Exclusive: Marc Nelson and Maggie Wilson Talk About Their Upcoming Show, Responsible Tourism, Plus Their Best Fitness And Travel Tips
This year, expect to be transported to the Philippines' most picturesque beaches with the help of Marc Nelson and Maggie Wilson!
Hitting the Beach
This sun-kissed duo and real-life best buds are the hosts for the new upcoming travel show on cable, Beached. In true island style, they'll take you on tours to the country's less-visited islands and ocean-side destinations, as well as show you what activities you can do when you eventually visit with friends and family—which you will!
As they continue to work on the show, Marc and Maggie express their gratefulness for getting to work on a project that many would consider their dream job. After just a few weeks of filming, they agree that working on Beached doesn't feel like work at all; it really is more like a working vacation, given that they're surrounded by so much tranquil blues and serene greens from dawn till dusk. (Jealous much!)
So far, Marc and Maggie have gone SUPping, kayaking, swimming, and sailing in Coron, Palawan. And this is just the beginning of their working life on Beached.
"To say that I was ecstatic is understatement," Maggie says on her reaction upon learning about this project. Marc adds, "Anyone who knows me realizes that I love the beach, and the Philippines has the best in the world! I've been fortunate enough to travel to a lot of them, but I’m also really looking forward to seeing some that are unknown to me and finding out what they have to offer."
But more than just a show that highlights the beauty of Philippine seas, sand, and sun, Beached also aims to raise environmental awareness and encourages viewers to become more ecologically responsible. After all, beaches and oceans need our help to stay pristine and picture-perfect, not just for us, but for the generations of local and international travelers to come, too.
Recalling some of her experiences during filming, Maggie shares, "Here we [are] on the best island in the world, with these beautiful limestone cliffs and crystal clear aqua water, and you see plastic trash floating around everywhere. It hurt. It really did."
She and Marc also experienced paddling around Palawan's waters while collecting human waste like bottles and cups, foil and plastic wrapper, toothbrushes, and even used diapers!
Marc, who reveals that the show appealed to the environmentalist in him, emphasizes that Filipinos definitely have a role to play in protecting the Philippines' natural gems—one of which is to ensure that man never wreaks havoc on our beaches. While this is an unavoidable consequence that comes with booming tourism, it's something that Filipinos can work on together to minimize.
"I really hope more local operators and the LGU do as much as possible to clean up Coron and keep it that way. Increasing tourism is good for business, but the only way it stays that way is by taking care of the beauty that people have come to see," Marc says.
In particular, Marc and Maggie cite Al Linsangan from Calamianes Expeditions whose project, Plastic Bottle Battle, aims to reduce plastic bottle use in Coron by 80%. Perhaps more beaches around the country can model their environmental clean-up efforts after this project, while those who visit beaches can consider a beach clean-up as part of their agenda for a more meaningful vacation.
Now that you're on the same page as Marc and Maggie when it comes to traveling, let's get back on vacation mode! To start, learn a couple of beach tips and tricks from these expert travelers.
For Marc, packing a lightweight towel and a reusable water bottle is a must, while Maggie suggests a comfy yet durable pair of flip-flops and a bathing suit that's stylish, but also reliable. Mastering the art of packing light, never forgetting your camera, double-checking flight details, bringing along a sense of adventure and a big smile, then leaving nothing but footprints behind are also pieces of advice that this pair would like to give you.
And of course, when it comes to getting beach ready, you also shouldn't forget working out! Marc and Maggie, who are also fitness buffs in their own time, suggest some of their tried-and-tested workout regimens that you can try. Marc's into intermittent fasting, a quick morning workout that consists of 60 push-ups or 30 burpees, and securing a gym buddy to ensure you avoid making excuses for not being able to go.
Maggie, on the other hand, says that simply making the effort to eat well, finding time to do something active for 30 minutes to an hour even while on vacation, and opting to work out with friends who are great motivators are really all you need.
Seeing the World
While Marc and Maggie are two of the greatest ambassadors for Philippine beaches, they also do acknowledge that many other locations around the world are just as worthy of visiting.
Drawing from their own travel bucket lists, places like Bhutan, Laos, Iceland, the North and South poles (Arctic and Antarctica) as well as South and Central America are on Marc's mind, and Maggie dreams of Petra in Jordan, Exuma in the Bahamas, and Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, Coron and Amanpulo are places she could visit time and time again!
But at the end of the day, and as proud Filipinos, Marc and Maggie know this: the world is a truly beautiful place, but nothing can compare to the beauty of the Philippines.
To see Marc and Maggie in action, catch Beached on cable, starting in April.
Photos courtesy of Maggie Wilson