Tuesday, June 25, 2013


EPISODE 6: Backpackers All The Way?


BP Ralph
The BACKPACKERS Ralph, Mon and York walked away from the last tribal council where Mina and Jane were eliminated. They were in possession of nine Black Buffs which signifies the start of the individual phase of SURVIVOR ZAMBALES. "Two tribes no more, it is now time for us to battle it out with one another. I am just so happy that I made it in the merge. Next goal: Final Four!" Ralph excitedly stated. His Final Four was him, Mon, York and Jane but because Jane was voted out in a surprising double elimination, he was forced to redo his strategy. "Jane, who is our supposed fourth person was sadly eliminated. But going to this merge, we have six BACKPACKERS from the original Tapulao and only three Guests. So the right strategy here is to go back to the original tribal lines. And I trust Ghei, Kenji and Nick that them and us three (York, Mon, Ralph) will be the final six," added Ralph.

BP Mon

"I made it... Merge! At first I thought I would be eliminated because I am always on the hot seat, I am not the most popular guy I guess. They say I always create this and that, but I am just jolly and competitive at the same time. Wooh, merge!" says a relieved Mon. He had a target on his back in the beginning but because of original Tapulao's winning streak, Kenji's poor performance in the challenges and Ralph protecting him from the votes, the target was shifted away from him.

"The curse of this switched tribe has ended.  Now I can say that I am looking forward in playing again with the BPs," says York who was the person mostly affected in the tribe's loss at the last challenge.


The three amigos of Tapulao Tribe Mon, Ralph and York went to Pundakit Tribe's camp. Ralph who was the obvious leader of the old and new Tapulao Tribe approached the resting castaways and gave them the black buffs. "Guys, Tapulao and Pundakit no more, we are merging," announced Ralph. The six other castaways of the merged Black Tribe Kaye, Ghei, Aaron, Gino, Kenji and Nick each grabbed a buff.

BP Ghei
"We were just chilling at camp because we won the challenge when the three guys came over after their tribal council. Turned out that two were voted out - Mina and Jane," narrated Ghei who together with Kenji and Nick were reunited with their old BACKPACKER Tapulao buddies.

"Mon is still here.. Urgh..," noted an agitated Ghei. Ever since they were in the original Tapulao Tribe, she had been very critical with Mon's presence and actions. "Ghei actually wanted Mon gone, but I have a different plan for him. I think I can easily sway his loyalty to mine as compared to Ralph and York. So if there will be six BACKPACKERS left, I have Ghei, Kenji and Mon..and of course I have Kaye whom I swore to protect and drag til the end," thought by a strategizing Nick.

The merged tribe, which we will refer to as Pinatubo Tribe, another prominent mountain in Zambales decided to gather wood and palm fronds and made a huge flame. In a true impromptu Survivor celebration, they danced around the huge fire. Sixteen people has started and seven has already fallen at tribal council. Even though already late, the fire of the nine remaining castaways were ardently burning as they can see that they were that close in getting to the Final Four.


Ralph was celebrating his birthday that day. "This is the birthday where I am hungry, stressed and fatigued. This is definitely a vey memorable one because despite those, here I am playing the game that I love - Survivor." Nick, York and Ralph bonded over the fire as Ralph tried to let all of the events that day sink in. "I am a huge fan of this game, I hope I can make it all the way to the finals and win," said a hoping Ralph.

Happy Birthday Ralph!

"So I believe we (The BACKPACKERS) are going to be solid until the final six right?," asked Ralph. "Yes of course. BPs all the way," responded Nick. "That's really how it should be..," added York.

"Apparently I have this instinct that I do not trust Nick. I can see a cunning person in him. But at this point I need to trust him. But I won't have any problems in kicking him out later," confessed Ralph.

When Nick left, Ralph and York talked whether Nick was genuine or not. "I just don't trust him," aired Ralph. "Right now we have to, but let us not get ahead of ourselves. But when we get to the Final Six, I think I can get Sir Kenji. And of course Mon will stay loyal. Then we can cut Nick out," answered York.

"Nick has been very competitive in the challenges and we can see that zeal of truly wanting to win this game. In the end, he can be our greatest challenge so I talked with birthday boy Ralph, if we will have an opportunity to vote him out, we will. But at this point, we do not need to turn against each other because the original plan is to eliminate the guests one by one," pointed out York.

"Happy Birthday Ralph!" came a greeting Ghei and Kenji. And his conversation with York was cut abruptly. "BACKPACKERS all the way," remarked Kenji to their two reunited tribe mates.


With the addition of three BACKPACKERS' Mon, Ralph and York, the original Tapulao reunited and the guests of the old Pundakit became uneasy. The three amigos rejoined their old ties with Ghei, Kenji and Nick and proposed to vote out either Kaye, Aaron or Gino.

