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I’m not really a big fan of TV shows for the last 3 years. In fact, there are very few shows that make it to my daily viewing list: a local morning drama (Be Careful With My Heart) and Hotel Hell by Gordon Ramsey.

I only came across The Apprentice Asia show on their last 3 episodes. I was surprised to see a Filipino among the last 2 apprentices. Because I am proud to be Filipino, I immediately became a fan. Since I missed out a lot of episodes, I’m not really sure why and how Jonathan made it to the top 2. However, if there is one thing I am certain about, he is far better than his opponent – Andrea.

The last interview in the boardroom made me truly proud of Jonathan. He managed to turn Andrea’s criticism into a very positive one which I believe paved way for his win. As soon as Tony Fernandes hired him, I felt so inspired and so proud being a Filipino.

Days after, I soon found out that Jonathan is from the same province as ours. He too is an Aklanon. Woo Hoo! I immediately tweeted him and surprisingly, he kept responding to my tweets. 🙂 That night, a new desire was planted in my heart, perhaps, next year, I would give it a shot to join The Apprentice Asia.

When I heard the news that he is going home to Aklan, I know in my heart, whatever happens I would go out of my way to meet him. This is the very first time in my life, I have every “chased” someone I admire or idolized.

I am truly thankful that my husband understands and supports my drive to meet him. Otherwise, it would be very difficult for me to leave my feverish son. Armed with my prepped questions, charged phone, and confidence, we travelled to Malinao with a friend to attend his courtesy call and press conference.

It was more than 2 hours wait. The good thing about it is that Malinao has one of the most beautiful plaza’s in Aklan.

His talk was very brief yet so inspiring. He then catered to some questions. I was the first one to ask. 🙂 I asked: If you will be in the shoes of Tony Fernandes 15 years from now, what qualities would you look for in the next Apprentice Asia?

His response:


His response to my question was so spot on that it’s as if he knew who I was and what kind of leader I was aiming to be. His response is something I will forever treasure and remember ESP during the difficult times ahead.

As entrepreneurs, we must continue to find and seek models to whom we can relate with and pattern our success path with. I do have a lot on my list but Jonathan is one of the very few Filipinos in it. Meeting him in person just propelled me to keep moving forward, one step at a time to achieve my dreams.

Most of us business owners get too involved with our daily business activities that we tend to forget the dream that placed us here in the first place. We tend to focus and worry about the small everyday details that we lose sight of what our goal is.

One lesson learned from this experience: Ella, step aside sometimes, go back to your dream, and then start living it. 



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