SANTA ANA, Cagayan – The US reality TV series “Survivor,” whose four-month 27th season was filmed entirely in Cagayan, especially in this northern coastal town’s pristine Palaui Island, concluded its production last weekend.
The more than 400-member cast and production staff, including locals, held their farewell party at the posh Cagayan Holiday and Leisure Resort here last Sunday, according to the Santa Ana-based Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA).
The “Survivor” 27th season began filming on Palaui Island last April. CEZA facilitated the production here to promote tourism and investments in this once-obscure fishing town.
Hotel personnel revealed that a number of the cast and production staff opted to extend their stay in Santa Ana to enjoy the town’s beaches and other natural wonders.
According to sources, the Cagayan Holiday and Leisure Resort, one of CEZA’s locators, generated at least P100 million in food and accommodation receipts and other related revenues as the entire “Survivor” production staff stayed there for four months.
Santa Ana Mayor Darwin Tobias acknowledged the contribution of “Survivor” to the municipality, especially in tourism promotion and short-term livelihood for the locals.
The town’s tourism industry, according to Tobias, has been thriving even before the “Survivor” filming because of its various natural and unexplored wonders, including fine white sand beaches and mangroves.
“Their stay here further put the town in the world’s tourism map. With its beautiful and scenic features, there’s no doubt we will soon be at par or even better than those being touted at present as the country’s tourism gems,” he said.
Palaui, a 7,415-hectare national government-protected marine area, was recently adjudged by Cable News Network (CNN) as among the world’s 10 best islands and beaches. It is inhabited by some 200 families, mostly Aeta or Agta tribal folk.
Joan Taguba, president of the Santa Ana Hotel and Resort Owners Association, said they expect the arrival of more tourists following the CNN recognition and the “Survivor” filming.
“Definitely, this is a promising season for the town, especially for our local tourism,” Taguba said.