Jonathan Yabut, The First Ever Filipino Who Won 'The Apprentice Asia'

I remember one high school classmate when I heard the news that Jonathan Yabut wins 'The Apprentice Asia'. I really thought they were related with each other. Nonetheless, Jonathan Yabut is one proud Filipino and he is the first ever Asian to win 'The Apprentice' and first ever Filipino for 'The Apprentice Asia'!

Jonathan Allen Yabut graduated from University of the Philippines, Bachelor of Economics. He has won the first-ever title of "The Apprentice Asia".

In the popular reality show, the 27-year-old Filipino Senior Product Manager beat Singaporean lawyer Andrea Loh.

Yabut gets a one year contract with the AirAsia group as Tony Fernandes' newest apprentice, with a salary of at least $100,000.

The first-ever winner of "The Apprentice Asia" feels proud to have represented the Philippines in the field of business and marketing.

According to Jonathan during the live viewing of AXN’s "The Apprentice Asia" at the Hyve in Bonifacio Global City on Wednesday, July 31, "This is for the Philippines. It’s a win not about me. And finally pagdating sa kompetisyon na pagalingan sa utak, pagalingan sa business and marketing, the Filipino has finally spoken that we are the best in Asia."

After beating 11 other contestants across Asia, Jonathan survived 10 boardroom trials and eventually got ‘hired’ by aviation tycoon Tony Fernandes. During the final task, Jonathan competed with Singaporean lawyer Andrea Loh, where they organized a charity auction for AirAsia Foundation.

"Definitely nahirapan. The best in Asia are out there. The fact that the Philippines has stood out, I’m just so proud and happy to prove it. I’m very happy for her (Andrea). I know there are more opportunities for her, as well," Jonathan claims. 

Jonathan states that he had always hoped to bag the title while he admits the competition was really challenging. That’s why during the final task, he wore what he brought a Filipino national dress Barong Tagalog. He also wears a pin of the Philippine flag, which he said was like his lucky charm.

He also exclaims that "I’ve always aspired for it kaya dala ko ang Barong Tagalog ko kasi I told myself na if I’m gonna be at the final two, I’ll wear it and I did. Every time I get scared, I touch it (pin). It reminds me of the people back home, reminds me that this is not for you but for the people rooting for you back home."

When people of the media asks him what was his winning strategy?

Jonathan immediately replied "Just be yourself." Very well said Kabayan!

Yet calm and in control during the competition, Jonathan was also praised for being consistent and intense.

"It’s so cliché, but if you feel that you are the best, it will always shine. Always bring out the best in people. You’re not there to put people down, you’re there to bring out the best in them. As long as you show that to Mr. Tony, because he’s that kind of guy, he will like you. And he will bring you to the final two."

In the final task, Jonathan chose fellow Pinoy contestant Celina Le Neindre as part of his team. He really is so greatful to have a fellow Filipino.

"There’s always teamwork, synergy and secret connivance. I think it’s very Pinoy, we always root for each other."

Starting August 15 Jonathan will be working as AirAsia’s chief of staff and will report directly to Fernandes. While Jonathan is excited for the "opportunities and mentorship" he will get from the aviation tycoon, he also feels nervous about the big responsibility he will have as an ‘apprentice’, now that they’re outside the boardroom.

"I’m very excited and a bit scared. Pero that’s how life is. It’s always about change and I’m ready to take on the challenge. It’s more of business development. I’m very nervous. You have to prove to Mr. Tony why you are the apprentice outside the boardroom. In the end, when you’re nervous that’s a good thing because that means you’re being fueled to do your best."

That what a Filipino is made of! Smart, humble and proud! Mabuhay ang Filipino!


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