Jessica Soho recalls ‘tough love’ from Mike Enriquez, laments: ‘The newsroom will never be the same again’
Jessica Soho recounted her core memories with Mike Enriquez as well as the “tough love” he showed her, lamenting how their newsroom “will never be the same again” without his presence.
Soho spoke about her friendship with the late broadcaster, also fondly called Booma, through the Facebook page of her news magazine program “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” on Friday, Sept. 1.
“Truth be told, in all of the almost 30 years I’ve worked with Booma or Mike Enriquez to the public, I was not accustomed to him being nice to me,” she began.
“In fact, he never smiled at me or greeted me even if our paths crossed often in our little newsroom–during the 10 years that I was running it, and he was our primetime news anchor,” she continued. “It was mostly business as usual between us. Work always got in the way.”
Soho then remembered how Enriquez was suddenly “cheerful and bright” as he teased her outfit during their hosting duties at GMA’s “Eleksyon 2022.”
“That was my last face-to-face encounter with him. Maybe that was his way of leaving a sweet memory—then, I was simply a colleague, not a newsroom boss. And he was simply Booma,” she wrote.
Soho went on to describe Enriquez as an “interesting study” to his colleagues and a “kengkoy” to the camera and remote crew. She also recalled his love for peanuts and how he would sneak in some into the studio even if it made him cough while on-air.
“It drove me and our producers crazy that he was stubborn about revising his lead-ins for the newscast. He insisted on using ‘Estados Unidos’ instead of the more conversational ‘America’ and the years just had to be spelled out as ‘taong mil nuwebe syentos nubenta’y otso’ instead of just 1998,” she recalled.
Soho further recounted a conversation she had with Enriquez after his heart bypass surgery in 2018, and admitted it was hard for her to write about the late newscaster in past tense.
“Perhaps, at best, what we had was tough love but there is one memory of his that I will always cherish and hold dear in my heart. It was his first day at work after his bypass and I dropped in on him, before the pandemic hit, in his office in the old GMA building with its dark woody interiors,” she narrated.
“For a change, we did not talk about work, but about life in general and his health. He said he felt horrible in the mornings and that every time he coughed, it felt like dying,” she continued. “I told him he’d live and showed him a smiling photo of my dad as proof of life, after a bypass! That gave him immediate relief and hope, he said and he thanked me for it.”
Soho concluded her tribute as she said, “I will always miss him—the grumpy, peanut-chewing-coughing Booma, our hard-headed and set-in-his-ways news anchor, the Booma of that little newsroom that was so much a part of our lives.”
“The newsroom will never be the same again.”
Enriquez died on Tuesday, Aug. 29, after a lingering illness. Soho was among those who visited Enriquez on the first day of his wake on Aug. 31 in Quezon City. /ra