QR Code Hunt @ Gabii sa Kabilin

(Rewritten/Live Blogged earlier) Me and my eldest son had a tiresome but wholesome experience in last nights’ Gabii sa Kabilin as we–father-&-s0n tandem joined with the rest of the nineteen teams in the first ever QR Code Hunt @ the Gabii sa Kabilin in Cebu City. As i rewrote this post, i was focusing on the tech-experience of my team and some inputs from other teams that i overheard regarding the technology we’d used during the entire race.


The QR Code Hunt is an Amazing Race-inspired race and had 11 pit stops in the entire race course scattered in churches, museums, and heritage sites that are part of the “Gabii sa Kabilin” which was happening last night in the City. Teams have to look for the next pit stop based on the clues provided by the scanned QR Code in each pit stop. In each pit stop, the teams have to perform a task as instructed in the scanned QR Code of the previous pit stop. The team has to upload the picture or video of their accomplished task to Facebook or Twitter. The uploaded image shall be checked by the pit stop master and the task shall be approved by the pit stop master before the teams can proceed to the next.

All successful  uploaded images were posted on my timeline.

At the start of the race, the teams were provided with a smart phone which they can use to login to Facebook and Twitter and for scanning the QR Codes in each pit stop. The mobile phones were all Samsung Galaxy Y and pre-loaded with credits from Smart Communications. The teams had to deposit all their belongings: bags, cell phones, and money (transpo allowance was provided) before the race started.


At Pit Stop #1

All the teams were instructed to login to Facebook and Twitter using the hash tag– #gabiisakabilin while at the Sacred Heart Church compound in D. Jakosalem Street–the location of the Pit Stop #1. However, many of the teams failed to upload their pics on Facebook which supposedly marked the log ins of the teams due to probably internet connection problem. Earlier, i had already checked in to Facebook Places while we were still at the briefing venue across the Sacred Heart Church but using my own Xperia arc S on Globe network.

We took the picture of the facade of the Sacred Heart Church as instructed and uploaded it to Facebook but uploading was failed.

At Pit Stop #2

Pit Stop #2 was a different story since we successfully uploaded the picture of our task at the Fo Guang Shan Chu Un Temple along V. Rama Avenue. (check my Timeline for the post)

At Pit Stop #3

We uploaded the picture of our task in Pit Stop #2 while we were riding a jeepney to the next Pit Stop at the Cebu City Museum along Osmeña blvd. We had also successfully uploaded the pic below of the “Mother and Child” painting by a local artist found inside the museum.(check the post in my Timeline)

At Pit Stop #4

The stop is just meters away–the Cebu Provincial Capitol where we took the blurry picture below and successfully uploaded it to Facebook while running to the next pit stop. (check the post in my Timeline)

At Pit Stop #5

We created a big mistake by taking a jeepney in proceeding to the next stop because we were caught by a heavy traffic along Gen.Maxilom Avenue. We ran towards M. J. Cuenco Avenue and took another ride to the former Cebu Provincial Jail which is now the Museo Sugbo. Nevertheless, we arrived the pit stop at 8th place among the 20 teams in the race and uploaded the marker of the museum below. (Check the post in my Timeline)

At Pit Stop #6

The next stop is also long and winding course–the Cebu Normal University where i tried learning to weave the “puso” using the coconut leaves. It took us too long to perform the task there. Our upload to Facebook had failed.

At Pit Stop #7

Another stop where we stuck for several minutes was at the Halad Museum along V. Gullas Street. The culprit–it took me several attempts to correctly sung the first four lines of “Matud Nila”. Ironically, i know how to sing the song but i entirely forgot the lyrics. At first, the pit stop master want us to sing the whole song and later allowed us to look for the lyrics somewhere inside the museum.

Surprisingly, there was no printed lyrics of the song among the memorabilla in the museum. Since i am familiar with the composer of the song–Ben Zubiri, so i was looking for the works of Zubiri. I saw an iPod player connected with a headphone under Ben Zubiri’s display and listen to the immortal Visayan Ballad–Matud Nila sung by Pilita Corales. I took note of the lyrics and went back to the pit master and successfully did the first four lines of the song.

Other teams searched for the lyrics on the laptop provided at the museum for the visitors to search for information on anything displayed there.

Our upload to Facebook had failed again for this pit stop.

At Pit Stop #8

Except for one team, all teams skipped this pit stop because it was wiser to be penalized by an additional 30 minutes than spending more than 30 minutes making 4 sets of rosary at the Metropolitan Cebu Cathedral Museum. No upload to Facebook also at this pit stop.

