• Mom We Love: Rhea Santos-de Guzman

    The very private Rhea Santos opens up about her joys and challenges as a mother and an award-winning broadcast journalist.
    by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
  • Rhea SantosBeauty and brains seems cliché, but we couldn’t find a more fitting description for Rhea Santos-de Guzman, broadcast journalist, a co-host of GMA-7’s morning show Unang Hirit (UH) and host of the weekly documentary Tunay na Buhay, which just celebrated its first anniversary, on GMA News TV.

    Case in point: Rhea is an AB Masscom magna cum laude graduate from St. Paul's College in Quezon City. Fresh from school, she applied for a job at a PR firm and got accepted, but after much thought, “Sabi ko, this is not what I really want to do, so instead I sent my resume to the networks.” This, of course, was the beginning of a fulfilling career as a Kapuso.

    From the looks department, she has also had her share of victories in beauty pageants, she being one of the finalists in the 1996 Bodyshots competition where she was also handed the ‘Best in Swimsuit’ special award.

    Now that she’s a mother to two boisterous kids, we discover that Rhea is not only beauty and brains – she also has a big, nurturing heart. She tells us her story in this exclusive conversation with Smart Parenting Online.

    Rhea, who spent a few months as an intern at ABS-CBN while she was still in school, started out her career in GMA-7 in 2000 as a segment producer for Unang Hirit, covering its health, beauty, and fashion segments. As fate would have it, then-UH host Miriam Quiambao, who had just been crowned Miss Universe first runner-up, had to be absent one day, so the show’s producers needed someone to pitch in for her. Rhea was pulled in, and that instance paved the way for a career in front of the cameras. “Kulang sa tao, so hinila lang ako, kung pwede daw ba akong mag-host? Ayun, dun na nag-start.”

    It was also by way of Unang Hirit that her would-be husband Carlo first made his intentions of courting her clear. While they already knew each other from events and family gatherings their relatives (who were playing Cupid) invited them to, it was not until after Carlo’s food company, Hotshots, catered Unang Hirit’s food bar one morning that he finally asked her out on a breakfast date. “It was my birthday,” Rhea smiles.


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