Gab Ibis

From radio broadcasting to television hosting, veteran journalist Mike Enriquez has been the iconic newscaster that redefined the Philippine media landscape and the everyday life of Filipinos.

Photo courtesy of GMA News

With over 50 years of experience in the media industry and a nearly 30-year stint in the GMA 7 network, Enriquez made marks with his critical social commentary, funny bloopers and witty slips.

With Enriquez’s passing on August 29, Tuesday, at the age of 71, it has come to an end of an era. He was survived by his spouse, Lizabeth Yumping-Enriquez, relatives, friends and colleagues in the media industry.

Humble beginnings

In an era where vloggers are rampant and disinformation spreads like wildfire, Enriquez continued to be a beacon for journalism during his limelight.

Born on Sept. 29, 1951, Miguel “Mike” Enriquez traces his roots in Manila, where he graduated with a commerce degree at the De La Salle University in 1973.

In 1969, Enriquez started his media career, becoming a staff announcer for the Manila Broadcasting Company.

Slowly rising up his ranks, Enriquez became the vice president of Radio Mindanao Network, a post he held until 1995, before transferring to GMA.

Broadening horizons

While the well-known reporter once remarked that his face was not for television, he successfully led a career both in radio and television broadcasting.

In 1995, Enriquez first appeared on television as an accidental anchor, “If this is your idea of a joke, it’s not funny,” Enriquez said to former GMA executives Robert Barreiro and Tony Seva, recounted in a 2010 autobiography.

Enriquez went beyond radio. Imbestigador, which has been the source of the iconic line “hindi namin kayo tatantanan.” This is his first stint in television public affairs in 2000; the line came from his dedication to capturing a drunk policeman whose stray bullet killed a little girl in the same year. 

After nearly a decade of being GMA’s radio division head and broadcast television, the Imbestigador host became the anchor for GMA’s flagship primetime news program, 24 Oras, in 2004. Enriquez's style is as iconic as his lines. His gritty vocal texture led to him being dubbed Baby Michael,” a nod to his cameo in a film.

The news veteran remained true to his standard of journalism, winning accolades both here and abroad.

Enriquez won the Silver Camera award from Sundance at the 2004 US Film and Video Festival for his coverage of the Iraqi war.

He received citations from the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) Star Awards for Television in 2000 as the Best Male Newscaster and in 2001 as Best Public Service Program Host.

He also won the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Golden Dove Award in 1999 as the Best Male Newscaster and the Ka Doroy Valencia Broadcaster of the Year Award in 2000 as the Best Newscaster For Television and Best Public Affairs Host for Radio, and in 2002 as the Best TV Newscaster Metro Manila and Best Public Affairs Program Host.

Health battle

Although many may remember his iconic line: “hindi namin kayo tatantanan,” his very words may have mirrored his grit in becoming one of the country’s top news anchors.

Despite having numerous health operations, including a heart bypass in 2018, and a kidney transplant in 2021 leading to his temporary hiatus from GMA, the man of grit and authority remained dedicated to his craft.

His perseverance and commitment to journalism were evident in his statement: "At the end of the day, there’s work that needs to be done, there’s a mission that needs to be accomplished."

Paying respects

With the news of his passing, numerous colleagues of Enriquez shared their sympathy.

Mel Tiangco, Enriquez's long-time co-anchor, applauded after the tribute video of 24 Oras, while Vicky Morales, was not able to contain her emotions and broke into tears during her closing spiel.

ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol news hosts Bernadette Sambrano and Henry Omaga-Diaz also paid their respects to the veteran news host, as well as Kabayan Noli de Castro who mentioned that Enriquez “was a good friend,” and they usually bump into each other during large coverages.

Matagal-tagal din kaming naging magkaibigan ni Mike. Lagi kaming nagkakasabay sa mga ano e, sa mga live. Basta may malalaking live, nagkakasabay pa kami,” said De Castro.

Frontline Pilipinas anchor Julius Babao of TV5 also paid respects to Enriquez, with News5 extending their condolences to Enriquez’s family.

Nakikiramay po ang Frontline Pilipinas at ang buong News5 sa naiwang pamilya ni Ginoong Mike Enriquez,” Babao said.

Even though he may have already gone back home, the grit of his fortitude will always leave a legacy not only in journalism but in defining what a Filipino is – close to the hearts of every Filipino that made him the “Mike Enriquez.”

Edited by Bless Ogerio


Gab Ibis studies at Vinzons Pilot High School while Bless Ogerio is a journalism student at the University of Santo Tomas. They both joined Explained PH as part of its volunteers program.