Filipino journalists

Veteran broadcast journalist Mike Enriquez dies

Ailla Dela Cruz

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Veteran broadcast journalist Mike Enriquez dies

MIKE ENRIQUEZ. In a 2018 file photo, journalist Mike Enriquez receives an award at the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand 2018 Awards


The GMA host has battled diabetes, and has had a kidney transplant, and heart bypass in past years

MANILA, Philippines – Veteran broadcast journalist Mike Enriquez died on Tuesday, August 29, GMA announced on its GMA News Facebook page, and on news program 24 Oras. He was 71.

Enriquez’s home station, in its statement, said, “It is with profound sadness that GMA Network announces the passing of our beloved Kapuso, Mr. Miguel ‘Mike’ C. Enriquez, who peacefully joined our Creator on August 29, 2023.”

“His dedication to the industry will serve as an inspiration to all,” GMA said.

Enriquez’s more than 50 years of broadcasting experience started from an accidental encounter in 1969. In a 2022 interview with fellow journalist Pia Arcangel, Enriquez revealed that his supposed visit to a former high school buddy at the Manila Broadcasting Company turned into an application when his friend introduced him to the staff manager as a prospective employee. 

The accidental application led to the former disc jockey going into broadcasting and journalism jobs, and later, managerial positions inside a radio network. 

Enriquez worked at the Freedom Broadcasting Network, and Radio Mindanao Network (RMN), where he became vice president of the company, and a board member, before he eventually transferred to GMA Network to lead its radio division and expansion in 1995

His transfer to GMA opened doors to television broadcasting with his first on-cam appearance as an anchor in 1998 for an election coverage with broadcast journalist Karen Davila. 

After his successful TV debut, Enriquez would go on to anchor the network’s top news and public affairs programs. 

Enriquez recalled in a 2010 autobiographical essay published on the GMA website: “[GMA] found out that they lacked one more male anchor for the coverage. So Bobby [Barreiro] and Tony [Seva] said, ‘Mike, why don’t you be one of the anchors?’ I thought it was a joke, and so I told them, ‘If this is your idea of a joke, it’s not funny.’” 

Enriquez continued, “It turned out they were serious, so I agreed to give it a crack. And the rest led to what I am doing today. I run the radio business, and at the same time anchor the news.”

The TV programs Enriquez has hosted include Saksi: GMA Headline Balita, then an early-evening newscast, GMA Network News, Saksi, Imbestigador, and 24 Oras. Meanwhile, he hosted Saksi sa Dobol B via Super Radyo DZBB. 

While many Filipinos know Enriquez more for his broadcasting, hosting, and journalism, Enriquez also held an executive position, overseeing and managing GMA’s radio operations as the consultant of the radio operations group, and president of Radio GMA Network Inc. (RGMA). 

In spite of his success as TV anchor and executive, Enriquez said in an Adobo Magazine profile that radio is truly where his heart was. 

“If it ever comes to [a] point in my career when I’m made to choose between TV and radio, the decision will be swift and easy. Radio is where I grew up. I’m more challenged by radio, mentally and creatively, because when I’m on board, I push the buttons…You cannot say ‘roll the video.’ You have to be the video. That’s very challenging. If you want reporters to get really sharp, I tell people to assign them to radio,” Enriquez said. 

Health problems

Some of Enriquez’s health issues were public. He underwent medical procedures in the past, including a kidney transplant in December 2021, which required a three-month isolation period for recovery. He went back on air in March 2022, just in time for his home network GMA 7’s coverage of the 2022 elections. He went off-air again three months after the election. 

Prior to the transplant, he had been getting regular treatments for his kidney disease, which he had disclosed in 2018. In the same year, he underwent a heart bypass, too. Enriquez was also a diabetic. 

Award-winning journalist

Enriquez has won numerous journalism accolades. He was given recognitions and awards by various award-giving bodies, including recent ones such as the Most Outstanding Male News Anchor in 2022 by the Gawad Lasallianeta Awards, and Most Trusted Radio Presenter in the 23rd Annual Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands Awards. listed Enriquez’s major accolades in a 2015 profile, including the 1999 Golden Dove Award for Best Male Newscaster and the 1999 Ka Doroy Valencia Broadcaster of the Year Award.

Internationally, Enriquez was Best Newscaster in the Asian Television Awards in Singapore in 1999. He received a gold medal at the New York Festival in 2003 for Saksi, and a Silver Camera Award at the 2004 US Film and Video Festival in Holywood for a documentary on war-torn Iraq.

Speaking of what a job in broadcasting requires, Enriquez told Philstar, “My program requires preparation because it’s talk and news. You have to be intelligent not because you want to impress but because your audience deserve no less. They trust you, they rely on you, so you owe it to them to be prepared. If you’re not, you have no business staying on the air.” –

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