At Pit Stop #9

I consider myself a devotee of the image of Senior Sto. Niño, so it was easy for me to dance the “Pit Senyor” ritual along with a guide at this pit stop. We successfully uploaded the video taken while i did the prayer dance. Check my timeline for the video.

At Pit Stop #10

As we proceeded to the old Gotiaoco Building across Cebu City Hall where the proposed Chinese Heritage Museum shall be housed, we were greeted by the Pit Master with the sad news: “Time is up for you!” We were not able to finish the race as the three hours maximum duration of the race had already lapsed.

Since my intention of this post is only to limit my discussion on the technology we used during the race, i would wrap up this article focusing on the following:

  • The QR Code scanning
  • The mobile phone–Samsung Galaxy Y we used
  • The Smart Communication–the network we were connected the whole time

QR Code

QR Code generator This QR Code is a vCard representing my contact details.

The Quick Response Code, (Wikipedia) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside the industry due to its fast readability and large storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes.

Any generated QR Code can now be scanned by a smart phone using a QR Code reader app. Once the app is running, it uses the camera of the phone to read the black modules (square dots) on the QR Code print by placing the camera over the code.

We had difficulty in using the QR Code reader that was pre-installed on the phone. It was not so responsive as it takes a while before the reader completes the scanning. There was also an instance we lost the data of the QR code for our next task and we could not recover it from the history tab of the QR Code app. Another team complained their QR Code reader didn’t work. I couldn’t recall what QR Code reader app was pre-installed on the phone we used. I used to scan QR codes using the more efficient Inigma app on my Xperia phone.

Samsung Galaxy Y

The mobile phone we used–a Samsung Galaxy Y was pre-programmed to have the shortcuts for QR Code reader, Facebook, and Twitter on its menu. We made a quick familiarization of the unit just before the race and test the uploading to Facebook and posting to Twitter. The QR Reader was not tested until the race begun.

The Samsung Galaxy Y is a 3G/HDSPA phone with 7.2Mbps modem speed.It’s running on Android v2.3.5(Gingerbread) and a 830MHz ARMv6 CPU. But its 3-inch capacitive TFT display is not appropriate for my vision. I let my son handled the phone and read for me the clues scanned from the QR codes so that i could interpret it.

Smart Network

We relied on Smart network for our connectivity in the entire course race being the lead organizer of the QR Code Hunt. As i narrated above, there were instances that uploading of our pictures failed to land on my Timeline. I can’t totally attribute these to network connectivity issues since there were other factors to consider like we were on mobile–running, walking or riding while uploading the pictures after every task. Perhaps an exception was at the Start/Pit Stop #1 when many failed to upload to Facebook despite we were not moving at that time.

The top three finishers of the race were awarded with Nokia Lumia 710 from Smart Communication during the short program after the late dinner Friday at the Casa Gorordo–the last Pit Stop.

8 thoughts on “QR Code Hunt @ Gabii sa Kabilin

  1. Thank you for really editing and finishing this post, Sir Jun! I did not know you were the owner of this blog until I clicked on your Facebook timeline! =)

    For someone who isn’t really that into gadgets, I can’t really comment on the techy side of this post. But I truly enjoyed reading your experience during the QR Code Hunt.

    Just a question though, how was the application process to be able to join the race? Because I saw familiar faces like Mia Faridoon, Ms. Cebu 2011 and some famous runners (I assume since he was wearing an “Ungo Ug Dagan” tshirt ^_^). I also saw a friend who is a college student from UC too but I haven’t asked him yet..


    • The Ungo Runners tandem was one of the three finishers. I think they were the team #15 who finished second place. Mia was the one i am referring to that their QR Code reader didn’t function. We talked at Pit Stop #7. The first place is a tandem of ultra-marathoners from UP… 🙂


  2. Hi! Thank you for blogging about the QR Code Hunt during yesterday’s Gabii sa Kabilin! I was having my OJT at the Rizal Museum (QR Code Pit Stop #3) and along with my classmates, I witnessed the hype (and a little tension) the participants felt.

    I hope you would continue updating this post because I have been Googling more detailed information (like this post ^_^ ) about the QR Code Hunt but to no avail. Thank you again and I hope you had fun! ♥


    • Thanks, i’ll update/rewrite this post today. Got tangled with other chores now. I’ll be rewriting this but with concentration on the technology we used during the event. It was tiring experience but fulfilling. Thanks again for visiting my site.


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