Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Manhunt Featuring Joel Lambert Premieres April 7 on Discovery Channel

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Former U.S. Navy SEAL and escape and evasion expert Joel Lambert is pitted against some of the globe's most elite military and law enforcement tracking units in a challenge that will test both parties' skills and determination. The tracking units of ever country must exert all efforts to try and capture Joel Lambert before he reaches a certain extraction point within 48 hours known only to the former US Navy SEAL.

This is the main scenario and what the new Manhunt TV series on Discovery channel is all about. The highly trained national units can use all assets available to them against Joel Lambert who will only be taking with only the basic survival kit, along with his wits gained from his years of experience. Joel may employ diversionary tactics, inflitration and evasion techniques, and other strategies. You'll also see how he beats dehydration, hunger, and the elements.

At the Philippine launch held at Cinema 5 of Greenbelt 3, the members of the press along with some of the Philippine Army Scout Rangers were treated with an advance screening of the episode involving Joel Lambert against the said Philippine elite tracking unit. The hunt happens in the mountainous terrain of Sta. Rita town in the province of Zambales.

The show will premiere on April 7, 2014 on Discovery Channel.

Rovilson Fernadez hosts the Philippine launch of Disciovery Channel's Manhunt

Discovery Channel representative shares a few insights

Joel Lambert makes his speech

Rovilson Fernandes interviews the gentlemen

My sincere and heartfelt admiration goes towards Lt. Jerson Jurilla of the Philippine Army Scout Rangers for all his effort in Manhunt. Jerson was the leader of the unit assigned to hunt and capture Joel Lambert. Not only was I amazed on how his group tried his best to track the former US Navy SEAL, I was also impressed with how he desperately managed to speak English so that the global viewers will be able to understand what was happening. Instead of just relying on the TV crew to add a translation displayed on screen, he made all efforts to explain to the camera man what was happening. From the jungle traps to the boot markings, Jerson tried his best to explain for the viewers' benefit.

What was humorous was when they set foot on a village and asked the residents if they have seen an American that was as handsome like him ""Meron ba kayong nakitang Amerikano, matangkad sa akin, pogi, kasing pogi ko?" In English: "Have you seen an American, taller than me, handsome, handsome like me?"

Now that made me burst out a slight laughter but also made many of the Manhunt launch attendees laugh out loud. I knew from there that there was probably no script given to the Philippine Army Scout Rangers. It may have been intentional for Jerson to say something humorous as a way to relieve the tension. After all, there was no imminent danger or threat against national security. I felt like they were just playing, and only Joel Lambert was serious in trying to win the challenge.

Joel Lambert with my son, Hansel Kyro

Lt. Jerson Jurilla with me

Frankly, I thought our side was going to lose, but surprisingly, even though it took them awhile before they were able to leave the town, I am bewildered on how they were able to catch up with Joel Lambert.

I also thought the towns people were too friendly towards a stranger. But seeing how Joel "bribed" the children with sweet treats of which Joel later told me that those were candies he took with him to keep him from going hungry, I understood that Filipinos are just too friendly and curious towards foreigners. What I felt disappointed with was how easily the people gave him away by providing information to the Philippine Scout Rangers, especially the jeepney driver who told them where he dropped off the foreigner.

In this day and age, trust is far from attached to the military and police enforcers as many of them are involved with shadowy elements, or simply couldn't really think for themselves and allow their superiors boss them around to do illegal stuff.

It is understandable that the town people may know the Philippine Scout Rangers, but did they share some info to the town people that the search was not really a search-to-kill order but merely a game? That could have convinced me that nobody's life was in danger.

Off the record, Jerson and his team could have caught up with Joel Lambert sooner if they were not taking too much time trying to please the camera man with enough information to make a good and entertaining show. But I think the other side also spent a considerable amount of time trying to capture the hunt on video. So it may be fair to say that both groups had delays along the way.

Overall, the manhunt may not be as convenient a scenario like that of the Hunger Games where cameras are placed everywhere so the characters involved don't bother trying pause and look good infront of the camera, but it does offer a good enough preview of what could have been possible. Until we can adapt the same fictional technologies used in the said movie, the Manhunt TV series will still be not the full 100% vision of what a real manhunt will look like.

Leeches or slugs would be less of my worries if the hunt was real and where the hunters will be carrying real bullets in their guns which they can freely fire on the enemy.

I felt very little urgency about what seems to be a chase but there was just too many delays conjuring in my mind that I can't help but think this show is far from realistic. However, it's the closest we can get to a real-life manhunt where everyone can remain safe while enjoying man-made challenges designed mostly to entertain the viewers. Isn't that the objective of all reality shows - offer a glimpse of what could happen in real life while spicing it up with entertaining inputs.

In effect, I would gladly watch every episode because it will at least give me an idea of how it is like to survive in perilous situations and maybe learn many ways on how to adapt it in my everyday life. We may be living in a concrete jungle, but the many challenges are still brought upon to us by animal tendencies among humans.

For me everyday is like a manhunt. For many of us, we are somehow desperately trying our best to search for success and make it to the top of the corporate ladder even if it means setting up some booby traps to "deter, delay or kill" others. Unaware, we may be trying too much to reach an "extraction point" where there will be no real winners and everyone loses in the long run.

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