MANILA, Philippines - Vicky Morales says being a mom (to three kids) has helped her become a better public service show host.
?It?s really different now that I have children,? says the mom of twins Leon and Pipo, 2, and Daniela, 1 month and a half. ?Sometimes I can?t help putting myself in the shoes of the mothers whose kids are sick. I can feel their anguish.?
Vicky hosts the weekly program ?Wish Ko Lang? (GMA 7), which is celebrating its eighth anniversary. As part of its ?Pangarap Tour? feature, the program recently rushed to the rescue of a bedridden young man in Kalinga, and Ifugao grade school kids in dire need of reading materials in their library.
Tomorrow, actress Elizabeth Oropesa will be featured in one of the show?s ?Good Samaritan? episodes. On December 11, Vicky will take viewers to Davao, where a man named Gildo has been suffering from a parasitic disease called filariasis since 2003.
?Motherhood has changed my views on a lot of things. I?m more [pressed for time] but also more appreciative of people and things around me,? says Vicky, winner of this year?s Best Public Service Program Host award from the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC).
She admits she is constantly trying to strike a balance between motherhood and her profession as a journalist. ?When I leave the house, the kids are getting ready for bed,? says Vicky, who also anchors the late-night news program ?Saksi.? ?They ask me to stay. It breaks my heart to leave them crying. Sometimes, I sneak out, but I?ve been told that?s not good; they may not trust me anymore. So I just try to be truthful to them and make up for lost time during weekends.?
Do you have a say on what case to feature on ?Wish??
I don?t take an active role in it. When the production team meets, I give suggestions, but I don?t participate in the selection process.
What suggestion of yours, for example, got featured on the show?
A woman wanted to meet former President Fidel V. Ramos. Her sister, a flight attendant, told me. It was a funny story. The woman also resembled Ming (FVR?s wife).
You must get a lot of letters.
Sackfuls. Sometimes, the staff of other shows, like ?Imbestigador,? refer cases to us. When people approach me even in malls, I tell them to put their requests in writing, so I can present them to our staff.
What is the hardest wish to grant?
Medical cases. Some people request assistance for chemotherapy or dialysis. We can?t sustain those for an entire year. We want to help but the show has limitations. So we ask, ?What else can make the patient happy?? Sometimes a patient wishes for a family reunion; ?yun, kaya namin.
Would you know which story got the highest viewership rating to date?
I think it was the story of Mang Vicente, who had a big cyst on his jaw. We call him Panga. We documented everything, starting from his operation. He now lives a normal life. The feature on (former president) Erap Estrada visiting his friend Palito also did well in the ratings.
What?s the plan for the show?s ninth year?
We?d like to feature more compelling stories. Gusto ko yung talagang mapapaluha ang manonood. I remember when we were just starting, a fortune teller told us that ?Wish? would last for seven years. We all thought that was a long time.
?Wish Ko Lang? airs Saturdays, after ?Star Talk.?