Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Hollywood series to shoot in Cebu

Lorraine Ecarma - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — A 10-episode Hollywood series will shoot in Cebu beginning November, shining the spotlight once again on the island province – this time in a bigger scale – after two Netflix documentaries that came out this year (“Street Food Asia” and “Happy Jail”) gave Cebuanos the rare delight of seeing their home turf given the international treatment.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said that Cory Vidanes, ABS-CBN Chief Operating Officer of Broadcast, and Dean Devlin, founder and CEO of Electric Entertainment, recently paid her a visit to inform her that Cebu will be the setting of the upcoming series, which ABS-CBN News reported to bear the title “Off Tropic.”

The project is produced by Electric Entertainment, known for the blockbuster films “Geostorm,” “Independence Day,” “Stargate” and “Godzilla.” ABS-CBN will line-produce.

Garcia said that producers told her the series will serve as an “extended commercial and a kind of travelogue” of Cebu, highlighting its scenic spots and diverse culture.

“There must be something about Cebu that made him choose it out of the so many places and provinces,” said Garcia, known for her efforts in boosting the province’s tourism industry during her previous stints as governor with projects such as the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo Festival and Suroy-Suroy Sugbo.

“We have our international airport that makes for easy accessibility to the international audience who may wish to visit after watching the series. This will really promote Cebu,” she added.

Garcia said she will be sending Suroy-Suroy Sugbo video clips to the Hollywood production to give them an idea of the caravan in case they choose to incorporate it in the series.

Devlin is a Filipino-American director, producer and screenwriter who traces his roots to Iloilo and whose grandfather authored a book about World War II.

“It’s a lifelong dream to get do something here. I wish my mom was alive to see it. I haven’t spent much time here and now we get to do a show here,” said Devlin during the Sept. 27 contract signing with Kapamilya Network executives, according to an ABS-CBN News report.

Devlin was joined by American actor Christian Kane not only in the ABS-CBN signing and casting of Filipino actors, but also in an ocular visit to Cebu last Saturday, where they were met by airport officials, ABS-CBN Regional Head Veneranda Cinco-Sy and ABS-CBN Cebu Station Manager Leilani Alba.

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