Friday, October 4, 2013


EPISODE 9: Roller Coaster

The Final Five:


After Mon's meltdown, the five remaining castaways were allowed to stay in one portion of the jury house while the staff deliberated on what sanctions should be given to the infuriated and explosive Mon. In the end, his actions led him to be completely removed from the game. He was not even allowed to be part of the jury where his adversaries Ralph and York were part of.

"We got a free pass for the night, we are allowed to sleep in the comfort of the house while host Ivan and the others deal with the Mon problem," narrated a relieved Aaron. "I personally want to go back to the beach 'cause it's Survivor, but the staff won't be able to get a close spy on us so I'll accept it," he added.

"I was very surprised that Kuya Mon acted that way after he got voted out. Part of me is blaming myself because I totally blindsided him and Nick. I shifted my alliance and voted with my original Pundakit tribemates.. And I did it not to hurt Mon but it was for my own game," Kaye pondered.

The five castaways stood still and shocked while the chaos was happening. They could not believe that their fellow contestant would blow up like that. "Stress of the game," Nick whispered to his remaining tribe mates. "Mon's just being Mon..Do not get scared guys, they (organizers) will handle this," Ghei assured the distressed guests.

"I am not bewildered nor shocked at all. I have seen worse than that. But what I did not agree was when Mon started to hurt even Ivan himself who is the Lead, he does not have any respect for Ivan, the guests and his fellow Backpackers," Aaron complained. During the whole fiasco, host Ivan was trying to pacify Mon and while doing that, he also indirectly hurt Ivan. "He should have taken account the people who were in the tribal council area and jury house. It was already late at night and he just disturbed everybody," Aaron added.


"Mon is a sensitive person. He is a nice guy. He has his reasons but the way that he reacts can sometimes shadow these principles no matter how genuine these are," mentioned Gino.

Will Castaway Gino leave the game?
Mon had conditions before being completely removed from the game, and that's if Gino will accompany him on his way home. Ghei was totally against the condition stating, "Why should Gino suffer for things he has done? Gino is clearly enjoying the game." Continuing on her tirade, "I don't believe this person." She got to talk to former castaway Mon but nothing important was discussed.

"It is going to be a difficult decision. I am loving my stay in this game...I want to reach the finals and head to Potipot Island as a finalist as much as possible..." Gino was put in a bad spot. Should he agree to escort Mon out of the game, he will be forced to remove himself from the Final Five as well.

The dynamics of the game has three guests (Kaye, Aaron and Gino) vs two BACKPACKERS (Ghei and Nick). The guests silently stealthed their way above the totem pole when The BACKPACKERS started to cut each other in a series of blindsides. If Gino escorts Mon  home, we will be down to a fierce two by two showdown between the BACKPACKERS and Guests.

In the end, Mon apologized to the guests saying he is just a human being, vulnerable in being hurt and guilty of committing mistakes. And later that night he left the event without Gino. Gino stays and is officially in the Final Five.


Who will become the ultimate sole survivor?

The castaways woke up early the next day. They rode a boat which brought them to their final destination as finalists: Potipot Island. This is their final battling place where they will play two more immunity challenges and participate in two tribal councils and one final tribal council where the Ultimate Survivor will be crowned.

AaronI really thought I would be joining the jury
"Last night, I really thought I would be joining the jury. But there was a point during the interview with Ivan when Gino, Kaye and I looked at each other and had an instant connection to stick to the original Guest alliance without being vocal about it. So now, I can say that we are solid," narrated a hopeful Aaron. "We don't know what will happen today but we are very much ready and excited. What just needs to happen is for us three Guests to continue being loyal to each other. If we do, then one of us can win this whole thing and the whole Pundakit Tribe will be very proud of our feat," he added. Aaron thanked Kaye for sticking it out last tribal council. It has been a roller coaster ride for the original guests of Pundakit as they started weak during the tribal phase. They went into the jury totally outnumbered by the BACKPACKERS. Despite several possibilities of Aaron being voted out, he stuck it out and with Kaye and Gino, they can now possibly hold the majority. Kaye's shift in alliance may just be the hope that Aaron and Gino were looking for ever since the swap.

NickThis is the time when I am doubting my chances in the game.

