MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE) The U.S. version of the hit reality TV show "Survivor" is now being shot in Caramoan Islands in Camarines Sur.
This was confirmed by a member of the local production team working on the popular CBS series, as well as businesses in Caramoan, where it has become an "open secret."
According to the source, many of the Filipinos who worked on the Philippine shoot of the Hollywood film, "The Bourne Legacy," are also working on the American version of "Survivor."
"Actually may 'Survivor' doon. It's a really big production but I cannot (give more details) because I signed a confidentiality agreement. It's is being filmed right now and it's going to air in September," Camarines Sur Governor L-Ray Villafuerte told abs-cbnNEWS.com on Tuesday.
He added that the shooting only started last week and will wrap up in August.
|Contestants perform a challenge for a European version of "Survivor" shot in Caramoan, Camarines Sur. Photo from the Facebook page of Caramoan Paradise
According to speculations on the show's fan sites, the American version of "Survivor" with host Jeff Probst is shooting two seasons in the Philippines -- Seasons 25 and 26 -- back to back.
"Survivor" Season 24 is currently airing worldwide. The next season is expected to air in the fall.
Villafuerte said the filming of "Survivor" will help local businesses in Caramoan.
"They are hiring 400 people. They pay them daily wage, they are hiring sasakyan, bangka at lahat ng local supplies doon ay binibili nila so grabe ang business in the locality," he said.
Tourism establishments are also using "Survivor" to market their products.
CK-Inn, in fact, mentioned the shoot on its website.
"The whole Matukad island will be closed during March as production team of USA is now in Caramoan preparing for the Survivor show," it announced on its website.
Tour operator Caramoan Paradise even offers packages that would give tourists a glimpse of the "Survivor" experience.
"Survivor USA is setting up now at Caramoan, shooting will start by March... get the chance to have a glimpse of it.... for only P1,300 2D1N (flat rate)... experience being a castaway," it said on its Facebook page.
Hollywood movie shoot
This is not the first time that Caramoan was chosen as shooting location for "Survivor."
Villafuerte said the French and Swedish versions of the reality TV show were also shot in Camarines Sur.
"Survivors France, Sweden, Belgium, India, Turkey, Serbia, Israel have filmed there as early as four years ago," he said.
But since the American version of "Survivor" attracts a global audience, countries are eager to host the show.
In Asia, the U.S. series has already shot in Australia, Thailand, Malaysia and China.
Aside from "Survivor," Villafuerte also revealed that a Hollywood movie will also be shot in the province.
"Magkakaroon ng Hollywood film sa amin this year, I can not say again (what it is)," he said.