PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the media were invited to visit the set of The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition at Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club in General Trias, Cavite, yesterday, May 18.
While the contestants were out for a challenge, the staff of the show toured us around the club house which would serve as the residence of the 12 Biggest Loser participants for 17 weeks.
After that, the group had separate sessions with professional fitness trainer Chinggay Andrada and sports medicine specialist Jim Saret to let us experience the type of workouts they give to the participants.
Former radio jock Chinggay admitted that almost 90 percent of the contestants were having a hard time with the physical activities.
However, she said, this was never a hindrance for them to go on with the challenges.
She related, "Siyempre naman, lahat mahirap sa kanila kasi for a lot of them, it’s been years. Sa lahat bago.
"But that’s been the best part: their willingness and their drive. Nandoon talaga ’yong drive, as in very committed."
Because of this attitude, the trainers themselves were inspired to help the 12 "Bigating Pinoy" reach their main goal: to lose weight.
Chinggay, who monitors the progress of the Red team, said, "As a trainer, how can I not be committed and motivated to train them even harder? Kasi, kung ano ang ibibigay ko sa kanila, it is to always keep in mind that we train safe.
"Sometimes we train hard but other times we don’t train as hard. But the motivation talaga for them is to keep in mind that training, proper way of eating, and making sure that you’re well-rested.
"It’s something that they will take out if this camp. That’s the most important thing, that they’re able to sustain this sa labas."
BEING ATTACHED TO THE CONTESTANTS. Meanwhile, each of the 12 "Bigating Pinoy" contestants has his or her own reasons to lose weight. And this was what influenced Chinggay and Jim to take the offer as their trainers. (CLICK HERE to read related article)
On his first day, Jim thought his job would be easier than training elite athletes. He’s currently training the members of Philippine National Basketball Team called Smart Gilas.
Jim recalled, "When I first got here parang pa-easy-easy lang ako, e. Honestly, madali sa akin ang magpapayat kasi I’ve been training Philippine Basketball team, may weight category ’yan, e, so dapat mag-stay ka sa ganitong point. Kung sinabi nila na, ’O, you need to lose two pounds.’ Kaya kong pagawin sa mga athletes yan. Kayang-kaya ’yan."
On that day, he realized, "’Yong athletes madali. Pero sa regular person, hindi, ang daming struggle.
"So, noong pumunta ako dito, ’I thought madali lang ’yan.’ But when I got to know the contestants natin, naiba ’yong tingin ko sa kanila kasi buhay na nila ang involved dito, e.
"Even for me, naging personal sa akin ang goal ko dito. Starting to give them a good health actually restored their life."
He further added, "If you hear their stories, nakaka-touch talaga, e. When you start working out with them, on their face parang they see hope.
"Dito, they wanna get married, they wanna have a baby, gustong magka-boyfriend. Simpleng bagay, sobrang simple."
GIVING HOPE. The personal stories of the contestants also motivated both trainers to show that there’s still hope for them to lose weight.
Chinggay related, "Each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses. But ito talaga, the very best thing that happened is that a lot of them thought na lahat ng ginagawa namin they couldn’t do. But some could.
"That’s basically how it is in the fitness industry. If you have the mentality that you want to give it a try, ’tapos nalaman mo pala na kaya mo, that’s a great achievement already for me.
"I keep saying over and over again, ’Ladies, this is the only body you’ve got. It can’t be replaced. It’s the best thing that God gave you. Treat it with respect, with what you do with it, number of hours of sleep.
"Very simple formula pero minsan we get so overwhelmed with our work schedule, with our families that we tend to forget the most important thing in our life: it’s you."
Chinggay was also glad that no one has given up yet on their challenges.
"You guys will be inspired with their spirit and their commitment," she said.
Then, she continued. "They’re in here talaga to achieve their goals. That’s why I’m very grateful that I have the Red team because that’s what I see every time nagte-train kami, nandiyan ang commitment and motivation.
"Just like in life though, you come across struggles ’tapos mayroon kayong obstacles. But you have to pick yourself right back up because there’s nowhere else to go but up inside this camp."
The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition does not only want to help its 12 contestants lose weight. The show also aims to educate the viewers about living a healthy lifestyle.
In fact, Chinggay said, "I feel and sense that people will appreciate Biggest Loser because [nandito na] lahat ng hinahanap mo sa isang show, whether you wanna be inspired and motivated.
"It’s like a wake up call for a lot of people. And it’s a problem or an issue that needs to be addressed as early as now dito sa Pilipinas, the obesity."
Aside from Chinggay and Jim, renowned nutritionist Nadine Tengco will also teach the participants about proper nutrition and how to prepare healthy meals.
Psychologist Randy Dellosa will give counseling to contestants in dealing with their emotional problems, which may have led them to their current physical state.
Sharon Cuneta will be the host of the program.
Sports buff and actor Derek Ramsay will be the show’s game master.
Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition will start airing on May 30 on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.