Cancer survivor Louie Sangalang battles Venezuelan in The Apprentice finals

Louie Sangalang The Apprentice finals
Filipino MMA champion-now-procurement consultant Louie Sangalang is vying for the opportunity to be The Apprentice of ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.

Cancer survivor Louie Sangalang has reached the finals of The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition after winning his pitch to provide support to an international organization that supports children with cancer and their caregivers.

The 43-year-old procurement consultant was announced as one of the two final candidates left standing in the competition, alongside Venezuelan sales director Jessica Ramella.

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The two finalists bested their competitors Monica Millington of the U.S. and Irina Chadsey of Russia in Episode 11’s business challenge that required the last two pairs to work on concepts that would improve the way non-governmental organizations (NGOs) could connect with donors and volunteers.

Louie and Jessica’s presentation to benefit LOVE, NILS – an international organization that supports children with cancer and their caregivers – bested the Habitat for Humanity concept of Chadsey and Millington.

Both pairs used Twilio’s technology to connect with target audiences, with guest judge Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson showing them the way. Twilio is an American cloud communications platform that facilitates communication functions across various channels.

Louie and Jessica crafted an AI chatbot using Twilio’s technology to provide emotional and social support to the patients and their families and also interact with prospective donors. The chatbot enabled the patients and parents to connect with each other and the donors themselves. They named their program Nils’ Pals and gave the name Claire to the chatbot. Nils and Clare are the twin children of LOVE, NILS founder Lesli Berggren.

The cause of the NGO hit home for Louie, who dealt with and survived cancer but lost friends and colleagues to the dreaded illness. “Towards my last year in the university, that’s when they found out I had cancer. After surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, I started getting better. So this particular business challenge is quite close to my heart because it’s about helping all these cancer patients and cancer survivors. I just want to give back,” he said.

Jessica and Louie’s powerful pitch touched the hearts of judges ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, ONE Championship senior vice president Niharika Singh, ONE Group President Hua Fung Teh, and Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson. The authenticity of the pitch left an indelible mark, although the judges still raised concerns on the concept’s financial aspect.

“Louie has that grit, that resilience, and that calmness about him. And clearly, he’s very, very competent if you look at everything he does,” noted Chatri.

“He’s very good at problem-solving, very good with numbers, very analytical,” added Niharika Singh “But I have also seen his energy go up and down. He has stuck to one role primarily throughout and I’m also wondering if he’s going to be the right fit at ONE Championship.”

Such high standards are what’s demanded especially in this high-stakes game of business competitions and physical challenges all for the prize of a $250,000 job offer as Sityodtong’s protégé and chief of staff at the ONE Championship Global Headquarters in Singapore.

With one business challenge left, Sangalang knows that what he’s done is not enough, and he truly has to give everything he’s got to be “the one.” Will he win it all for pride and country?

The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition is showing across Asia on AXN, the show’s official Asian broadcast partner, with Philippine broadcasts at 8:50 p.m. on Thursdays. The show is also shown on One Sports every Monday at 9 p.m.

SEND WELL WISHES in the comments below to cancer survivor Louie Sangalang as he battles his Venezuelan competitor in The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition finals!

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The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.