“I’M thankful for this opportunity to be able to see and explore the Philippines, the country I hope to protect and serve in the near future,” 18-year-old Ilonggo Elmo Ador, Jr. told Panay News, an incoming Philippine Military Academy freshman.
Cebu Pacific officially kicked off its 2018 Juan for Fun backpacking challenge on May 22 at Movenpick Hotel, Mactan, Cebu, and Elmo was one of the five lucky budding travelers chosen to embark on a seven-day all-expenses-paid expedition around the country – from a pool of over 13,000 nominations.
The Lemery, Iloilo-born newbie explorer is a West Visayas State University High School graduate who is set to attend his first semester at the PMA in Baguio this June, after finding out he passed in December last year.
As he prepared for the intense training the PMA is known for over the summer, his older sister Chriselda urged him to apply for the Juan for Fun challenge, as videography and film editing are also among his passions.
Luckily for Elmo, Cebu Pacific’s 2018 Juan for Fun team found his story inspiring, leading to him landing a spot in the annual backpacking journey’s roster.
“I never thought I’d have this opportunity to travel around the Philippines for free,” Elmo shared. “The Philippines is a rich and beautiful land filled with mind blowing adventure sites. I see this as seven days of heaven – touring, trekking, and exploring – before the hardship I’ll be facing up ahead.”
Elmo was joined by his sister Chriselda and cousin Glyxx Dexcer Valenzuela during his journey that included detours and excursions to the idyllic beaches of Moalboal in Cebu, the best-kept secrets and pristine sanctuaries of Masbate, the adventure-heavy slopes of the Mayon Volcano in Legazpi, Albay and the eco-tourism haven that is Bohol.
During the culmination of the seven-day Juan for Fun challenge, Elmo and his teammates were recognized with the “Thrill-Seeking” Award for their daring and adventurous off the grid exploits.
The day immediately after embarking on his amazing week-long voyage, Elmo said goodbye to his teammates and headed to the PMA to begin his training – treasuring the memories and experiences he’s been given by the once-in-a-lifetime Juan for Fun journey.
Nothing is more enriching and eye-opening than experiencing a place through traveling. And this May brought back the country’s number one backpacking adventure: Juan for Fun, to embark on a week-long epic trip to discover more about themselves and the world around them.
In partnership with SMART, Fujifilm, and Jake Bros., this year’s Juan for Fun 2018 Epic Trip brought five winners to beautiful Philippine destinations for seven days for free – promising an experience that is filled not only with fun and adventure, but also with lasting lessons and memories.
Composed of fresh and spirited young Filipinos, five winners were chosen from over 13,000 nominations via Facebook. They were: Elmo Ador, Jr. of Iloilo; Michael Saturos from Surigao City; Frances Banico of Sultan Kudarat; Ronil Jr. Ferolino of Zamboanga del Sur; and Jonathan Cuanso of Baguio City. Each winner brought two companions with them, sharing their epic adventure with their friends and loved ones.
The teams were coached by YouTube creator and travel personality Wil Dasovich, celebrity and travel vlogger Bea Binene, social media personality Baninay Bautista, travel writer Jude Bacalso, vlogger Kimpoy Feliciano, and Becoming Filipino’s Kyle “Kulas” Jennermann.
All five teams, together with their travel coaches, gathered at Ibiza Beach Club in Cebu for a send-off party before they embarked on their epic trip. To get the adventurers ready for Juan for Fun, coaches helped them create their own itineraries through a game. Teams completed their itineraries by picking places from a list of Cebu Pacific destinations such as Batanes, Dumaguete, Masbate, and Puerto Princesa.
Adding to the excitement of their trip, teams were given a Special Fun Challenge Booklet which contained activities that they must try throughout their Juan for Fun journey. From chasing waterfalls, to climbing a mountain, to traveling with a purpose through promoting sustainable tourism, these activities will help teams earn points for a chance to win GetGo points or round-trip tickets./PN