International television channel, National Geographic, is set to feature the Philippines through Islands Insider, a Filipino-produced 6-part documentary series that seeks to reveal cultural and historical insights on some of the country’s world-class destinations, which include the Batad Rice Terraces in Mountain Province, Coron in Palawan, Taal and Anilao in Batangas, Siquijor, and Mt. Pulag in Benguet.
El Nido in Palawan
Produced by The Extra Mile Productions, with support from the Department of Tourism (DOT), Islands Insider presents the Philippines in a different perspective and deviates from traditional travel shows by featuring stories as narrated by the locals, highlighting issues beyond the breathtaking sights, and delivering a strong preservation and conservation message.
In a special screening held last May 21, 2012 at Greenbelt 3, members of the press, blogging community, and tourism stakeholders enjoyed a two-episode preview of the Islands Insider: “Batad Rice Terraces” and “Coron.” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez also graced the screening and expressed his delight as a partner of the project.
“This project came as a surprise because I was not yet the Secretary when this was conceptualized. This being a part of National Geographic means that the beautiful sights of your country are part of the world, not just part of the Philippines, and the days will come that we will have to share it with the rest of the world. We want you to see it first, we want you to protect it, before they all come rushing in,” Secretary Jimenez said during his opening remarks.
Islands Insider is a title befitting the documentary’s theme and in-depth look at the communities, as the featured locals – the Ifugaos, Ibaloys, and Shamans in Siquijor – were allowed to speak for themselves and their culture. “Insider” connotes a point of truth that an outsider would not know, according to the producers.
The first episode of the 6-part series, which will feature the Batad Rice Terraces, is targeted to premiere in the third week of June on National Geographic Channel. Islands Insider is directed by Gabby Malvar and hosted by Ginggay Hontiveros, both executive producers of The Extra Mile Productions.
As the Department of Tourism endeavors to boost the country’s tourism potential and elicit renewed enthusiasm for the new campaign, it hopes that this project will encourage more Filipinos to explore the Philippines, participate in preserving its rich cultural and historical heritage, and promote it to the rest of the world.