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Entertainment

The Treasures of Susan E.

KAPUSO DAY - Butch S. Raquel - The Philippine Star

GMA News personality Susan Enriquez has been a household name for the past two decades. From radio to television, Susan’s warm personality has conquered various audiences. She earned the public’s trust and respect with her unbiased, well-researched reports in news programs while her infectious laughter in her public affairs shows captured the hearts of many viewers.

Often seen today on television from morning to night, the seasoned broadcast journalist starts her day as early as four o’clock to join the morning barkada Unang Hirit then runs to the DZBB booth before midday for her radio program Easy, Easy Lang with co-anchor Lala Roque. Then she proceeds to her daily reportorial duty for GMA News, which ends in the evening depending on her coverage. Aside from these weekday programs, Susan also hosts (with Cesar Apolinario) GMA News TV’s award-winning myth-busting, cultural and infotainment program I Juander, which airs every Wednesday.

With such a very busy schedule, one could just wonder how Susan juggles her time between her work and her family. And what keeps her inspired and passionate in her work? Read on as she shares the things she treasures the most in her life.

Most treasured people. It didn’t take long for Susan to reveal who are the people she treasures the most — her daughter, Kae, and her grandchild, Audrey.

“My daughter Kae, who is now working and studying abroad. Nang dumating siya sa buhay ko, doon ko naintindihan ang mga nanay. May kasabihan tayo na hindi mauunawaan ang isang ina, kung hindi ka naging ina,” says Susan, who merrily recounts the times she had to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to breastfeed Kae because she wants to fulfill her duty as a mother. But since she was dead-tired from work, sometimes the milk fell on Kae’s face instead.

“Looking back, I can’t help but laugh. Still, it was a wonderful experience,” she adds.

However, when asked about her treasured moment with her only child, Susan’s laughter turned into tears. The broadcast journalist recalls that after Kae gave birth to her granddaughter Audrey, the doctors broke the news that they found a huge cyst and had to remove one of her daughter’s ovaries.

“Fortunately, it was benign. I’m not sure how will I accept it if it was otherwise,” says Susan, teary-eyed. “The doctor, whom I shared my sentiments about my daughter’s plight then, helped me realize that everything has a purpose and how much my granddaughter has been a blessing to us. And it dawned on me that indeed, everything happens for a reason because if not for the baby, we would still be clueless about Kae’s condition.”

Today, four-year-old Audrey inspires Susan in many ways. “Audrey is the joy of my life and the source of my extra happiness.”

Most treasured thing or pet. A few pieces of jewelry and a pair of lovebirds are some of the things Susan treasures today.

“I have a few pairs of jewelry, which I paid on installment basis. I treasure these assets because these are some fruits of my hard work. It also reminds me how long I have been in the industry.”

Aside from her most valued jewels, Susan recently bought a pair of lovebirds — Helly and Ellie — for Audrey. “Nakatuwaan lang namin pero ngayon malalaki na sila at ang tataba na,” shares Susan who was initially reluctant in buying the said lovebirds.

Most treasured place or travel destination. The broadcast journalist has been to numerous places, here and abroad. But for her, the province of Batanes stands out.

“We went to Batanes years ago to shoot for my former program Kay Susan Tayo. Akala ko nasa ibang bansa ako kasi malinis, masarap ang simoy ng hangin at ang ganda ng lugar!” exclaims Susan, adding the province’s honesty stores and zero crime rate are plus factors why she likes Batanes. “Noong nandoon ako sabi ko sana ganito rin sa buong Pilipinas.”

Most treasured moment. Becoming a mother is what Susan considers her most treasured moment.

“For me, my most treasured moment is when I gave birth to Kae. I believe it is the greatest miracle in life. Imagine kaya mong magluwal ng isang buhay!”

Most treasured show on GMA. Susan finds her first solo program Kay Susan Tayo unforgettable.

“The show started in 2004 and lasted for almost six years. I treasure that show because the viewers discovered the other side of me. It was educational, informative and at times funny,” says Susan adding “pinaka-fulfilling sa akin yung marinig mo sa mga tao na may natututunan sila sa programa at the same time, nag-e-enjoy sila.”

She continues, “May mga pinuntahan nga kaming mga probinsiya noon tapos may welcome banners at nakalagay yung pangalan ko. But instead of Enriquez, ang apelyido ko ‘tayo,’” laughs Susan as she recalls more of her Kay Susan Tayo days.

Most treasured advice. One of the people Susan looks up to in the industry is GMA Network’s SVP for News and Public Affairs Marissa Flores.

“Give your best because not everyone is given the same opportunity given to you. I also listen to all good advices shared by the people around me because it will surely make you a better person. But if there is one advice I really take to heart all this time, it is the advice of Ma’am Marissa to remain level-headed and keep my feet grounded.”

What can the viewers treasure in your programs? Susan believes that knowledge is power and learning is a continuous process.

“Our program I Juander is very educational. It’s all about culture, traditions at maraming puwedeng ma-explore. Sometimes, we make viewers happy pero ang pinakamaaasahan nila dito, every time na panonoorin nila ang show, laging may learnings, laging may matututunan,” enthuses Susan.

Even if she was a graduate of BS Journalism at the Lyceum of the Philippines, Susan never imagined becoming a broadcast journalist. She previously worked as a staff for radio show of an agency helping OFWs before clinching a spot as a news writer in DZBB in 1989. Few years later, she transferred from radio to television, which paved the way for some of her most memorable coverage: Leo Echegaray’s death by lethal injection in 1999; Basilan in 2000 where she was held captive for a few days by the Abu Sayyaf group; the World Trade Center bombing in 2001; and the tsunami in Thailand in 2004, among others.

When asked if there was a time she regretted becoming a journalist, Susan says, “Yes, when I was in Basilan. I wanted to give up my job. Nasa isip ko noon marami namang trabaho na walang peligro. But after a few days of rest, I realized this is the job that I really want. And I love my job.”

ABU SAYYAF

AUDREY

BASILAN

BATANES

CESAR APOLINARIO

I JUANDER

KAY SUSAN TAYO

SUSAN

TREASURED

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