Celebrity travelers dish expert tips for Cebu Pacific Juan for Fun backpackers
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Cebu Pacific is throwing down the gauntlet for the fifth time in its Juan for Fun Backpacking Challenge. Another set of teams from various universities heads for an all-expenses paid trip to exciting and challenging destinations, intent on winning the prize.
As part of the challenge, teams will be assigned Adventure Coaches, celebrity volunteers eager to be part of this unique opportunity for adventure. Volunteers from previous challenges that came back this time around include travel writer Jude Bacalso, musician Champ Lui Pio, and Internet star Bogart the Explorer. Joining them are first-time coaches blogger-actress-singer Saab Magalona, and VJ and TV host Robi Domingo. Robi explains, “I got to know about this fun challenge because Gretchen (Ho) was previously a part of it. “I’m looking forward to a crazy learning experience.” The Adventure Coaches will mentor the participants, cheering them on through social networks.
Pro travel tips
Saab and Robi shared their eagerness to be up and at them, rearing to join up in the Juan for Fun adventures. They are ready with their pro tips and advice on how the challengers can have the most fun imaginable with their clothes on. Robi is partly excited, and partly envious. “They will be traveling to different areas, immersing in various cultures and eating lots of great food.”
Robi is determined for his own team to snag the title of Ultimate Backpacker. He says, “I may look like I’m playing it cool but I will do everything to get the gold.”
Saab is equally eager to see how the teams plan to get ready for their adventures. “I remember my first plane ride as a grown-up was after college, so I am curious to see how much the kids know about travelling.” To win the challenges, she believes that the teams should be up their navigation and map-reading skills. In addition, she says, “The members should also be physically fit. They also need to know each other’s strengths and know when to lead or follow.”
The actress/singer reveals her secret weapon for helping her team win. “I’m really noisy online and I’m competitive,” says Saab, who is a self-confessed “fan of adventure.”
Curating memories, building bridges
Returning coaches Jude Bacalso, Champ Lui Pio, and Bogart the Explorer remembers the Juan for Fun teams they coached. They feel privileged for discovering incredible places, taking part in fostering a sense of adventure and passion for exploration in the young, and strengthening friendships.
Bogart the Explorer, AKA Marco Ho, shares, “I had an all-girl team last year. Not only that, but they were one of the youngest teams I’ve ever coached. Seeing them finish the challenge with happy and full hearts, their friendship ever stronger, and a new fiery passion to explore reignited my own passions and has reminded me why I do what I do.”
Champ feels the experience of coaching his first tem fostered a closeness among them, even if they did not win the prize. He says, “What made it unforgettable is that I became really close to my team. We actually stayed in contact even after the competition and hang out occasionally.”
Veteran coach Jude, back for her third stint in the challenge as an Adventure Coach, describes her experiences. “Every year, at the end of the whirlwind that is Juan for Fun, we gather at the awarding ceremony and get goosebumps. Last year, my team has never been on an airplane before landing in Manila for the start of the competition. And their second flight was an international one, straight to Bangkok, Thailand!”
She points out, “They came home winners, placing third. Where else can you see the transformative powers of travel turn ingénues into citizens of the world? Yes, we cry at every closing ceremony. But these are tears of pride, never regret.”
Cebu Pacific opened applications for the Juan for Fun Challenge and the airline’s most exciting destinations until May 15, 2016. Eligible applicants were groups of three students from different universities. The only requirement is a taste for fun and adventure. The winners will receive the title of Ultimate Backpackers, first-class travel gear, and one-year Travel-All-You-Can passes to any domestic and short haul international destinations.
Stay tuned for the big reveal as the Cebu Pacific Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge website announces the identity of the five teams. For more details, visit www.juanforfun.com, or follow Cebu Pacific’s official Facebook and Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) pages.