Islands Insider: On how Nat Geo portrays the 7,107 islands of the Philippines

So after a hellish week for me, I decided to spend the sleepy Sunday morning  with some remote hogging and couch-hugging. It’s a rare moment for me; I’m seldom at home and whenever I am, my mom and her friends are in tune with their favorite teleseryes, reality shows and variety shows. hay, how typical Filipino. My mom isn’t even aware that her all-time favorite star Sharon Cuneta’s shows are aired non-stop in Cinema One all day long. (One channel only exists for her and that’s Channel ***!)

My dad’s another thing though. He’s a fan of Discovery Channel, Nat Geo and History Channel.If there’s one thing I owned him, it’s my geekiness and enduring interests in basically everything. But lately, all he’s been watching are the shows from History Channel that they eventually bore me. (But the shows are good! For one thing, HC featured the Maguindanao Massacre and the Manila Hostage Massacre with incredible analysis and in-depth interview of the survivors)

Okay, I admit I am pretty desperate on seeing my homeland in some foreign documentary feature (I am relatively jealous of Malaysia in its “Malaysia, Truly Asia” song which gets stuck in your head all day long. Since the golden age of WOW Philippines, I’ve never seen an ad that’s so creative and original)

And so, one day I was hogging down the channels after a bloody battle with my brothers over the remote, I stumbled upon National Geographic’s Islands Insider. I was stunned when I saw the name: Coron on its header, and even more amazed that the natives of the islands and Filipino experts are being interviewed complete with subtitles (hah, as if I ever need one!)

The show features the wonderful, amazing sights in Coron, Palawan and more importantly, the people who have been calling this their home ever since they and their ancestors can remember.

Even the logo’s pretty badass

I made a little research and found out that Islands Insider exclusively features the many islands of the Philippines..only. It’s more of a travel documentary that aired last June 23 and follows host Ginggay Hontiveros in travelling the different parts of the country, unraveling diverse culture and ethnic tribes. It’s divided into 6 parts, with the 2 earlier episodes featuring the Batad Rice Terraces and Coron.

Its writer-director Gabby Malvar is one of the renowned Filipino travel writers out there who promotes Responsible Tourism as a way of enjoying the new sights and experiences the Philippines has to offer. He urged travelers out there not to go to Boracay or Bohol or the underground river or any overly-populated tourist spots because these places need ample time to regenerate its resources and beauty. Furthermore, he encouraged them to stay out of the popular itinerary and go explore the country’s hidden beauty on their own.

I like him already.

Furthermore, he’s also amazed of the fact that even if foreigners are appreciating the country’s inherent beauty, on a local level, we Filipinos are yet to fully-recognize our country’s potential. When it comes to tourist spots, our imaginations are only limited to the pristine beaches of Boracay or the Underground River; there are still wonderful sights out there that we fail to recognize because it isn’t as well-known as the overrated ones.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWV1enEfL80&feature=player_embedded]

Back to the Islands Insider, the show’s pretty interesting. The shots are good, the script well-written. It made me want to go out there and travel the whole Philippines right away!

Someday, I want to be a part of the team like those of the Islands Insider crew. I want to go out there and proclaim how beautiful my country is! Kudos to the Islands Insider Team, you have done a good job honoring the Philippines with all the recognition it truly deserves.

Stay tuned for another episode tonight at National Geographic channel, 8:30 PM. Early Sunday replays are also available as it is in my case. My whole family’s going to watch the Finale of Pinoy Big Brother tonight on local channel. My life sucks!



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