We Won the 5-Day Cebu Pacific Backpacking Challenge

5 teams, 4 destinations, 3 main islands, 2 cameras, and one hell of an adventure – that constituted our 5-Day Cebu Pacific Backpacking Challenge.

When In Manila & LetsGoSago.net Wins 1st Cebu Pacific Backpacking Challenge

When In Manila & LetsGoSago.net Wins 1st Cebu Pacific Backpacking Challenge (Inside a Zorb ball)

It all begun the morning of my earlier post. I had to finish a number of pending tasks which prevented me from taking the much needed sleep for the first day of the media backpacking contest.

Together with teammate Vince of WhenInManila.com, we were off from Manila to Cebu. I was awake for almost 40 hours until the next day.

Cebu – CDO – Davao – Iloilo

Honestly, we were quite ready for the Cebu leg with a full itinerary, I was worried with the CDO and Davao leg. Iloilo was expected to be a breeze.

Shores of Paradise Resort, Samal Island

Shores of Paradise Resort, Samal Island

Although having been to the destinations in the past was an inherent advantage, the last time I’ve been to CDO was back in 2007; while my fear for Davao is on the transportation aspect. My first and latest Davao trip last summer was a pampered one. It was the Davao Food Appreciation Tour where we were always fetched and returned to the hotel care of Davao bloggers. Taxi aside, I never really learned how to go around the city via public transportation.

Maxima Aqua Fun Adventure Park

Maxima Aqua Fun Adventure Park

I never really expected to last for almost four days with only 3-4 hours of sleep, notwithstanding keeping a written log of our activities and expenses backed-up by receipts.

By the evening of Thursday, 6pm, as I laid down the bed, my eyes only opened again 4am of the next day. It was my first full-length sleep. :)

Philippine Monkey-Eating Eagle & Crocodile Farm

Philippine Monkey-Eating Eagle & Crocodile Farm

Allow me to discuss each of our destination itinerary in the next few days as I will separate them by destination per post.

Winning the Cebu Pacific Backpacking Challenge

Zoom five days forward and we found ourselves back in Manila at the Marriot Hotel in Pasay for the last day Рsame day  awarding ceremony. Teams were judged on the criteria of Experiences (35%), Budget Friendliness (35%), Video Documentation (20%) and Written Documentation (10%).

Millions of Bats in Monfort Bat Cave holding a World Guiness Record

Millions of Bats in Monfort Bat Cave holding a World Guiness Record

That night, I told Vince that based on our performance, we could actually win this contest or at the least settle for second place behind the team of Pam Pastor (Inquirer )and Jill Lejano (Photographer). The two-women team of Pam and Jill seemed daunting (at least for me) with their gigantic Northface backpacker luggages. :)

Our adventures would not be complete w/o the foodtrips (Ostrich Salpicao from Cagayan de Oro)!

Our adventures would not be complete w/o the foodtrips (Ostrich Salpicao from Cagayan de Oro)!

By 10pm, Stratworks PR firm was able to finish incorporating the Iloilo leg into their computation and the winners were announced starting from the Canon Best DSLR and point-and-shoot photo winners, the runners-up, and finally the grand winner.

Both Vince and I were ecstatic after hearing Team High Sierra getting the top spot. We felt that all the sweat, hardship, and missing hours of sleep paid off. Well, of course aside from the four round-trip CEB tickets, and 3N/4D hotel accommodations and transfers in Kota Kinabalu Malaysia courtesy of the Sabah Tourism Board.

Vince Jumping at Hagimit Falls while I try to catch our Canon DSLR Photo entry

Vince Jumping at Hagimit Falls while I try to catch our Canon DSLR Photo entry

Acknowledgments

We’d like to thank friends who helped us in finalizing our itinerary for the four locations including Paul Villacorta, EvanJohnn Mendoza, Ria Jose, Chattee Lara, Edu Segundo, Junelle Caravana, and Michelle Pador (Greenwich PR Manager).

Thank You All!

Thank You All!

Add to that our ew found friends Pam Pastor, Jill Lejano, Alex Pastor, Ian Garcia, Rhiannon Halley, Diana Uy, Kate Paras and Julie Alegre. And of course, my teammate Vince Golangco who outstandingly took care of the videos. I’m more of the serious traveler while Vince has a great sense of humor. I suggest you watch out for his future posts. We got around a hundred videos out of the 5-day backpacking adventure. From the island of Samal near Davao where we got on a habal-habal, to the island of Guimaras next to Iloilo where he climbed Mango trees. You will not only LOL in his videos but ROFL guaranteed. :)

Lastly, we thank the organizers and sponsors which made the Backpacking Challenge a possibility: Cebu Pacific, ROX, The Travel Club (High Sierra & Eagle Creek), Sanuk, Columbia, and Stratworks.

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