However, it was a different roller coaster ride for former front runner Nick, "This is the time when I am doubting my chances in the game. The numbers speak for themselves. I was top dog, and now I am nervous. The roller coaster element of Survivor is very unpredictable. I did not anticipate Kenji quitting and Mon leaving. It totally screwed my numbers game." Now, he is just as vulnerable as the others.


The Final Five arrived in the island. The morning resembled a promising day for each of the Final Five as they have gone through what the others did not get to experience. "This is really an awesome, awesome experience. I am a fan of this game and experiencing the thrill first hand is just awesome beyond words...," stated Nick. "This is it. It's going to be cut throat and exciting. It's war today," Aaron mentioned.

The Final Five arrived at Potipot Island as finalists
each had a one in five shot of winning the title of Ultimate Survivor

Before heading to their second to the last immunity challenge, they were given war paint. They maximized this time pondering on their experiences in the game at the same time enjoying each one's company. "After the chaotic mood last night, the vibe this morning is very calm and positive. It's a brand new day. What I like the best is this moment, just sitting in the beach with Aaron, Gino, Nick and Ghei - painting each other's faces... genuinely bonding and not thinking about strategy or tribal councils," says Kaye.

Kaye and Ghei working on the war paints
"The war paint symbolizes the fierce competition of this event...this game. We never expected that this would be so real, like the real Survivor on TV. People came and have fallen and they were serious competitors. I am very lucky to be one of the Final Five, when I thought during the morning of Day One that I had no chance. I thought this is a guy's game. But going into the merge, I have outwitted, outlasted and outplayed four guys so far. I can do this," reflected Ghei. Ghei, who volunteered for execution during the first trbal council of Tapulao  tribe never expected that she can now either be the last BACKPACKER or the last female standing in the game. That morning, her passion to go all the way was burning and everyone can see it in her. "Ate Ghei is cool and kind. I don't have anything bad to say about her. She is fun to be with. Her alliance crumbled but she maintained her poise throughout the game so I admire her," says Kaye.

Tribe continue bonding over the war paint while they go to the confessional one by one
Out of all the remaining castaways, Gino appeared to be the most liked because of his passive play. "Kuya Gino hasn't really ruffled any feathers. He is laid back even when tribal council is looming. And everyone seems to trust him. Aaron does. I do. Nick does because he included Gino in the plan when we voted out Ralph and York. You just can't help but admire him. I was surprised and delighted that we were both nurses - that connection which has been a tool for me to get close to him. And he is just very positive, nice and a smiling person. To sum up, I strongly believe that he is a triple threat," concludes Kaye.

"I am a backseat driver because I am shy at first, I really do not know many of these people. And I tend to be introvert in this kind of situation. But when someone talks strategy to me, that doesn't mean I am not processing the information. My target is to get to the finals so anything valuable, I'll take it. But I am not doing it aggressively," Gino on explaining his game plan.


F5 enters challenge arena
The Final Five enter the battle arena where host Ivan explained that the next Immunity Challenge will be composed of two parts.

The first part: The host will narrate a story about the Legend of Olongapo to the castaways. Olongapo is a productive city in the province of Zambales. The castaways need to pay attention to the details of the story as it is an important element in the next section.

Host Ivan narrating the Legend of Olongapo to the castaways
The second part: The castaways will sprint around the arena to find five questions scattered in the large area. The questions are based on the Legend of Olongapo. Each question has two possible answers. They will write the corresponding letter of what they think is the correct answer to their respective cardboards. Once they think they have all the correct answers in all five questions they will sprint back to host Ivan for him to check. The first person who gets all five correct answers wins individual Immunity!


Ghei and Kaye going for the same station
The race started as the castaways scattered in the large playing field. Kaye and Ghei took one obvious station. Aaron, Gino and Nick on the other hand were quicker in terms of sprinting through the fields, successfully going over three stations versus the girls' two stations. The stress of the challenge came in as  they had to remember which station they have already been into, searching for the stations in the vast field and the distance from each stations can be quite far from each other. The temperature was hot that afternoon, so running was no fun.

IVAN: Gino has only ONE correct answer!

Gino and Aaron sprinted towards Ivan to have him check their answers as they've been to all stations already. However, Gino got only ONE correct answer out of five, and Aaron got NO correct answer at all. They went back to the course to read the questions again carefully.

Ghei and Kaye came to Ivan where they each had four out of five correct answers. They went back running inside the course to check the mistake.

