Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Episode 1: I'm Gonna Beat My Wife

The sixteen castaways of SURVIVOR PANGASINAN: Backpackers vs Loved Ones


The BACKPACKERS version of Survivor is back! This time, the crew and contestants were taken more than 300 kilometers away from the metropolis: in the province known as the land of salt, where beautiful islands and countless majestic beaches can be found. PANGASINAN

This time around, the castaways came in as pairs. There's married couple Chons and Alvin, siblings Heinz and Shane and HS schoolmates Resty and Ryan among others. 

Before the game started, most of them thought that they would be playing with their loved one. It was only Heinz who had a clue that they wouldn't. "Before going in to this game, I tried to download some of the latest episodes of Survivor US to familiarize myself in the game. Then I stumbled upon this season: Blood vs Water and in this season, the survivors were actually battling against their loved ones. Going in, I think I have a clue on what to expect... on what the format will be for Survivor Pangasinan," says Heinz who brought his younger sister Shane for the ride.

"My partner in the game is Ryan Verbo. We knew each other since high school, but our line of communication was cut for years. I was surprised when I saw him, his face and stance were like he's still in high school. His physicality hasn't changed a lot and I know he is still the kind person I knew. I am excited to play with Ryan and introduce him to the BPs," says Resty Ritualo, Ryan's high school buddy.

"I am so excited to play with my wife. Bring it on!" says Alvin Masacupan on entering the game with his wife Chons Zosa-Masacupan. He was very happy to play the game with her wife. But his expectations will soon falter as Survivor is an individual game. And he may not be playing with his wife, but rather against her.

Liz' supposed partner, her housemate Trish backed out a day before the event. She came in as a wildcard with another alternate player Josh. At fourteen, Josh would be the youngest player to ever play in The BACKPACKERS version of Survivor. He hopes of showing his parents that he can be independent and show off his skills as a young man. 

Here are the other four pairs of Survivor Pangasinan:
Sheryl and Chino (Orgmates and Workmates)
BP Rexie and Erwin (Climb Buddies)
BP Marion and BP DeePee (BP Beach Buddies)
BP Leah and Joyjoy (Aunt and Niece)

What most of these pairs didn't know is that most of them will be playing against their Loved Ones. How will this division affect the game play of the castaways? Will they build an alliance with their Loved One or against them? Who will outwit, outplay and outlast everyone else and become the Ultimate Sole Survivor? These are the questions waiting to be answered as we start the season of SURVIVOR PANGASINAN: Backpackers vs Loved Ones!


The castaways are ready to begin their adventure!
The group met host Ivan outside the tribal council area. The pairs and their relation to each other were introduced to the entire group. They were then told the mechanics that they won't be playing with their partners, but against them. Host Ivan divided them into two tribes: The Backpackers versus their Loved Ones. "I was surprised when Sir Ivan separated us. All along I thought I would be playing with Ryan," said Resty. He, along with the seven other BPs were given PURPLE BUFFS. Their tribe name is MALABOBO TRIBE. The eight Loved Ones were given ORANGE BUFFS. Their tribe name is AMORONG TRIBE. Malabobo and Amorong are two mighty mountains in Pangasinan that the group hopes to climb in the future.



The orange Amorong Tribe
From L-R: Ryan, Sheryl, Chino, Joyjoy, Shane, Alvin, Erwin and Josh
They were told that they would be playing for their first Reward Challenge. It is a Survivor Classic: the pairs, now competitors, will be squaring off against each other while protecting their tribe's idol; Purple bear for Malabobo and Orange bear for Amorong. They will attempt to knock out the bear from the opponent's hand. The person whose bear touches the sand first loses a point for their tribe. The tribe with the most number of points wins reward. The reward is a mat which they can use at camp, and one other thing which Ivan will announce by the end of eight rounds.

