Veteran TV host Amy Perez admits that hosting TV5's Face to Face is a vastly different experience from her other hosting jobs in the past. Amy even has to avail of several de-stressing and relaxation techniques just to overcome the intense stress she feels every shooting day. Tapings for Face to Face are scheduled on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Face to Face touts itself as the first "talakserye" on television. According to its website, it focuses on "very real, everyday issues" by bringing together "two opposing parties in a forum that aims to resolve misunderstandings by providing advice from counselors and opinions from the audience."
One of the show's come-ons—unarguably one of the reasons why viewers continue to watch the show on weekday mornings and even late nights—are the intense verbal exchanges and physical fights the "two opposing parties" engage in.
Since Amy sits in the middle, literally, of the action, TV5 put up an insurance for her.
"Naka-insure daw po ako. Dahil minsan may mga tsinelas na umaano, lumilipad. Di ba?" she told PEP and the other entertainment press in a press conference for the show held last July 23 at Max's Restaurant along Scout Tuazon Street in Quezon City.
Amy said it's the emotional part of the program, not the physical, that is more taxing for her. Face to Face cases range from the seemingly corny to the heart-wrenching—one episode chronicled the sorrow of a woman who got pregnant by her husband, who had undergone a vasectomy. The husband refused to acknowledge the woman's child, even though she tearfully claimed she had been faithful.
Issues like these make a mark in Amy's soul, and she admitted she can't shake them off even after she leaves the show's set.
"Pagka yung mga isyu ng nanay, ng mga anak, yung mga nanay na hindi inaalagaan ang anak, yung mga anak na inaaway ang nanay o minamaltrato ng lola, yun ang mga talagang apektado ako," Amy said.
GETTING STRENGTH. Fortunately, Amy said she can count on her family to help her out of the depression she feels from time to time.
"Pinipipilit ko talaga na hindi madala sa bahay. Kasi ang hirap e. Pero minsan, kailangan lang, pagkukuwentuhan lang. Si Carlo, mga ilang minutes, pagkatapos nun tapos na. Thankful din ako kasi marunong si Carlo na ipaalala sa akin na, okay, tapos na, na-handle niyo na 'yan," she said.
Carlo Castillo is Amy's live-in partner. Marriage is currently out of the question, Amy said, because her annulment with former husband Brix Ferraris has not been settled yet.
Nevertheless, Carlo stands as one of Amy's pillars of strength.
"We are going strong, we are going on our fourth year," Amy expressed. "We are hoping and praying na matapos ang lahat para makasal din kami. Kasi may mga plano rin si Carlo na gusto niya ring i-adapt sa amin."
She continued, "May mga legal na proseso pa na dapat pagdaanan. Sa akin lang kasi binata si Carlo actually, ako lang naman ang may problema."
Another pillar is Adi, Amy's 12-year old son with Brix.
"Siguro sa sem break ni Adi, magbabakasyon muna kaming pamiya, magpapaalam muna ako. Kasi kailangan may ganun e, para balanse," she said.
The crew of Face to Face also help her out. Executive producer Melissa San Luis said they massage Amy in between takes so she could take her mind off the stress.
Amy also puts into the equation her strong faith in God.
"Hindi ko rin alam minsan kung saan nanggaling ang lakas ko pero nagpapasalamat din ako sa Diyos talaga. Naniniwala ako na talagang siya yung talagang nagtutulong sa akin to handle this. Kasi so far, knock on wood, hindi pa ko nagkakasakit mula nung sinimulan namin yung Face to Face."
"Although nangayayat ako, sumasakit ang likod ko, yung mga gano'n, pero nakakayanan naman ng paminsan-minsang pagre-relax, pagmamasahe," Amy concluded.