Weeknights until December 2008
Survivor Philippines - After the Vote-Out
Thank you for your continued support, daotera, marya, maya, trique, elsie, cheche, jane_doe, theblackpatita, h8red, worcestershire...and many others!!! Additionally, thank you to the fab bloggers of SurvivorPhilippines.com for voting me as "The People's Choice for the Should Have Been Sole Survivor"....«blushing»
Letting it Out
After being voted out, I'm finally free to talk about the things racing inside my head for too long. No need to recap what happened on the island - you can watch tv for that or wait for the DVD when it comes out.
I was surprised and perhaps in a mild state of shock when I got voted out. I knew my alliance would axe me at their earliest convenience - I never trusted them. I just didn't realize they would do it at that early point in time without any kind of strategic deliberation. After doing the math, I strategized that I won't be a viable threat to them until close to the tribe merging, which is still about 9 days away - meaning, they have 9 days to use me as a competitive advantage in the tribe to help win the reward and immunity challenges. I thought their decision to vote me out too early was ill-advised, or worse, unthought-off. I harbor no ill-feeling about the Jarakay members. Betrayal, deception and duplicity are what we all signed-up for by being castaways. Within the framework of Survivor, it was all part of the landscape.
Could Have, Should Have
I was consumed by thoughts on how I could have done differently to prevent the vote-out. I played several scenes inside my head, each assessing the what-ifs. Regrets were there for not playing it more aggressively...for being complacent that I was indispensable for 9 days...for not taking heed of the obvious signs. I couldn't help it. I'd catch myself playing different scenarios one after another.
After being ushered out of Jarakay camp and into the base-camp where voted-out castaways were sent, almost as a knee-jerk reaction, I took a step back, saw the situation from a high-level perspective and felt grateful for the once-in-a-lifetime experience. With that, I planned to go back to Sagada upon reaching Manila to resume my old life back - end of story.
A Stone in my Shoe
But it wasn't really that simple. Upon leaving the Kho Tarutao on my way back to Manila, I intentionally left most of the things "Survivor" behind...the rain coat, the water shoes, etc. I wanted Survivor to be a closed chapter...a ghost I left behind. (Surprisingly, I couldn't find it in me to leave the utility bag and the Jarakay buff behind. I keep them with me to date.) There was a heavy feeling that lingered...an uneasiness I couldn't shrug off. At first, I couldn't make sense of it. It just wasn't logical. Usually, when I apply logic to something, and the pieces fall in place, I come upon a settling feeling, allowing me to keep perspective to move on. But it wasn't working this time.
Back in Manila
My coming back to Manila wasn't exactly a triumphant return, but more like a dog with tail between his legs. I wasn't used to losing. It was new ground. I had to come to terms with my ego. Upon arrival, I'd walk the streets unmindful of the increasing hype about the launching of the show (it hasn't aired yet and even my friends didn't know I was a castaway) - everyone was excited about the show, but me. I'd feel awkward whenever "Survivor" was mentioned. I'd feel a sense of discomfort...like I wanted to conceal a dark secret. I'd tell people I don't have tv so I can't watch the show - true, but I really wanted to put Survivor behind me.
After some struggling, I came to realize I was in denial. Getting voted out too early was a humiliating defeat in front of a public audience. I feared that people would be polite in my presence but ridicule me for being such a loser when I turn my back. I was out of the game, and the game was still going on. The internal conflict consumed me in ways I didn't anticipate.
Sagada, Sweet Sagada
I went back to Sagada to pick up remnants of my old existence. I relished getting back to my personal Shangrila, my refuge - crepe, freshly roasted coffee in the morning, hiking the trails, yoga, gourmet cuisine, partying with passing visitors, being at peace again under my skin...or so I thought.
Workout from Hell
Everything about me would have looked normal except for my workouts. Normally, I'd finish my program working out 4 days a week, and that's it. Now, it wasn't enough. I'd workout every single day, pushing everything until I collapse or be nauseated or until I'm completely exhausted I wouldn't be able to stand on my legs, whichever came first. At times, I'd pause to 'catch my breath', only fall asleep and wake up the following day. By pushing the limits, I was exorcising whatever demons I had inside me...that by giving it all until there was nothing left to give, I'd somehow find vindication for my failure. Yeah, it wasn't healthy but it worked for me, until the following day when the need to workout beckons and the cycle repeats itself.
Sagada to Manila
When the show aired and my turn to be voted-out was played out, it was with utmost reluctance I had to return back to Manila to do a series of interviews as part of the 'voted-out' process. I could still feel the humiliation of failure. I wasn't sure how I was going to deal with it.