Alvin (Amorong) vs. Chons (Malabobo)
The first battle pair was married parents Chons and Alvin. Both were competitive. Alvin mentioned that he would be "outside the kulambo" after this game but assured that "I'm gonna beat my wife." But then, Chons won the round! Alvin goes back to his tribe while the Malabobo cheered for Chons. Siblings Heinz and Shane were next, with older brother Heinz implying to Shane that she should give way or else she won't receive any support. But Shane tied it up when she won the round. After Liz and Resty both lost to Josh and Ryan respectively, the score was 3 (Amorong) vs 1 (Malabobo). Leah won against her niece Joyjoy to bring up the rear for Malabobo. But the Purple Malabobo tribe did not recover as Erwin, Sheryl and Chino of Amorong won their rounds against Rexie, Marion and DeePee. In a score of 6-2, AMORONG TRIBE WON FIRST REWARD CHALLENGE!

Challenge summary:
Chons (M)  vs  Alvin (A)  >> Chons scores a point for Malabobo!

Heinz (M)  vs  Shane (A)  >> Shane scores a point for Amorong!

Resty (M)  vs  Ryan (A)  >> Ryan scores a point for Amorong!

Liz (M)  vs  Josh (A) >> Josh scores a point for Amorong!

Leah (M)  vs  Joyjoy (A)  >> Leah scores a point for Malabobo!

Rexie (M)  vs  Erwin (A)  >> Erwin scores a point for Amorong!

Marion (M)  vs  Sheryl (A)  >> Sheryl scores a point for Amorong!

DeePee (M)  vs  Chino (A)  >> Chino scores a point for Amorong!

Competing for Individual Immunity: Shane vs Erwin of Amorong
Ivan then announced that the winners from the Amorong Tribe would be competing against each other for Individual Immunity which will protect them in the first tribal council that their tribe will participate in. A sweet guarantee that you are not going to be the first person voted out of the game. Shane, Ryan, Josh, Erwin, Sheryl and Chino went inside the course again. In the end, it came down to Shane versus Erwin. Erwin ultimately beat Shane and he was awarded the necklace. Ivan put the necklace on Erwin's neck. Then he showed another necklace, a purple one, in front of the group. Erwin earned a second immunity necklace for his Loved One on the other tribe. Rexie, Erwin's climb buddy in Malabobo was easily awarded the second immunity necklace. He was also guaranteed that he won't be the first one to falter in the game.

Erwin won individual immunity which is valid in the first tribal council participated by Amorong tribe
Both tribes separated ways as they headed to their respective camps.


In the Purple Malabobo Tribe, Marion marveled on how beautiful the place is, "it was a very long journey getting to Pangasinan, but when we arrived it was like WOW. This is a very beautiful place." DeePee agreed to this saying, "if there's one place, a beach, that I would go back to, this is one of them. It's beautiful."

Marion marvels as to how beautiful the place is
The two were one of the pairs who were not separated as they are both Backpackers. "DeePee is a good friend of mine even before The Backpackers. He and I would tend to bond especially in food trips in the metro. When he and I became part of The Backpackers, I was very happy because we had the opportunity to bond more while traveling," described Marion.

Over at the Orange Amorong Tribe, they huddled in a circle with the help of the mat which they won at the reward challenge. They started to introduce themselves to each other. "My name is Ryan, and I am a teacher," greeted Ryan. "My name is Chino, I am a MedRep and Sheryl is my officemate," introduced Chino. Chino and Sheryl were the second pair not separated as they are both in the Loved Ones tribe. Sheryl is the Loved One of Backpacker Ralph, who played in Season 1 but got blindsided. Sheryl may be up for redemption and she brought her friend Chino in the competition.

Amorong tribe members introduce themselves to each other
After the challenge where six out of the eight persons won over their partners at Malabobo, Ryan was kind of feeling bad that he won over his HS friend Resty in the Reward Challenge. "I was surprised I won over Resty during the knock-the-bear challenge considering that he's a big guy. I'm worrying about what his tribe mates will say about him. Maybe Papa Bear, or the god of all bears, is just really rooting for me that's why the violet bear fell down first before mine. Resty losing to me made me feel like, wow I can do better in this game because I was able to beat a person as big as Resty. But I do hope that he stays," said Ryan.


