The Grace Poe story on TV

Natashya Gutierrez

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In the past, TV biographies of candidates have helped boost their ratings

MANILA, Philippines – Get to know Grace Poe.

The life story of the senatorial candidate and former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chair will be told on screen through a Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode to air Saturday night, February 2, on ABS-CBN.

Poe, the adopted daughter of well-loved action star and former presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr (FPJ) and his actress wife Susan Roces, will be played by young actress Erich Gonzales.

Tonton Gutierrez will play the character of FPJ while Sheryl Cruz will play the role of Susan Roces.

Grace Poe had originally wanted popular actress Bea Alonzo to portray her in the episode, but welcomed the casting of Gonzales.

She said she hopes the story “will pay tribute to the selflessness and generous spirit” of her parents, and “will highlight the virtue of adoption,” as quoted by ABS-CBN.

According to Grace Poe’s camp, the episode will talk about how the 44-year-old independent candidate “was raised by FPJ and Susan Roces.”

 ERICH AS GRACE. Actress Erich Gonzales plays the role of Grace Poe. Image from the MMK Official Facebook Fan Page.

Helpful to ratings?

In the past, TV biographies of candidates have helped boost their ratings.

In 2004, the life of former Sen Rene Cayetano was featured in an episode a few days before election day. It was partly credited for the come-from-behind victory of his daughter, Sen Pia Cayetano.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has prohibited movies or documentaries “portraying the life or biography of a candidate, or in which a character is portrayed by an actor or media personality who is himself a candidate,” starting on February 12, the official start of the campaign period.

But the Comelec still allows biographies of relatives of candidates.

In the most recent Social Weather Stations survey conducted in January, Poe was the surprise winner. From rank 20 in December, she rocketed to rank 10-11.

Studious child

As a child, Grace Poe was an outstanding student who took on several leadership roles in high school at Assumption College in San Lorenzo, Makati. She participated in extemporaneous speaking, debate, and other oratory competitions, often emerging as champion.

READ: The independence of Grace Poe 

Poe went on to graduate earn a BA in Development Studies in University of the Philippines Manila, and a BA in Political Science with a concentration in government and political theory in Boston College. 

She lived in the United States with her husband and children before returning to Manila in 2004 upon the death of her father. 

In 2010, she was appointed to the MTRCB by current President Benigno Aquino III where she served until 2012.

Poe is one of 3 candidates who are being endorsed by the administration’s slate and the ticket of the so-called constructive opposition, United Nationalist Alliance. – 

More from Rappler’s 2013 Philippine elections coverage:

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Natashya Gutierrez

Natashya is President of Rappler. Among the pioneers of Rappler, she is an award-winning multimedia journalist and was also former editor-in-chief of Vice News Asia-Pacific. Gutierrez was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for 2023.