Why Mel quit ‘Powerhouse’ in favor of GMA Kapuso Foundation

At first blush, we didn't get it entirely when word reached us that veteran news anchor Mel Tiangco opted to resign from her two-year old program, Powerhouse.

We thought it was one of the more interesting, if also eye-popping, talk shows to emerge on local TV. Mel has been replaced by Kara David, who is younger and eager to learn the ropes of TV hosting from Mel.

Ms. Tiangco cited a busy schedule as her reason for leaving the show, which she once told us, was a kind of breaker for her. 'I get to ask questions that had been titillating in the minds of many Filipinos for a long time through Powerhouse,' she said then.

Powerhouse is a GMA News TV presentation wherein the host pays a visit to the house, usually a mansion, of a famous person. From there, a freewheeling, usually no-holds barred conversation takes place.

Tiangco says on top of her nightly news anchoring chores on 24 Oras and hosting a weekly drama, Magpakailanman, her hands are tied by tons of work as chief operating officer and executive director of GMA Kapuso Foundation.

Ms. Tiangco shares with readers an overview of what she calls a fruitful year 2013 for GMA Kapuso Foundation.

GMA Kapuso Foundation (GMAKF) - the socio-civic arm of GMA Network - rounded out the first half of the year with several successful and valuable projects envisioned to uplift the lives of underprivileged Filipinos from all over the country.

At the start of the year, the Foundation extended help to victims of Typhoon Pablo in Davao Oriental and Compostella Valley. The team distributed relief goods and other materials that are otherwise not readily available and conducted three medical missions serving 2,765 individuals.

Going beyond providing temporary assistance, GMAKF also initiated the Silong Kapuso project to distribute roofing materials to more than 811 families to help them rebuild their homes.

Meanwhile, the Ngiting Kapuso project brought smiles to 86 indigents, who each received a new set of complete dentures. For this year, GMAKF extended its scope and provided partial dentures to a dozen individuals. The yearly summer Operation Tuli, on the other hand, benefited 1,172 young boys who underwent the procedure. For the first time, this project was conducted simultaneously in 3 different cities namely Quezon City, Cebu City and Butuan City.

In April, GMAKF turned over 120 houses to selected families displaced by typhoon Sendong, completing the first phase of its landmark 180-unit housing project in Iligan City. The Kapuso Village stands on a three-hectare land situated closely to the original residential area of Mandulog, which was left devastated by Typhoon Sendong. Ten fully equipped Kapuso classrooms also stand on the same location.

April was truly a productive month for the Foundation as it entered a joint agreement with the Department of Education and the local government of Davao Oriental to rehabilitate classrooms and build new ones as a result of the widespread damage of Typhoon Pablo. The first phase of the project was immediately completed in June covering seven refurbished classrooms and two newly constructed classrooms in four elementary schools in Davao Oriental, while an additional 28 new classrooms will be completed by end of July.

The opening of the school year also sparked new hope among 75,000 incoming grade 1 students as they were given backpacks complete with school supplies in fulfillment of the Unang Hakbang Sa Kinabukasan Project.

The Foundation also continued with its year-round Bisig Bayan Health Projects that were implemented in partnership with various organizations and hospitals that share their vision of providing serbisyong totoo to 734 individuals.

Over all, GMA Kapuso Foundation was able to serve the needs of 88,000 Filipinos including those that benefited from the disaster relief programs.

GMAKF EVP and COO Mel C. Tiangco sums it all up: "2013 is shaping up to be another fruitful year for Kapuso Foundation. And we could not have achieved what we have accomplished so far, if not for the generous support and trust of our partners, donors and of course, the general public, who make every project, regardless of scope or size, possible."

For donations, interested parties may visit www.gmanetwork.com/Foundation.