Nagbabalik ang reality show ng GMA-7 na Survivor Philippines para sa ikalawang season nito, ang Survivor Philippines: Palau.
Kung sa first season ng Survivor Philippines ay sa isang portion lang ng Executive Lounge sa 17th floor ng GMA Network Center ginanap ang presscon at piling-pili lamang ang mga inimbitang entertainment press, ngayong second season ay sa napakalaking Studio 5 na ng Kapuso Network ginawa ang grand launch nito kagabi, August 13.
Last season ay ang host ng programa na si Paolo Bediones lang ang humarap sa press nung presscon, at nakausap lang ng press ang mga castaways matapos silang ma-vote out. This season, nagpakita at nagpakilala mismo ang 16 castaways ng Survivor Philippines: Palau.
Pero pagkatapos ng presentation nila ay hindi na pinahintulutan ang entertainment press na kausapin o magtanong sa kanila. Sinabi ni Paolo na makakausap lamang ng press ang castaways kapag na-vote na sila upang masiguro ang confidentiality ng magiging outcome ng show.
Pagkatapos ng presentation ng 16 castaways ay isa-isang sinagot ni Paolo ang mga tanong ng entertainment press tungkol sa Survivor Philippines: Palau.
Binanggit ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) kay Paolo ang pagkakaiba ng presscon ng first season ng Survivor Philippines sa presscon ngayong second season. Mas malaki at mas marami ang inimbitang entertainment press. Tinanong namin kung ang ibig bang sabihin nito ay mas mataas ang expectations ngayong season at kung confident sila na mas maganda ito kumpara sa first season, na naging very successful.
"I think when all of us, when we started the second season, we knew expectations will be high," sagot ni Paolo. "And at the same time, we're very happy that in the first season, we were able to prove that it was possible that we can make this successful... And with the ratings, and with the reception, and with the response of the people, nakita nating talaga namang karapat-dapat na may pangalawang season... We knew the expectation would be high, and just like the castaways, we take upon the challenge. Sobra akong excited sa season na 'to because it's bigger, better, and more exciting."
THE NEW LOCATION. Kung ang first season ng Survivor Philippines ay ginawa sa Thailand, ngayong second season ay sa Palau naman dinala ang 16 castaways. Ang Palau ay bahagi ng Micronesia at isa sa island nations sa Pacific Ocean.
Ipinaliwanag ni Paolo kung bakit ang Palau ang napili nilang location para sa ikalawang season ng Survivor Philippines.
Aniya, "Palau is one of the most favorite destinations of... Even Survivor CBS host Jeff Probst, he was asked what destination would you like to go back to for vacation, for work, he mentioned Palau. So we had several options ready, but we wanted a place that was nearby and yet the environment is unlike anything you see on TV.
"Yes, you see it on travel shows. But you see it on Survivor Philippines environment, it totally changes the look of Palau, the feel of Palau for us as a viewer. When we were there, sobrang inspiring yung tubig, the location and the challenges... It's unbelievable! We cannot wait to see what it looks like on TV.
"Palau, we chose also because of its practicality. Mas malapit sa Pilipinas, 500 miles away lang. There were flights every other day to get to Palau. There were also the people we have worked with, yung mga tinatawag nating Palauans, the natives of the country. And we got the support of the president of Palau, Johnson Toribiong... Matindi ang suporta ng Palau sa Survivor Philippines. Lahat kami, naramdaman namin talaga na they wanted us to succeed. So they gave us the support that they could.
"We shot in an island called Peleliu, which is about south of Koror, where the plane lands. Peleliu is about an hour away from Koror, and we had to isolate ourselves para walang mga nagmi-miron. Again, to avoid possible leakages or any possible information that would be kept out unofficially."
Dahil pangalawang season na ito ng Survivor Philippines, mas nadalian ba si Paolo at ang staff and crew, o may na-encounter pa rin silang mga problema?
"The difficulties would be, I think we can trim it down to two," sabi ng veteran TV host.
"The weather, because it would rain every single day—umaga, gabi, or hapon—and we had to do challenges. We would have Tribal Councils in the rain, we will have challenges in the rain. It will be difficult technically as well for us. In terms of the technicals, nag-improve kami—the audio, the video, the camera placements—because we are more familiar with how they should be put into place in the entire program.
"Nahirapan din kami kasi yung venue where we stayed in Peleliu, it's a very small sleepy town of about, I don't know, with a population of less than 700? Napakakonti, tapos dumating kami, we were about a hundred. So, we added, like, you know, eight percent of the population. And agad-agad, naramdaman namin yung hirap na kailangan naming mag-coaster or mag-van papunta sa location to the other. Kakakain lang kami, bibiyahe pa kami. Yung mga gano'n. But these are things that we are prepared for.
"I can say also mas nadalian kami because we knew our job, we knew what our goal was. And our goal was to make this bigger and better than the first season, to make it more exciting, and to secure a third one."
