‘Sir Mike’ is how people call him in the GMA compound. Yet, with all the gentility associated with the label, one doesn’t get the feeling that Mike Enriquez lords over everybody else.
Case in point: when he was informed that he was chosen to be this issue’s Man of the Month because he was an icon, he demurred and practically scoffed at the appellation. He, of the booming voice and the larger-than-life onscreen persona, said that he would much prefer to be known as a guy’s guy – a regular Joe. Naturally, from where we sat, it was difficult to reconcile that idea to the man sitting in front of us with the same man that brings us the day’s top events every night and being one of the most distinctive personalities in the business of broadcast news. But as the conversation flowed during the hour-long interview, it became clear that his success is indeed deeply rooted in his “every guy’s disposition”.
“That’s the way we were brought up kasi in Sta. Ana,” he said. “It was a bare, simple, middle-class upbringing. Not too well to do and not too poor either. Just right. But because it was Sta. Ana and not Forbes, we had a lot of chance to immerse ourselves and interact with people from all walks of life and that has served me well in my vocation.”
Our Man of the Month met with us for the interview in his network office in Quezon City wearing a simple checked shirt and black slacks. It was a far cry from the suit-and-tie look he usually sports for his evening telecast but it was, according to him, closer to the type of clothes he would wear on a regular day.
He also happened to be sick. So sick in fact that before the interview, he had to go home to take a doctor-ordered rest. His stomach, he said, had been acting up in the past couple of days and if it persists, he might have to check-in at the hospital to get an IV drip to combat dehydration. Despite all this, he graciously went ahead with the interview, clearing his throat from time to time which was the only indication that he wasn’t functioning at a hundred percent.
Once, he paused and popped a sugar-free herb candy before looking at the cover of the PLAYBOY October 2012 issue the team presented to him. “Ikaw ba ito, Sky?” he asked, looking at the cover photo of 2011 Playmate of the Year and currently editorial assistant at PLAYBOY Philippines, Sky Aisuru. This brought out the Imbestigador in him as he started interviewing her on how she ended up being an editorial assistant. “That’s very rare, ha. Nagsimula kang, ano Playmate ba ang tawag dito? Tapos ngayon nasa editorial team ka na?” he asked. When Playmate Sky confirmed all this, he shook his head, obviously very impressed. After the interview, he asked her to sign his copy and gushed that getting someone to sign their own photo is a rarity nowadays. But from where we stood, we were collectively thinking that it’s much rarer for a man of his stature and intellect to be so, well, extraordinarily ordinary.
(Mike Enriquez’ full interview is on the March 2013 issue of Playboy Philippines)