A Different Manila
It was a very different Manila this time. When I left Manila for Sagada, the show hasn't aired yet. I was a virtual unknown. I could walk the streets with complete anonymity. Now, with the whole nation glued nightly to this much-anticipated reality show, I could no longer leave the house without being recognized - on the streets, in the jeep, in malls, etc.
After the viewing public has watched me in the show and heard the island interviews for 3 weeks, they already formed an opinion of me...a very positive one - one that's diametrically opposed to my tortured self-image. They were kinder and more forgiving. People approached me with kind words of support, saying good things about how I carried myself within the tribe, and how they respect my defiance against the alliance to keep a strong Jarakay. They told me how surprised they were I was voted out too early and that they wanted to see me through. They had open smiles, wanting a piece of me...pictures, handshakes, autographs, taps on the shoulder, etc. The public took me under its fold - it became safe haven against my unforgiving self-talk.
I never really lurked on the Survivor blog sites after reading up a nasty and fabricated lie - why upset myself unnecessarily? However, friends who do, relayed that public sympathy and empathy were with me. They agreed that I was a tribal asset and that voting me out was a big mistake. More surprisingly, the blog community removed the nasty chatters/posters, those whose aim was merely to power trip on their anonymity by spreading nasty lies. I was amazed. I thought the forums were venues for some flamers to unleash their vulgarity. True, but having the community self-police themselves was something I respect and admire. Perhaps, when time permits, I can identify myself to the blog sites and be part of their community as well....when time allows.
Friends, bloggers and complete strangers on the street helped me remove my blinders. I was too hard and too unforgiving of myself. Their goodwill helped me appreciate my situation in a totally new light. The shameful failure was an imagined nightmare I boxed myself with. I didn't do too bad after all. I started feeling good about myself.
Let me also add that GMA's in-house psychologist, DokSam (Dr. Samuel Ramos), as we affectionately call him, was there for us as a pillar of stability...like a lighthouse in the middle of a raging storm. With him around, I had a psychological safety-net. At first, I didn't really know why he was there. After all, all the castaways were adults of sound mind who signed up to a program we were all too familiar with. Why do we need a psychologist? However, after the island experience, just how essential he was, became all too apparent. It was then I began to understand and appreciate his critical role.
Seeing myself in a positive light, I began to enjoy my 'celebrity' status. It was a party for me. Interviews were lined up one after another - Showbiz Central, DZBB radio, DZLS radio, Unang Hirit, Sweet Life, All Star K, 24 Oras, live chat on SurvivorPhilippines.tv, Nuts Entertainment, etc. I was hob-nobbing with established celebrities, most of whom were hugely popular. Now, I was feeling what Andy Warhol meant about the "15 minutes" of fame in a lifetime. I was totally cool with the privacy infringement, knowing it will only last a few weeks. The show moves on and the viewing public would soon forget about me. But at least, I had the rare chance to live my 15 minutes.
Invigorated by the positive turnaround, I was meeting new people, renewing ties with old friends, confronting my old ghosts, and touched-base with old acquaintances I thought I never had enough time to have coffee with. I had renewed confidence in just about everything I did - the FLOW was once again with me.
It would not have been as fun a party for us castaways if not for the unsung heroes behind the scenes - the GMA Survivor staff who looked after our well-being. They were there 'cooking in the kitchen while we partied'. They loved their work and even went beyond the call of duty in some instances to ensure our comfort and security. They weren't just hired help - they were family to whom I will always feel indebted to. I dare not mention names for fear I may leave out one. But they know who they are.
Regrets? Sure, and it's not the P3 million nor the prestige of being the sole Survivor. I signed up for the life experience. What I went through was plenty but it could have been more. If you do something regularly enough for 21 days, it becomes a habit. But what if you scheme, connive, manipulate, deceive, betray, think 3 moves ahead, bluff, and lie 24/7 for 39 days! As a castaway, that's all you do. You live, breathe, sleep and dream it...non-stop...no kidding! As you talk to your alliance members and share a few laughs, you both know at some point, you'll do the other in - it's just a question of who does it first. These things go on continuously inside your head. My question is, what fundamental change happens to a person's psyche when subjected to this? It would be an oversimplification and naive to say that what happens on the island stays on the island. Since I was voted out too early, I will never experience what it's like to marinate on the island for 39 days, 24/7 consumed by such thinking or demeanor. It's not necessarily bad as most people might think. It's like knowing the secrets of fire. If you know what you're doing, fire will cook your food and provide warmth. If you don't know what you're doing, fire will burn you and your house down!
