Foreign reality show producer films Peking Express in Bontoc

>> Sunday, February 5, 2012

By Francis B. Degay

BONTOC, Mountain Province. -- An episode of the 8th Peking Express, a spectacular elimination race, was filmed in this capital town at SitioChakalan of Bontoc Ili and Chakso rice terraces on Jan.21 and 22, 2012.

Organizers said the competition has a similar concept with the Amazing Race and Survivor Philippines.

It commenced with eight pairs of contestants in Seoul, South Korea. The second destination was the Philippines and finally Sydney, Australia.

The show was produced by a Belgian-based Kanakna Productions with Thiery Guillaume as producer and Stephane Rotenberg as program host.

Each contestant was given one euro or equivalent to about P60 per day as allowance.

Along the route, the contestants had to look for free rides to reach their designated destination.

At their stopovers, they had to find hosts who could provide them free meals and sleeping quarters.

From Cervantes, Ilocos Sur, pair Jean Pierre Bouveè and Francois Genevet, both French and defending champion of last year’s 7th season performed in Africa, was the first to arrive at 5:45p.m. on Jan. 21 at the provincial plaza here.

They were welcomed by the Bontockhiyag cultural dance troupe that performed indigenous dances.

The pair was escorted to the family house of a certain CamiloUt-tan as their host for the night at sitioChakalan.

Before they had supper of native dish of pinikpikan and rice, the contestants pounded, through the use of indigenous pestle and mortar, four bundles of palay for their breakfast the following day.

One of the organizers said that there was an advantage of the first couple to arrive in Bontoc because they had a ready host to entertain them.

According to Francois, they slept well as they were tired of hitching rides from Cervantes, Ilocus Sur to Bontoc.

They had to transfer rides because the two vehicles they rode in had engine problems.

At Mankayan, Benguet, they were able to hitch a Land Rover that brought them to Bontoc.

Jean Pierre, who has difficulty in communicating in English, said that Bontoc was one of the best rural communities he visited.

The place is imbued with natural and fresh cool air and hospitable and simple living people, he related.

The other two couples who were not able to reach Bontoc night of Jan. 21 arrived the following morning.

They were tasked to find the Lao-inganato and a traditional pigpen with a native pig at sitioChakalan to find the clue what to do next.

Afterwards, the pairs proceeded in front of the Bontoc museum to register and report to the program host that they arrived in this town.

A point is deducted if the last two couples will be able to see the first couple hence, Jean Pierre and Francois hid in the village.

A spectacular game was performed at Chaksoricefield. The three couples were requested to find the three knives packed in bamboos submerged in a wet paddy ready for planting palay.

They used the knives to cut the ropes that were connected to sacks of rice suspended in bamboo poles in the upper dry paddy. Each sack contains 40 kilos of rice packed in 40 smaller sacks.

As the pair found the knife they proceeded to the upper paddy, cut the rope, untied the sack and carried the smaller sacks through the use of two bamboo sticks as carriers.

They brought their cargo to the third terrace below through obstacles such as 1 wooden ladder, wet paddy and another wooden ladder until the third paddy where the winnowers and host was located.

The couple who filled the winnower with the most number of sacks was declared the winner.

After the game, they had another race to Baguio. They hitched vehicles and dropped by some communities along the Halsema highway that were designated by the program host.

The first stopover was in Nacagang, Sabangan. There was traffic in the vicinity of Nacagang bridge when all the vehicles plying to the south were flagged down by the contestants for free ride until Mount Data, Bauko which was the next stopover.

Rotenberg said that there will be succeeding filming of reality shows in the forthcoming months probably in the Philippines.

This will be participated by Dutch contestants and other nationalities. Moreover, he said that Kanakna is a multi-awarded producer of entertainment shows in Europe since 1996.

It started as a documentary production company in 1993 and became part of the Swedish Zodiak television in 2007.


Anonymous May 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM  

Funny i didn't know about this until my french friend told me. She's too excited to see our culture. The show will airs next wednesday in France.

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