Fifteen young adventurers, six destinations, seven exciting days and a race to have the most number of fun experiences—Cebu Pacific’s Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge returned with more educational and colorful adventures for its participants.
Now on its second year, the Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge has drawn more thrill-seeking students with a knack for budget travel to join the competition to explore and enjoy the ultimate all-expenses-paid backpacking trip around the country.
“Taking fun-loving students from all over the Philippines on this one-of-a-kind backpacking trip is one of the reasons why we fly. For some students, it’s their first time on a plane. For some, it’s their first time in a certain destination. This kind of excitement from students energizes us, and reminds us just how much we can learn from travelling, and how adventurous we can be,” said Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog.
“This is also our way of encouraging the youth to learn and appreciate our diverse cultural heritage and experience our tourist destinations first-hand why it truly is “More Fun in the Philippines,” the budget airline executive added.
At the final check-in it was Team Crimson who emerged as the winners of this year’s contest. The team also came to be known as Team International as it was composed of Filipino Sesinando Quilao Jr., Iranian Patrik Norouzi and South Korean So Myeong Lee. These Silliman University students and church band members may have different backgrounds, but they are united by their common love for travel, adventure and music.
Team Awesome came in second, while Team Sun Broadband came in third. The runners up were Team Seven and Team Lemixian. Sun Broadband also gave two other special awards, the Social Media Award, which went to Team Lemixian and the People’s Choice Award won by Team Sun Broadband.
From August 27 to September 2, the five teams were tasked to have as many fun and adventurous experiences, armed with a budget of P35,000 per team. At the end of the challenge, the team with the most number of experiences and the least amount of total expenses will win the competition, based on these criteria: Fun Activities (50 percent) and Budget Friendliness (50 percent). Special fun challenges prepared by the Department of Tourism in each destination also give teams a chance to win additional prizes.
With Manila as the starting point, the other destinations included, Kalibo, Aklan; Davao; Dipolog, Puerto Princessa, Palawan and Cebu.
Meet the thrill-seekers
Team Awesome is made up of the Cebuanos trio with comedic timing, Windom Lim, Leander Dan Aldemita and Shemaiah Xyza Baja from the University of San Carlos Cebu.
Brought together by extreme thrills—hiking, surfing, ziplining, scuba diving, Team Sun Broadband is composed of De La Salle University-Manila students Aldric Chua, Stephanie Bernardo and Laura Cua.
Team Seven is composed of Bukidnon State University’s Cyryll Juvan Macas, Mark Dominick Pat and Irish Gayle Cajigas. These outdoor sports enthusiasts are willing to go the distance for extreme adventure.
The all-girl Team Lemixian is composed of Trixie Laine Gacott of Holy Trinity University, and Angelica Mendoza and Leah May Camacho of Palawan State University. They call themselves professional fun adventurers who believe that “maraming paraan basta for fun [There are a lot of ways to have fun].”
Last year, Team Big Explorers a group of students from La Salle University, became the first ever champion. Team Bukidnon, the only team from Mindanao, placed second while Team KeLoFe ranked third.
The winning team received 12 round-trip tickets to any short-haul international or domestic destination, plus a three-day, two-night Philippine tour package for three, courtesy of the Department of Tourism. Each member of the team were also given Samsung Galaxy tablets, Wenger watches, Canon cameras, Sun Cellular pocket WiFi and broadband wireless kits.