Five teams of three young people emerged as the finalists out of 400 entries in the Juan for Fun 2016 Backpacker Challenge organized by Cebu Pacific. This is already the fifth year of the event and also the biggest.
The teams hailed from different universities of the Philippines–from Manila, Northern Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. For seven straight days, the teams traveled to exotic locales and underwent as many awesome adventures as they could in the given span of time and with a the limited travel allowance that they were allocated. Each team was given P35,000 as pocket money that they could use for their accommodations, food, and other miscellaneous expenses that they might incur during their travel. And of course, Cebu Pacific was at their disposal.
By the end of the challenge, #JFFJuanTeamPH (green) from the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod was hailed as the Ultimate Backpackers. They now own the title Juan for Fun 2016 Backpacker Challenge Winners. With that, the members of the Bacolod team, namely Glenn Layola, Audrey Ramos, and John Ray Blance, each won a Travel-All-You-Can-Pass to as many free flights as they could possibly book to domestic and international short-haul flights covered by Cebu Pacific. They also got to take home gift certificates from partner brands, namely Tripologie Travel Store, Merrell shoes, and Boreas travel bags. #JFFJuanTeamPH started in Iloilo with a side trip to Guimaras Island, then to Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Surigao, Butuan, and lastly to Legazpi, Albay. They were guided by their adventure coach, TV host and VJ Robi Domingo.
Meanwhile, the 2nd placer was #JFFTeamPura (blue) composed of Marie Tuason, Karlo Carranza, and Samantha Rice of De La Salle University. They went to Bohol, Cebu, Dumaguete, Siargao, Iloilo, and Davao. Their adventure coach was Bogart the Explorer.
In third place was #JFFTeamWork, composed of Serge Calumpong, April Nacion, and Jaysson Presores of Davao. They conquered Laoag, Cebu, Bacolod, and Davao with their adventure coach, travel writer Jude Bacalso.
The runners-up were #JFFTeamPablo comprised of Linus Pagulayan, Brendan Tangan, and Cherson Bariuan from St. Paul University Philippines and #JFFTeamTAG, which was composed of Tricia Quintero, April Baldovino, and Gian Nicdao of the University of the Philippines-Manila. They were coached by actress Saab Magalona and musician Champ Lui Pio, respectively.
Ms. Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific Vice President for Marketing and Distribution, said that the Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge has become their advocacy, making travel available to the youth. “We believe in learning through experience” and she underscores that their target for their campaign are really the young people so as to add to their learning. It also gives them a chance to travel before they start working in their respective careers.
Note: The Cebu Pacific Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge 2016 has the following to thank: Boreas Gear as the official travel gear, Merrell as 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 (CHED).