Peabody Award winning investigative journalist Kara David is all set to take over the reins of Mel Tiangco’s highly interesting current affairs program, Powerhouse, come July 16 on GMA News TV.
In past two years, Powerhouse has been giving viewers access to the private lives of many prominent, powerful and iconic features in the Philippines, right in their very own homes.
According to the production staff of the show – which among others, has featured such personalities as former President Fidel V. Ramos, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile – Tita Mel, as the veteran broadcast journalist is fondly called, had to beg off from the program because of a very demanding schedule.
She is on the nightly newscast 24 Oras, tapes for the weekly true-to-life drama anthology Magpakalianman, and devotes the rest of her time to her post as executive vice president of the corporate social responsibility arm of the network, GMA Kapuso Foundation.
So in June, Kara was suddenly told she was management’s choice replacement for Tita Mel, and immediately, the 39-year-old gem of the news and public affairs department felt her head spin.
“I felt—and continue to feel—very insecure even if Tita Mel has already given me her blessings to do to the show,” Kara revealed. “Idol ko po si Tita Mel at mentor ko siya kaya po kinakabahan ako dahil hers are such big shoes to fill.”
When Kara shot her very first episode the day before this interview (the July 16 episode featuring Batangas Governor and Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos-Recto), she even texted Tita Mel for last minute tips to calm her nerves.
“Ang sabi niya sa akin, wag mo kong gayahin. Just be yourself and let your personality take over,” Kara related.
True enough, her interview with “Ate Vi” turned out to be one of her most enjoyable to date, and Kara is excited for the public to see new sides of the renowned celebrity-turned-politician, which she was able to uncover during her visit to Batangas.
Kara’s running total of 14 inter-national awards and 17 local awards for her outstanding documentaries in GMA Network’s I-Witness, mostly, if not entirely, presents the plight of the country’s downtrodden and poorest of the poor.
Certainly, her treks to the mountain and travels to depressed and far-flung parts of the Philippines are worlds apart from the mansions she will soon visit for Powerhouse.
Raised by celebrated activists and journalists Professor Randy David and former Civil Service Commission chairperson Karina Constantino-David, The Manila Times asked Kara how she thinks she will fare if and when she comes face to face with such extravagance, and – fate forbid – a personality who may have previously surfaced as culprit of oppression in her investigative pieces.
“I actually have my own foundation called Project Malasakit that sends around 15 underprivileged children to school,” she opened up. “Kadalasan nga kapag namimili ako, hindi ko maiwasang isipin, ay, pag hindi ko binili let’s say yung bag na ito, dalawang buwang allowance na yan ng ilang bata sa foundation. So I’m really hoping na ma-i-separate ko yon para sa gagawin ko sa Powerhouse, dahil bilang journalist, ito ang kailangan kong gawin para sa programang ito.”
Above all, despite the extremes she will be covering in this new progression in her career, Kara knows that she has her father’s most important advice to see her through every interview she will ever have to make.
“Ang sabi po ng tatay ko, sino man ang interbyuhin mo, wag mo pauna-hang husgahan. Be respectful to that person, no matter what he or she has done, because hindi mo sila bina-yaran para i-trust ka sa harap ng camera. Respetuhin mo sila but always ask the right questions,” she rounded up.
Powerhouse with Kara David begins on July 16, 8 p.m. on GMA News Channel 11.