Thadz Joins Adventure Race in Siquijor

Cebu Teambuilding Services continues for ways to expand its offerings to its client organizations. Recently, founder and managing consultant Thaddeau "Thadz" Engaling went on a trip to Siquijor through his affiliation with the Cebu Blogging Community (CBC), the most dynamic community of bloggers in the entire Visayas and Mindanao regions of the Philippines.

22nd Annual RADIO 7 Convention

Thadz joined a party of nine (9) other bloggers affiliated with CBC who were tabbed as blogger mentors for teams participating in the 1st #InfoTourismAdventureRace in #SensationalSiquijor, a major part of the 22nd annual convention of the Regional Association of Development Information Officers 7 (RADIO 7) held at the Coco Grove Beach and Dive Resort in Tubod, San Juan, Siquijor, Philippines. Other bloggers who joined the trip were Channel Marie Imperial, Hoven Andre Encontro, Melanie Dianne Manso, Jeane Louise Mainit, Romeo Nicolas Bonsocan, Richard Abad, Carlo Andrew Olano, Mae Cimafranca, and Eleanor Valeros.

team building in Siquijor
Photo courtesy of April Joy "Bebsy" Lamis
Participating in the convention were tourism officers from Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor and information officers in the Central Visayas Region belonging to five (5) different associations. These associations are Association of Government Information Officers (AGIO), Association of United Development Information Officers (AUDIO) from Bohol, Cebu Association of City and Municipal Public Information Officers (CAOCAMPIO), Association of Negros Oriental Public Information Officers (ANOPIO), and Siquijor Association of Information Disseminators (SAID).

#InfoTourismAdventureRace in #SensationalSiquijor

The highlight of the convention was an adventure race designed by Vince Escario and implmented with the able help of adventure race specialists Mark Christian Kong and Joey Manguerra. Similar to the adventure race-themed team building programs that Cebu Teambuilding Services administers in Metro Cebu, the #InfoTourismAdventureRace has a similar concept of involving the local culture and letting the convention participants experience what Siquijor has to offer, although on a more individual scale. Convention participants were divided into seven (7) teams who would participate in the first adventure race of its kind in Siquijor.

adventure race in Siquijor
Sack Race
(Photo courtesy of April Joy "Bebsy" Lamis)

The adventure race in Siquijor started with a sack race at Coco Grove Beach and Dive Resort, followed by a swim at the Capilay Spring Park. After the swim, teams rushed to San Antonio to make their own lana learning from the traditional faith healers of the area. They would then cook their lunch at the Triad Restaurant and Coffee Shop in Larena. After lunch, participants had a hands-on experience in baking the native bread delicacy of Enrique Villanueva town. They will then proceed to plant trees at Salagdoong man-made molave forest, the biggest not only in the Philippines but in the entire Southeast Asia. After that, they will head to swing on a vine at the Cambugahay Falls, then have a fish spa experience under a 400-year old balete tree.

Making lana
(Photo courtesy of April Joy "Bebsy" Lamis)

A parallel challenge for participants was to gather as much information as they can while racing since they were expected to create a blog as an output of the adventure race.

Thadz's Experience

Thadz was assigned as a blogger mentor/ team marshal for team that probably comprised of the more elderly participants in the convention, Team number 7, originally known as Team Mapinanggaon and later the Vibrant Visayas team. But that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The night before the race, the team already conceded and no longer thought about winning. Instead, the team focused on maximizing their own experience. A fantastic plan was then agreed upon. By design, the team will finish last by their own choice. Team members agreed that they will complete all required challenges. Then while completing the required challenges, we would take a lot of side trips to places of interest that were not part of the race. They will explore Siquijor at their own pace while the other teams will be neck-and-neck racing to be first. Midway through the race, they started calling themselves "bla-agers", a play into the English word "blog" and the Cebuano word "laag", meaning to roam around.

Sandugan Beach Boulevard
Jumpshot Fail
(Photo courtesy of April Joy "Bebsy" Lamis of NegOr PTU)

The Required Challenges 

There were eight required challenges to complete: racing in a sack at the Coco Grove Beach Resort, let one team member swim across the length of the Capilay Spring's second level swimming pool, make lana at San Antonio, eat salawaki and cook own lunch at the Triad Restaurant and Coffee Shop, bake pan bisaya  at Lilybeth's humble shack in Enrique Villanueva, take a groupfie with rattan saplings at the Salagdoong forest, take a groupfie at the Cambugahay Falls, and take a groupfie at the 400-year old balete tree in Campalanas, Lazi. The team Thadz was assigned to completed all these challenges even going the extra mile on some stops. For example, while all the other groups just took a group photo with the rattan saplings, Team Bla-agers actually planted some of the saplings. While other teams took a simple photo at Cambugahay Falls, some team members of Bla-agers actually swung on the vine as originally planned by race organizers. Had the team had more time, someone would have probably tried cliff jumping at Salagdoong Beach Resort.

tree planting at Salagdoong
Planting rattan saplings at Salagdoong

Our Side Trips

While the other teams were seriously racing, Thadz and Team Bla-agers took their time, falling by as much as an hour behind the 6th running team. So aside from the places where the required challenges took place, Team Bla-agers dropped by to have a fun photoshoot at the Sandugan Beach Boulevard that including a hilarious, failed attempt at a jumpshot. They also visited one of the oldest houses in Siquijor, the Cang-isok House in Enrique Villanueva town. Since the former mayor of the town of Maria was also part of the team, he gave the team a tour of the places of interest in Maria, among them the Our Lady of Divine Providence Church, the Poor Clare Monastery, and the Salagdoong Beach Resort. In Lazi, the group marveled at Asia's biggest and oldest convent and the San Isidro Labrador parish church which had wooden floor panels.

Our Lady of Divine Providence Church
At the Our Lady of Divine Providence Church in Maria
(Photo courtesy of April Joy "Bebsy" Lamis)

Positive Implications for Cebu Teambuilding Services

Because of the experience Thadz had joining an adventure race in Siquijor, he becomes confident about being able to organize a similar race for client organizations of Cebu Teambuilding Services who want to do an adventure race in Siquijor. The adventure races that Cebu Teambuilding Services will be implementing will no longer just be limited to Metro Cebu. Cebu Teambuilding Services can now organize team building programs with an adventure race or scavenger hunt team building in Siquijor, Philippines. 

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  1. Former Mayor was with you? Mao diay. Without your side trips, we wouldn't have known nga there are places pa diay in Siquijor we should visit. So congrats on not winning! There should be a Bisaya Short Film about the Amazing Race Siquijor focusing on your team who did not finish the race and still in your own way won.

    1. There's a lot more actually that we haven't even visited. I wanna go back