SUN.STAR Weekend writer Fiona Patricia S. Escandor walks the walk with a dashing (or is it walking?) young man who’s soon to be seen on the streets and television screens of Cebu.
The best way to appreciate the wonders of a place is by experiencing it firsthand. Mere observation, reading about it on tour books - those could also work, but it certainly won’t be as fun as you going out there and simply living it.
That is essentially what 20-year-old Rowan Clarke plans to achieve in the upcoming show R’Walk, which will air its pilot episode tonight on MyTV (Channel 28).
It is a 13-episode series that will take you along Rowan’s adventures all around Cebu and its neighboring islands.
“It’s like a reality show with a twist,” Rowan described. “The idea basically is about a foreigner exploring, and doing things that will be strange for us to do…”
For one, Rowan had already tried balut (fertilized duck egg)—a rather appropriate initiation of sorts for the daring tourist.
“It freaked me out a bit,” he recalled amusedly, “because when I had it, I didn’t know what it was.”
“In R’Walk, we’ll show the best parts of Cebu, the most crazy, the most fun. At the same time, try to be informative,” Rowan said.
“Where I’m from, the Philippines is known mostly for Pacquiao, the dancing prisoners, and balut. But there’s a lot to do here that people from other countries still don’t know about.”
“The first episode is called Lost in Cebu,” Rowan divulged. “They left me at the lighthouse in Lilo-an, with 300 pesos and an English-Cebuano dictionary, and I was supposed to get to Tops before sunset.”
“It was one of my first days here so I didn’t know how much 300 pesos was and the dictionary didn’t help because the locals didn’t understand what I was saying,” he shared.
The show’s director, Ejay Williams of ZAGE Media Productions, described Rowan as someone who is very adventurous and is always up for trying out new things.
“Rowan’s very welcoming to new cultures. We don’t have to tell him to do this or do that… because he already enjoys doing wild, spontaneous, out-of-the-blue things,” Ejay said.
Rowan and Ejay were schoolmates in the United Kingdom. Ejay studied Marketing and Media in university, and Rowan was one of his models in his projects. It was through Ejay’s invitation that Rowan found himself in Cebu.
Back in the UK, Rowan had experience working as a model and as a theater actor. R’Walk is his first stint in television. “It’s exciting and I’m learning a lot,” he said.
The young host also plans to use R’Walk as an opportunity for him to do charity work, saying “There are a lot of great things in Cebu and there are a lot of bad things, too. The problems here, instead of ignoring it, we can try to get involved.”
Rowan had likewise done charity work in Nepal, where he stayed for two months teaching English. “I really enjoy helping out,” he said.
At present, Rowan is on break from his studies in History and Philosophy that he took up at a university in Hong Kong.
“I prefer what I’m doing now,” he shared lastly, “which is traveling and really see the world instead of sitting in a classroom.”