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How Charo Santos, ABS-CBN Lady Boss, Overcame Depression

There's no winging it to succeed.
by Ara Eugenio
6 days ago
Photo/s: Instagram/Charo Santos

Charo Santos recalled the time ABS-CBN dropped to number two in the ratings game as one of the lowest points in her career. She felt like giving up, until she learned to accept her flaws and just give it her best.

There's no winging it when it comes to succeeding in life, said Philippine media's pioneer lady boss. During her long stint at ABS-CBN, she took on the role of president and CEO while giving out life advice in her long-running MMK. Retired from the daily grind, she is now executive adviser to the chairman.

"I really took it to heart. Dropping to number two was a rejection of my person, ni-relate ko sa pagkatao ko na parang 'what am I here for? I'm a failure'.. It really dragged me down. I wanted to quit, I thought it was not the right place for me anymore to continue working," she said in ABS-CBN talent Toni Gonzaga's vlog.

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She said the experienced forced her to look towards herself and accept that she wasn't a perfect person at all. 

"Mawiwindang ka talaga eh. Tas andami nang opinyon diba... Until before you know it, you're lost..So I had to find myself again," she said. 

"It was also the most liberating chapter of my life when I looked myself in front of the mirror and accepted the person I am, warts and all," she added.


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Learning from depression

After suffering from depression in 2015, the seasoned storyteller said the experience overall taught her not to be scared of being vulnerable.

As a woman, she has had to prove that she deserved her place in what was then a male-dominated boardroom of media executives. 

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"I think I pushed people to do their best. I would always talk to them about the value of excellence. You want to stand out in the crowd? Be unique, be excellent, be different," she shared what she always tells talents upon starting out. 

"You need this mindset: 'This could be the last performance of my life'. So you owe it to them to give your best. You cannot wing it," she said

Success wasn't easy, Santos-Concio said. She wanted to quit many times as she struggled to carry the weight of the network's mission to stay number one. 

“Because the deadlines are horrible. Television is another animal altogether. The show must go on is really the one statement that drives everyone who works in television," she said.


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