As of this writing, the Cebu Pacific Juan for Fun Backpackers Challenge 2016 is already ongoing. I attended the send-off on June 22nd for the five competing teams. Five teams with 3 members each are vying for this year’s Ultimate Backpacker title. The winners will take home a Travel-All-You-Can pass, the biggest prize yet since the challenge was launched by the airline.
This is the 5th year of the Juan for Fun backpacking challenge. For seven days from June 23-29, the teams will have to take on as many exciting experiences in their adventures within their travel allowance worth Php35,000. The thoughts of visiting popular tourist destinations, historical sites and sampling local delicacies comes to mind. Discovering new spots would be even better.
Juan for Fun Travel Trios
The Juan for Fun travel trios were chosen among the hundreds of hopefuls who sent in their entries. The annual challenge is open to students aged 17-22 years old, all residing in the Philippines. Each team is composed of 3 participants and we got to meet them at the send-off event.
Representing Bacolod is #JFFJUANTeamPH composed of Glenn Layola, Audrey Ramos, and John Ray Blance of La Salle Bacolod. Partnered with Coach Robi, this team shared that they are raring to explore more of Visayas and Mindanao. “We would like to explore wonderful beaches and do extreme sports, like one of Asia’s longest ziplines in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato,” said Glenn.
From Tuguegarao, Brendan Tangan, Linus Pagulayan, and Cherson Bariuan of St. Paul University Philippines make up #JFFTeamPablo. With Adventure Coach Saab as their guide, these student leaders believe that their enthusiasm to serve other people, strong friendship, and strong personalities will lead them to victory. “Our motto is, ‘There is no certainty. There is only adventure,’” added Linus.
Engineering students from De La Salle University, Marie Tuason, Karlo Carranza, and Samantha Rice are #JFFTeamPura. They are excited to have Bogart the Explorer as their adventure coach. The trio said that should they win the Travel-All-You-Can passes, they will visit a new destination every two weeks. “We’ve already made a bucket list which includes Siargao, Palawan, Tawi-Tawi and Boracay because of their magnificent beaches, Bohol, because we want to see the Chocolate Hills, and Naga City because of its rich Philippine historical sites,” shared Samantha.
Patricia Quintero, April Baldovino, and Gian Nicdao of University of the Philippines-Manila are #JFFTeamTAG. Throughout their seven days of adventure, they vow to always have fun, be in the moment, and do their best to be the ultimate champs, with the help of their adventure coach, Champ. Their ideal itinerary should they win the ultimate prize? “Breakfast in Cebu (let’s face it: lechon is the way to go!), have lunch in Palawan (for some seafood and vitamin sea), head to Bohol to burn all the food we ate, and cap the day in Boracay,” added Patricia.
#JFFTeamWork is composed of Serge Calumpong of Ateneo de Davao, April Nacion of University of Southeastern Philippines, and Jaysson Presores of the University of Mindanao. They are excited to be partnered with adventure coach and fellow Bisaya, Jude. Close since they were in high school, the trio said joining Juan for Fun would be an exciting adventure and an ultimate test of friendship. “We know that there will be no dull moments when we are together,” shared April. “We would do our best to encourage one another and, of course, mag-lingaw-lingaw pag-ayo (enjoy everything)!”
To make the adventure even more awesome, Cebu Pacific tapped celebrity travel enthusiasts as Adventure Coaches to guide and provide advice to the teams. There’s actress, singer and blogger Saab Magalona, and TV host and VJ Robi Domingo who are both joining the campaign as first-timers. They will be joined by returning coaches—musician Champ Lui Pio, Internet star Bogart the Explorer, and travel writer Jude Bacalso. Throughout the 7-day challenge, these coaches will stay in touch and of course, cheer for their respective teams through social media.
Boreas Gear is the official travel gear for the Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge 2016. Merrel is the official footwear, and GoPro as the official camera. The challenge is also supported by Wenger and Dan’s, and endorsed by the Department of Tourism and Commission on Higher Education.
You can keep up with the adventures of the teams by visiting www.juanforfun.com or by following Juan for Fun on Facebook (www.facebook.com/cebupacificjff) or Cebu Pacific on Twitter (@CebuPacificAir). You might even discover new travel destinations. I am actually envious that there’s no such experience is available to me when I was still in college. But then again, there’s always an opportunity to explore as Cebu Pacific flies to 34 domestic destinations and 30 international routes. I can create my own Juan for Fun adventures.