Inspiring Pinoys

The First Apprentice Asia is a Filipino!

Metro Manila

Renzelle Ann Palma
Renzelle Ann Palma | Aug 01, 2013

Yabut won on the first “The Apprentice Asia”, a business reality show made famous in the US by tycoon Donald Trump. In its Asian counterpart, business bigwig Tony Fernandes of AirAsia hired Yabut and offered him a top position job in his company.

“I'm pretty much a self-made man. I went through preparatory school to college all through scholarships. I'm not saying these things because I want your pity but because I made it big, sir, without anything else. And that's something I'm very proud of," Yabut told Fernandes.

The University of the Philippines graduate is from humble beginnings and worked his way to becoming the first Filipino Apprentice. He said that with this win, he hopes to be an inspiration for his fellow Filipinos.

"When I wear this Filipino flag pin, it's not because I'm too nationalistic. It's because I want to serve as that inspiration to the rest of my country that there is hope, that I represent that hope in them, sir. That despite the fact that you may be from poor beginnings, you can make it big," he said.

Yabut thinks that what separated him from other contestants is the Filipino’s heart. "I think that’s what separates the Filipino. The Filipino can be very emotional, but we are emotional at the right times, when we need to. And when that emotion gets through, it fuels you which no other driver or motivation can," he said.

And his other edge? The Filipino “diskarte”. "Diskarte means that whatever the problem is, there is a solution to it. And most contestants would easily give up. But in my case, there has to be a way. And I was able to find it," he explained.

He also believes that Filipinos have what it takes to shine in the international business world. “We may be good in beauty contests, in boxing but when it comes to skills of marketing and business, hindi pa tayo ganun kakilala. I entered this competition knowing na if I use this platform to showcase that, to showcase that the Filipino talent is really, really good, I think the 'Apprentice Asia' is the best platform for it,” he said.

Jonathan also hopes that his victory would open opportunities for Filipinos and that it inspires many more to dream big.

"It's a win not about me, it's a win for the Philippines," Yabut said.

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