British TV celeb Ashley Hames breezes thru town

British TV star Ashley Hames slipped quietly into Tacloban City last week and went to Calbiga, Samar where they did a TV shoot of him rappelling inside a cave in Calbiga – considered one of the biggest cave systems in Asia.

The shoot was part of UK’s Channel Five’s Rough Guides reality TV series in which celebrities undertake adrenaline-fuelled adventures in different parts of the world.

Rough Guide to Ultimate Escapes features four celebrities – comedian Dom Joly, Green Wing actor Stephen Mangan, Olympic rower James Cracknell and Sin Cities presenter Ashley Hames.

Due to air later this year, the British TV series will show Hames trekking through the rain forests of the Philippine jungles and rappelling deep inside the Calbiga Caves.

The series is being made by independent producer Lion Television of London.

We were at the MacArthur Park Beach Resort where Hames practiced rappelling down a coconut tree. Ably supported and briefed by Jason Garrido of Bukid on the basics of rappelling, Ashley did the routine in preparation for their actual shoot the following day inside Calbiga Caves.

After the rappelling routine, TV director-cameraman John Widdup and cameraman Errol Ettienne had a grand time shooting a typical Philippine barrio-fiesta scene complete with Filipino delicacies like lechon, kinilaw, gabi and palawan and a rousing curacha number where Ashley himself tried doing the native dance with a local lass.

The show was organized by the Department of Tourism 8 with no less than Regional Director Karen Tiopes – who was celebrating her birthday that day – participating in the fiesta scene as one of the spectators.

It was fun!

View the full gallery!

~ by gerryruiz on 5 June 2008.

12 Responses to “British TV celeb Ashley Hames breezes thru town”

  1. tnx for sharing ur pixs, gerry. well done!!! at least we are now in d map. proud to be waraynon….

  2. Hala mga star ngay-an it hira… hahaha kay kasapit la nam it hira ha supercat last May 30 tikang kami ha Cebu. amo daw na sige pag kinamera… ako naka knapsack hin green wearing white pants. Ano daw la ito nga channel (local cable) it ira program ko makikit-an?

  3. Wow. Thats cool! Britain’s shining a light on us again. 😀 Ill be looking up the interweb for schedules about this program.

  4. Gerry these pictures are fantastic! It was a real pleasure to meet you, Karen Tiopes and everyone else that made it a fantastic visit to Tacloban. The abseil the following day was incredible and the show is bound to look great and be really entertaining. I’ll be in contact once we have a transmission date. You will be able to view it on the channel five website:

    All the very best,
    Errol Ettienne and John Widdup, Lion Television.

  5. Pleasure is mine, Errol! Thank you for visiting!

  6. I’m sorry I’m not very familiar with Leyte and Samar but I went to Tacloban a lot during my childhood …. My question is, how far is this place (Calbiga, Samar from Tacloban City)? Is this cave open to the public to see? Is it far to go to this exact place? Is it safe to go there just for sightseeing purposes ? Pardon me for all these questions…

    I am finally coming home (with the Grace of God) after more than a decade of being away, this time there’s 4 of us. Any suggestion of a nice beach in between Tacloban City and Dulag? I want to show off to my husband that there’s also some nice beach to swim in Leyte. We travel 2x a year between Florida, Hawaii or California beaches (Hawaii is my favorite, no doubt) for vacation so we basically know what a nice beach is but, on the other hand, we appreciate a real natural beauty without so many tall hotels along the vicinity.

    I am a fan of yours, you’ve got excellent talent on photography and thank you for all the information you’ve shared on this site… Best regards.

  7. Hello Candy! My name is Ludette (Gerry’s other half). 🙂

    Calbiga is about an hour drive from the City of Tacloban. Upon reaching Calbiga, you will have to go trekking for another hour or so to get to the entrance to the caves. Yes, the caves are open to anybody but we’d strongly suggest you get a professional guide so you don’t lose your way getting there.

    As to your inquiry on nice beaches between Tacloban and Dulag, yes, there are good beaches in the area, but if you want the best that we could offer, then I suggest you go to Southern Leyte. There are a number of islands in that area that you could choose from which are perfect for snorkeling and diving.

    Email me at leytegulf-at-callezaragosa-dot-com so that we could plan that perfect vacation for you.

  8. wow! hope i can also watch that episode… almost 3 years na d me nkkpgbakasyon ngada… nakakamiss talaga it Tacloban especially iton nga mga favorite native food naton dida… Thanks a lot, Mr. Gerry Ruiz… perfect site you’ve made… MORE POWER!

  9. I’ve been away from Tacloban for almost 5 years. I really miss the place, especially the food and beaches. I used to go to Inopacan, Leyte and they have the best beaches there. Real natural beauty talaga! They have small islands there with white sand, too. I’m just glad that my sister informed me about your website. Naduro la an akon kamingaw when I saw the pictures of Leyte. I used to get my magazine supply from your wife Ludette ( if I’m not mistaken ) when I still had my gift shop in Tacloban. I used to go to Calle Zaragoza at night to dine out with family and friends. Hina-ot unta nga kon umuli ako for vacation I would be able to visit your place. Thanks a lot.

  10. Oh my God, guys, you have to go to Silago, Southern Leyte, there’s a lot of beautiful beaches there. It’s nice to get away from the busy life.

  11. Is there anyway you could publish some brochures/photos about the Southern Leyte vacation spot (in your website) you mentioned above, Mr. Ruiz? Thank you.

  12. nakain ba ako lately mr ruiz? hehehehe kay ano nga yana la ako nahabaro hine nga iyo site? i’ve been away from our place for almost 3 decades… discovering this site of yours is really a big help, salamat hin madamo. mga features mo about the province dako nga pakaiban hit homesickness, hehehe… once again thank you so so much and more power!

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