SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The country’s so-called theme park capital is also earning raves as a prime location spot for filming movies and television shows because of its lush forests, scenic beaches and coasts, strong bio-diversity, and unique environment moods.
Jem Camba, head of the Tourism Department of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), said that a lot of movie and TV producers and directors prefer to bring their production to Subic because of the unique environment provided by the former US Naval Base.
“Subic has almost everything you need for your required locations. We have here forests and mountains, rivers and the sea, theme parks, factories and entertainment facilities, and the remnants of the former military base,” Camba pointed out.
“This is the reason why a lot of local and some foreign movies, as well as Filipino tele-novelas, are being shot in the Subic Bay Freeport,” she added.
Camba also noted that Tourism Promotion Board CEO Cesar Montano had recently noted that a movie and television studios can be developed in the Subic Freeport.
In an interview with entertainment editor Ricky Lo, Montano said that he told SBMA Chairman Martin Diño that Subic is a perfect place for some kind of a Universal Studios.
“Subic has everything you need,” Montano said, pointing out that it has an an airport, an ocean park, a rain forest, a zoo, a port, a highway and other things that a film location must have.
Amelia Torralba-Perez of the Mandala Video and Events Production, had also described Subic as an excellent place for location shooting.
“We can find everything here in Subic,” Perez said. “We have world-class accommodations, we have good food, and for the longest time we’ve been here, people in SBMA are not giving us a hard time. That is why we are coming back here with all of our projects.”
Perez was in Subic recently for the location shoot of the History TV series “Celebrity Car Wars”, an Amazing Race-like show with cars and celebrities from Asian nations who do extreme challenges on cars like drifting and off-roading.
Perez said that since 2005, she has been referring Subic as a location site for various television and movie production, such as the Discovery Channel, BBC, TV-series Jack Irish, as well as some American, Japanese and French shows.
In June this year, an episode of the documentary series entitled “Before the 90 Days” for American Network’s The Learning Channel (TLC) was filmed in Subic with contributors American Lawrence “Larry” Passariello and his Filipino girlfriend Jenny de Guzman.
Among the first movies shot in Subic was “Goodbye America” which was released in 1997. It was an action-drama that portrayed the closing of the U.S. military base at Subic Bay and how it affected the lives of the people in the surrounding communities and the Americans who had served in the base.