This season's theme may complicate the game play of the castaways. They came in as pairs, expecting to play with their loved ones. But they got separated and were forced to build a team without their loved ones on their tribe. For the Malabobo Tribe, this was an easy task as they already knew each other. They are all part of The BACKPACKERS family. The Amorong Tribe had to start from scratch as they did not know everyone in the tribe. But for some of them, this was an opportunity to show their Loved One what they can do.
Alvin explains his healthy relationship with wife Chons
"I was shocked when Chons and I got separated. I am scared because I do not know anyone on my tribe. But then I said, just go with the flow and enjoy this experience. This is an opportunity for me to prove to Chons that I am a friendly person. That even if she leaves me on a trip or activity, I will be able to find a new set of friends, lots and lots of friends," explained Alvin.

Alvin continued, "I have a very strong relationship with my wife. Especially when Aldrei (their son) came into our lives. We are the type of couple who when one is angry, the other one gives way and just stays silent. We never let our emotions get to us so we have never clashed. Chons knows how to manage time for family, career, friends most especially with The Backpackers. Big thanks to her that she lets me join in these kind of activities and big thanks to the BPs because I am always welcome."

Malabobo tribe member Chons explains how glad she is after beating her husband
even though her tribe lost as a whole
"My Loved One is Alvin who is my husband. We have a very healthy relationship. I'm competitive and he is as well. So at the challenge I was very happy to beat him. I mean, even though I'm the girl, I proved that I can win and beat my husband," Chons of Malabobo Tribe on winning over her husband Alvin in the Reward Challenge.

Aside from the married parents Chons and Alvin, another duo that's connected by blood is siblings Shane and Heinz. In an emotional interview, Shane of Amorong Tribe tells it all, "Heinz is my older brother. Ever since our father died, he took this position and supported us. No words can express how grateful I am that I have a brother like him," explained an emotional Shane who tends to get lost for words while doing the interview.

Amorong tribe member Shane emotional while explaining her relationship with brother Heinz
"Shane and I are very close just like my relationship with my other siblings. I've always been supportive in everything she wanted to do - trying her luck in show business, schooling and extra curricular activities. I guess that's simply because I am just being a 'kuya' to her," Malabobo Tribe member Heinz on his sister Shane.

Heinz as the ever supportive big brother of Shane talks about his relationship with his sister


The two tribes found a container with a note and some coloring materials inside. They were instructed to build their tribe's flag with a motivational note that whoever paints the better flag may win an advantage in the next challenge.

Flag making materials
Over at Malabobo, the theme was, of course, purple. "Liz painted our tribe flag, but everyone had inputs on what to include," said Leah. Liz, being the most artistic in the group volunteered to paint the flag which will bear the banner of Malabobo Tribe throughout the course of the game. "The design should be what our name means. What is our tribe name again?," asked DeePee. "Malabobo. And it's a mountain," responded Liz. The tribe drew M and A in a manner where it will highlight Malabobo as a mountain. "Liz painted it but we all gave our idea. Our flag is pretty simple. You know Liz, she's more of a 'less is more' fan," said Rexie.

Painting the flag - Liz leading the pact with Marion giving out suggestions
Rexie won individual immunity by default. To this Resty  reacted, "He won without effort, what the?" On the other hand, Leah was actually happy for Rexie. In an interview, she revealed, "I am very happy that Rexie won. In this game, I consider Rexie as my greatest early alliance because we are batch mates in BP and we have an early pact with DeePee. So I am confident that the immunity is with an alliance of mine." 

DeePee on  the other hand, was able to separate friendships in the game and cemented his pact with Leah and Rexie. "I really want to go far in this game. At this stage, I have an alliance with Leah and Rexie. But I am close to a lot of people - Resty, Marion, Heinz. I'd stay loyal to my early alliance but my primary goal is for a BP to win, this time around."


