By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
PRIDING ITSELF WITH having made air travel more accessible, Cebu Pacific has continuously come up with activities and programs to communicate that flying is for everyone. Recently, the country’s largest carrier held the sixth edition of its “Juan for Fun Backpacking Challenge” that had participants going on a seven-day race across the country.
Cebu Pacific officials said the Juan for Fun event was their way of showing the beauty of flying and how it is for people from all walks of life.
“Juan for Fun is representative of what Cebu Pacific is. We enable many people to fly to as many destinations in the Philippines. There are so many destinations in the country where Cebu Pacific is the only carrier. In Juan for Fun, we have teams that travel all over the place to do challenges and really experience the Philippines. It’s not about the journey but more about the destination,” Charo L. Lagamon, Cebu Pacific Corporate Communications Director, told BusinessWorld on the sidelines of the awarding ceremonies for Juan for Fun 2017 last week.
She went on to say that the backpacking challenge was in line as well with their push to build on the gains they have had throughout the years and complementing the growth of the local flight industry in general.
“Cebu Pacific is the largest Philippine carrier. It’s a low-cost carrier and the vision of the company is to make every Juan fly. That means providing safe, reliable and efficient point-to-point travel that is affordable, available and accessible to people from almost all walks of life,” said the Cebu Pacific official.
“If you would recall, back in the day, air travel was practically for the rich. If you’d fly to Cebu or to Hong Kong, people would say ‘Wow you are rich.’ Today — maybe 20 years later — flying has become practically for everyone and we believe Cebu Pacific had something to do with that. We changed the landscape of Philippine aviation. It has really opened up a lot of avenues. It has made the market a lot bigger. The growth of Cebu Pacific is not much that we have eaten away at the competition but [that we have] enlarged the pie for everyone. Now practically anyone could buy a ticket and fly,” Ms. Lagamon added.
For this year’s edition of Juan for Fun, five teams from different parts of the country vied for the overall title: Team Juanton of Davao City, Team Phun of Bacolod City, Team Malackai of Baguio City, Team Patsada of Cagayan de Oro, and Team Barbie from Metro Manila.
They were selected from entries culled from social media and sent on an epic, seven-day race across the country, with P40,000 in pocket money, Boreas backpacks, and Oppo camera phones. The five teams did over 300 activities in over 25 locations.
Emerging as the top winner was Team Juanton — composed of Gloria Andrea Mendoza, Christian Dominic Ang, and Chyn Ora Crisostomo — which bested the other teams during the challenge journey that took them from Dumaguete and Siquijor to Cebu and then to Legazpi. Team Juanton also took the special awards for best video and jumpshot.
For winning the challenge, each member of Team Juanton took home a Cebu Pacific Travel All-You-Can pass for unlimited local and international short-haul destinations for one year, plus pocket money from co-presenters GetGo and Union Bank.
Ms. Lagamon said Cebu Pacific is inclined to continue holding the challenge for years to come and underscore the value of air travel.
“Juan for Fun has grown a lot since it started when it was a celebrity challenge of sorts. In the last couple of years it’s really about crowdsourcing, so people who wanted to join have to enter and the response has been great,” Ms. Lagamon said.
“This is something we really look forward every year and we plan to keep doing it and making it interesting every year,” added Ms. Lagamon, who also said that they have added new local routes that travelers can avail of.
The new routes are Cebu-Masbate, Zamboanga-Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga-Cotabato, Davao-Dumaguete and Davao-Tacloban.