Cebu Pacific Kicks-Off the 2019 Juan for Fun

It has been eight years since Cebu Pacific Air introduced “Juan For Fun”—a backpacker challenge participated by university students. Since then, Juan for Fun has evolved from an Amazing Race-like challenge, to a platform where one will not only discover the wonders of travel—but also use traveling as a springboard to spread one’s advocacy, understand different culture and broaden horizon.

The 2019 Juan For Fun aims just that, when Cebu Pacific asked loyal passengers to nominate someone to join this year's edition "What makes the life story of your nominee amazing?"

Thousands heeded the call and nominated exceptional young individuals.  After going through the influx of nominees, five young passion-driven and budding travelers stood out to lead their respective teams.

A Woke Generation of JuanForFun Participants

Speaking about this year’s batch, returning Juan for Fun mentor and travel writer Jude Bacalso said "They belong to the woke generation because at 18, one of them already founded an NGO, while the others have their own advocacies. I was thinking about lipsticks when I was 18"

The 5 Finalists together with their travel mentors: Joyce Pring,. Kyle Jennerman, Jude Bacalso and Mikael Daez
The five finalists whose age ranges from 18-23 are; Bin Nur Mangangcong, a young Marawi siege survivor who hopes to champion understanding of different Filipino cultures; Jeric Cabanillas, an artist with the heart to educate children in Palawan; Jessica Rench, a Cebuana who founded an NGO that reaches out to kids in Visayas; Artus Enriquez, a bird watcher who aims to protect endemic species in the country and Dariel Vallez, an agriculture graduate advocating agriculture to the youth.

They will be joined by two of their friends, to form five three-member teams who will journey to various destinations in the Philippines for 7 whole days.

Each team were assigned specially curated travel itineraries to various Cebu Pacific destinations such as: Siargao, Bohol, Tuguegarao, Mindoro, Puerto Princesa, Bacolod, Davao and more—with each team expected to fly to at least three provinces.

The Gift of Travel

During the send-off party held at Dusit Thani Hotel in Mactan, Cebu, the Juan for Fun teams listened as their respective travel mentors took to stage to offer some sage travel advices.

Popular Vlogger Kyle "Kulas" Jennerman of Becoming Filipino implored the importance of saying "NO" to pointless use of plastics while on the road. He also explained the impact one can have by playing a role in island conservation.

TV personality Joyce Pring narrated how the gift of travel changed her perception of the world. "I only got my passport when I was 21. Before that, the only place I traveled to was Manila to Baguio". She implored the young participants to get out of their comfort zones, learn about the great big world and gain a sense of responsibility in taking care of it.

Kyle, Joyce and Jude are all returning Juan for Fun mentors with Mikael as the new one
Actor and vlogger Mikael Daez egged the audience to experience two adventures in one trip by adding culinary exploration to one’s travel goals.

Travel writer Jude Bacalso stated the important role social media and travel writing plays in spreading unique travel stories. She narrated how her article about Cebu's seafood scene snowballed into a chain of events that led to the creation of Netflix: Street Food Asia episode on Cebu.

Cebu Pacific’s Longest Running Program for the Youth

"Juan for Fun has been the longest running program for the youth by Cebu Pacific. This is our eighth year of enabling our next generation of travelers to make first moments happen" said Michelle Eve De Guzman, Cebu Pacific Director for Marketing. "Through the years it has evolved and this year we’ve taken out the competition aspect because according to many Juan for Fun alumni, it didn't matter who won in the end because the trip itself is priceless. So, we added this part where we considered the participant’s advocacies and designed their itineraries around it" De Guzman adds.

The event was also graced by Cebu's Food heroes featured in Netflix: Street Food Asia. I'm here with Mang Entoy Escabas of "Bakasi" stew fame. 

"In the past Juan for Fun, I would see how literally these kids changed a lot, when they came back from their 7-day trip. I can see in their eyes that they really had an adventure of a lifetime" Bacalso recalls.

After tracing the history of Cebu Pacific’s Juan for Fun in enabling young people to discover the marvels of traveling—to describe it as life-changing for the participants, is even an understatement.