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Daring dozen

By Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:47:00 11/09/2008

Filed Under: Television, Entertainment (general)

MANILA, Philippines - On the set of ?Pinoy Fear Factor? (PFF) in Argentina, host Ryan Agoncillo recalled that the show?s 12 contestants would often get startled whenever they heard his voice.

?They got shell-shocked,? related Agoncillo. ?When we wrapped taping, I treated them to a night out. I didn?t want them to have bad memories of our stay in Buenos Aires.?

Actually, Agoncillo pointed out that it took a lot to daunt the 12 ?participantes,? as the contestants are called.

According to Lauren Dyogi, ABS-CBN Business Unit Head: Of the original 12, only one backed out, a single mom. ?We initially had six boys and six girls. But since one female contestant quit, we ended up with five girls and seven boys.?

The female participantes, especially the celebrities, put up a good fight, said Dyogi.

TV host Phoemela Baranda insisted that she joined PFF precisely because ?she didn?t want to be boxed as a celebrity,? as all glamour and glitz.

Like Phoemela, the other participantes wanted to prove something to themselves, their families and the public.

Actress LJ Moreno noted that the show serves as ?affirmation that I?m not the same girl I used to be.?

Case in point: LJ?s bio states that, during her time away from show biz, she studied early childhood education and is now a preschool teacher.

Aspiring chef Jose Sarasola asserted that he doesn?t want to be perceived as another spoiled kid from the suburbs. ?I have a lot to offer.?

Jose, however, was the first to get hit by intrigues. Even before the show?s Nov. 10 launch, his purported nude photos were posted online. Dyogi nipped the controversy in the bud: ?I checked and it?s not him in the pictures.?

Bikini Summit winner Gail Nicolas admitted: ?I want to overcome my fears.? Chief among her phobias are being suspended in heights and confined in dark places.

Former cager Ram Sagad claimed that he joined the show ?to venture out of my comfort zone ... It?s my first time to be separated from my family.?

Dyogi explained that the Kapamilya network ?Filipinized? the Endemol franchise. As such, most of the participantes are a tad forthcoming about their sob stories.

Struggling businessman Manuel Chua Jr. singled out his 4-year-old daughter as his main reason for joining PFF and ?failure? as his greatest fear.

Stand-up comic and Glutathione sales agent Janna Dominguez said that the P2-million cash prize would help her dad retire from his job as construction worker in Japan.

RJ Calipus, a stevedore from Tondo, recounted that ?life has been tough for my wife and two daughters. It hurts me every time I see them sick or hungry.?

Ledge dancer Savanah Lamsen admitted that PFF is her entry point to show biz. She believes that fame ?would help give back to my family the comfortable life we once had.?

Dyogi described them as the daring and determined dozen.

Balikbayan Marion Angelo de la Cruz survived teen rebellion and racism in Austria. Veterinarian Elmer Felix flunked the board exams twice before passing on his third try.

Model Jommy Teotico almost died after being beaten up by the family of a married woman she ended up in bed with.

Joking or not, Jommy, however, gave the most honest reason for joining PFF: ?To meet the female participantes.?


E-mail: bayanisandiego@hotmail.com



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