But as big of pride as they have in representing the country in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Lara Pearl Alvarez and Louie Sangalang couldn’t be any more different in their respective approaches to this high-stakes game of business competitions and physical challenges.
“Filipinos are known to be courageous,” she said.
“In the past, we fought for our rights and our freedom, and it continues up to the present time. Every Filipino is fighting for something — their life, their dreams, and their family.”
That determination, Alvarez noted, would be her driving force in her quest to win the US $250,000 job offer to work as ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong’s protégé at the ONE Championship Global Headquarters in Singapore for a year.
“That is what I will be for this show, I will be a fighter,” she said. “I believe that the more you sacrifice for something, the more you’ll give what is beyond your limit. Of all candidates, I think I made the biggest sacrifice.”
Alvarez knew the sacrifices she had to make just to be in this reality show.
She left her 10-month-old son, one who needed her nurturing this early in his life and made big gambles just for this rare shot at glory — one which she believes would lead to a better life for her family.
“I left a 10-month-old boy who needed me the most at such a tender age. I spent what’s left of my savings on my preparations for the show. All of that is for the chance to change my life. I have a bigger reason for this competition and that is my edge.”
Sangalang, on the other hand, sees it the other way.
He doesn’t want to see this competition, one regarded as the toughest iteration of ‘The Apprentice’ yet, based on nationalities as he looks at all the participants in an equal footing.
“Like what Chatri said, this competition is a level playing field regardless of race, age, or gender. To me, I think that all traits and qualities, may it be good or bad, are universal and are not specific to any race or nationality,” said Sangalang.
For him, what matters most for him is to show his resiliency, one which he has done all his life, especially after surviving appendiceal cancer at the age of 23, more than two decades back.
“Personally, I want to prove that I am resilient and that I always do my best in every physical task and business challenge. I want to demonstrate my maturity, business acumen, and level-headedness in this competition,” he said.
But if there’s one thing that the two Filipinos agree on, it’s that the key to winning The Apprentice: ONE Championship is as simple as being true to oneself.
“I look at my mistakes as experiences to become a better person. I always get up and fight back when life brings me down.”
Sangalang, for his part, pointed out that he never even considered himself the favorite in this competition.
“Don’t believe your own hype. Do the right things and do things well — and for me, this is a good starting point to finding your True North.”
So, between the two, who’s the favorite to win The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition?
You are the judge.
The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition will premiere across Asia on Thursday, 18 March, on AXN, the show’s official Asian broadcast partner, with markets to include Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition will also be available on other platforms and TV networks across Asia in March, including MediaCorp (Singapore), Abema (Japan), KompasTV (Indonesia), Amarin TV (Thailand), LINE TV (Thailand), TV5 Network (Philippines), and HTV (Vietnam).