Mike Enriquez is back in the game and in tip-top shape to break down the day’s hottest issues and deliver the news. Yes, he will tread the same daily grind he had in the past.

The veteran broadcast journalist begins his day by anchoring Super Radyo DZBB’s Super Balita sa Umaga and Saksi sa Dobol B and ends it by gracing the GMA network’s newscast, 24 Oras with co-anchors Mel Tiangco and Vicky Morales. On top of that, he still has the time to spare for the Saturday public affairs program, Imbestigador.

“Sa umaga pa lang kasi go, go, go na di ba? sa radio, sa Dobol B (then, he made an animated style in delivering information) kasi nga umaga, primetime yun ng radyo,” said Mike in a recent press conference that officially welcomed him back after taking a break from the limelight to find time for his health. He had a kidney procedure last Dec. 16, the first day of Simbang Gabi, and completed the mandatory three-month isolation on March 16. “Sa gabi, 24 Oras (naman). Our producers always remind me to make the newscast lively because the news is already bad as it is and they tell me, ‘Wag mo nang pasamain pa lalo, noh?’ and I tell them, ‘Yes, sir.’”

Yes, he is again in the thick of presenting news and perhaps commences a new career phase with newfound insights about life.

“Reflection and discernment,” shared Mike of personal activities he had engaged himself during the medical sojourn. “I’m not finished yet with the process. It’s still ongoing for me. If you ask (me), ‘What (is it) about?,’ it’s about my future, my career, my life.”

From the start of his recent leave, he promised that he would “spend the time to really, really taking a serious look at my life, at my career, ano bang gusto kong mangyari talaga sa buhay ko (what do I really want to happen in my life?),” added he. “Is it time to turn off the microphone? Is it time not to turn off the microphone completely, but to lessen (work), mga ganun ba. And I repeat I’m still in the process of that discernment.”

Like in any person’s professional life, one reaches that point wherein one reflects on things that matter. Mike also had that moment. “Sometimes, we say, ‘Ayoko ko na or it’s time to pack up and move on.’ Tapos after a while, move back na naman,” said he. “I’m still in the process.”

Going through this health journey and its challenges, Mike made realizations such as “mahirap ang buhay lalo na dun sa mga hindi maka-afford ng ganitong medical care,” and he must do something to address it.

“As a matter of fact, I was in touch with a couple of friends, who are also kidney transplant patients, and they were thinking of organizing a group, whose advocacy would be to make dialysis and kidney procedures affordable,” said he. “Maraming, maraming Pilipino na walang kalaban laban, simply because wala silang pera. I’ll be meeting with our group to figure out ways and means of helping our needy brothers and sisters.”

Having again experienced God’s Grace and Goodness and learned, among many things, the power of prayer and the importance of humor (in dealing with tough situations), Mike is determined to pay it forward, which will create ripples of kindness to lighten the burden of others.

“Na-mi-miss ko siya,” recalled Mike about days thinking of his news work while recuperating at home, “after a while, again this is part of the process of discernment. I discovered hindi ko pa siya na-mi-miss that much, probably like many things in life, it’s just a question of getting used to (it). Alam mo when I was in isolation, I lived alone in a condo away from my wife, kasi isolation, very strict yung mga doctor, and rightly so, may dalawa kaming aso. They sleep with us in our bed and my doctors said, ‘No more pets.’”

Mike followed his doctors’ orders. He carried on and his faith helped him. Mike would always carry a rosary in his pocket.

“This is a Franciscan rosary because St. Francis of Assisi is my favorite saint,” said he. “St. Francis of Assisi, as you know, is the patron saint of Italy, San Francesco de Assisi. My wife and I bought this in Assisi because I told my wife early on in our marriage, ‘Babes, kahit ipangutang natin ito, kailangan magpunta tayo sa Assisi.’ Our dream has been fulfilled, not just once, not just twice but thrice. We’ve been to Assisi three times. And we never get tired of the place.”

In one of their trips, Mike and wife were joined by friends Eat, Bulaga host-and-comedian Joey de Leon and Danny Samonte. “It was a good experience for them because marami silang natutunan about St. Francis. Sabi nila ang dami pala naming hindi alam tungkol kay St. Francis,” added he.

During the group interview, Mike shared that he is most proud of the people he has worked with and been associated with throughout his radio and TV career. “Some people call it legacy. I refuse to call it legacy, wala lang, it is my being able to say, ‘Yang si ganyan naging ka-trabaho ko yan.’ ‘Yang si ganyan, pareho kaming nag-umpisa nyan.’ ‘Yang si ganyan, tinrain ko yan,’” said he. “That’s long lasting, you cannot erase that. I’m most proud of the people that I associated with. I’m proud of them. They are source of my pride and joy.”

Aside from his daily programs, Mike will be part of the Kapuso network’s comprehensive 2022 elections coverage titled Eleksyon 2022: The GMA News and Public Affairs’ Election Coverage and debates.

This is what he said that will define and differentiate their debates from the previously aired ones on TV: “To put it in a nutshell, this is what I told one of our producers. ‘Alam nyo yung debate dalawang oras yan, OK, kung hindi natin huhusayan ang presentation nyan at packaging nyan, tutulugan tayo ng mga tao.” The challenge for him and his team now, added he, is to prepare and present debates that are interesting, lively and colorful.

Yes, Mike is indeed in his element. Viewers miss his brand of news presenting and will see that again starting today.

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