Snatched from near-retirement
For her lifestyle show, Mel Tiangco asks Ming Ramos about Baby Arenas, Guia Gomez about being called a ‘querida,’ and Chavit Singson about his wealthBy Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
GMA 7 anchor Mel Tiangco was ready to retire when the network renewed her contract “for the long haul” last month.
“I didn’t want to remain idle and get depressed,” she told the Inquirer. “I made a list of things I had always wanted to do but never found the time for.”
On top of her list were Pilates classes and French lessons. “Also a general cleaning at home,” she confessed.
But the studio bosses had other plans for her. Now, apart from anchoring the prime time newscast “24 Oras,” she is kept busy with the GMA News TV program “Powerhouse,” which turned a year old recently.
The interview show, which has Tiangco visiting celebrities in their homes, is “fulfilling,” she said. “I meet famous people in their comfort zones, so I get to see a different side to their personalities—more casual and relaxed.”
That doesn’t stop her from asking tough questions. Precisely because the interviewees are at ease, Mel is able to tackle difficult issues. “I asked San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez what she thought about being called a querida (mistress). I asked former First Lady Ming Ramos about Baby Arenas (who was linked to former President Fidel V. Ramos). I asked Ilocos Sur Gov. Chavit Singson the source of his wealth.”
There are many more names on Mel’s wish list. “I would love to feature Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, Gemma Cruz-Araneta and Baby Arenas.”
She hopes “Powerhouse” goes international, to feature the likes of Filipino-Spanish socialite Isabel Preysler, Burmese militant Aung San Suu Kyi and US First Lady Michelle Obama.
Would she visit the home of Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas and wife Korina Sanchez (who hosts rival newscast “TV Patrol”)?
“We have a standing invitation from Secretary Roxas,” Mel quipped.
Chief Justice Renato Corona? “Why not?”
Which interesting personalities would be impossible to feature on her show? Manny V. Pangilinan, who owns TV5, would be tricky, she admitted. Also “TV Patrol” anchor Noli de Castro. “We should’ve done Noli when he was still Vice President,” she said.
She has remained cordial with Noli in spite of her “painful” departure from ABS-CBN. “We recently had a ‘TV Patrol’ reunion,” she related.
Mel, who recently received back pay from the Kapamilya network, has no reason to remain bitter, though: “It felt good that GMA 7 renewed my contract. It shows that my contribution is valued.”
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