Charo at 60 hopes to continue to inspire ‘MMK’ viewers
DAVAO CITY—Retiring from work has changed Charo Santos-Concio.
The former president and CEO of ABS-CBN said she has now become braver and more open to trying out new things.
“I was more cautious when I was younger. Now, I enjoy every moment because, you’ll never know, I just might drop dead tomorrow,” Concio told the Inquirer.
With this resolve, she recently tried parasailing on Boracay Island, and much earlier, snorkeling in Coron, Palawan.
“For as long as I’m breathing, and if there’s something new to experience, I’d be there,” she declared. “I’ve never done parasailing in my life. I finally did it at 60, with my stepdaughter beside me. Wow!”
“Still poised,” was how she described herself as a para-sailor. “I was up in the air for 10 to 15 minutes. I realized that it wasn’t that scary, especially if you have someone beside you to keep you distracted,” she recalled. “My sense of adventure began last year when I went snorkeling in Coron. I saw the corals and the fishes. Before, I allowed my fears to [consume] me. Now, I always say, ‘What have I got to lose?’ When you get older, you become more accepting of life.”
As the network’s chief content officer and president of ABS-CBN University, Concio still goes to her office at the ABS-CBN Compound in Quezon City three times a week.
“I’m now a consultant. Sometimes, if there’d be certain demands, my three days become five,” she said, adding that this was apart from the work she’d put in as host of the longest-running weekly drama anthology, “Maalaala Mo Kaya” or “MMK.”
Concio recently flew here to meet the letter senders whose stories had been featured in the program. She was joined by singer Angeline Quinto and action star Robin Padilla, who both appeared in “MMK” episodes in the past.
This was the second in a series of meet-and-greet sessions that began in the Visayas last year and was attended by letter senders from Cebu, Bacolod and Iloilo.
Present during the “MMK Reunion” at the Apo View Hotel in this city were 40 letter senders from cities such as Pagadian, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Zamboanga, Surigao and, of course, Davao. Among them were 14-year-old Patma Albana and her father, Abdullajid.
Patma’s story was featured in the July 4 episode of “MMK” titled “Hijab,” starring Abby Bautista.
It tells of the story of a Samal girl who dreams of becoming a teacher in the hopes of someday helping her community. Patma said she worked with the “MMK” production team on her story for eight months.
In the program’s 25-year run, Concio said she has never rejected a story. “Every letter sender’s story is important and needs to be told. We have received a lot of letters from abandoned children or from people who are angry with their parents. We can’t air the same theme every month. We just choose the best from among similar experiences,” she pointed out.
Concio has her favorites, too—“those that made me cry so much, and those that made me feel giddy.”
Among them were the following episodes: “Rehas,” which featured Gina Pareño; “Sinturon” that starred Fanny Serrano; “Lobo” with Piolo Pascual and Regine Velasquez; “Kwintas,” starring John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo; “Pulang Laso” featuring Joem Bascon and Carlo Aquino, and “Lubag” with Gerald Anderson.
“We tackle different topics. We do not censor in terms of subject matter,” Concio declared. “Apart from the letters (snail mail) we receive regularly, we also tap into stories that we get through our website.”
Concio said she has nothing more to wish for, as far as the program was concerned. “I just hope we will continue with our mission to encourage viewers to look at life in a more positive light. Most of the time, we blame others for our failures and misfortune but, in reality, we make our own fate.”
To commemorate “MMK’s” 25th anniversary, ABS-CBN will release an album featuring Kapamilya artists performing songs that have been memorable to the program.
It has also partnered with the Philippine Postal Corporation in releasing the “MMK” commemorative stamp this year.
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