanying me was kind enough to give me suggestions, I owe her big time, she was really really patient with me to the point that I felt like she was my “stylist” as I just let her decide the clothes for me granted that they are just plain without any prints or patterns whatsoever. It took almost two hours for me to complete all the required clothes and another hour of waiting for others to finish, then we were off to the party.
The mall was already closed by the time we finished and the Wrangler marketing ladies asked us which of us would be riding with them on the Wrangler Wanderers Van. Yes, there’s a dedicated van for us, well for the competition. We got out of the mall and waited a bit, then just like in the movies it parked in front of us with all the Wrangler branding, all i can say is “Whoa!”.
We got in and it drove us to a bar called “URBN”, somewhere in the posh places of Taguig. Now, I don’t do this. I don’t visit bars like this nor drink expensive liquor. Just give me 2 or 3 bottles of ice cold beer and I’m good. But tonight was different I was in a bar or a club, I really don’t know the difference to be honest. There are I think 3 bottles of alcohol in front of me and I have no idea what they are and I’m in the company of strangers well “Wanderers”. I just asked for a beer and started talking to the other finalists, they were a cool bunch of people. I have to give credit to whoever got us together as we were very diverse. Our backgrounds were really different from each other, from a musician/samba instructor to mother of 2 who’s advocacy is to do charity rides.
I know we are all vying for the same thing, that is to win the competition. But that night didn’t really feel like I was sitting around people who I was competing with, rather it felt like I was around people who I would go riding with. At one point someone said that it doesn’t really matter who wins the KTM Duke 390, just being here can already be considered a win, which I nodded to.
We all went our separate ways as we all have work the next morning. On the cab, I realised something very important. I have been stressing myself out trying to figure out how to win that it already felt like that I was losing myself and I didn’t like it. I stepped back a bit and just told myself, “Just do what you do and do it the best way you can, because in the end you don’t win by losing yourself”.
I arrive home relaxed… and ready for the 05 day ride.