Reality Series Review: Black Sheep’s Sparks Camp

It has been months since I posted a blog review of anything made for movies and television. Most of my reviews lately were just posted on microsites such as Twitter and Facebook. But as the celebration of Pride Month just recently concluded and here comes my birthday month, I guess I’m going to make an exception for Black Sheep’s Sparks Camp.

I recall how many people responded passionately to how diverse the choices were when Sparks Camp revealed the roster of campers a few months ago. Some even went overboard with comments punishing the studio for how it should be represented. There were valid points and whatnot, but as I have tweeted, I would love to reserve all commentaries until I see the series. Today is the day.

For starters, Sparks Camp is a reality show about 10 campers moving in together in an outdoor camp setting with the aim of sparking a connection. They will play a number of games that will help them get to know one another better, some of which will be “more physical.” Additionally, they will get the chance to go on a one-on-one date with another camper. Initially, I thought there would be one elimination per week, but I’m glad there’s none.


Let’s meet the campers in no particular order:

Karl Bautista, An architect (Gay)
Alex De Ungria, College student video game player (Gay)
Dan Calman, Law student (Gay)
Stanley Bawalan, Virtual assistant (Gay)
Nat Magbintang, Medical student (Cisgender Gay)
Aaron Maniego, Content creator (Gay)

Nick De Ocampo, Business owner (Bisexual)
Justin Macapallag, College student (Bisexual)
Gabe Balita, student jock (Bisexual Cisgender Queer)
Bong Gonzales, aspiring actor (Cisgender Gay)

So I just finished the series, straight up to episode 6, and I have never been this elated again. The show is lit! Initially, I understood how hard it is for the production to be politically correct in every single word. Thanks for labelling it as a queer dating reality show. To be honest, the first few episodes were slow-burning, but here I am smiling and watching Nat and Karl’s date. Wait, I’d like to say I might have my own bias now, but I will never reveal it here LOL.

Sparks Camp Review |

I’d like to think that Black Sheep’s Sparks Camp is not just a reality show made for its target audience. For me, it is another win for the community that we as members should be, if not appreciated, at least recognized.  This is our venue. This is our show. We should take this as a win. The gamble to produce one during our trying times is hard, especially when the community is not fully accepting, not to mention that the SOGIE Bill is yet to be passed.

I’m not here to criticize everyone’s character, but to criticize the entire show alone. I have seen over a hundred reality shows, both local and international, and would love to commend Sparks Camp for making it easier to watch (cinematically). But one thing I know, there’s a lot of takeaways from the campers experience. Something that we can relate to. Something that we can hope for. And that is enough to stan a show like this. I wish episodes could have been longer with more of the camper’s casual conversation, as its hard to fathom everyone’s intention compared to a sit-down forum. However, the cut is enough to keep wanting more. The interview/reaction segment edit where they explain themselves in certain scenes could have been better, but they are not complaining at all.

Sparks Camp Review |

Sparks Camp Review |
I saw that the exposures were equally divided, including the one that needs tackling. Thanks to the wonderful edit that highlights Bong’s character. Not to have a favorite on any character, but glad that it showcased a jolly character, a positive aura, and an optimistic gay that reflected the real character that truly exists in reality.

I like how there’s no elimination for the campers or a million pesos at stake because it eliminates the intention for everyone to put their feet ahead. All their motivation is to win a date or spa session, which I would love to do every week LOL. And speaking of winning a date, I’d like how everyone wants to win because, aside from casual conversations, winning a date is an opportunity to get to know anyone more on a personal basis. I dated a lot (huwow?) and was convinced that spark really happens when you get to spend a lot of time together.

Finally, I’d like to commend Mela Habijan for serving as a host and as a bridge, making the camp a safer place. She was able to provide a platform for every camper to express themselves without fear of criticism. She was the version of Big Brother that’s very accommodating, which is essential for the show since it needs to exist. Given that all of the open forums were quite personal, I cannot think of any other way they could have been hosted. Mela delivered. Thank you.

Mela Habijan Sparks Camp | Review

After six episodes, I’d like to think all the noises that were brought to the show are gone because now we get to understand the intention. It does not boast of being the LGBTQIA+ representative of an all encompassing and comprehensive. They just want to date, so people, you should chill by now. Actually, I want to get to know two more people from the campers ayyyy.

Catch all episodes of Sparks Camp, which is up now on the Black Sheep YouTube account. New episodes every Wednesday. Congratulations guys!

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Rod Magaru is an award winning content creator based in the Philippines. He blogs about lifestyle and Entertainment and is known for breaking news on new projects in TV, Movies and reviews of products, hotels and awesome travel tips. He is also a Social media strategist, accepts hosting & speaking engagement. For inquiries email [email protected]