I follow Survivor Philippines Palau every night (M-F) at 10pm on GMA-7. I enjoy watching how the producers were able to ‘filipinize’ the franchise in its 2nd season, especially the different reward (and the prizes that come with it) and immunity challenges (as against the first season which copied most of its tasks from the US version.) By this time, the castaways are down to 10 but with an 11th (Justine) waiting over at Isla Purgatoryo (or Snake Island – the place where those voted off in previous weeks are given a second chance at getting back into the main camp for the tribal merge happening in a week or two) for the chance to re-join the competition.
A number of twists happened early on in the game such as the 3rd-week shuffling of tribes, a sudden tribal mix during one reward challenge and the secrets of Isla Purgatoryo (only cast-offs are aware of its existence) that made the reality show more engaging.
The post-tribal shuffle Koror tribe (Marvin, Suzuki, Echo, Shaun, Amanda and Jef) is enjoying immense popularity among viewers, especially that its members have won one challenge after another and were able to hold on to the immunity idol more times than Airai which gradually depleted the latter’s manpower in successive tribal councils. Koror is also endearing in the sense that they are more organized as a team, more orderly in the upkeep of their camp and (much) less friction (and clash) among personalities. It also helps that the blooming romance between Marvin and Jef added a dash of romantic angle to an otherwise challenge-filled stay in the islands.
On the other hand, the remains of the post-tribal shuffle Airai Tribe (Cris, Mika, Tara and Charles) are always on the losing end with their struggling teamwork, constant backbiting, and disorderly camp surroundings. Sure, Airai makes for good TV viewing, but in the end, its the more positively-directed tribe that will most likely carry itself solid to the tribal merge.
Last week, a new twist was introduced – camp switching. To the dismay of the Koror tribe, they discovered how messy and unkempt the Airai camp was. Despite such, they pooled their efforts to clean up and make the place more liveable. The experience of Airai, though, was more heavenly because they tremendously enjoyed the very clean grounds, the sleeping beds (with foam mattresses won from a challenge) and adequate food supply at Koror camp. I’m sure this new development is meant to create some kind of a war between tribes which will augur well come the unification of the two.
But they will be in for another surprise as the surviving cast-off from Isla Purgatoryo (which should be known right before the merge) will come reeling his/her ugly head to join the fray once more. The transsexual Justine (who was the first to be voted out) is holding strong to this second opportunity as she has already defeated five cast-offs while waiting for the next one (Louie, whose flame was extinguished by host Paolo Bediones last Friday night, was her latest victim) later this week to hopefully make it six-in-a-row. She and Jumbo (a golden retriever who accompanies the cast-off on Snake Island) have gotten along so well with each other that it will sadden me if they part ways after more than two weeks of togetherness.
In answering my own blog question, I am a Koror fan through and through. Right now, my Top 2 bets to take it all the way to the finals are Marvin and Echo, barring any unforeseen circumstances that could go against their favor.
To GMA-7, more surprises please!
Here’s a video of a previous episode of Survivor Philippines Palau which introduced Isla Purgatoryo to the TV audience:
video courtesy of YouTube/gmapublicaffairs
images above courtesy of SurvivorPhilippines.tv