Gina Alajar to Compete with Roderick Paulate as Mentors of the Upcoming Big Artista Search, 'Protégé!'

“Protégé: The Battle for the Big Artista Break” is GMA-7's biggest artista search reality show to offer this quarter.

The show is one of the biggest and not just an ordinary talent search since the most respective and award-winning actors were the mentors of the contestants. And they will compete with one another!

TV Director and Protégé mentor Gina Alajar is feeling nervous now that GMA’s competition for the big artista break, “Protégé” is about to begin – but not because of the competition per se, but because she will be competing with fellow mentor and long-time friend Roderick Paulate.

Gina and Roderick began in show business almost at the same time and since their first project, they have become “siblings” in the industry.

“Roderick calls me Ate Oreng because yun yung character name ko dun sa unang movie na pinagsamahan namin, and I call him Bong. So dun palang makikita na natin na secret code namin yun diba, tapos ngayon nandito kami para mag-compete sa isa’t isa at para mag-mentor sa mga bagong mga mag-aartista,” said Gina.

In a separate interview with Roderick, the veteran actor and comedian said that when the role of being one of the mentors of the search was offered to him, he hesitated since he knew that mentoring is a challenging job plus the fact that he will be competing with his fellow veteran actors.

“Mentoring is a difficult job. It’s so easy to be mentored pero yung magtuturo ka mas mahirap yun. You need to devote so much effort and time, mejo ninerbiyos ako ng konti pero natuwa rin ako kasi mga kaibigan ko sa industriya ang kasama ko sa pagme-mentor,” he said.

Gina and Roderick’s friendship began decades ago when both actors were yet child stars.

“Si Roderick kasabayan kong mag-artista yan e -- 5 years old siya, 8 years old naman ako tapos halos dito lang sa industriyang ito gumagalaw ang buhay namin,” Gina recalled.

Gina added that she’s anxious about the fact that anything could happen on the show and the mentors themselves might come into conflict with one another.

“Mahirap kasi hindi ko alam kung magkakaroon ng lamat ang mga friendship na ito e. May kanya-kanyang style, may kanya-kanyang ideas yan e, at itong lahat ng mga mentors na ito walang kinatatakutan, they say what they say – kesyo masaktan ka – yun lang yung kinakatakot ko dun. Like ako, baka meron akong masabi na biglang ma-offend ang kahit isa sa kanila. Si Philip pa naman pikon yan (laughs). Pikon yan talaga. Pero maaring kimkimin niya yung galit niya sa akin, pero I think hindi maiiwasan yun e.

“Kaya nakakaba, mas nakakakaba yung labanan ng mga mentors kaysa sa labanan ng mga proteges kasi dun sa mga mentors yun yung magkakaroon ng feedback sa isa’t isa, baka magkaroon lang kami ng mga conflict – hopefully not – pero hindi maiiwasan, sa palagay ko hindi maiiwasan,” explained Gina.

Only time could tell if Gina’s “predictions” are correct but one thing is for sure: it’s going to be a battle worth watching.

Protégé officially begins on July 23 (Monday) with the daily, 30-minute update dubbed “Inside Protégé” which will be hosted by Jennylyn Mercado and aired on GMA-7’s primetime block.

The first gala night will be on August 5 (Sunday), which will be held at Studio 7 of the GMA Network Studios and hosted by Dingdong Dantes and Carla Abellana.

Apart from the mentors, four judges will also give their critiques of each protégé’s performance during the weekly gala. The judges are Joey de Leon, Director Bert de Leon, Cherie Gil and GMA top honcho Anna Teresa Gozon-Abrogar.(

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