Awesome adventures await in the fifth installment of the Juan for Fun Backpacking Challenge, as Cebu Pacific takes another set of university teams on an epic, all-expenses-paid adventure of some of their most exhilarating destinations.
Adding excitement to this one-of-a-kind exploration are five celebrity thrill-seekers who have signed up as this year’s Adventure Coaches. The list includes first-time coaches—actress, singer and blogger Saab Magalona, and TV host and VJ Robi Domingo. They will be joined by returning coaches—musician Champ Lui Pio, Internet star Bogart the Explorer, and travel writer Jude Bacalso. Serving as mentors of the university challengers, these celebrities will stay in touch and cheer for their respective teams through social media.
Travel tips from the pros
First-time adventure coaches Robi and Saab shared that they can’t wait to be a part of the Juan for Fun teams’ adventures, armed and ready to share tips and pointers to help participants make the most out of the experience.
“I got to know about this fun challenge because Gretchen (Ho) was previously a part of it,” Robi said. “I’m looking forward to a crazy learning experience.”
Robi shared his excitement for the Juan for Fun teams, saying that they should prepare for one amazing experience. “They will be traveling to different areas, immersing in various cultures and eating lots of great food,” he said.
Robi added that he hopes his “hustle attitude” will help his own team bag the Ultimate Backpacker crown. “I may look like I’m playing it cool but I will do everything to get the gold.”
As a first-time adventure coach, Saab looks forward to seeing how the teams are going to prepare for their trips. “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.”
Saab thinks that for Juan for Fun teams to win in the backpacking challenge, they should learn how to read maps and develop navigation skills. “The members should also be physically fit. They also need to know each other’s strengths and know when to lead or follow,” she said.
In coaching her Juan for Fun adventure team, the celebrity blogger hopes to cheer her team better than the other coaches. “I’m really noisy online and I’m competitive,” said Saab who confesses to being a “fan of adventure.”
Building friendships, collecting memories
Back as adventure coaches are Bogart the Explorer, Champ Lui Pio, and Jude Bacalso, who recounted that guiding the Juan for Fun teams has given them the privilege of seeing young adventurers foster and strengthen friendships, discover not only fascinating places but also themselves, and reignite their passions for exploration.
“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,” shared funny man Bogart the Explorer, or Marco Ho in real life.
Champ recalled how the Juan for Fun experience brought him closer to his team. “My first time as a coach was really memorable. My team didn’t win the first prize, but they had an incredible time,” he shared. “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.”
“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!” said Jude, who is back on her third coaching stint.
“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,” added Jude.
This year, the Cebu Pacific Juan for Fun Challenge is encouraging thrill-seeking trios from different universities across the country to take on the once-in-a-lifetime escapade to some of the airline’s most exciting destinations. The winning team will be named the Ultimate Backpackers, and will win Travel-All-You-Can passes to any domestic or international (short-haul) destination, valid for one whole year, plus exciting premium travel gear.
Don’t miss out on this exciting adventure and join the Cebu Pacific Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge now! Find out how by visiting www.juanforfun.com. For more details, follow Cebu Pacific’s official Facebook and Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) pages.