"The BACKPACKERS sticking together spells trouble for the three..Kaye, Aaron and Gino. At this point it may be either Aaron or Gino. As much as possible we need to cut the most physical players because they are threats," said York.

"If I were to choose, I would vote out Gino. Gino is coasting along but he is likeable. He is a dangerous bet in the final three" said Nick. "But my worries in keeping Aaron is that he is a more physical player than Gino," Nick continued to narrate to Ghei, Kenji and Ralph. "Let's just agree that it will be a toss up between the two," Ghei answered.

"We agreed, the six of us, six BACKPACKERS, that if Aaron wins immunity we will vote out Gino. If Gino wins immunity, we will vote out Aaron," Ghei on the majority's plan.

Guest Gino

"The BACKPACKERS are united together again. And I can just pray that I will stay all the way. I hope I can dodge the bullet that this merging phase brought me, Kaye and Aaron," contemplated Gino. He was one of the more silent guys and with the presence of the three new persons in the group, he can only hope to stealth silently in the middle.


Kaye, who seemed to be on the outs after her tribe mates reunited with their former allies of the original Pundakit Tribe. "I can see what's happening around. People are talking to each other. I saw Nick and Kenji and Ghei approached Ralph and York at the beach and they had a pretty long conversation. I don't know. But I hope I am not being cynical about things," says Kaye.

But after some time, Nick saw an opportunity to speak to Kaye regarding her position in the tribe. "Let me tell you this, you have nothing to worry about Kaye. You and Ghei are still my Final Three," Nick assured Kaye. "Who then are we going to vote out? Either one of the three of them (Mon,York,Ralph)?" asked Kaye.

"It's challenge time and our vote will depend on who will win the challenge. But hopefully I win. I want to have a taste of what it's like to win an individual immunity in Survivor," Nick confided as the tribe prepared to go to the challenge.


Pinatubo Tribe convened for Immunity Challenge. They were divided into three groups.

GROUP A: Kaye, Mon and Gino

GROUP B: Aaron, Ralph and Kenji

GROUP C: York, Ghei and Nick

Lying on the sand are 21 candles. Each turn, one group will take either two or three candles. The aim of the group is to get the last candle. The group that will take the last candle goes on to the Final Round. The rule seems simple but the mathematics and the strategy of the game is quite confusing. The team members who will not be covered with confusion may win the first individual immunity.

Group A's Gino and Kaye

Group C's York, Ghei and Nick

Twelve candles left and the math becomes harder

This could be the perfect challenge for finance manager Kenji (rightmost) with Aaron and Ralph
The simple and silent challenge became tricky as the candles started to disappear one by one. By the time that there were ony twelve candles left, it took the group an average of 4-5 minutes before they can execute their move. Group C won the challenge's first round! For the final round, the three members of Group C, Ghei, Nick and York will battle it out for immunity.

York and Ghei carefully thinking, each pondering on their best move

York, Ghei and Nick battled in the final round. This time, because it was individual, the stakes were higher and each wrong move can cost them the individual immunity. In  the end, it was NICK who won the first Individual Immunity.

"I am just happy that it is a BACKPACKER who won immunity. It makes the group appear stronger and will definitely intimidate Kaye, Aaron or Gino," says York after Ivan awarded immunity to Nick.


When the tribe returned back to camp, Nick started to gather The BACKPACKERS and proposed to vote out Aaron. "It is very easy, we do not really have to take time in making this decision. Aaron is the biggest threat among the three guests that's left here. We should vote him out before he takes on a winning spree," Nick suggested to Ralph, Kenji and Ghei. "Aaron, that's cool. Okay. Let me tell York and Mon," responded Ralph.  

Aaron is in danger, yet again
"The best bet right now is to eliminate Aaron over Kaye or Gino," confessed Ralph. "And all of us agreed with the plan," he added.

"The biggest threat to us, The BACKPACKERS right now is Aaron. Although he may seem to be at par with Gino physically, the latter hasn't shown that he has what it takes to win challenges here in this game," Ghei says.

Aaron on the other hand has been confident the whole time. "I know that some people are talking about voting out one of their own alliance which works to my advantage. I will not scramble or do any over strategizing as I trust my alliance right now," he explained.


Nick and Mon talking strategy

While Ralph and York were away, Kaye took the opportunity to ask Nick about the impending vote.

"They are voting out Aaron, so don't worry," Nick assured her.

Then Nick whispered to Kaye, "I think I can work on Mon to jump ship in our alliance."

"I have established an alliance with Kaye, Ghei and Kenji. And in order to preserve The BACKPACKERS, the obvious vote is Aaron or Gino. But why would I appease the others when they are not really included in my plan? One way or another, hearts will be broken, somebody will be voted out," Nick stated.

