THE FIFTH season of the interior design reality competition, The Apartment: Passion for Design, returns to Sony Channel featuring stylist and interior designer Catherine Arambulo-Antonio as the only Filipino judge of the competition.

“Initially, I was applying to become a contestant. After a while, I hadn’t heard from [the showrunners] but a month or so before the competition, they contacted me and asked me to be one of the judges,” Ms. Arambulo-Antonio told the press shortly before the media preview on March 14 at Century City Mall in Makati City.

The show started airing on March 22 (Thursday), 9 p.m., on Sony Channel.

Used to working behind-the-scenes as a stylist for actresses like Ehra Madrigal, Ms. Arambulo-Antonio admitted that doing the show is an entirely new challenge for her, but is a challenge she is very willing to do.

“When I’m judging, I like to see a person’s personality in their works because that’s what’s going to set them apart from others. I’m looking for their personality to shine,” she said.

Ms. Arambulo-Antonio is joined by New York-based interior designer Tyler Wisler and British interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen as the show’s judges. The show is hosted by award-winning designer and author Jamie Durie.

There are other Filipinos in the fifth season of The Apartment — Fil-Kiwi model and beauty queen Stephanie Dods, interior decorator Jesy Cruz, and interior designer Eugene del Rosario are competing and trying to follow the third season’s Filipino winners Deankie Latonio and Tiara Sison. The three Filipinos will be competing with nine others for the show’s “biggest award yet,” a deed to a luxurious UMLand apartment at D’Lagoon in Iskandar, Malaysia.

“Filipinos are renowned for their exceptional talent and tend to do really well in reality series where their creativity and survival skills are put to the test under high pressure situations. The Amazing Race Asia and Asia’s Got Talent on AXN are two wonderful examples of Filipinos making the country proud. Now with The Apartment: Passion for Design on Sony Channel, the Philippines will show that the country can also excel in interior design,” said Armi Malaluan, director and business head of Sony Television Networks Asia, in a company release.

The Apartment: Passion for Design airs every Thursday, 9 p.m., on Sony Channel (Cablelink Channel 39, Cignal Channel 120, Destiny Cable Channel 35, G Sat Channel 48, and SkyCable Channel 35.) — Z. B. Chua