‘Sobrang hirap nun!’: Viewers laud ’24 Oras’ anchors’ ‘professional’ reporting of Mike Enriquez’s death

August 30, 2023 - 5:10 PM
Mel Tiangco reported the news about death of Mike Enriquez during the August 29, 2023 telecast of news program "24 Oras" (screengrab from GMA Integrated News YouTube channel, GMA/Released)

Social media users lauded the professionalism of “24 Oras” anchors in announcing the death of veteran anchor Mike Enriquez.

Enriquez died on Tuesday, August 29 at the age of 71. 

During the program’s August 29 broadcast, Mel Tiangco, Vicky Morales and Emil Sumangil went over the day’s news amid speculations online that Enriquez had died.

By the end of the program, the anchors confirmed the news, reading a statement from GMA Network and remembering his contributions to the broadcasting field.

Tiangco offered applause to the man whom she had shared in the anchor’s desk for 18 years.

Tita Mel Tiangco announcing Mike Enriquez’s death is so heartbreaking. She almost lost it but decided to be professional and continued what she’s supposed to report, an X (formerly Twitter) user said.

Another viewer said: “Grabe! Kinaya ni Mel Tiangco, Vicky Morales, Emil Sumangil, Iya Villania at buong 24 Oras na tapusin yung show! Sobrang hirap nun! Professional!”

“Antatag ni Miss Mel Tiangco not only for holding back tears as the person to deliver the news but also for applauding Sir Mike’s excellence before they close ’24 Oras’ tonight,” X (formerly Twitter) user @isseoyo_twt said.

Other X users praised the anchors for their “stoicism” and “finesse.”

“When Vicky Morales began to tear up, I lost it, too. Prior to ’24 Oras,’ Vicky and Mike Enriquez were Saksi’s power duo. Hats off to Tita Mel for her stoicism and fitting applause as a tribute to Mike’s life,” X user JM Reyes said.

“Vicky Morales’s grief is personally profound to me because, during my high school years, she and Mike Enriquez were the last people I listened to every night. Lalo pag may bagyo, abang-abang ng class suspensions. They were the last people I trusted before tucking into bed,” he added.

X user @SorianoMic penned a short message as a “Batang 90s” who watched Enriquez co-anchor “Saksi” with Tiangco from 1996 to 1999 and Morales from 1999 to 2004.

“When professionalism meets grief, Mel Tiangco and Vicky Morales did it with so much poise and finesse. These women have been his co-anchors for the longest time. Mike Enriquez’s uncanny way of delivering news will forever be etched on our hearts. Nagmamahal, Batang ’90s,” he said.

Marcos: ‘Pillar in broadcasting industry’

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. paid tribute to Enriquez, calling him a “pillar in our broadcasting industry.”

“We are saddened by the news of the passing of veteran anchor Mike Enriquez, a pillar in our broadcasting industry. He dedicated his life to delivering unbiased news to the Filipino people,” he said in a tweet on Wednesday. “Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family and loved ones during this time.”

Senators also bid their goodbyes to the television stalwart.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said in a statement: “Mami-miss natin gabi-gabi ang kanyang boses na nagsasabing, ‘Walang kinikilingan, walang pinoprotektahan, walang kasinungalingan, serbisyong totoo lamang.”

The Senate Majority Leader also described the veteran anchor as a “voice of truth, reason and courage.” 

READ: ‘Saksi sa kasaysayan’: GMA, ABS-CBN anchors mourn Mike Enriquez’s death

Meanwhile, Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros said Enriquez was a “dignified senior anchor” when she was starting out as a television journalist in GMA in the 1990s.

“Naging kakampi siya ng mahihirap na tinulungan niyang ilapit sa katotohanan at hustisya na kanilang hinahanap. Naging katunggali siya ng mga kurap, magnanakaw at mapang-abuso, na kanyang inimbestigahan at hindi tinantanan,” she said.

Prominent figures in the journalism industry also remembered the level of excellence Enriquez displayed during his five-decade career. Documentarist Howie Severino, who described his colleague as “mellow,” recalled the time they were deployed in Iraq in 2003 to cover the US invasion.

“I saw and heard then another side of Mike that most are unfamiliar with–the mellow, English-speaking voice and un-jologs De La Salle graduate who could converse comfortably with the celebrity foreign anchors of the time,” he said in an Instagram post. 

“It was another display of a remarkable tool kit that enabled him to adapt to any part of the broadcast industry he found himself in and build one of the longest and most successful careers in our field,” he added.

Correspondent Raffy Tima shared a photo of him and Enriquez aboard a Philippine Navy ship in Tacloban in 2013 when Typhoon Yolanda wreaked havoc in the Philippines.

“Always ready, always eager and always happy to be out on the field even after being in the industry for decades,” he said on Instagram. “The void you left will never be filled. Thank you for over a half-century of service to our beloved industry.”

Enriquez entered the broadcasting industry in 1969 and joined GMA Network in 1995. crawled his way up for five decades. He was best known for headling GMA’s primetime newscast “24 Oras” for 18 years and the public affairs program “Imbestigador” for 22 years.