Hapi-er Togeder had its first out of town location shoot last Thursday. An out of town shoot is always looked forward by everyone in the team because it’s a chance to see new sights and experience new things. Even if this “out of town shoot” was just in Subic, just a good three hours away from Manila.
We left for Subic on Wednesday, supposedly to prepare everything for the shoot on Thursday. But there were a lot of last minute things to do that we left late and, eventually arrived in Subic late. We spent the night at Forest View Leisure Residences, which view reminds me of the opening scene from Edward Scissorhands. I remember being in this place years ago and thought I knew what to expect but I was surprised to find out that they’ve improved the houses significantly. We were welcomed by Direk Al who arrived earlier than we did and who kept gushing how impressive the villa was, “better than Fontana”.
The the Suite Villa where we were checked in was spacious and felt very luxurious. It had 2 rooms, each room can fit in 2 to 3 occupants. It had two T&B, a kitchen with oven & gas range, ref and microwave oven and a living room with a plasma TV and comfortable couches. Needless to say, we had a good night’s sleep.
The following day, we travelled 30 minutes more from Forest View for our taping. According to our Art Director, Jungle Joe’s World used to be an amusement park with rides and amenities for team building seminars. Sadly, now it’s just… well, a jungle. We were told that a GMA 7 show also taped there prior to us. We chose this particular location because it had the jungle and the beach we were looking for. Perfect for the two episodes we were taping that day. We were not, however, prepared for the long trek down the location venue. It was a solid 10 minute walk down to the beach. My Vibram Five Fingers were to be brought to a test.
It was indeed a long walk but my Five Fingers didn’t disappoint me. It felt different but it felt good. My feet had better grip of the ground it was on. I will do a separate blog on my trekking experience with my Vibram Five Fingers, so let me just go on about our taping experience at Jungle Joe’s World.
After hiking down several meters of cemented trails deep in the forest, this scenic view welcomed my weariness:
It’s actually a beach cove, surrounded by mountains, this place sure is difficult to reach, but once discovered, you’ll realize that the hike is all worth it. I later found out that this beach is called Sa’ Anaba Beach and is one of the three “untouched beach coves” within the vicinity of Jungle Joe’s 60 hectares.
Our team settled at the forested area just before the beach. A blessing came in disguise when the technical crew of another production team pulling out for taping took our video monitors by mistake so our taping was delayed by 3 hours. At first, I was stressing over this fact and was finding out ways on how to roll tape without the monitors, but Direk Al calmed me when he said stressing over it won’t change a thing and that the best we can do is take the delay to relax a bit before plunging into another long taping day. And with that he asked who among the crew member had cards and they started playing poker. Chill. A little while after, they started to pull out their guitars and started strumming and singing. Shortly after, the cast members also trekked down and joined in the singing and little eating. This is the thing I love most with this group, everything can easily be fixed over guitars and pan de sal.
It was a little before 12nn when the video monitors arrived and we proceeded with the taping. It was great to see the enthusiasm of the group as our AD blocked them. First sequences took place in the beach:
After the beach scenes, we retreated to the forested part and shot several sequences there as Mr. Sun bid us adieu for the day and it was another sight to behold:
Our taping stretched up to one in the morning, we were dead tired after but everyone went home happy and satisfied after the day’s work. And every night, I never fail to thank God for giving me this chance to work with such talented and relaxed people in these wonderful circumstances.
*shameless plug coming*
And don’t miss a much wackier and definitely Hapi-er Togeder, Tuesdays after Mga Nagbabagang Bulaklak. The episodes we taped here are part of a 4 part summer special which will air in April.