It’s go time for Lara Pearl Alvarez and Louie Sangalang as the first episode of “The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition” airs on Philippine television this Saturday, 20 March, at 11 p.m. on TV5.
The two Filipino entrepreneurs will finally be introduced to the country on-screen for the first time tonight alongside the 14 other candidates who will vie for the US$250,000 job offer to work under ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong in Singapore.
Naturally, both candidates are excited to show their compatriots their business acumen.
“I think anyone who gets selected will feel ecstatic. First of all, it’s not just any organization. It’s a huge and very young and powerful company,” Sangalang said.
“Another thing that excites me is that it’s going to be a tough competition, all driven by challenges. It’s what really motivates me. It’s something that aligns with my willingness to take on challenges in my life.”
Seeing the support that they have garnered over time leading to this big moment, Alvarez knows that they aren’t the only ones excited for the airing.
“I can’t wait for people to watch [the first episode]. Many of my friends have shown their support for me. Since the trailer aired, there has been a lot of excitement,” Alvarez said.
“I know fans of both ONE and ‘The Apprentice’ are going to love it.”
Fans have gotten to know the local candidates after weeks of hype entering the competition, and it’s time to see whether they have what it takes to outlast the other global candidates in what is being called the toughest "Apprentice" in history.
For Sangalang, solid business acumen and physical strength are expected from everyone who is selected, so now it all boils down to how they’ll handle themselves on the show and how they’ll fit in.
Authenticity will certainly be the key for the appendiceal cancer survivor.
“Despite all your skill sets, you have to fit into the culture you’re joining. You can be the best in the show, but still not be hired for a job for whatever reason. You’re just not going to get in, and that’s just the reality of it,” Sangalang said.
“The reality of getting a job has a lot to do with the culture fit. You have to be real, authentic. On the TV screen, everything is magnified, so if you’re real, it will help you build your personal brand.”
Alvarez, on the other hand, will be getting strength from her 10-month-old son, who she left for a while to focus on the show.
Having gone through a lot, the 24-year-old Igorot knows that there’s nothing in this competition that can faze her.
“I’ve been through a whole lot, and everything I’ve done so far is for my son to have a better life. Up to now, I still can’t believe I am on ‘The Apprentice.’ I’m glad I took this chance. It’s going to make me a stronger person – and a better mother,” she said.
“I’ll gain more confidence in myself. I’ll prove that being a single mother is not a setback. It is far from a setback. It’s a blessing because I am able to push myself harder. It gives me the strength to push past my limits.”
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