The Most Affordable Way to Travel Around the Philippines: Backpacking!

Cebu Pacific Airlines recently conducted a “Backpacking Adventure Challenge” for 10 lucky (and brave) souls. I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of the participants for this cool journey. You know me. Anytime there’s adventure involved, I’ll usually be in the front seat asking, “Are we there yet?”

The challenge was to head out and have the most number of adventures with the least amount of money spent. We basically had to travel like a backpacker, live like a backpacker, think like a backpacker, and spend like a backpacker. We were given a budget of Php24,000 (approx $530) to spend among the two of us. The only fees that had been paid were our flights with Cebu Pacific Air. They showed us the total airfare and I was impressed by how truly affordable they were.

Cebu Pacific Airfare (lowest year-round fare)

  • Manila – Cebu = Php748
  • Cebu – Cagayan De Oro = Php648
  • Cagayan De Oro – Davao = Php648
  • Cagayan De Oro – Iloilo = Php1,288
  • Iloilo – Manila = Php748

Total airfare: P4,080

So it was set: five teams of two members each headed out to conquer the backpacking world in the Philippines! I was partnered with fellow blogger Jonel Up of The good news was that Jonel was DETERMINED to win this. The bad news was that he was REALLY DETERMINED to win this.

Think of a Pharaoh in Egypt whipping his slaves and telling them to keep working. Well, that’s pretty much how Jonel ran this operation. LOL. I exaggerate, but I swear: Jonel did so much research for this and would not sleep or rest throughout the trip.

In the end, we amassed over 100 videos, about 1,500 photos, 2 aching bodies, and priceless stories to last a lifetime… including one about us almost being eaten by a crocodile!!!!

This is just a quick preview of the journey we had from Manila to Cebu to Cagayan De Oro to Davao to Iloilo and back to Manila. Four destinations in five days! I’ll go into detail for each destination and even more into detail for my favorite special travel spots in the posts to come. In the end…. well, I’ll tell you those stories later….

So, When in Manila, you need to try backpacking around the Philippines, so you can save lots of $$$ while still allowing yourself to explore the awesomeness of this country! Do visit Cebu, Cagayan De Oro, Davao, and Iloilo! I’ll give more details on what to do at these destinations soon.

Special thanks and shoutouts to Mark Christian Parladé, Charisse Vilchez, Michelle Eve De Guzman, Jonel Uy, Katrina Paras, Julie Alegre, Bryan Garcia, Alexander Pastor II, Jill Lejano, Pamela Pastor, Rhiannon Halley, and Diana Uy.

Thanks to the Sabah Tourism Board of Malaysia for helping make this event happen. Will write more about them when I visit and get their tour in September.

Thanks also to Stratworks Marketing Communications, Cebu Pacific Airlines, the Primer Group (High Sierra, Sanuk, Columbia Sportswear, Recreational Outdoor eXchange R.O.X., and Eagle Creek), and Canon Cameras for putting together an AWESOME experience.

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