It comes in 3’s: The Appentice Asia’s Celine Le Neindre

AT ONE of her lowest point in life, she survived with 20 Euros in her pocket—in Cannes— 5 for fare and 15 to buy a pack of pasta, butter and salt to bide her through four meals. Rent money, she’d have to come up with soon or get thrown out of her pad. She didn’t know what lay ahead of her. She prayed and never stopped working.

Meet Celine Le’Neindre: “I know I may look polished, I may look mestiza and you may think I’m mayaman. But I am a probinsiyana, I come from Davao. My family has a small restaurant and it’s doing well. That’s it, we don’t have anything else.”

Long has been Celina out of her famous father’s shadow. She set out on her own and now works as a Food and Beverage Consultant consulting for companies in the hospitality business. But where she now stands is a product of hard work,

“I started from the bottom. I used to scrub toilets in yachts in Monaco. I am not afraid to wash dishes to pay rent aside from doing a day job. I have done it. My life wasn’t all that pretty.” Celina related.

Her most valuable lesson?

“Kung may paghihirap man lang, ngayon lang yan. Tiisin ng konti because other things will come from it. Take what you can- the positive. Leave the negative behind,” she said. With a beaming smile, Celina added, “When I could finally afford to buy myself a drink, wine has never tasted better.”

This is why Celina makes a perfect candidate, if not the winner, for AXN’s latest reality game show - The Apprentice Asia. After screening a hundred thousand Asians, this prom-D and Dabawenya, is one of the twelve business executives who will try to impress the big boss, aviation tycoon Tony Fernandes, with their skills in the different fields of business and win an opportunity to work for one of the magnate’s companies.

Donald Trump's Asian counterpart- Tony Fernandes.

Over a “power lunch.” I got to “screen” the “lady who loves challenges.”

3 things you never leave home without:


3 things you always take with you in each challenge of The Apprentice Asia:

My Food & Beverage pin,

3 words other people perceive you to be:


3 words that describe who you really are that others don’t know about you:


3 of your past jobs, what have you learned from it, and its trade secrets you can use to your advantage in the contest:

From Switzerland, at the Beau Rivage Palace -Adaptability & Endurance;
From Monte Carlo Bay Hotel in Monaco- Reliability & Originality;
From Consultancy in Manila- Creativity & Resourcefulness.

“Actually, it’s not just work but more of life experiences-- dealing with people, dealing with emotions, and pushing myself forward. I was doing things outside of my area of expertise and doing it quite well,” added Celina.

3 “So-Pinoy” traits that you think give you an edge over the other Asians in the contest:

Natural tendency to cooperate and coordinate

3 of the toughest competitors in the show. Why?

Jonathan (Yabut - Philippines) - well-prepared;
Alex (Bauduin - China) - very competitive;
Andrea (Loh - Singapore) - young but full of fighting spirit.

Jonathan Yabut, Alex Bauduin & Andrea Loh

3 candidates you want to see in the finals:

Ningku (Lachungpa from India. Unfortunately got fired recently);
Jonathan (Yabut from Philippines); 
Sam (Nalaraj from India).

Ningku Lachungpa, Jonathan Yabut & Sam Nalaraj.

3 reasons why Davao should vote for you:

Proud Davaoena,
Humble beginnings,
I never give up.

3 reasons why you’ll win the contest:

I stayed true,
stayed strong,
and stayed positive.

“What comes out in the show is my passion,” Celina said, and promises that AXN’s The Apprentice Asia will be an exciting show until the end.

Since voting will get a candidate a second chance to prove him/herself at some point in the contest, I am voting for my fellow Pinoy, Prom-D and Dabawenyo- Celina Le Niendre. You should, too. All you have to do is check to vote for Celina Le Niendre and get a chance to win a trip of your choice (you can leave comments, and watch the extra videos and information about the show as well). Use #AACelina on Twitter for support, and catch her page on Facebook for behind the scenes photos and inside information.

By the time The Apprentice Asia announces its winner, which will be in July, this Dabawneya candidate of ours will be turning 30. How about the title as her birthday gift?

After trying to needle out the juicy inside info from Celina over the course of our three-hour power lunch, I was unsuccessful. So for my final question, I baited Celina with this: “Earlier, while recounting your experiences away from home, you said - When it comes to the end of the world, I know I will survive. Does that mean you will survive this competition?” She laughed and replied with, “Abangan hanggang katapusan.”

Why do I get this strong feeling that Celina Le Neindre will win The Apprentice Asia?

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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 28, 2013.