To all Pinoy BL fans out there, BlackSheepPH brought us a fresh new online series to devour! Sparks Camp is the first-ever Pinoy BL reality dating show. 10 Queer Filipino Men from different parts of Luzon, Philippines are brought together to a remote campsite retreat with a mission to find their spark! Hosted by Mela Habijan, Miss Trans Global 2020, this Pinoy BL reality dating show will bring out the personalities of campers as they navigate the potential of a mutual spark. Will any of these eligible gentlemen land with someone they can actually date after Sparks Camp?
How does Sparks Camp Work?
For every episode of Sparks Camp, there are opportunities for the cast to get to know one another on a deeper level, but they have to fight for it. Like a teambuilding setup, there are a lot of physical activities where the contestants are paired around each other randomly or by choice. The winning pair normally gets to go on a date with someone of their choice. During the date, the boys can have some alone time with each other and talk freely about themselves and their common interests to determine if they have a spark or some sort of attraction. It’s a weird observation, but for some reason, the challenges just so happen to make a couple of these men take off their shirts. I guess that’s Pinoy BL for you!
Sparks Camp also has a very intimate segment where the campers gather around in a circle. The host, Mela reads a couple of secrets out loud and the campers would have to show the name of who they guess the secret belongs to. This is a very fun way for the campers to get to know random and intriguing facts about each other that can possibly make them interested to learn more about certain campers. It’s mostly the unexpected facts that draw the attention of the boys.
At the end of the day, the campers have a chance to anonymously drop a “spark” or a star into a box with the name of the boy they’re currently interested in. After that, each of the campers unveil their box to see how many sparks they got or how many campers are interested in them. Campers can get one or more stars or none at all. This has no impact whatsoever on the end result of the dating show whatsoever, but it’s a good benchmark to see how everyone’s feeling.
Personal Review of Sparks Camp
What I like about Sparks Camp is how it’s a nice break from the fictional Pinoy BL series that tend to be getting more and more similar to one another. Since this is a reality dating show, we get to see how actual queer boys interact with each other. The campers are open about sharing about themselves and the show encourages discussion about LGBTQIA+ stories which gives us a small insight into what dating is like for the Filipino queer community during these times. As someone who’s been in the scene, I can recognize the different dynamics between the boys unfolding before my eyes.
As for my opinions about the campers, well they do take some time to warm up to. At first, I see a lot of the boys trying to be the stereotypical Pinoy BL leading men, masculine with no trace. Masculine men looking for other masculine men and boys being attracted to those who are not interested in them for the challenge. Truth be told, there’s a lot of this that goes on in the actual gay dating scene where men try to pretend to be people they’re not just to seem more attractive. As more and more episodes go by though, we get to learn more about the campers as some tear down their walls.
A breath of freshness among some of the pretentiousness is Bong. Bong is one of the feminine contestants among the bunch and he is overflowing with charisma and jokes. He is being himself and it’s refreshing to see him be natural on camera. He has grown to be a fan favorite and every scene and confessional with him makes us all smile.
My main ship or the couple I’ve been eager to get together is Bong and Alex. They chose each other from the very start and their interaction with one another have been very genuine so far. It’s not just me who wants them together, but most of the watches in the comment section. I hope that Bong and Alex will get together at the end, but someone (*ehem Justin, please don’t ruin this for us) is suddenly getting in the way of that. I just hope that Bong doesn’t end up hurt. No matter what happens, I just know that we want to see more of Bong wherever he is.
I hope that Bong’s presence in Sparks Camp would greatly influence the Pinoy BL industry. I hope that more Pinoy BL series would feature more feminine characters as the main leads. Feminine gay guys make up a majority of the gay community in the Philippines and they deserve so much more than just serve as comic relief. Feminine gay men are attractive and with the right story, I really think that the show will go big. Maybe we can even have a Bong and Alex Pinoy BL series soon!
I’m excited to see what more Sparks Camp has in store. One new episode per week is kinda a not enough, but at least there’s always something to look forward to! Where can you watch this Pinoy BL reality dating show? Sparks Camp is produced exclusively for Youtube which means it’s absolutely free for anyone to watch. I really recommend that you guys watch it as well. I hope that the success of the show would make way for the second season and hey, maybe they can also cast me then!
Want more blogs like this?
Subscribe to the blog to get early updates on latest posts!
Share this blog and tag your friends!