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Jungle Survival in the Philippines

MEANWHILE, ON SURVIVOR ISLAND...

For those who want their jungle experience tempered with a healthy dose of postmodern "realism," look no further than Malaysian Borneo. The government has turned the island of Pulau Tiga, featured on the CBS wunderhit Survivor, into its newest holiday spot. The 80-bed resort there, which was already in the planning stages when the island was chosen by Survivor location scouts, housed the crew and support staff during filming last spring.

The island itself is ringed by white beaches and lush coral reefs, but developers know the real reason American tourists will hie themselves to this remote spot: they want to play Survivor. I survived pulau tiga T-shirts crowd the shelves at the resort gift shop. Though the set's Styrofoam boulders have been hauled away, some props remain, such as that replica of a B-52 bomber fuselage—to add authenticity, presumably. Manager Bonnie Alberto plans on holding Survivor-style contests, in case guests get bored with, say, shooing the jungle rats out of their cabins, avoiding poisonous sea snakes, or secretly voting on which fellow vacationer they'd most like to face-paint and dress in a sarong. Will guests have to eat giant larvae and use a pit in the ground as a toilet?Alas, the verisimilitude extends only so far. The cabins all have private bathrooms, and some rooms are even (gasp!) air-conditioned. Oh, well. Maybe they'll catch Survivor reruns on satellite TV. Pulau Tiga Resort, Pulau Tiga, Sabah, Malaysia; 60-18/989-9779; doubles from $79, including all meals.
—Sunshine Flint

THE FACTS

The Subic Bay Tourism Department 63-47/252-4123, fax 63-47/252-4194 can arrange custom jungle-training packages, including overnight stays, for $15 per person, with a minimum group size of 10. In the United States, Rajah Tours International 800/392-3345 or 415/397-0303can book full-day visits from Manila, which include transfer to Subic Bay and a JEST survival class, for $282 per person.

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