• An epic ride for ‘Juan’

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     Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge travel coaches (from left): Jude Bacalso, Bogart the Explorer, Champ Lui Pio, Robi Domingo, and Saab Magalona

    Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge travel coaches (from left): Jude Bacalso, Bogart the Explorer, Champ Lui Pio, Robi Domingo, and Saab Magalona

    Robi Domingo, Champ Lui Pio, Saab Magalona lead teams of young back packers

    Endless escapades, boundless discoveries and a whole lot of fun—this is what traveling around the Philippines is all about.

    But when restricted with a budget of P35,000 for a group of three, can backpackers—independent travelers in low-cost budget—still enjoy what the country has to offer?

    TV host and VJ Robi Domingo, band vocalist and style ambassadress Saab Magalona, YouTube star and TV personality Bogart the Explorer, musician Champ Lui Pio, and travel writer Jude Bacalso, together with their group of university students, proved that it is possible to tour the country in a friendly budget.

    Their respective teams proved their budgeting skills and hunger for adventure in Cebu Pacific’s recently concluded fifth edition of Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge.

    For seven straight days, the group of students from different universities around the country, traveled to exotic locales and conquered as many awesome adventures as they can with their budget.

    By the end of the challenge, #JFFJUANTeamPH was hailed as this year’s Ultimate Backpackers.

    Hailing from Bacolod, #JFFJUANTeamPH—composed of Glenn Layola, Audrey Ramos, and John Ray Blance—kicked things off in Iloilo, before making their way to Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Surigao, and Butuan. For their final stop, they paid a visit to the majestic Mt. Mayon in Legazpi, Albay. The students from La Salle Bacolod’s were guided by their adventure coach Domingo.

    For winning the challenge, all three of them received a Travel-All-You-Can pass that entitles each member to as many free flights to domestic and international short-haul destinations as they want within one year.

      2016 backpack challengers composed of students from University of the Philippines-Manila, Ateneo de Davao (top row), St. Paul University Philippines, La Salle Bacolod (middle row), and De La Salle University (bottom)

    2016 backpack challengers composed of students from University of the Philippines-Manila, Ateneo de Davao (top row), St. Paul University Philippines, La Salle Bacolod (middle row), and De La Salle University (bottom)

    Placing second was #JFFTeamPura, composed of Marie Tuason, Karlo Carranza, and Samantha Rice—engineering students from De La Salle University. To say that they had fun would be an understatement, especially with their itinerary covering Bohol, Cebu, Dumaguete, Siargao, Iloilo, and Davao. Matching their boundless energy was their adventure coach, Bogart the Explorer.

    In third place was #JFFTeamWork. True to their team name, Serge Calumpong, April Nacion, and Jaysson Presores leveraged on their years of friendship to conquer Laoag, Cebu, Bacolod, and Davao. Bacalso, their adventure coach, also made sure that the team succeeded and made unforgettable memories in each stop.

    Tied at fourth place were #JFFTeamPablo and #JFFTeamTAG.

    The former is comprised of Brendan Tangan, Linus Pagulayan, and Cherson Bariuan of St. Paul University Philippines. Coached by Magalona, they were welcomed by the pristine waters of Coron and Camiguin, and were wowed by the natural beauty of Iloilo and Cebu.

    Finally, #JFFTeamTAG’s Tricia Quintero, April Baldovino, and Gian Nicdao of University of the Philippines-Manila hit four of the country’s top tourist spots: Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo, and Puerto Princesa, Palawan with the help of their coach Lui Pio.

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