I often get asked, “How can I join television?” or “What does it take to be in the media?”

To work in the media requires not just talent and skill, but also a heart for social responsibility, unwavering integrity and a passion for excellence.

At the Kapuso Network, we constantly look for the next generation of media practitioners through the GMA Network Excellence Awards (GNEA), a program that recognizes outstanding graduating Filipino students of communication and technology-based courses. Since 2001, GNEA (formerly President’s Medal) has conferred awards to students who demonstrate leadership, academic performance and social responsibility.

Students undergo a rigorous screening and from an exceptional group of finalists, two of them (one each from the communications and technology-based categories) are given the recognition of being the GMA Network Excellence Awardees of the year with a cash prize and an opportunity to be part of the Network’s workforce.

Award-winning journalists, artists and Kapuso executives take part in the selection process. Some of these include sought-after GMA Artist Center actor Benjamin Alves, an AB English Literature summa cum laude graduate from the University of Guam; GMA News pillar Howie Severino; award-winning journalist Atom Araullo; and Kapuso Primetime King and YesPinoy! founder Dingdong Dantes. Early this year, GNEA received an IABC Philippine Quill Award of Excellence for Communications Management Division’s Corporate Social Responsibility Category.

With the sweeping changes across the globe and our country — the pandemic, technological disruption and the upcoming elections — now is a historic time to join the media industry. I’d like you to hear it straight from some of our GNEA finalists and awardees who we now proudly call Kapuso. I hope their words will inspire you to join us and encourage you to see the media as a noble and vital part of society.

How did GNEA help you in your career?

Jan Christine Supan-Ynares, 2004 finalist (account manager, Sales and Marketing Group):

“It helped me land an internship spot in one of the most popular shows in GMA at that time — Jessica Soho Reports (now called KMJS). It gave me the training and exposure that I will never get in the four corners of the classroom. This is where I saw the hard work that GMA employees put in in every episode. This is where I saw how teamwork works — where each member has a valuable contribution to the final output. There is no big or small role.”

Dano Tingcungco, 2007 finalist (news producer/reporter, News and Public Affairs):

“GNEA was more than an opportunity for me, it was a reminder that in spite of everything, there is a network that believes in me and in what I could offer to the industry as uniquely mine — my own voice as a writer and producer. I carry that with me, especially in times when I doubt myself and my work, the reminder to persevere and remember where I came from and how far I’ve gone. The most important part, too, is the doors that GNEA opened for me — from a place in the network I now call home, to my childhood idols I can now call colleagues, some of them my mentors. It is something I will carry with me for all time.”


Lou Ferdinand de Leon, 2011 finalist (GMA TV Dagupan local events and promo specialist):

“It paved the way to my lifelong dream of becoming a full-fledged Kapuso! I genuinely appreciate how it became a big motivation for me to better myself every day as I work with the hardworking people of GMA Regional TV. I am confident that my accomplishments as an events and promo specialist of GMA Regional TV are shaped by the strength of the foundation I set.”

Darlene Cay, 2014 awardee (news reporter, News and Public Affairs):

“To say that it was a huge honor is an understatement. It also paved the way for my career in broadcast journalism. GNEA has always reminded me to hold myself and my work to the highest possible professional and ethical standards. It is a constant reminder that our profession as journalists play a huge role in this society, that we can be catalysts for development and change as long as we perform our duties in the best possible way.”

Jan Christine Supan-Ynares

Shaine Aica Galang-Sagcal, 2010 finalist (account manager for events, Sales and Marketing Group):

“Being a finalist of GNEA and a recipient of GMA Scholarship have created valuable opportunities for me; one of which was being blessed to work in GMA, the leading broadcasting network in the Philippines, right after college. I started my career in the Kapuso network as one of the researchers or ‘think tanks’ in GMA’s most awarded and respected News and Public Affairs Department. As a researcher, I had a glimpse of what’s in store for an aspiring media practitioner in the great big world of the media industry. I was given an opportunity to be a storyteller as a segment producer. And in 2019, a new window opened up for me in the Sales and Marketing Group as an account manager for events. Ten years a Kapuso!”

What is your advice for those who will be joining GNEA/the media industry?

Mark Roland Romas, 2018 awardee (segment producer, Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho):

“If you have the opportunity, please join GNEA. Push yourself to the limit and grab that goal you have long been waiting for. You will not just get the chance to meet the most distinguished personalities in the country but most importantly, become a role model to your generation. And to those who’d like to join the media industry, know that this is not the easiest job out there. It’s tiring, exhausting and stressful but when you keep going and work with its main core — public service — everything will be worth it.”

Reynald Ramos, 2019 finalist (program researcher, Public Affairs):

“I have three tips to the youngsters who will be joining GNEA — and to those who dream to work in the media industry: Be kind, be yourself and have faith in God. The global pandemic made working in the media industry even more challenging. But if you apply those tips, you will never go wrong. And trust me — your career is in good hands when you choose a network that is not just home to award-winning documentary shows and journalists, but also a network that has one big heart for our fellow Filipinos and has a big desire to serve ‘Buong Puso para sa Pilipino’ amidst the global pandemic. Lagi’t-lagi, para sa Bayan!”

Elise Grace Sunga, 2019 finalist (social media producer, GMA News and Public Affairs Digital):

“Don’t be afraid to go for it! It is such a learning experience to talk with fellow student leaders who share the same advocacies and have the biggest hearts for service, and to be able to share your thoughts and ideas with those already in the industry. Now more than ever, the industry needs new people with fresh ideas as we see just how influential the media is in shaping the future of society.”

Rochelle Senaida, 2019 finalist (social media producer, GMA News and Public Affairs Digital):

“For those who will be joining the media industry, be prepared. We are in challenging times where our voices and our service are much needed in our country. It will never be an easy start, but always remember to have a strong start. You are part of the future of the communication/ journalism industry in the Philippines, make it count.”

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