5 Foreign Films/TV Shows Filmed in the Philippines

Find out where these famous shows were shot in the country.

By Mathew S. Chan
February 05, 2015

Aside from being full of beautiful tourist destinations, the Philippines is also home to some shooting sites for foreign films and TV shows. These shows can serve as a venue for an international audience to experience a little bit of the Philippines. Check out some of them below and use them as conversation starters. If you’re looking for something interesting to do on your next local trip, try visiting some of the shooting sites yourself.  

1.    The Bourne Legacy
Several scenes from this action film were shot in the Philippines sometime in early 2013. The Bourne series is an extremely popular movie franchise that spanned three movies prior to this one, which starred Matt Damon. The new film featured Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz. Although most of The Bourne Legacy is set in the US, the last parts of the film were set and shot on location here in the Philippines, namely in Manila and El Nido. The movie was constantly on the local news throughout the duration of their filming. Excited Filipino fans flocked to the theaters when the movie aired to see the filmed scenes.

2.    Survivor
This reality series started in the late 90s and still continues today with several franchises across the world. The basic premise of the show is that a group of people are left to survive in an exotic location with just the clothes on their back and the various materials the show and the location can provide. The US version of the show has filmed four times in the Philippines: two times in Camarines Sur and two times in Cagayan.

3.    Platoon
One famous and critically acclaimed movie shot in the Philippines is the 1986 war film Platoon. Although it was filmed here, they didn’t use the Philippines as the setting as the film was about the Vietnam War. Despite this fact, Platoon still put the Philippines on the map. The film reportedly cost 6 million dollars to film, and the production team made use of real Philippine military equipment.

4.    Several Lifestyle and Travel Shows
If you frequent the cable channel TLC, then you are probably already aware that the Philippines has been featured on several popular travel and lifestyle shows. Personalities like Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain—for their shows Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations respectively—have visited the Philippines to feature the country’s culture, history, and food.

5.    Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now is another critically acclaimed Vietnam War film. Helmed by the famous director Francis Ford Coppola, the film was shot here in the Philippines as a makeshift Vietnam. Coppola spent months in the country with his family prior to movie obligations, and even longer after due to several hurdles during the filming. Trivia: The film has a connection with Platoon, Martin Sheen was the lead in Apocalypse Now, while his son, Charlie Sheen, was the lead in Platoon, which was also shot in the Philippines.