Nick, on the other hand, went way beyond course, missing one station where the question was posted in the ground making it not so obvious to one with a careless eye.

See Nick (off course) and Ghei (running towards the host)
Aaron and Gino seemed totally clueless and helpless. They were having a hard time answering the questions. They had an advantage in endurance and in running, but another component here is wit in answering the questions as well. Nick finally found the fifth station. Ghei and Kaye ran towards Ivan for another check. It was a close race but Ghei got to Ivan first. While Ivan was checking, Nick arrived to have his answers checked. But it was too little too late for Kaye and Nick as Ghei got all the correct answers and GHEI won Individual Immunity! 

Ghei jumps for joy!
IVAN: GHEI wins individual Immunity!



GHEI: I did not really expect that I'll win especially in an individual challenge.

Going back to camp wearing the immunity necklace, Ghei was ecstatic, "Well, this is the first time I won Immunity! I did not really expect that I'll win especially in an individual challenge. Of course I am competing with a lot of buff guys whose endurance margins are higher than mine. But I see to it to give it my all, if I'll win then I'll be very happy, if not, that would be fine as well. But right now, I am so happy I won and that I'm safe in the upcoming tribal council," narrated a proud Ghei.

Aaron was also proud of his fellow castaway and shared his thoughts on who he thought would win the challenge, "Ghei is nice and a fun co-castaway. And last challenge, we did not expect that Ghei would win. We were expecting Nick to win because he is a juggernaut in individual challenges and he is quick. Gino and I knew that we probably would not win especially we did not really know what we were doing! We were anticipating Ghei or Nick to win, but ultimately predicting a Nick victory but turned out he was outplayed by Ghei. Props to Ghei for that," mentioned Aaron.

F5 returning to camp

Stripped off from immunity and his BACKPACKER alliance, Nick was feeling the nerves that afternoon, "I messed up in the challenge. I compared notes with Ghei and found out that I have all the correct answers, but I fell apart when I did not see the last station. If I'd seen it earlier, I should have won. Now I'm not comfortable with my place in the game but I need to talk to my alliance to get a reassurance that despite of what happened last night, we would remain true to the pact that we have created."

Nick pulled Kaye aside, "We're still good, right? I mean, our alliance?" to which Kaye responded "yeah." Nick advised Kaye on who he wanted to vote out, "I think it's time for Aaron to go. Let's lock the alliance to vote for Aaron, okay?," asked Nick. Kaye told Nick that she would vote for Aaron. Nick came to Ghei and asked the same thing. He also received a positive response from Ghei. Ghei and Kaye's confirmation to Nick made him feel much more comfortable in the impending tribal council.

NICK: I'm nervous 

"My alliance talked about the upcoming tribal council. Ghei, Kaye and I..hopefully we are still on the same side. Going into this council, I know that the target is among the three guys so the decision falls under the girls' hands...well particularly Ghei's. I am unsure about Ghei, honestly. With Kaye, I know that she is on my side. So it will all boil down on who Ghei will vote - me or Aaron. I'm nervous but hopefully it will work out," narrated Nick.

Nick was smart to figure out that the inconsistencies during tribal councils were mostly because one person in his alliance was not really going with the plan. And that this person was Ghei. "Last tribal council, I voted for Gino and Mon voted for Aaron, the rest of the votes were Mon. So it means that Kaye and Ghei did not vote with me. Kind of explains why there were one too many useless votes every tribal council. I know that Kaye is on my side. Meaning, it's Ghei who must not be going with the plan after all. If this is her strategy, I'll give her props for that as I did not see it coming until today, and I am still not sure about this though" evaluated Nick.


Kaye was discreetly approached by Aaron telling her that they should vote out Nick. "Nick's a threat in challenges and in strategy, so we should cut him," Aaron said. Kaye, despite saying yes to Nick, also said yes to Aaron. "I am playing my own game now. I'll take all the options, weigh them, and go with which option I think is the best for me," said Kaye.

It was probably the first time that Gino felt power during his whole stint in Survivor Zambales, "we talked about voting a non-original Pundakit castaway. So since Ghei has immunity, we are targeting Backpacker Nick. He has an excellent comradeship skills, great in challenges, and an over all excellent player. We enjoyed hanging out with him and if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't be winning challenges. But this is just how the game goes...we have decided to vote him out later at tribal council," explained Gino.

