The Asian franchise of the US reality game show originally hosted by Donald Trump is now on its first season. It’s hosted by entrepreneur Tony Fernandes and shown every Wednesday at the AXN Asia on cable. I love reality shows that require intelligence and strategy. The Apprentice Asia is right up on my alley. But what’s even more interesting is that there are two Filipino contestants fighting it out for the title, and I know one of them.
I met Celina Le Neindre, aka #AACelina, when I reviewed one of the steak houses in Makati. Born in Davao City, she’s a 29-year old Hospitality Professional and is currently a Food and Beverage Consultant. The way Celina carried herself during our first meeting is an indication that she’s a high caliber lady. And that can be seen during the times when I got to watch a few episodes of The Apprentice Asia. The other contender is 27-year old Manila-born Jonathan Yabut, aka #AAJon. A Marketing Manager of a multinational company, I see him very much into the game on every episode of the reality game show. It was a pleasure meeting him in person.
The two Filipino personalities are really strong contenders to the title. As of this writing, The Apprentice Asia already had 6 episodes and they have yet to play in one team. Celina is on Team Apex, while Jonathan is on Team Mavericks. I really enjoyed the show where they were tasked to take on various challenges that would highlight their business skills on sales, marketing, portfolio management and customer service. For each challenge, both Celina and Jon are working hard to help their respective teams win. I can see how passionate they are when they do their jobs.
And that passion is evident as they share us their experiences on the show. We learned that the selection process went for roughly 3 months where they had to fly to Malaysia several times for the interview. There were apparently thousands of applicants and they all had to go to through an extensive selection process. Everything was done with utmost confidentiality that their respective friends and employers were not aware that they are joining The Apprentice Asia. Neither of Celina nor Jonathan knew there’s another Pinoy on the show until the first day of taping.
Now that the shooting is done, Celina and Jonathan looks back at their experiences with the reality show. They shared how The Apprentice Asia made them better individuals, and who wouldn’t be. I’m sure that having to deal with the pressures of the show and the people they’re with, away from family and friends forced them to grow up quickly. As Celina pointed out, they had to learn from their mistakes and be told point blank where they screw up. And there’s no turning back; unlike in real world where one can simply resign from the job if the pressure is too much to bear.
I’m proud of the Filipino contenders #AACelina and #AAJon. They are fighting it out and doing really well. In fact, they shared that during the shoot, they were not merely thinking about doing it for personal reasons but even more, competing for the Philippines. Indeed, they showed that Pinoys can go head to head with other Asians as far as critical thinking, competency and business strategy are concerned. They truly represent the professional Filipinos who are equally competent, or even better, than other nationalities as far as getting the job done in the corporate jungle.