The Philippine travel scene has definitely grown tremendously that I’m glad that independent productions are starting to share their own travel stories by taking advantage of the current technology. My focus is on a three travel shows done independently, gone are the large networks so-so take on “travel shows” plastered with their poster-boys but haven’t really offered anything new. Now it’s time for ordinary people to show what they can do with style and flair.
The Premise: 8 Travellers grouped in pairs. Sent to unknown destinations and given challenges they didn’t expect at the duration of their trips. Will they succumb to the challenges? Will the pair get along or end up on each other’s necks? Either way they’ll be exploring breathtaking destinations while immersing into the surprise challenges given to them.
Impressions: PHL360 was conceptualized by a group of travellers mostly from the blogging industry and now backed up by Primer Group of Companies and Dispatch Media. Based on the teasers, the production is indeed top-notch and each of the cast have their reputable following already so it would be exciting to actually see them in front of the camera this time around and see their group dynamics. Knowing how twisted the mind of the crew behind this web series, we can always expect the unexpected which is definitely the spice of the show.
Show Details: Launching this June 2012. It will be a weekly travel web-series in a 15-minute segment to be shown at www.phl360.com
The Last Wild Place
The Premise: 4 friends travel to the most off-the-beaten places in the Philippines. The show would document their journeys in the hidden corners of the country taking in mind responsible travel and to bring awareness and preservation of our last remaining natural wonders and resources.
Impressions: The title definitely caught my attention. What are the “last wild places” in the country? The destinations are given but what will they find there? What would be their experiences? Learned from their media launch that their focus is on slow travel, with destination shoots running for 2 weeks each. The show is also backed by, ironically, a large mining company, Philex. The teaser was also well produced and it indeed showed some exciting snippets of adventure and breathtaking sceneries.
Show Details: The show would be seen on TV. Network to be announced. Target release date is on July 2012. Last Wild Place is currently doing a casting call, so if you want to be part of their season ender episode check this link. Also more info on their website www.lastwildplace.ph
The Premise: A semi-documentary show that showcases the compelling destinations in the Philippines like Batad, Coron, Taal, Siquijor and Mt Pulag. Host Ginggay Hontiveros will be there every step of the way as she looks with unobtrusive eyes to understand the culture and heritage of the place aside from its natural wonders.
Impression: This is a departure from the reality travel show from PHL360 and Last Wild Place with its documentary format. The trailer does give a more serious tone but the production and dramatic cinematography looks great. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the preview screening the other night. This 6-part series would be shown in the local feed of National Geographic which says something about the quality.
Details: This 6-part 1 hour episode each is scheduled to be shown in National Geographic 3rd week of June 2012
Now we just have to wait for their actual first episodes to see past all this hype of their teasers and actually capture us as an audience. Personally I don’t think any travel show can capture the authentic travel experience with all the crew tagging along, but what makes a show effective is how it depicts the setting through great cinematography, elicit mood with appropriate choice of music, insights about a place and most especially the character dynamics, how he or they become our anchor and keeps us interested to come along the journey. Some qualities I’ve seen in such shows like Hidden Cities, Somewhere in China, Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservation, Bear Gryll’s Man vs Wild or even GMA 7’s Born to Be Wild and Howie Severino’s documentaries.
But then again, these shows were done on a measly budget and for the simple love of adventure and travel and care for our environment and heritage. I hope more independent production would join the fore as these shows, based on the teaser trailers, can spur the wanderlust in each of us.