No special treatment for DiCaprio in Albay

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 13 2010 03:29 PM | Updated as of Jul 13 2010 11:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Despite his superstar status, actor Leonardo DiCaprio will be treated like an ordinary tourist when he visits Albay province next month.

According to Albay Governor Joey Salceda, the Hollywood actor will not be allowed to climb the Mayon volcano or go near the lava front, just like everyone else.

Mayon Volcano, renowned as a "perfect cone" for its nearly symmetrical conical shape, is a popular spot for nature lovers and mountaineers.

Recently, however, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS) said the area is unsafe for any human activity since the volcano is still emitting gases and lava, following fears of an imminent eruption late last year.

Joyce Ramirez, director for international publicity at PR Asia Worldwide, earlier invited DiCaprio to visit Albay to spearhead an environmental awareness project.

She said the actor will be staying at the Misibis Bay, an "ultra-luxurious" resort.

Itinerary

It is not yet known as to how long DiCaprio will be staying in the province, according to Salceda.

The Albay governor said, however, that they'll be asking the Hollywood actor to plant trees in Legazpi, go jogging in Linyon Hill, and conduct a story-telling session with kids at a relocation site in Daraga.

Last week, an environmental group suggested an itinerary for DiCaprio, which primarily involved visits to eco-critical areas in Albay such as Rapu-Rapu island, Palanog in the municipality of Camalig, and the town of Tiwi. (Read story here.)

"We are not asking him to forgo the tourist spots of Albay, but he should see the real situation of the environment in the province first, without the packaged tour," said Pangataman-Bikol (Bicol Center for Environmental Protection) in a statement.

DiCaprio is known for several blockbuster Hollywood movies such as "Titanic," "The Beach," and "Catch Me if You Can." His visit to Albay is expected to give the province a chance to be noticed by the international travel and tourism market. -- Report from Erick Baldo, ABS-CBN Bicol