Over at Amorong, Chino took charge in painting the flag. "Chino painted the flag with the ideas of everyone. I think everyone was able to touch the flag when it was a work in progress. But it's ultimately Chino's masterpiece," explained Alvin. "We have a very solid idea on what our flag represents. It has the elements of the wilderness and it also highlights us - depicting a solid unit. My main contribution to the flag is the people on top which symbolizes each and every one of us. It symbolizes a strong team which can beat Malabobo. I'm confident that our flag is stronger," said by a proud Sheryl. After painting the flag, the Amorong tribe used up the rest of the paint and put it on their faces to show their solidarity in their small group.

Designing Amorong tribe's flag
Erwin was feeling positive after he won immunity. It also helped that everyone in the tribe thought he deserved it. "I am happy that I won the first challenge and I won immunity. I don't need to worry because I am sure that I won't be the first person out. Winning also opened my eyes that I can do this. Now I have the confidence that I can win challenges," explained a confident Erwin. He also won individual immunity for Rexie, his pair who is in the other tribe, "Rexie and I are close when we first joined as guests in BP climbs. I am happy I was able to give him immunity as well."

Erwin with his Immunity necklace
The two tribes were called for their first immunity challenge. Both tribes flaunted their flags and tried to intimidate the opposing tribe. Heinz of Malabobo noted that Amorong used a lot of similar colors to the point that the tribe name can not be read anymore. Chino fought back that the Malabobo's flag was so simple that it did not have any creative effort. Sheryl followed up and explained the idea for Amorong Tribe's flag which had meaning on every stroke and every figure present on the flag. When Liz was asked to explain if their tribe flag has symbolism, "I'll be more than happy to explain.. But when was there ever a need to explain art?," with that, her Malabobo tribe mates cheered.


The tribes convened for the season's first immunity challenge. They were instructed to pick five runners and three puzzle solvers. One by one, the runners will run and retrieve a colored bag, orange for Amorong and violet for Malabobo. Inside the bag is a puzzle piece. Once all the runners are done collecting the bags, the puzzle solvers will untie the bags and get the puzzle scrolls. They will unroll the pieces and weave these in a big puzzle board. The puzzle pieces and the puzzle boards have letters, some of which may be hidden when they start weaving the scrolls. The goal is to weave the scroll in a manner that a Pangasinan town will be spelled out. The first tribe to get the five Pangasinan towns in the puzzle board wins immunity.

They were shown the Immunity Idol and were reminded that immunity is very important in this game. Whenever a tribe wins immunity, its members will be safe and will avoid tribal council.

The runners for Malabobo were Liz, Marion, Heinz, Rexie and DeePee, and the puzzle solvers were Chons, Leah and Resty.

The runners for Amorong were Joyjoy, Shane, Alvin, Josh and Erwin,  and the puzzle solvers were Sheryl, Chino and Ryan.

Shane (Amorong) and Marion (Malabobo) trying to outrun each other
during the first phase of the immunity challenge
The first runners came rushing after Ivan's go signal. It was Shane of Amorong vs Marion of Malabobo. Marion was able to untie the purple tribe's first bag of puzzle pieces. Shane was having a difficulty giving the edge to Malabobo tribe. After a couple of runs, four people (Marion, Heinz, Liz and Rexie) were all done for Malabobo versus three people (Shane, Joyjoy and Josh) for Amorong. Alvin from Amorong came running alongside DeePee from Malabobo. DeePee snagged Malabobo's last bag of puzzle piece. Alvin, feeling the pressure ran hastily. Unfortunately, he tripped and came rolling down the sand! But he managed to go back bruise free and tagged Erwin who was the last runner for Amorong. Meanwhile, Malabobo tribe puzzle solvers were already unrolling their puzzle pieces.

Shane is going back for Amorong's first bag of puzzle pieces while Liz enters the course for Malabobo's second
Heinz (Malabobo) vs Josh (Amorong)
DeePee got Malabobo's last bag while Alvin overlooked Amorong's fourth
Alvin of Amorong tumbles down

The vital part of the challenge came down to the puzzle. The puzzle pieces had to be woven in a way that the board will spell out towns of Pangasinan. There were a couple of weaves early on, but no one can figure out the first town. "This is the part of the challenge that may take a while to complete," said host Ivan. Leah of Malabobo tribe wove a piece and successfully spelled DASOL. The score was 1-0 with Malabobo leading.