Nick's game changer plan
Nick saw an opportunity to talk to Mon and asked him where he stand. "It's Aaron, right?," Mon asked. "No, it's Ralph...," Nick whispered. "If I can trust you Mon, I will take you to the end so let's create a majority alliance. I have Kaye, Ghei and Kenji on this. And I know you can woo in Gino. This is the best opportunity to take out a power player."

"Nick approached me and revealed that the other BACKPACKERS are planning on turning against Ralph tonight. Last tribal council, I received two votes, I was almost voted out. Every tribal council that I am with Ralph, I am always receiving one or two votes. I know that him and York are planning to ditch me later. So this is really an opportunity for me to ditch them, before they ditch me," Mon narrated.

Nick asked Mon, "It's no longer The BACKPACKERS versus Guests. One way or another, we will be voting one of our own. So Mon, are you ready to change this game? Are you willing to jump ship?" to which Mon answered YES.


Words spread like wildfire that they should write down Ralph's name. "Kenji, we are voting for Ralph and not Aaron, okay?" Nick whispered to Kenji. "As in tonight's council? Okay if you think this is the best move for us, count me in," Kenji approved of the secret plan.

BP Ghei may not be going along with the plan after all...
However, not all were confident with the plan. Ghei hesitated when Nick approached her and Kenji to vote out Ralph. "The basic plan coming into this was to eliminate all the guests so that all BPs will be in the end. Now, Nick and Kenji are ready to cut off the others, particularly Ralph, when we still have guests around. I don't know. I don't think I am going with their plan. But I just have to stay silent because I do not want to ruffle especially Nick's feathers... He is such a master strategist," Ghei confided. With Ghei's vote floating, York approached her and solidified the plan to vote out Aaron to which she responded, "BP all the way."

"Now I'm learning how to play this game. We have the army set into place. I am excited!," confessed Kaye who was ecstatic to know that a major game changer was in the offing. "Not only do I get to be kept by my alliance, but I also get to keep my original co-guests Aaron and Gino whom I've been really close to."


The castaways of Pinatubo Tribe entered Tribal Council. They were asked on what's their take with the fact that it is an individual game now. "Before, the early strategy for the tribes was to keep the physical players. But now, physical players are going to be a threat in the game," Ralph remarked. "After the merge, we can say that this is it, we can see it, we can see the finals coming," Ghei assured that all of the individuals are there to play.

"I am just happy I made it to the merge," Gino stated. Aaron was asked if he was worried because there are six BACKPACKERS and only three remaining guests. "Whatever will be, will be. I have proven that this game is unpredictable. Yes I can be voted out tonight...or Gino..or Kaye..or somebody else," Aaron responded. "I trust my alliance," York said after being asked if he was worried.

It was time to vote... Nick was the only person safe from the votes as he had immunity around his neck.

VIDEO: Voting Confession

The votes were read - and names were across the board. Aaron's name came up twice. Three BACKPACKERS' names were read - proving that this was the start of a brand new game. Mon and Kenji received a vote each. But ultimately, in a 5-2-1-1 vote, Ralph, who was celebrating his birthday that day, was brutally blindsided and was the eighth person voted out of SURVIVOR ZAMBALES: Backpackers versus Guests. Ralph did not expect it. He was blindsided along with his pal, York. The reaction on York's face was a mixture of confusion and disappointment.

"Oh my God what happened..." Mon remarked to York. Mon, who was one of the persons who jumped ship from The BACKPACKERS alliance cleverly projected his shock after Ralph's elimination. Ghei on the other hand was sad that the BPs turned on each other.

Ralph took the walk of shame and left the tribal council area. It was another brutal, but well executed blindside. But Ralph will return as the first member of the jury.


BP Ralph

RALPH voted for AARON
YORK voted for AARON
GHEI voted for KENJI
GINO voted for MON
KAYE voted for RALPH
AARON voted for RALPH
MON voted for RALPH
KENJI voted for RALPH

NICK voted for RALPH

Mon pulls out his strategic mind up his sleeve

MON: "I did not vote for Ralph. I voted for Aaron."
YORK: "I don't know what the heck happened too. There were too many names and votes. One  thing's for sure, we are both screwed."

MON: "I am preserving connection with York, telling him that I am still with him on this. But my loyalty now is with Nick. But I want York on my side. I need every possible end vote right now."

A revealing challenge where opinions on each other can be a major concern to a sensitive castaway turned out to be a fun challenge for the remaining castaways

IVAN: "Who will not survive alone in an island?"

KENJI: "I am going to make my revenge... I choose to crush Mon's stick please..."

And can York work his way out of the bottom of the totem pole?

YORK: "I will vote whoever you want to vote as long as it is a guest."

NICK: "Right now it will not really hurt to eliminate a guest - whether Aaron or Gino. We clearly have the majority anyway."

Who will be voted out next on SURVIVOR ZAMBALES: Backpackers vs Guests!

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