Cebu Pacific Air is providing Travel-All-You-Can pass for a year to three college students from Davao City who emerged as winners in the recent Juan for Fun (JFF) Backpacking Challenge 2017. This covers unlimited free flights to local and even international short-haul destinations.
Gloria Andrea Mendoza (18 years old, attending college in Ateneo de Davao University), Christian Dominic Ang (a 19-year-old student also from Ateneo de Davao University), and Chyn Ira Crisostomo (19, completing her college degree at the De La Salle University Manila) comprise Team Juanton, which beat four other teams in the annual travel-adventure competition.
The next challenge for these three millennials is to maximize their free travel pass within a span of just 12 months. It could be a good problem to have, but is definitely a serious one as all of them are still busy attending to their academic requirements.
Unlimited travel dilemma
“I will be using the free travel pass often when I go home to Davao to visit my family,” said Crisostomo who is the only one among the three who is not currently Davao-based.
“We need to consult our parents first because we are still studying,” said Ang. “But we’ll maximize this.” He also disclosed that they almost had trouble getting permission from their parents during the competition because they asked for just three days to do the challenge but had to extend to 10 days after making it to the Top 5 teams. “I even skipped my exam week in school,” Ang admitted.
Team Juanton aims to break the record set by JFF Backpacking Challenge winners in 2016, which had a total of 72 flights in the entire year.
Legazpi is priority
“Right now, we still don’t have definite plans yet on how to use this privilege but we have agreed to fly to Legazpi, Albay soon,” said Mendoza. It turned out Team Juanton had vowed to return to the city soon after completing their rigorous run in the travel-adventure competition.
Legazpi was the last of the three destinations that Team Juanton visited as part of the seven-day JFF Backpacking Challenge Year 6. The trio spent three days in Dumaguete (where they tried island hopping to be the first JFF challengers to reach Siquijor), two days in Cebu, and just a day in Legazpi before heading back to Manila in the same day of the awarding of the winners. Aside from the short time they had in the Bicolano city, it was also raining that day, which prevented them from doing some activities in the area.
Winning the challenge was a tough endeavor for Team Juanton. Just like all the teams, they were given an allowance of P40,000 to shoulder all their travel costs (excluding plane tickets) during the challenge—from booking of accommodation to paying for meals and even terminal fees in airports.
“Budgeting was the most difficult task because we need to return to Manila with at least a peso so we wouldn’t be disqualified,” said Mendoza. “Some activities are expensive that we had to decide if those would be worth it. In several instances, only one of us had to do a task so we can stick to our budget limit,” Crisostomo revealed.
Crisostomo also disclosed that they had to carefully choose the places they would go to in every destination in consideration of time and budget constraints. “We were also lucky that we were already familiar with two of our destinations. Thus, we easily determined which sites and activities to pursue that would not cost us more,” she added.
“It was also our strategy to allocate a big portion of our budget in hiring convenient and fast transportation to avoid wasting time commuting and to conserve our energy,” Crisostomo said.
Luckily, Team Juanton returned to Manila with P33 left from their seven-day budget. In the morning when they arrived at NAIA Terminal 3, they were even able to drop by Baclaran to do some ‘pahabol’ activities that earned them additional points. They then took an MRT ride to go to JFF’s designated meeting place.
All five groups were pre-assigned with specific destinations to make sure no two teams will explore the same destination and to cover 25 of the country’s most popular tourism spots. Some groups were awarded the privilege to choose their preferred destinations after winning special challenges during JFF’s send-off party.
“Juan for Fun is our way of advocating travel within our own country—especially for young Filipinos,” said Cebu Pacific Air Corporate Communications Director Charo Logarta-Lagamon. “We want to make air travel easy, affordable, and accessible for everyJuan.”
Currently, Cebu Pacific Air holds about 50% to 55% market share in local air travels. It regularly flies to 37 domestic destinations and takes 26 international routes.
Photos from Juan For Fun’s FB Page