Day 36: Bourne Legacy shooting

In our islands, it becomes a big deal when Hollywood stars visit us to shoot in the busy roads and mountain jungle or take a vacation in our remote 7 star island resorts. Almost always, our world stops. Everyone has a lot to say about the visitor. The perennial question some great thinking reporters ask the stars is “How do you like the Philippines?” It makes me cringe in my seat as there is actually no stupid tourist who would be brutally honest in front of a camera in a land infamous for terrorism and kidnapping. Duh! They would never say “Oh your airport is horrible” or ” Geez, can’t you do something abut the traffic? It is soooo third world” then there is the ubiquitous observation ” There are bugs everywhere day and night. I feel like the mosquitos will carry me and the flies will swallow my food whole. Wait, what is that thing that has wings???? Eeeeek! Cockroach!@$#%!!!”  Ofcourse they would almost always answer “Oh I love it here!” Then it becomes a headline in our dailies… Hollywood star loves the Philippines!!!

Such is the fascination of Filipinos with stardom that we will always, always claim a famous actor/singer/model as our own even if there is just a drop of Filipino blood in his system. The latest so far is first runner up American idol Jessica Sanchez. Would you believe through out the competition, the province (Bataan) where her grandparents came from had free cable feed in the basketball court and people cheered as if they were actually in Hollywood? Some Filipinos complained because they can not call the toll free number flashed in US TV stations to vote for Jessica!!!

Or what about Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger who is part Filipino, part Chinese, part Russian. When the dance group visited us here in the early days of their career, the Araneta Coliseum (where Thrilla in Manila was held) was packed with Filipinos, singing all the songs that the world will soon hear 5 months after their concert…

Then you also have Apl de Ap, one of the Black eyed peas, Rob Schneider (Adam Sandler’s sidekick) Charice the singing wonder whose video was posted in Youtube made famous overnight by Oprah and Ellen and the world sensation pound by pound boxing champ Manny”Pacman”Pacquiao who eventually became a Congressman of one of the provinces in the Southern part of the Archipelago.

Almost all foreign visitors I know eventually fall in love with the Phillipines. They start with food- like mangoes, the great San Miguel Beer, and the famous adobo. Some more adventurous tourists try the Balut (aborted duck egg), lambanog (liquor made from Coconut water with 80-90% alcohol proof!) that never made to international market because it has been tested unfit for human consumption, and the critters (cicada toasted, goes well as a sidekick to any liquor). They see beyond the mundane traffic and crazy Manila drivers. Some settle in the islands of Bohol, Boracay, Bacolod, Bicol, Davao, Marinduque, living as the rest of us. Detached from the western world. Eventually assimilate our culture and see Filipinos as a laid-back people very warm and patronizing.

When the Hollywood movie “Bourne Legacy” started shooting in Manila, we were all affected with the crazy shooting! I had to move my appointment time hours before because traffic was really, really horrible. I finished applying my makeup, typed my report, done my schedule for the week, made a calendar of activities and I still haven’t reached my destination…

No worries, what the heck! Jeremy Renner and I were breathing the same air. I might bump into him, who knows…

Well, for those who haven’t seen the movie yet, spoiler alert: it wasn’t entirely shot in Manila. They actually had an island scene taken in Palawan… It is one of my favorite islands to visit. They have the sun, sand, wind and fresh seafood.

Anybody who thinks the Philippines is a damned place should think twice. Choose the islands like Palawan, Bohol, Cebu, Marinduque, Batangas, Mindoro, Davao… for pete’s sake! we have over 7,100 great islands to choose from.


Kayangan Lake, Coron, Palawan. UN heritage site. cleanest brackish water in Asia. 🙂


Yes, this is the western Philippines, an island called Coron. It’s not the Bahamas or Thailand


Remarkable Milestone formation scattered through out Palawan.


Typical Tagbanua (Palawan tribe) home. They own the islands that private resorts lease.


This island can be yours for a day. It is named Banul.

This entry was published on August 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm. It’s filed under Life, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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