Caramoan Islands (Caramines Sur, Philippines): The home of the survivors
By Rey mos
20 May 2013
TOURISM PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE in the economy of a country in terms of bringing in dollars and providing local employment. In recent years, massive information campaigns were introduced by the Philippine government to promote its natural beauty - from beaches to mountain peaks.
One of the regions in the Philippines that became the landscape in a popular international reality game show is Camarines Sur, aka CamSur. Camsur is located in the southern tip of Luzon, 7-hour trip by bus from Metro Manila. There are several islands surrounding the region, including Caramoan group of islands which currently the popular home of the reality tv series, SURVIVOR!
It started in 2008, when French survivor edition was shot in the island, followed by editions from Bulgaria, Israel and Serbia in 2009; and consequently Swedish edition in 2010, followed by Norway, Belgium, India and Denmark in 2011; and then finally, US edition in 2012 which provides hundreds of local employment during the entire shooting of the reality tv program.
Unfortunately, no hotels or hostels available in the islands, except for guest houses as so called hometel - local people offering their homes as transient lodging places at affordable rates. Home owners offer discounted packages for group of guests/visitors which also cover food, transport and island hopping.
The highlights of the island hopping include visit to the following places: Lajos, Matukad, Cagbaligad, Musdac, Tiksilo, Caglago, Manlawi, Solidad, Sabitang Laya, Cutivas; having lunch in a sand bar (with floating cottages) and snorkelling in front of the main campsite of the Survivor. A visit to the campsite of the reality tv show how is not free, but do not worry, the hired boats can go closer to the coast to have a clearer view of the facilities. A visit to our Lady of Peace in Caglago is a must - having 557 steps to reach the highest point of the hill with the breathtaking aerial view of Caramoan islands.
While travelling back to Manila, a few hours stop-over in Naga is a worthwhile thing to do. The town offers special delicacies made of pili (nut) fruit, dried fish and squid, hand-made pandan handbags and other souvenir stuffs. Just few minutes from the city center, another popular attraction to explore, CWC (Camsur Watersports Complex) - the wakeboarding experience!