During the audition, I'd been consistently saying I'm joining to get to know myself a little better, to celebrate whatever morsel of wisdom or magic life throws my way from the experience. Coming to terms with my tortured ego, confronting my old ghosts and forging ahead with optimism...I guess I got exactly what I wished for...and plenty more.
Now, settled and comfortable under my skin, I welcome whatever comes out of my Survivor experience. If there is a showbiz potential stemming out of this, I won't say no. But now that all my GMA engagements have been fulfilled, I can happily go back to my mountain hamlet healed and recovered, enriched beyond words from the fascinating adventure I just went through...on the island, inside my head, with GMA staff and crew, with the people who celebrated with me - friends, loved ones, UP Mountaineers, yakap-mates, bloggers, and all that jazz.
Ah...life! What a rush !!!!
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
Castaway Charisse Yacapin
(Dec 3, 2008) I just read your AFTER THE VOTE-OUT blog. It's comforting to know that I'm not the only who had difficulty dealing with emotions post-Survivor. It's still an ongoing process for me. Hope that everything will turn out for the best in the end. Anyway, the finale is only a few days away. See you by then.
(Oct 28, 2008) Talaga, papayag ka mag-showbiz? Hmmm... iniisip ko na kung ano ang maganang role for you, eh. Pero parang babagay ka maging host. By the way, ang sarap basahin ng blogs mo. Puede ka siguro sa Docu show.
(Oct 28, 2008) i'm happy for you, Gigit! 🙂 gimik tayo ulit bago ka bumalik sagada! o kaya dalawin ka na lang namin dun! hehe mwah3x!
(Oct 23, 2008) What a journey, Gigit! I like how you said you got exactly what you wished for and then some. The gift is in the growing that came out of this experience. I haven't seen any of the episodes, but I don't think I need to to know that you must've done one hell of a job! Good luck on the next phase of your journey, whatever that may be 🙂 Ingat!
(Oct 23, 2008) just read your latest blog re survivor, it was so touching...thanks for being so honest! but remember, the most humiliating situation in our lives allows us to know more of ourselves, and helps us transform into a better person. still hope to see you in GMA7, sayang naman may fans club ka na rin!!! ayan nga tuloy, laging talo ang Jarakay, sila kasi eh!
(Oct 21, 2008) Sabi ng Naak dapat di ka raw vinoteout ng maaga. Haha
(Oct 20, 2008) Wow, you've come full circle with your Survivor experience. From the anxious anticipation of waiting to be casted, surviving deception and challenging situations in D Island, coming home downhearted, to your stint as a celebrity. Amazingly, through it all, you've consistently remained principled and grounded. At bibong-bibo sa TV, sa radyo, at sa mga "fans"! I still remember the night you arrived from Bangkok - you looked so broken, so changed and so unfamiliar. I'm just so happy that you are much happier now and have finally come to terms with your ghosts. The perky guy with the oftentimes so well-thought-of, oh-so-serious hirit is back! So three cheers for you, Gigit! I so admire you. From your greatest fan...hehehe.
(Oct 19, 2008) ganda!
"sana magkatelenovela kayo ni Marian Rivera!"
(Oct 19, 2008) oo nga, o kaya ni Heart...
(Oct 19, 2008) sana magkatelenovela kayo ni Marian Rivera!
Thai Plum Village
(Oct 19, 2008) Nice summary.
(Oct 18, 2008) Great stuff Gigit. Great stuff. ^_^
(Oct 19, 2008) di kana nadalaw sa long island! i don't think that's the end. congrats Gigit magiging artista kana!!! haha kiddin'
Related Survivor Philippines Blogs:
- Survivor Philippines: The Audition May 21 - June 2, 2008
- Survivor Philippines: Making the Grade as a Castaway Jun 2, 2008
- Interview By John Lapuz On Showbiz Central Oct 6, 2008
- Survivor Philippines: After the Vote-Out Oct 19, 2008
- Movie Review: Quantum of Solace (2008) Nov 3, 2008
- QTV MOMS Nov 4, 2008
- QTV: QuickFire Nov 9, 2008
- Survivor Philippines: Fan Quotes about Castaway Gigit from May 21, 2008
- Survivor Philippines: Season 1, Episode 1 Sep 15, 2008
Related Survivor Philippines External Links:
Survivor Philippines: Fan Quotes about Castaway Gigit(from May 21, 2008) I've documented my journey into Survivor Philippines from audition all the way down to post-voted out. Fans of the show and friends all have an opinion. This blog is all about what they had to say.....more »»
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