After nearly two decades of hosting the Philippine television show Magpakailanman, GMA News Pillar Mel Tiangco gained various experiences, knowledge, and memories from the stories of the people she interviewed. Some of these stories left a significant mark on the news anchor because of their intensity, while others touched her because she found a way to empower people with her words and kind gestures.
“Sa dinami-daming genre na tinatampok namin sa Magpakailanman, gusto ko ‘yung genre na nakakatulong sa kapwa. Gusto ko ‘yung hindi lang na-entertain, hindi ka lang nasiyahan sa storya, pero nakapaghandog kami sa iyo ng realization [or] maybe a sense of inspiration,” Mel said during an intimate media conference at Harolds Evotel last November 18, Friday.
Indeed, Magpakailanman has produced several episodes that leave an impression on its viewers, allowing them to look back at the story and learn from it.
Even though Mel claims she no longer has her memory from 20 years ago, the stories she hears and the people she meets still impact her.
Tiangco recalls one incident during one of their recent episodes, which they taped last Monday, where she felt sympathy for her subject, which she said had nothing to do with their story.
Upon sitting, Mel received a request from the subject, asking her to speak louder because he has hearing problems. The Magpakailanman host thought nothing of it and eagerly agreed, even saying she’ll talk louder to ensure better communication.
“He was a 30-year-old boy, good-looking at mabait. Very decent. Umiyak! Sabi ko, ‘Ba’t ako nagpaiyak?! I couldn’t help it. I went to him and comforted him, not knowing why he was crying,” Mel said.
She asked the subject if she hurt his feelings and said something offensive, only to learn of his embarrassment toward his condition. At that point, Mel knew she had to say something about her subject’s mindset. She emphasized that hearing problems don’t define a person’s worth, and their ruin comes from harming others. Immediately, she asked her office to provide her with a letter recommending her subject for a medical consultation.
“May mga ganong bagay na nagbibigay sa akin ng fulfillment. Hindi lang sa televiewers, kung ‘di maging sa aming subject. Parang nafi-feel ko na ‘if I do this, I will change this boy’s life for the better. Hindi niya ako makakalimutan, hindi niya makakalimutan ang Magpakailanman,” Mel said.
Between the short air time of Magpakailanman, Mel finds a treasure trove of experiences that stay with her and empower her to change the lives of others.
The television show first aired on December 2, 2002. This year, Magpakailanman celebrates a month-long anniversary this November with special episodes headlined by Sanya Lopez and Herlene Budol. The first episode, “The Financier,” starring Herlene, talks about the viral story of Rose Vega, who appeared in 90 Day Fiancé and kept viewers abuzz about her intentions. It aired last November 19, Saturday.
The second episode, “Listen To My Heart,” stars Sanya as Maegan Aguilar, Freddie Aguilar’s daughter. It will be a two-part episode that aptly tells the musician’s colorful life story.
Magpakailanman airs every Saturday, 8:15 p.m., on GMA.