(Written before I left the network, posted with permission from Ms. Kara David)


This was a very fun shoot. The station ID where this has been part of won several awards already. Bonus: I get to interview her for this video!

“Saan dito ginagawa yung People’s Day?” (Where do they hold People’s Day?) was the first actual conversation I’ve had with our new host, Peabody winner, Kara David. We were in the Governor’s Mansion in Batangas then, waiting for Gov. Vilma Santos’ meeting to be over for our Powerhouse interview set at three o’clock that afternoon. I was startled when she approached me, my mind frantically searching for an answer. And then I got a bit confused because based on my research; the first floor conference and the second floor conference room are both used to entertain Batanguenos’ woes, but I wasn’t entirely sure. I scrambled for words and so I told her, “Uhm, confirm ko po if sa baba or dito sa taas.” (Let me confirm if they do it in the first or second floor.)

“’Di ba researcher ka, dapat alam mo,” (You’re a researcher, right? You should know) was what she told me. Crap, my first encounter with my favorite documentarist and I turned out to be a researcher who does not know her job. I rushed to ask a staff to save my face but just as I was about to tell her the answer, Ms. Kara is already interviewing another staff to get her own answers. I felt like a dimwit, newbie researcher who does not know her job.


With Powerhouse’s host then, Tita Mel Tiangco.

Before then, Tita Mel (Tiangco) hosts Powerhouse. But because she’s having problems with schedule and wants to focus with the foundation, she had to quit. Kara David took over sometime in July 2013. I wasn’t really sure at how this big transition would impact the show; I was more concerned and excited with working with the new host, my favorite documentarist.

With the kind and number of awards and recognition she garnered over the years, I imagined she has high standards in work, so naturally, I am on my toes. When we finally meet, I didn’t know what to think about her except that she gives off a no-nonsense vibe when I first met her. The woman made her own notes and research on Vilma Santos besides the twelve-page one I gave her; Kara David is not like your typical host. You have to give her that. I also know that she writes her own scripts in I-Witness so I am super eager to know her writing style and work ethic, because I would really, really love to pick her brain.

Pahiya konti, bukas bawi

Ever since my first encounter with her, I made it a point that I know my research from the heart, cover to cover; like you are BFFs with your interviewee or a stalker or an investigator who knows everything about the person. You are after all, a researcher.

One time, I had to accompany her going to the location because our executive producer and coordinator couldn’t make it; that day might be one of the longest rides I took from GMA to Sen. Bongbong’s satellite office in Roxas Boulevard. My stomach feels funny and my ass couldn’t sit still. I was reviewing the resmats (research materials) like I have a graded recitation the whole ride. I wouldn’t want to be caught off guard again. I realized that she likes to ask questions and clarify information she read on the resmats, especially in parts where she’s confused or feels like some viable info is missing. So I was really praying that what I wrote in there made sense to her.

Aside from her wanting to know the little details, I noticed some little things with my time working with her. She doesn’t want to be late for her guests, so if the driver gets lost, she’s quick to pull her iPhone from her bag and use Waze or the MMDA app whenever needed so we can get to the location right away. She’s not maarte and she can change clothes inside the van. She also appreciates it when you tell her more than what is written on your research, because that means that you did your job, and that meant she can ask the right questions to the guest.


Cebu, Philippines! At Kenneth Cobonpue’s pretty house! My favorite house among all the houses we’ve featured!


Vigan, Ilocos Sur! Watching the amazing dancing lights with Ate Monday.

She speaks her mind; she’ll tell you if your work lacks something and what was wrong with it. She sometimes loses her control like any other person would and would start ranting that your work could’ve been better, because she knows you can do better. Is it bad if I tell you that I sometimes wait for moments when she tells us she does not like the quality of work that we did? Because by then, her X years of journalism experience comes out in the open with the things that she starts to say. She is just full of wisdom that all you can think of was “Oo nga ‘no, bat di ko naisip yun?” (Why didn’t I think of that first?) Duh? Because you’re not Kara David. It was like a pop up seminar whenever she gives suggestions on what could have been done instead. The best parts though were the actual seminars she gave that we attended.


Nakakahiya man, sinave ko talaga! Hahaha! Sorry na! Fan talaga ‘ko. Huhu.

Likewise, she’s also quick to give praises whenever it’s due. I’ll never forget the first time she told me that I did a good job on my first writing assignment for Powerhouse. To say that I was in writing heaven is an understatement. I mean, to have THE Kara David text you that you have the gift in writing is saying a lot. Validation, right there and then. Felt like I won a Palanca or something.

She’s also just like any other person who also talks about trivial things to pass the time, like asking “May boyfriend ka ba, Mina?” (Do you have a boyfriend, Mina?) out of nowhere or share funny posts on her Facebook newsfeed and talk about things that are of national importance. I like riding along with her later on because I like asking her about these issues and what she thought about them, I told you, I like picking her brain.

She likes Game of Thrones, a lot; her ringtone’s GoT’s theme the last time I heard it ring. She’s very family-oriented and loves talking about her daughter’s (Julia) accomplishments just like any other mom would. She’s an adrenaline junkie and I think she wants to try all the adventure-filled stuff with “–ing” in them. She’s a cowboy like us who eats on a moving vehicle and she’s quick to say “Hi, boys!” to our crew whenever she arrives on location. At one point, I even became in charge of the stuff she wears on the show. All I can say is that she does not like clothes that are too revealing. Hehe.

End of the line



circa 2009, I-Witness DocuSeminar. Lucky to be one of the 80 people to be part this event.

Writing for Kara David is one of the greatest things that I will forever cherish as one of Powerhouse’s researcher and later on, segment producer. Hearing her voice reading the words that I write is fulfilling as hell. If you told me back in 2009 when I first met her in I-Witness docu-seminar that I would one day write for her, I’d tell you you’re nuts. But that’s how sometimes life becomes a “wish-granting factory” we hoped it would always be.

Today, I am almost at the end of my writing stint for her, who knows when the next time will be? But working with her and knowing her in a more professional and somehow personal level more than the 2d version of herself jumping out of planes on TV is one of the things I’ll always remember I’m lucky to experience. I’d never forget our first encounter, because the day she told me “Researcher ka ‘di ba? Dapat alam mo.” (You’re a researcher, right? You should know) was the day she made me realized that I should always put my game face on, give the best work to anyone I work with, because in the end, it reflects back to the kind of work that I can give.


Powerhouse kick off party 2013. My last Christmas party with the group! :’)

Behind the award-winning, moving and tear jerking documentaries we always saw her in, I will remember her as the ultimate slasher, the super mom, the romantic, the compassionate founder of Project Malasakit, the adrenaline junkie, and the bubbly “babaeng bakla” who loves belting to Aegis songs, even if she can’t reach the high notes.