Apr 19
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FREE TALK - Rhea Santos reveals her 'secret'

Author: The Philippine Star

Part of the "privilege" of being a writer is meeting some of my favorite TV and movie personalities and let them share their lives and secrets "on the record" for the readers. It has been quite sometime since my last "Q&A. " So I decided to track down some interesting people, including Rhea Santos - a statuesque 5'9 ft news and public affairs personality, to share with us their dreams, and life on and off cam.

I breezed through this interview with a touch of nostalgia. My first interview with her was when she was still pinch-hitting on "Front Page: Ulat ni Mel Tiangco" in 2003, the second one was when she and Ivan (Mayrina) launched their program "Pinoy Abroad. " I noticed that Rhea hasn't change much except she now "glows" more than ever.

From being one of the hosts of GMA's morning show "Unang Hirit," to showcasing quality public service on her award-winning morning program "At Your Service," to providing information about OFWs at work and their families on her late night public affairs show "Pinoy Abroad" - other "pretty" news and public personalities may speak of their "finest hours on TV," but Rhea has been radiant for as long as I've seen her. Now settled in Quezon City, the where she and her husband first met, Rhea tells us of the significant and yet "unrevealed" moments of her life - until now.

Is being a broadcast journalist your childhood dream?

Childhood dream (thinking)…hindi, alam mo I realized that I wanted to become a broadcast journalist when I reached fourth year high school. My teacher told me to reflect on what I really want to be. At that time, I enjoyed watching television and I'm a news viewer - I watch CNN and my idols were Tita Mel (Tiangco) and Karen (Davila). During my junior year in college, I had my internship in ABS-CBN. I actually applied in ABS after college. I sent my biodata to both stations - GMA and ABS.

So which company called you?

It was GMA-7 that called me. I started work in the Kapuso Network on July 2000 behind the camera - as segment producer.

When were you given a break on camera?

Sabi ko I have to do something to get their attention. So pag gumagawa ako ng segments, I would do stand-uppers. Sinasabihan ko yung cameraman na kunan ako ng pahapyaw (laughs). Siguro, they saw me that I have potential and I am very driven. I started hosting "Unang Hirit" and eventually foreign news.

Who is Rhea Santos behind the camera?

I'm a person who loves life and seizes the day. I want to make most of each day. I am also a home body type of person. I have simple choices in life. I love to stay at home with my husband and watch TV. Nagugulat ang ibang tao sa akin kasi crazy din ako. I can get loud (laughs). What is your daily routine like?

I wake up at around 4am. I need to be in the studio by 5am to do my make-up for the airing of "Unang Hirit. " After UH, there are days I have shoots for "At Your Service" and "Pinoy Abroad. " There are days na swerte…after UH rest na.

Do you love your job?

I enjoy doing my job since it's full of adventure. Hindi boring 'yung trabaho dahil everyday iba-iba. I am given an avenue to give service to the people thru my programs. I am also enjoying my life to the fullest. Hindi ako puro trabaho. I make sure to have time for my husband, friends, and myself. I make the most of my day - I love meeting people and exchanging stories. How's your married life?

I'm enjoying my married life - sobra! I got married last September 17 - 10 months married na. The best thing in married life is waking up with someone you love. Kasi pag dating ko sa house after UH kaka-gising pa niya. You're tall, pretty, and smart, did you join any beauty contest?

Naku, actually I don't want to touch on that subject especially now that I'm married. Every time that I am interviewed, I am usually asked about that. Pero sige childhood dream ko talaga (laughs). My mom was molding me to become one. As time went on, parang na-realize ko na between choosing a stable job and joining a beauty contest na hindi ko naman alam ang magiging resulta I chose to have a stable job na alam ko na gusto ko at mahal ko. Actually, I joined Body Shots in 1996 - I won best in swimsuit (laughs). But since I studied in a Catholic school run by nuns - they're very strict - bawal yung mga ganun. It came to a point that I need to choose - so I decided to finish my studies. I also auditioned for Bb. Pilipinas dinala ako ng mom ko at hindi ko alam na audition pala. In front of the judges, nag-argue kami ng mom ko. Kaya ayun hindi natuloy.

For comments and suggestions, please send to freetalk_freeman@yahoo. com

Source: The Philippine Star