Leah steps up at Malabobo tribe
Ryan, Sheryl and Chino having difficulty at Amorong tribe
Sheryl, Chino and Ryan had difficulty in solving the puzzle until Sheryl was able to weave one and spelled out MABINI which tied it up 1-1. Chons was able to figure out the second town for Malabobo, BURGOS. The teamwork of Leah, Chons and Resty made the score 3-1  and then 4-1 in favor of Malabobo. The Amorong puzzle solvers can only stare at their puzzle as Sheryl was desperately calling out wrong town names. Leah was able to weave the last puzzle piece and Malabobo Tribe wins Immunity!


While Malabobo tribe went back to camp celebrating, Amorong tribe was down and defeated. Probably the most vulnerable of the eight tribe members were the puzzle solvers, most especially Chino. When they were back at camp, he was feeling this vibe that his tribe mates will be voting against him as they lost due to the puzzle. "I know that they are thinking of voting me out for this council. I know it. I can sense it. But I'm not gonna let that happen. I will try my best not to be voted out although I am very very nervous right now," explained a paranoid Chino.

In a confessional, Chino expresses how nervous he is before Amorong tribe's first tribal council
"It's sad that we lost in the immunity challenge but that's part of the game.The puzzle was hard to be honest. And I feel bad being one of the assigned puzzle solver," said Ryan who was one of the puzzle solvers for Amorong along with Sheryl and Chino.

Sheryl on the other hand had another plan. "I did my best in the puzzle. It could have been anyone doing the puzzle but Ryan, Chino and I stepped up for the group. I am gonna try to pitch to the group to let go of the younger people in the tribe," explained Sheryl. The younger crowd in the tribe were Joyjoy, Shane and Josh. Shane was feeling vulnerable as well because her running performance was not good enough. "I performed well in the reward challenge when I beat my brother. But I had difficulty in removing the bag of puzzle pieces in the immunity challenge. But I promise to do my best in all of the challenges if I will be given a chance," said Shane.

(tribal council shot) Erwin and Shane of the losing Amorong tribe
"I can sense an age gap in our group. I became closer to the older persons in the tribe. Then the youngsters are close like Joyjoy and Shane. These young girls are close. Josh has this gap from the rest of the tribe. He can not easily get along with the rest of the group. And he is so silent," assessed Ryan. Josh came into the game as a filler. But each of them did not really know everyone except Sheryl and Chino who came in as a pair in the game.


While waiting for tribal council, Chino who was still feeling paranoid, huddled the group and introduced Kokology. Kokology is based on a book which mainly focuses in the analysis of the deep psyche of a person. "I am going to do my best to dodge the bullet this tribal council. I can really sense that the younger crowd are gonna be gunning for me this council. But I will let them like me. I am an innate motivator," explained Chino.

Kokology book
Chino makes the Amorong tribe alive by doing a Kokology session
Chino spearheaded the Kokology session. "What animal do you see," asked Chino. "Lion," answered meekly by Josh. And then lots of follow up questions. By the end of the questioning period, he was able to assess his tribe mates based on their answers. "Like you Josh, you answered Lion right? You are the type of person where you feel great whenever you get something accomplished. Am I correct?," Chino asked Josh to which Josh responded positively.

Even before tribal council starts, Amorong's kokology continues
"Chino is Mr. Kokology. He would be asking questions and then he would later assess us based on our answers. It was very interesting. At least it eases the tension in the group especially we need to go to tribal council," said Shane. They were still in the middle of their nth session of Kokology with Chino when they were called to go to tribal council.


Amorong tribe entered the tribal council area. Immediately, the puzzle solvers - Sheryl, Chino and Ryan - were panned on their performance in the immunity challenge. Ryan agreed that they messed up. Sheryl defended themselves by saying that it could have been anyone doing the puzzle which is a critical part of the challenge. Chino was asked if it would be fair to vote him out because of the poor performance of the puzzle solvers and he adamantly said no. "I still can give a lot to this tribe. I am a motivator. I motivate people and I think that will help us win in the next challenges," explained Chino.