THE NEW SET OF CASTAWAYS. Ngayon second season ng Survivor Philippines ay panibagong castaways na naman ang haharap sa iba't-ibang challenges for 39 days para sa premyong: three-million pesos cash, tax-free, at ang titulong Pinoy Sole Survivor.
Hindi ba sila nahirapan sa pagpili sa mga bagong castaways para hindi mai-compare sa castaways last season?
"Sa first season kasi, 43,000 ang nag-audition," banggit ni Paolo. "We were expecting na babagsak yung number, kasi nakita na nila na that we meant business, na mahihirapan talaga sila, na magugutom sila, iiyak sila, papayat sila. But we were surprised that 35,000 people pa rin auditioned nationwide. And given that situation, nung nakita namin yung quality of castaways, nahirapan kami definitely.
"We trimmed it down from 35,000 to about 81, and then trimmed it down further, further, until we came up with the 50. But that's not without numerous debates, numerous meetings, arguing, kung sino dapat talaga.
"At the end of the day, ang pinakaimportante sa mga castaways is the mix. Individually, puwedeng okay ka, pero pag hinalo ka sa grupo, anong silbi mo? And each and every one of them as you watch in the few days, next few weeks and months of Survivor Philippines, they played a role. Maybe not a role that they knew they were gonna play, but eventually they fit into that particular role habang naglalaro sila.
"Nahirapan kami dahil napakaraming puwede. But we are very, very satisfied with the 16 na napili namin. And we can probably say, hindi kami nagkamali! So hopefully, in the third season, mas matindi ang quality ng mga castaways ang darating."
Kapansin-pansin sa bagong batch ng castaways na halos lahat ay may hitsura at models. Ano ba ang naging criteria nila this season sa pagpili ng castaways?
"Surprisingly, not all of them are models, ha," paglilinaw ni Paolo. "Some of them, this is the first time in the limelight, this is the first time na lalabas sila on television. Admittedly, there are some who dabbled in modeling, pero they didn't really make a name for themselves. There are a couple of them who aspire to be models, but hindi sila sobrang pangalan na pangalan na modelo sila.
"These people were chosen... I know they look great, some of them really look hot and all that. But, take note, pinili namin sila primarily because of their personality. Nakita n'yo naman kanina, bawat isa sa kanila, very distinct ang personality nila, puwede kang mag-pick ng certain trait sa kanilang ulo, parang gano'n. Each and every one of them, you put them in a crowd of 20, alone, they will stand out. Bawat isa sa kanila, they came into the game with strategy in mind on how to play a game of Survivor—pautakan, pagalingan, patatagan... I'm very, very proud of them.
"Criteria-wise, personality ang una-unang basehan. At nagkataon na they all look good. And kami naman, parang, 'Alright, so okay yung personality, pasok 'yan, and you look good, kukunin ka na rin namin.' But, and I have to stress this, each and every one of them went through the audition process. None of them auditioned by an email or what. We had to see them in person.
"They had to pass several tests. Psychological, to make sure na stable yung utak nila, to make sure na consistent ang behavior and they are not putting up a front, to make sure hindi sila psychotic, neurotic, or extremely violent.
"And then they had to pass a health test, to make sure na wala silang health illness, or any debilitating disease. They had to go through a screen test as well, para makita natin kung pleasant naman sila, not entirely good looking, pero pleasant to watch on television, since it's a visual medium, ang TV.
"And then we also asked them to undergo a swim test, because there are challenges in the island of Palau which requires swimming. So kailangan, at least beginner to intermediate level na sila para pumasa.
"So it was an entire, probably a whole, month of auditions, not knowing kung tanggap sila o hindi. And in the end, we had the 16 castaways na nakita po ninyo. So the criteria, mas matindi ngayon actually. Mas naging strict kami kasi there are some castaways in the first season na we were hoping would play a particular role but didn't. But with these 16 na napili po namin, each and every one of them, they may have played a different role than what we expected, but they didn't make the game any less exciting."
Pangako pa ni Paolo, "So, all the way till the end, I assure you, napaka-exciting, napaka-unpredictable ng season na ito!"
Is he satisfied with the 16 castaways?
"Extremely satisfied," sagot ni Paolo. "It was very, very exciting to watch them play and strategize, to see what they were talking about and how they ended up voting out one another. Tribal Council would be very exciting and very unpredictable."
Dagdag niya, "And I wish them luck in the next few days. I know Monday it starts. After it airs, their lives will never be the same. I'm so excited for them. I'm like a little dad or big kuya na gusto ko makita yung billboard. Gusto ko maramdaman yung excitement nila pag nakita nila yung mga mukha nila on television.
"They worked hard for it. And if they do end up succeeding in whatever field they choose after, they deserve it. I'm very proud of them and I'm very happy for them."
May natatanggap din bang cash yung mga castaways na unang natatanggal?
