The likeable and good-looking Cebuano known as Slater Young couldn’t believe it when he was revealed as the big winner of Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Unlimited Edition on March 31, 2012. When the final tally from the overnight voting was announced, he received a total of 40.02 percent of the text votes, which was nearly twice as much as the second placer Annielie “Pamu” Pamorada’s 21.49 percent.
Slater was awarded a cash prize of two million pesos, an Asian cities package tour for two, a number of appliances including an Internet TV, a franchise for a Crystal Clear purified water store, and a special appearance in an ABS-CBN program in the United States. Slater is the first male housemate chosen as the big winner in a PBB non-celebrity, non-teen edition, following Nene Tamayo in 2005, Beatriz Saw in 2007, and Melisa “Melai” Cantiveros in 2010.
He repeatedly said “thank you” when he stepped onstage during the PBB finale at the Quirino Grandstand, where he was greeted by his mother and father. They were very proud of his accomplishments in the 155 days that he lived in the PBB house. In the days following Slater’s win in PBB Unlimited, his name cropped up as one of the most popularly trending celebrity searches on Yahoo Philippines.
Jan Slater Lee Young was born in December 1987. Being the eldest of his parents’ four children, Slater counted on being able to use his big brother qualities in getting along with his PBB housemates. A competitive shooter and varsity table tennis player, Slater hoped to find a new adventure when he entered the PBB house. Slater said that he always tries to experience new and unusual things, especially ones that scare him, such as eating exotic food or bungee jumping.
Early in his life, Slater was already aware of the concepts of hard work and perseverance and was used to attaining the successes he sought. The high school he attended was Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu. Equipped with a civil engineering degree from the University of San Carlos, he took the board exam and was unable to pass during his first try because of complacence, but his dad let him know that sometimes it’s OK to fail. When he tried again, he achieved a score that was almost good enough for him to become one of the topnotchers. After becoming a civil engineer, he worked for his dad in Hi-Speed Construction and Development, a construction company located on A. S. Fortuna Street in Mandaue, specializing in pre-engineered steel building systems. Although he was used to a comfortable lifestyle, Slater aspired to have his own successes that were not dependent on his family’s affluence. He also worked lucratively as a civil engineer for some top companies like BigFoot, Nestlé, and S & R.
Slater’s father, John Young, admitted he was hesitant about letting his son join the reality show. After Slater’s win, Mr. Young said he would support his son’s future participation in show business. In a text poll conducted by ABS-CBN, more people chose showbiz rather than engineering as Slater’s appropriate next step after PBB. Sometime around 2011, Slater Young became one of the fresh faces of Cornerstone Talent Management Center, which manages the show-business careers of Richard Poon, Yeng Constantino, Sam Milby, and Marie Digby.
Slater finished an intensive acting workshop under the tutelage of Pen Medina and also appeared in the official music video for “What I Meant,” a song from the debut album of former Pinoy Dream Academy scholar Bunny. Slater Young already appeared in a number of magazines here in Cebu. As a model, Slater was photographed for the online catalog of I Love Koi swimwear. After a six-month workshop that covers dancing, singing, modeling, and acting, he told the Sun.Star that he likes John Lloyd Cruz’s image and wouldn’t mind being similarly packaged in show business, as a matinee idol.
Three months before joining PBB, Slater had reportedly parted ways with his girlfriend Darleen Hopkirk, another Cornerstone talent who’s a print model based in Cebu. He wasn’t hoping for a new romance but was nonetheless open to finding it with one of his PBB housemates. During his stay in the PBB house, many fans of the show affectionately paired him with housemates Tin Patrimonio, Deniesse Joaquin and even Divine Maitland-Smith, who also originated from Cebu.
A previous PBB big winner from Cebu is starlet Kim Chiu. She won the first PBB Teen Edition in 2006, with 41.4 percent of the total votes after 42 days in the PBB house, where she was the only one among her housemates that was never nominated for eviction.