Her story, her journey
It was hardly coincidental that Charo Santos-Concio had thought of releasing her autobiography, “My Journey: The Story of An Unexpected Leader,” in bookstores during Women’s Month.
As the author herself conceded, the book (which was cowritten with An Mercado-Alcantara) had evolved into “a leadership manual for women” during the writing process.
After all, Ma’am Charo, as she is known in the biz, served as the fifth president of multimedia conglomerate ABS-CBN from 2008 to 2016.
Prior to her stint as television and movie executive at ABS-CBN (where she worked for 28 years before her retirement last year), she was known as a beauty queen, actress and a thoroughly modern Mother Confessor in the drama series, “Maalaala Mo Kaya.”
Now, she has a new designation—book author—to add to her multihyphenated career.
Recalling her writing “journey,” she said that she considerered “the first two chapters as the most heartwarming.”
Titled “Own Your Story” and “Take Your Chance,” the first two chapters tackle her childhood in Calapan, Mindoro; her father’s lessons; her mother’s dreams; her discovery as a model (by fashion designer Rikki Jimenez); her humble beginnings as a St. Paul student and Miss Baron Travel Girl.
“Looking back on how everything started was so humbling and fun as well,” she told the Inquirer.
Of course, the flip side of joy is sorrow. Like the two masks of show business, her book also presents its fair share of heartbreaking moments.
“Chapter 8 is the most painful to recall,” she acknowledged, referring to the part titled “Uncover the Truth in Crisis.”
This chapter candidly recounts corporate struggles, the ratings war with fierce rival GMA 7, the Ultra stampede and losing her beloved mom.
“I had to relive those painful moments,” she related. “It almost felt like going through them all over again.”
In writing the book, she hoped to “inspire readers with the many chapters of my life.”
“I want them to realize that I am no different from them. We all go through the same problems, pains, dark nights and beautiful mornings,” she remarked. “I hope that when they read the book, they do not see me…[instead] they see themselves. I hope to inspire—to show them a mirror into themselves.”
Needless to say, writing the book was not only cathartic, but also enriching for her. “It was an opportunity to reflect,” she asserted. “An opportunity to look back, to embrace my mistakes, to review my life, to be grateful and, most importantly, to pay it forward.”