• Callao Caves shut for ‘Survivor’ shoot

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    TUGUEGARAO CITY: Foreign and local tourists will “strictly” not be allowed to enter the premises of Callao Caves in Peñablanca town for the Survivor segment of the Reality TV Asia (RTVA).

    RTVA management said the Callao Caves and its environs will be closed for a five-hour segment shoot on Monday.

    Callao Cave has at least seven chambers and it is one of the best known tourist attractions of Cagayan province. It is located in Barangays Magdalo and Quibal, Peñablanca, near Tuguegarao City, the capital city of the Province of Cagayan.

    Nikolo Juban, location manager of RTVA has arranged with the provincial government a special trip to Callao Caves, a good 20-minute trip by private transport from here, for a segment shoot for the series.

    In a letter to Gov. Alvaro Antonio, Juban requested for the closure of the cave between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in order to film the area in a controlled environment to capture the “true beauty and essence” of the caves and its chambers.

    Juban said there will be at least 20 crew from the production, lighting and sound department who are expected to arrive from Santa Ana, Cagayan early morning to set up the filming.

    Santa Ana, the northeastern most town of the Philippines, has been the location of the Survivor series since April, which will wind up this month.

    Identified locations included the fabled Palaui Island, Anguib and Gotan beaches.

    In 2012, the Palaui Island was named as one of the top ten beaches and islands in the world by the CNN Go travel website of the Cable News Network (CNN).

    Recently, Palaui Island is in CNN’s Top 10 Best Beaches in the World beating other beaches in some of the most popular destinations in the world such as Greece, Trinidad and Tobago, Madagascar, Brazil, Barbados and Mexico, placing even higher than El Nido in Palawan (14th) and Puka Beach in Boracay (84th).

    Benjie de Yro, Philippine Information Agency regional information officer, said the Callao Caves and its environs have been the location in full or in part of Filipino and international movies.

    De Yro said these included Laruang Apoy starred by Alma Moreno, Vic Vargas and Armida Siguion-Reyna; Golden Triangle with Chinese actor Meng Fei, Evangeline Pascual and Eddie Garcia; the Lito Lapid-Aiko Melendez movie Aguinaldo: Aguila ng Cagayan, and John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo’s The Mistress.

    The rediscovery of Callao Caves in the early 1970s by the National Museum has led to the discovery of new caves with a total of more than 300 believed to be part of a series of caves, 75 of which have been documented since 1977.

    “With such number, it was easy for Cagayan to snatch the tourism branding as the Caving Capital of the Philippines. Hundreds are yet to be discovered,” de Yro said.

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