Beautiful Stories on Why Travelers Fly + How You Can Get Free Flights By Sharing Why You Fly

Mountaineers and brothers Javi and Carlos Cang had been hiking trails since they were kids, then went on to climb some of the Philippines’ and Asia’s mountains when they got older. But the brothers’ adventures were put on hold when Carlos was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer. Now, Javi continues to climb for him and his brother, and through a  “Never Stop Climbing” fundraising campaign, was able to raise over P100,000 for his brother’s surgery.

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Mountaineer Javi Cang (left) talks about the Never Stop Climbing Campaign to raise funds for his brother and climbing buddy Carlos’ surgery. Carlos (right) looks on.

Ferreolo Peñoso had to return to his native Abatan in Bohol when his small business in Samar folded. Through guiding kayak tours in Abatan River, an ecotourism initiative by Kayak Asia and ALIMANGO, a local nipa and mangrove growers’ association, he was able to supplement his income to support his family.  Traveling by kayak in Abatan River is advocated by the locals as motor boats erode the soil the mangroves and nipa palms stand on. The fireflies living in the mangroves – the main attraction during the nighttime kayak tours – are affected as well.

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The beautiful Abatan River in Bohol also has a beautiful story behind it.

On one of their trips, the AirAsia team learned the story behind Abatan River’s kayak tours and is now partnering with the locals and Kayak Asia to give scholarships to the young tour guides. Peñoso, or Sam Yolo, as tourists and other locals have nicknamed him, is excited for the local youth, as they started out as out-of-school “tambays” before they lived and worked in dignity as tour guides. “At ngayon mag-aaral na sila,” (And now they will be studying), Kuya Sam told me, his eyes shining.

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Tour guide Sam Yolo talks enthusiastically about the kayak ecotourism initiative in Abatan River, Bohol.

These are just a few of the inspiring travel stories I heard during AirAsia’s recent launch of the #WhyIFlyCampaign, which encourages travelers to share their travel photos  and their stories why they fly for a chance to win flights to Palawan, Bohol, Kalibo, or Tacloban (Contest mechanics at the end of this post).

AirAsia kicked off the campaign with a photo exhibit on the beautiful but underrated spots in these destinations. The travelers who explored and documented these places also talked about their adventures and what drives them to travel.

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Digyo, one of Leyte’s many beautiful and pristine islands

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(Top) Sharing the #WhyIFly story and the exhibit. (Bottom) Celebrating AirAsia’s partnership with Kayak Asia and Abatan River tour guides, represented by Sam Yolo

“This is the reason why I fly – to be able to spread the happiness and inspiration I get whenever I travel to all the people who watch my adventure films,” videographer and social entrepreneur Patrick Martin said earnestly. Patrick also shared tips on making adventure videos.

Yes, Aklan is more than just Boracay. Watch Patrick Martin’s video.

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Travelers and Instagram influencers share their adventures, passions, advocacies, as well as tips. (Clockwise) Raniel Hernandez of Sino Pinas, videographer Patrick Martin, Enzo Cruz of Free Spirits, and Ayen dela Torre of Where to Next?

Aside from Patrick, Sino Pinas travelers also gave tips on taking great travel photos and videos. Sino Pinas explores the beauty, culture, and people of beautiful Philippine destinations and introduces them in their community, thus, the term “Sino” (who).

Travelers Ayen dela Torre and Rachel Halili talked about how their travels gave birth to their passion project, the Where to Next? travel-themed planner, which feature their photos and bucket lists and challenges inspired by their travels. Initially designed for themselves and for friends, the planner was set to have only 50 copies in print, but Ayen and Rachel  ended up selling 1,000 copies.

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The Where to Next? 2016 travel planner

Enzo Cruz, a mountaineer, meanwhile, talked about the responsibility that comes with traveling. “You can destroy in a few seconds a flower that took several years to bloom,” he said, talking about the Leave No Trace principle. His passion for traveling is informed by his advocacy.

What is your own travel story? Why do you fly? Join the #WhyIFlyChallenge to win tickets to Palawan, Bohol, Kalibo, or Tacloban, to explore both popular and off-the-beaten-path spots.

Mechanics are as follows:

  1. Follow @AirAsiaPH on Instagram.
  2. Upload a travel photo each day for five consecutive days and tag @airasiaph.
    • Your photo caption each day should complete the statement #WhyIFly. Use the hashtags #WhyIFly and #WhyIFlyChallenge.
    • Nominate/tag different friends each day to do the challenge.
    • Make sure your settings are on public.

Contest runs until September 30. Four winners will get two flights each to Palawan, Bohol, Kalibo, or Tacloban.

Kabagno or Cabagnow cave pool, Bohol by Nella LomotanKabagno (also called Cabagnow) cave pool in Anda, Bohol

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