Interview: Ishaq Vadillo From R U Tough Enough?

Sep 20 • FEATURES • 2138 Views • No Comments on Interview: Ishaq Vadillo From R U Tough Enough?

R U Tough Enough? is back, but this time, the hit reality programme from KIX HD is searching for Southeast Asia’s toughest. With the support of Fisherman’s Friend, KIX HD (Astro Ch 729), is bringing back its annual R U Tough Enough? competition on an even bigger scale this year.

Finalists from six countries in Southeast Asia – namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – will be competing for the title of “Southeast Asia’s Toughest” and a grand prize of US$15,000 (RM61,900)!

This year’s R U Tough Enough? Southeast Asia Advocate is none other than dynamic Malaysian fitness instructor Ishaq Vadillo. As a young man trying to support his family through financial difficulties, he was repeatedly told he was too young and wasn’t taken seriously.

However, he persisted and took on various jobs before discovering fitness as a passion. To all aspiring R U Tough Enough? participants, he says “Challenge yourself; you never know what you are capable of until you push yourself to achieve something great. It all starts with determination and perseverance.”

Vadillo R U Tough Enough SoutheastIn this exclusive interview, Ishaq touches more on this new regional competition.

Q: The competition has expanded regionally, in your opinion, which nation has the best shot at becoming champion?
A: I want to say Malaysia but I think around Southeast Asia, fitness is growing a lot. People are starting to take it seriously – a healthier fit lifestyle. In Thailand because of the huge boxing industry there they have a big chance too.

Q: So what are Malaysia’s chances of winning the competition?
A: The fitness in Malaysia has exponentially increased from the past. I’d like to think Malaysia has a very good chance.

Q: In terms of scale, how extensive is this upcoming competition compared to the ones before?
A: I think it’s very…very high. This year it’s not just Malaysia competing but also Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. We have a lot more purpose this year, better competition and certainly a lot of new fit people training for it. With the grand prize of US$15,000, I think it’s going to catch the ears of many fitness enthusiast and fitness junkies out there so I think it will kick off very…very well.

Q: Why is fitness an important element for you?
A: Personally I love fitness. I care about living a very healthy lifestyle and maintaining a good amount of physical health. To me I made it a hobby, a career, a lifestyle. It’s also a very challenging lifestyle when you want to not only keep it fit mentally, connecting it back to the competition which is why I love to be part of the ‘RUTE’ team. I think it’s a very huge part of my life because I care about staying physically healthy and mentally healthy. Always challenging myself and just keeping myself far and running.

Think you got a shot at winning? R U Tough Enough? Southeast Asia is open to all Malaysian residents aged 18 and above. To participate, apply online at by October 15 or at the Tough Trooper roadshows at Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for closed-door auditions and a total of four finalists will be chosen to represent Malaysia together with the previous winner Vincent Mallang, a fitness trainer from Sarawak. The finalists will then take part in a “Final Showdown” at Sunway Pyramid on December 2.

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