"They all have a certain, I guess, stipend, or you call it per diem, or something like that. Na because they're gone for several days, they had to quit their job and not tell their boss where they are going, we give them a certain something, more than enough to tide them over. But definitely, alam nila 'yon. They know what they're supposed to do, kung ano ang commitment nila. And kami, ang commitment namin, aalagaan namin sila. So, yes, they will receive a certain small cash stipend."
PINOY-THEMED CHALLENGES. How challenging are the challenges this season? Totoo rin ba na binigyan sila ng free hand this time para gumawa ng sarili nilang challenges?
"Ang first season natin, many of it were challenges of the previous seasons of Survivor, either of the CBS [U.S.] version or anywhere else worldwide na approved by Castaway Productions. For the second season, we were given free rein, so the Challenge Team came up with various challenges na puwedeng humiram ng iba't ibang konsepto from other challenges.
"Pero at the end of the day, makikita mo na yung theme niya is mostly Filipino. Kung hindi yung theme, maaaring yung reward. Kung hindi reward, maaaring dahilan kung bakit ito yung challenge.
"The reason for challenges is to create a certain tension between two tribes or between castaways, it's to create that desperation. Kasi pag reward 'yan, pagkain 'yan, e. And trust me, they do not eat much on the island. They had coconuts, pero they don't eat too many coconuts. They didn't get to fish, I don't know why, hindi sila nakapag-fishing. They were eating shellfish, mga halaan, mga ganun lang. And the reward, when it was food, they were going crazy. So, it was the first time I saw people go wild over food the way they did.
"I think yung mga challenges will be more exciting this season, more difficult even than the first. However, the first kasi makikita mo dun sa first [season], tribe versus tribe was very strong... For this one, from day one, it was an individual game and alliances did not last all the way to the end. So that is an indication how unpredictable yung laro natin. And how they played and understood na laro lang ito."
How dangerous are the challenges?
"The challenges were, I wouldn't say dangerous because we wanna make sure na buhay pa rin sila at the end of everything. But what made it dangerous was the environment that they were living in. The island that they were staying in was a place where snakes roam free, poisonous snakes, mga ganyan, may mga pagi o anuman sa may dagat o sa may surface. And each and every day is very hard for them.
"Yung challenges naman, very physical siya... So, mahirap, mahirap talaga siya. Hindi siya yung kayang-kaya lang ng ordinaryong tao. You have to be inspired with a chance to win three million [pesos] to do it. Kung wala kang inspiration o motivation na ganun, you'll give up, hindi mo gagawin. And there are many times, there were a lot of them, they were wondering, 'What are we doing? Tama ba 'tong ginagawa ko?' And there are times that they thought hindi nila magagawa yung challenge, and you just have to push them and remind them, three million, it could change your life. And so, that was enough.
"All castaways are covered by insurance. We made sure na bago pa man umalis ng Pilipinas, plantsado na lahat ng 'yon. "
May nagtanong naman kung meron bang gay sa bagong batch ng castaways.
"Watch and see. You cannot miss the first five days, you cannot. That will answer your question and it will make you stay tuned in the next few weeks," nakakabiting sagot ni Paolo.
Ang 16 castaways ng Survivor Philippines: Palau ay hinati sa dalawang tribo—Airai at Kuror, na pangalan ng dalawa sa 15 states ng Palau.
CONFIDENTIALITY MEASURES. Last season ay naging malaking isyu ang lumabas diumanong leakage na si JC Tiuseco ang mananalo kahit di pa man tapos ipalabas ang Survivor Philippines: Thailand. This season, anong precautions ang ginawala nila para masiguro ang confidentiality ng outcome ng show?
"Well, definitely, there are a lot more security measures that were put into place," sabi ni Paolo. "Once again, the confidentiality agreement that each time was reminded to each and every one of us—the staff, sa crew, sa mga castaways especially.
"With regards to what happened last season, it was just one of those things na nagkataon na nag-usap about who won, even when there was no winner technically yet. It was an assumption by a staff member probably, or somebody involved on the show, sabi niya, 'Ay, malamang si JC 'yan!' So, it was an assumption that was heard and made into a conclusion, and therefore, it entered the Internet at kumalat. And it ended up to be true. With that, we'll be more careful this time, we promise you... Pumuputol na kami ng dalari at saka ng paa! But, yes, definitely we are more careful now. Mas secretive kami sa mga results."
Ipinaliwanag din ni Paolo ang magiging proseso sa final Tribal Council upang masiguro na hindi lalabas ang magiging resulta ng botohan, kung saan ang resulta ay live naman ia-announce.
"Final Tribal Council, hawak ko yung boto. Yung cameraman, wala. Nagra-run lang yung camera. Yung system, tinanggalan ng kable. And then after everything's done, kukunin yung tape, tago. And they will open it, I think two days before the finals when they edit," pag-reveal ni Paolo.
Magsisimula nang mapanood sa GMA-7 ang Survivor Philippines: Palau sa Lunes, August 17, pagkatapos ng Adik sa 'Yo.