Charo Santos-Concio considers ULTRA stampede as "most painful" chapter in her TV career

IMAGE Noel Orsal

Charo Santos-Concio on the ULTRA stampede: "It was really one of the most painful chapters in my career in ABS-CBN, and that's a lesson I will never forget."


Isa raw sa hindi malilimutan ni ABS-CBN Chief Content Officer Charo Santos-Concio sa kanyang buong TV career ay ang nangyaring stampede sa ULTRA PhilSports Arena noong 2006.

Matatandaang noong February 4, 2006, isa sanang masayang selebrasyon ang nakatakdang mangyari sa PhilSports Arena para gunitain ang unang anibersaryo ng noontime show noon ng ABS-CBN na Wowowee, kung saan si Willie Revillame ang host.

Subalit isang trahedya ang nangyari nang magkaroon ng stampede, kung saan 71 katao ang namatay at mahigit 400 ang nasugatan.

Noong panahong iyon, si Ma'am Charo—ang tawag kay Charo sa industriya—ay executive vice president pa ng ABS-CBN.

Sa libro niyang pinamagatang My Journey: The Story of an Unexpected Leader, inalala ni Charo kung paano nakaapekto sa career niya ang ULTRA stampede.

Hanggang ngayon ay naalala pa rin daw ng dating presidente at CEO ng Kapamilya network kung ano ang naramdaman niya nang mabalitaan ang pangyayari.

Lahad niya, "The horrors that unfolded from the time I received the news over the phone to the days and weeks immediately after it will forever be etched in my memory.

"No matter how many times I have lived and relived those moments, the shock of having so many people die has not faded.

"They were our audience, those whom we promised to serve."

Nabanggit din ni Charo sa Foreword ng libro kung paano niya hinarap ang mga tao at sabihing hindi na matutuloy ang programa.

"As the time for our show's scheduled airing approached, it was decided that somebody had to go out on stage to tell the expectant crowd that the show would not go on.

"Despite the horror of the last few hours, people still waited and hoped that the show would push through. Who knew what they could do to the bearer of the bad news? I volunteered to do it."

Nang makapanayam ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at iba pang reporters si Charo sa launch ng kanyang libro ngayong Miyerkules, March 29, sa Rockwell Club, inamin niyang natakot siyang humarap noon sa audience na naghihintay ng kanilang anunsiyo.

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Saad niya, "At that point, when I faced the crowd and I told the crowd that the show will not push through, kahit na takot na takot ako na maaari akong batuhin ng mga bote o kahit na anong object, because they were waiting there for three days and two nights, di ba?

"Hinarap ko yung takot na yun kasi katungkulan ko na akuin yung responsibilidad."

Bagamat ito ang "most painful chapter" ng kanyang TV career ay marami raw siyang natutunan sa pangyayaring ito.

Ayon kay Charo, "It was really one of the most painful chapters in my career in ABS-CBN, and that's a lesson I will never forget.

"And I think that's the lesson that the Kapamilyas should always remember in their hearts and in their minds. It keeps us grounded, it makes us human.

"It was a very humbling experience. There are many lessons that can be derived from that."


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