While the whispers and conversation were spreading at camp, Kaye was just observing her fellow castaways. She knew that Nick ruffled a lot of feathers and it would be logical to keep him as most of the jury are probably upset about him. When she saw Aaron and Gino conversing with each other, she noticed one thing, "Gino and Aaron have played the best game if we talk about who did not really hurt people in the jury, or people while they were still in the game. Aaron and Gino are threats in that sense," she pondered.

KAYE: I'm thinking long term now
Kaye held the most power as she can either go with The BACKPACKERS alliance with Ghei and Nick whom she swore loyalty to or go with her original Pundakit alliance with Aaron and Gino. Minutes before tribal council, she was still undecided, "Now that we are only five left in the game, my plan is to stick with the original Pundakit alliance. However, there are a lot of cons that I can think of if that is the case. First, I will be the only girl left which may work to my disadvantage because the guys are more athletic in challenges. Good thing that Ghei won immunity, my choice is really one of the guys. And when I think long term, if I sit in the finals with Aaron and Gino, it's going to be difficult for me. I think the jury will favor them. If Ghei or Nick are in the Final Three, I still have a chance for second place. As of now, my vote can still change...we'll see..."


The Final Five entered tribal council and was greeted by an excited host. He congratulated the five castaways and reminded them that they are almost at the end of the adventure. Everyone responded excitedly as well. Ghei was congratulated for winning immunity, "I did not expect this, and I am so happy that I am secure right now," she replied.

Tribal council conversation

Ivan asked how Aaron is voting, "I have people whom I am loyal I will stick to that," Aaron replied. Nick was asked the same thing and basically responded the same thought. Nick said "I am trusting the people that I am aligned with. And hopefully we will all make it this tribal council."

Kaye was asked on whether she is still considering the roots of her original tribe or not. "The game has changed a lot. We have acquired Ghei and Nick during the switch and they have helped us a lot. I think I have my own game to play. I am not considering tribal lines because I have created loyalties outside that line," explained Kaye.

Gino was congratulated in making it to Potipot Island. "I am very happy. This is what I am looking forward to and now I am here. Now the next goal is to make it until the finals," Gino mentioned.

The interview revolved with pretty much the positive morning that the castaways experienced and the promising Final Tribal Council. It was time to vote...

GHEI: --

NICK: Aaron

KAYE: --


GINO: --

IVAN: Voting is over. Once the votes are read, the decision is final. The person voted out must leave the tribal council area immediately.





The twelfth person voted out of Survivor Zambales: Backpackers vs Guests is NICK.

It was the end of the line for the master strategist Nick and he was voted out. He will return as the fourth member of the jury who will ultimately decide who will win SURVIVOR ZAMBALES: Backpackers vs Guests.

NICK, the tribe has spoken...

GHEI voted for NICK
GINO voted for NICK
KAYE voted for NICK
AARON voted for NICK
NICK voted for AARON


Only Four are Left!
The FINAL FOUR compete in their Last Immunity Challenge

GHEI: All of them are guests and they have an alliance, so I need to do my best 
to win Immunity again. The pressure's all on me.

And vote out one more castaway in tribal council...

IVAN (host): You've come this far, why do you have to think of that?
I guess we need to sort out who here really wants to win???

Three will move forward to the FINAL TRIBAL COUNCIL 
where they will face an angry jury!

YORK: We always say, alliance alliance alliance, but we can not deny that there has been some betrayal, backstabbing and deceitfulness that happened during the game.

NICK: You're comparable to a grass here in the island...USELESS!

KENJI: I don't think that any one of you deserves to win, like, honestly speaking.


GHEI: I am the last BACKPACKER standing and I am now playing 
not for myself only but for the group.

AARON: I am expecting the mother of all challenges! Bring it on!

KAYE: I don't want Gino in the Final Three, because he'll win hands down.

GINO: My answer is MENCHI.
IVAN (host): The name's cute Gino, but you're WRONG.



Haven't read the story nor viewed the videos?
Click the following for episode guide:

Episode 1: Welcome to Survivor Zambales!
Episode 2: Hunger, Sweat and Tears
Episode 3: Double Trouble
Episode 4: Drop Your Buffs
Episode 5: Message In A Bottle
Episode 6: Backpackers All The Way?
Episode 7: Who to Trust?
Episode 8: Meltdown
Episode 9: Roller Coaster
Episode 10: And the Winner is...

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