Joyjoy, Chino and Josh during Amorong's first tribal council
Ivan asked them about camp life and Josh can not even utter a single word. "Josh is a silent guy," defended Sheryl. Shane said that the whole camp vibe was "chill", aka relaxing. Erwin mentioned how happy he was that he won't be the first person voted out Erwin has an immunity necklace which he won in the first challenge but narrated how sad he would be for the unlucky person. Joyjoy was asked on how she would vote, and she said performance. Shane specified that she's basing it on performance and camp life. Alvin and Ryan agreed. When asked, Alvin mentioned that it sucked being beaten by Chons in their first Reward Challenge but reassured that though he's happy for his wife, there are still many matches to come where he can beat her. The tribe won't keep him if he intentionally loses so that his wife, who is over at Malabobo tribe, can win.

"I'm gonna beat my wife," assures Alvin to the group
Ivan asked them one by one if they are feeling nervous. Joyjoy and Shane said they were nervous while the rest said they were not. "Among the eight of you, there is really one person who should be confident, and that is Erwin because he has the immunity necklace. But everyone said they are confident except for Joyjoy and Shane. Let's see if this is telling us something. It's time to vote," ordered Ivan.

One by one, the members of the Amorong tribe entered the confessional and wrote down  the name of the tribe mate that they want kicked out of the game...

"Once the votes are read, the decision is final. Person voted out will surrender his or her buff, throw it in the urn, and will be asked to leave the tribal council area, immediately..." 

First Vote: JOSH
Second Vote: JOYJOY
Third Vote: JOSH
Fourth Vote: JOYJOY
Fifth Vote: JOSH
Sixth Vote: JOYJOY
Seventh Vote: JOSH

Eighth vote, and the first person voted out of Survivor Pangasinan is... JOSH

Josh was asked to leave the tribal council area. In his confessional, he mentioned that "This is my first time in this kind of activity and I was very nervous when my name started to come up at tribal. It's my first time and maybe that's the reason why they voted me out. I am kind of sad..." 

Josh's wildcard status came to his disadvantage. But he did not really do anything to stay and dodge the bullet. He was always quiet at camp and was always disconnected with his tribe mates. He could have used his youth or his charm to get the favor of, say, Sheryl or Shane. But he didn't. We say goodbye to the Good Boy of Cavite, Josh.




JOSH voted for JOYJOY

ERWIN voted for JOYJOY
ALVIN voted for JOYJOY
SHERYL voted for JOSH
CHINO voted for JOSH
JOYJOY voted for JOSH
SHANE voted for JOSH
RYAN voted for JOSH


The girls of Malabobo Tribe are in hot seat...

REXIE: "I think the first person who will be voted out in the tribe is... Chons. Because she's the oldest and she may not have the ability to stay competing in the challenges..."

RESTY: "I don't think that Leah can last long in the game..."

LIZ: "I'm only here to enjoy the challenges and give my best in the games. I haven't really thought about the alliances alliances stuffs and the tribal council dynamics."

DEEPEE: "She wants to volunteer to get the votes. We are just granting her wish."

Amorong tribe devises a way to survive

RYAN: "So Sheryl had this idea of getting the nearest coconut from the coconut tree so that we can eat it."

SHERYL: "I'm having this headache because I'm really really hungry. They won't let us eat."

At the Immunity Challenge, the BACKPACKERS of Malabobo Tribe depended on Resty

HEINZ: "Shoot the freaking ball! Come on Resty!"
IVAN: "Chino of Amorong has a very good lead over Malabobo's Resty!"

And a temptation was offered to Malabobo's Rexie and Resty

IVAN: "One pack of nicely minted Lucky Strike Click and Roll cigarettes.. You can have this but the entire group needs to choose this over the food items in the catalog."

Coming up next on SURVIVOR PANGASINAN: Backpackers vs Loved Ones


Episode 3: Their Legs are Longer
Episode 4: Please Vote Me Out

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