Survivor: Philippines kicks off with Jeff Probst on a boat. The 15 survivors ride on a boat to the island. Among them is Lisa, who played Blaire on ‘The Facts Of Life’ in the past. She is going to play the game without telling anyone about her past as a child actor. They will be joined by Russell from Survivor-Samoa, Jonathan from Survivor-Fans vs. Favorites and Michael “Skupin” from Survivor-Australia who were all taken off Survivor due to medical reasons. They are back and have a chance to play for the $1 Million again. The tribes are split into 3 tribes already. Tandang Tribe: Michael, Abi-Maria, Artis, RC, Lisa and Peter, Kalabaw Tribe: Jonathan, Dana, Dawson, Carter, Katie and Jeff and Matsing Tribe: Russell, Angie, Zane, Denise, Roxanne and Malcolm.
Jeff Probst rides up to the contestants and asks Jeff what he thinks of the three tribes. He says that it is a little scary. Zane says that he is excited just as long as it is not with a celebrity. Jeff tells the contestants that they are going to be joined by three veterans to the game. Russell joins the Matsing Tribe, Skupin joins the Tandang Tribe and Jonathan is for the Kalabaw Tribe. All contestants, now in their tribes, are told that they have a minute to get the supplies to their rafts and get off the boat. It is a race as all three tribes hurt to get the best of the best supplies. Jeff on the Kalabaw Tribe hurts himself already when the raft catches his leg and pulls his knee. They manage and start to head off to their islands.
The Matsing Tribe gets to their island and Russell says that the team is going to be their own leaders. He says that he wants to make sure that the tribe knows what they are doing. Right away, Angie and Malcolm start to question whether or not Russell is trying to be an innocent player or if he is pushing himself into the leadership position. Malcolm has a leg up in this because he was an ESL Teacher in Micronesia and teaches Russell how to make fire. He works at it and Russell builds the fire. Malcolm is relieved that the target is not on his back for being a strong player.
The Kalabaw Tribe arrives on their island and Jeff is hurt. However, he is playing it off like nothing is wrong because he doesn’t want to be seen as a weak player. Jonathan says that it is a good to be there. Everyone in the tribe talk about Jonathan and how it shouldn’t be a returning player who wins this, but one of them. The Tandang Tribe arrives on their island and Abi-Marie and RC make instant friends. Abi-Marie is a Brazilian-American and RC is an Investment Banker. Together they feel that they can change the game. Abi-Marie is going use her flirting to her benefit. Peter realizes that she can definitely do some damage. They organize the alliance and Skupin realizes that he has to move fast.
On the Kalabaw Tribe, Jeff tells the tribe members that he is from Texas and says that they have a lot of big bugs. Dana realizes that she can click with Jeff and says that she could bond. Jeff thinks that being a baseball player could work against him and tells the others that he sells Motorcycles. Dawson recognizes Jeff and says that she will tell him that she knows and will hold onto the information until it is needed. On the Tandang Tribe, Lisa doesn’t want to volunteer that she was famous as a child star and says that she is trying to connect. She tells the others that she will try to make fire. Lisa is there to find out if she is more than a star or a mom. Later that night, Skupin tells Lisa that he knows her and she tells him that she doesn’t want to tell others because it would be hurtful. She says that nobody has volunteered what they did as a kid so she won’t.
At the Matsing Tribe, Zane and Denise start talking and he starts to form alliances with Roxanne and Angie. However, he makes alliances with the guys too. His entire thing is to play the field to see where exactly he is going to be ending up on. Denise, as a sex therapist, knows what his ultimate plan is and Malcolm says that he can’t believe what he is doing. On the Tandang Tribe, they don’t have a fire yet and Skupin is very accident prone. He cuts his head, hand and foot all in the second day. On the Kalabaw Tribe, all the tribe tells one another that Jonathan is shady looking for the idol. He manages to find a clue to the Immunity Idol. On the Matsing Tribe, Russell finds the clue in the rice and puts it in his pocket. However, Zane sees that he might have the Idol.
Immunity Challenge Time and The Matsing, Kalabaw and Tandang Tribes arrive. They will have to be in pairs to do a relay race. They are playing for Immunity. There are two of them. The first tribe to finish gets a competed fire starting kit. The second gets flint. The tribes meet to see who is doing what and Russell isn’t listening to what the others say and forms them into pairs. The challenge begins and it is Russell & Zane, Artis & RC and Dana & Katie off the gate. Russell has to pull Zane. The next pairing are: Skupin & Peter, Malcolm & Denise and Jeff & Carter. They race in their boats and it is Skupin & Pete back first. Abi-Marie & Lisa starts to put the puzzle together. Jonathan & Dawson work on the puzzle too and Roxanne & Angie try to catch up. However, it is Kalabaw who gets first place and Tandang gets second place.
The Matsing Tribe meets and Russell tells them that the challenges are brutal and that they can’t allow it to get them down. He says that they have to dig deep. Zane says that he isn’t built for this and throws him under the bus. However, he has a strategy behind this. With him saying that he is weak, he is not a threat. However, it is unclear what the others think of this option. Angie tells Zane that she wants to keep him around because Russell is the dictator in the group and that they have to let him go. Malcolm also tells Zane that he needs to fight for his spot and says that he would rather have him than Russell. Malcolm says that Zane believes that Russell has the Idol. She says that they have to be careful because they can’t have weak players.
Tribal Council Time and the Matsing Tribe arrive and light their torches. Denise says that having someone who has been there is great. Zane says that he was nervous at first, but he was realizing that Russell is like an onion. The more you peel away, the more you cry. Jeff is confused and goes on to ask how disappointed Russell would be to go out first. The tribe members say that Russell took the dictator role and Russell takes the blame for that and apologizes. Zane throws himself under the bus again, but Russell says that it could mean so many things. They vote and afterward, the votes are tallied. It is Zane with 3 votes and Russell with 1 vote. The first person voted off Survivor: Philippines is Zane. The episode ends.