The Unusual Chemistry

9:14 AM

Screenshot from our audition video.

It all started with a tagged post on Facebook about Cebu Pacific’s Juan For Fun. Since then, everything was never the same. We had two failed attempts of making our audition video, and our final output was way behind the others in terms of quality. But we didn’t lose hope. If it weren’t for our guts to try, we wouldn’t have gotten in. I guess my picks for teammates clicked, and the chemistry of an Iranian, Korean, and Filipino worked well on screen with the panelist.

Our cheapest take on a jetski ride in Boracay.

We had always wanted to win, but never expected for it. I had come to a point of being so paranoid comparing what we had done with the other teams. It was so contagious that even Patrik and Myeong almost gave in to the thought of it as well. Being the carefree one among the group, Myeong always reminded us that it’s all about FUN. Sure thing we had to keep in mind the budget; but what's the FUN tag of the competition if we just missed it out?

A 360 view of Dapitan City from Ilihan Hill.

Makes sense. Instead of thinking about the butterflies in our tummies, the stinging heat of the sun making me blacker, and the tiring trips uphill (not to mention the bike uphill we did in Puerto Princesa for 3 hours!), we did our best to incorporate fun in every activity we did. Well, the week we had must be a lengthy telltale to do here, so I made a video to show how we blended fun in everything we did.

TOP: Sunrise at our rooftop accommodation in Kalibo, Aklan; LEFT: Patrik’s “God first bro” moment; RIGHT: Pedicab racing to Kinabuch in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

Patrik begging to join in their banana boat in Boracay. Feeling Close?

On the whole, we did have lots of fun with plenty of memories to look after. The images of us haggling for fares and fees are just hilarious to remember. I also remember 2 nights of us getting knocked out upon the sight of a bed. What’s even funnier was the fact that we had to share an 8-ounce soft drink just to quench our thirst. On our first night even, we shared a bowl of “goto” and “batchoy” to save money. It was made up when we got a good place to sleep at the rooftop of one pension house in Aklan where we got to see both the incredible view of the full moon and the colorful sky at sunrise. We may had a number of brawls on our 2nd leg, but certainly, we lost count of how many times we LOLed over petty things.

With our celebrity-ish marshall, Kuya Jeff, in Sabang, Palawan

Beach volleyball with new found friends in Boracay

The perks for all of this was that it’s free. Win or lose, we had fun, and we didn’t spend anything. Plus, the three of us got to know each other better, and our closeness was kicked up notches higher than ever before. Made our chemistry within the worship team better too. Priceless. We met plenty of people along the way who both inspired and helped us. It’s kind of amazing since backpacking foreigners are usually most susceptible to mobbing. But it wasn’t our case. The people who came across us were those of rare kind. I remember one man who drove us around Dapitan on his motorbike for free. He even guided us up to a hill of 200+ steps to show us the 360-degree top view of his hometown. And that guy in Boracay who slashed like 70% of the usual package cost for water activities in Boracay? Huh. Godsend.

Victory + the family we've made in one week

At the end of the line, after 117 fun activities for 14,000 pesos of the 35,000 budget given in 7 days, we got to win the whole thing---unexpectedly. A lot people were saying the stars have merged to help us, but we don’t owe winning to luck but to God who was never out of the whole picture. Our victory was certainly a blessing that got us into an outburst of “Thank You Lord’s” the moment we heard our team name summoned to the victor’s spotlight. It was amazing. Even the aftermath of it was overwhelming, not to mention appearing on national TV thrice, on local TV once, and several times on newsprints and blogs. Haha. Juan For Fun was an experience of a lifetime, and I thank the person who tagged me on that Cebu Pacific Juan For Fun ad on Facebook. There wasn’t definitely a harm to try out something we didn’t know would soon make a big impact to our lives.

In a few weeks time, the three of us are going to enjoy the 12 rountrip tickets we won as we travel around East Asia before we disband and go on pursuing our individual dreams. Wherever we’re headed, to God be the glory always.

***For the Juan For Fun 2014 hopefuls, visit and get your chance of an adventure of a lifetime ALL FOR FREE!***

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