Veteran broadcast journalists and executives in the industry recognize Flores' leadership.

 Leading in humility and Serbisyong Totoo.

There are numerous adjectives that can be used to describe Marissa Flores as Senior Vice President of GMA News and Public Affairs, but "humility" and "Serbisyong Totoo" (public service) may be the closest words that resonate with those who have had the honor of working with her over the past three decades.

'Humility’ and ‘Serbisyong Totoo’ may be the closest words that resonate to everyone who had the privilege of working with former GMA News and Public Affairs Senior VP Marissa L. Flores

Under her direction, GMA's News and Public Affairs division has become the nation's most prestigious and award-winning broadcast news organization—both on air and online.

Her team has created some of the most innovative programs on Philippine television, including news, documentaries, investigative programs, news magazines, reality shows, game shows, chat shows, and drama series.

As Flores enters a new chapter in her life and departs from the network, some of the nation's top broadcast journalists and Flores' colleagues express their heartfelt views about the individual they affectionately refer to as "MLF."

She always had a ‘North’

Jessica Soho thinks that Flores' most important legacy is her ideas and character, along with "a strong and solid trail of wins and successful programs."

Soho adds, "Values that are reflected not just in the quality of our News and Public Affairs programming but also in our personal and professional behavior." "These include doing the right thing, working hard, being truthful, and treating others with kindness and fairness."

Soho claims that Flores has always had a "North."

"Walang kinikilingan, walang pinoprotektahan, walang kasinungalingan" at "Dapat Tama" ang mga taglines na kaniyang pamumuno sa kaniya.

Flores (center) with Jessica Soho and Jiggy Manicad accepting the Peabody Award for GMA News's coverage of Supertyphoon Yolanda

She has always been unassuming and modest. It is unclear whether or not the palagay will be able to form a team. She was able to bring out the best in her team members and has always given them the opportunity to flourish. Since before the epidemic, Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho has been among the top three programs in NUTAM under her leadership. 24 Oras has been routinely ranked among the top five programs since 2020, when it entered the top five overall. The top three programs of the network in NUTAM from January to September 2022 were all produced by News and Public Affairs (NAPA): 24 Oras, Lolong, and Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (Based on Nielsen Phils. TV Audience Measurement). Our other NAPA programs are also the best at what they do, and they often bring praise to the network both at home and abroad.

‘No one is left behind’

Vicky Morales admires how hands-on Flores has always been. In 1999, Morales and Flores spent the small hours of the morning swapping hard copies of the screenplay for I-Witness.

'I will also never forget how, after every remote coverage, she would text warm words of thanks for the hard work,' shares Vicky Morales

"I had recently joined I-Witness as a presenter. I usually write scripts for programs in the office. Because I didn't have yahoo or email, I stayed up until 3 a.m. with MLF to proofread my essay. ' 'Ilulusot ko yung script sa bakod sa labas ng old newsroom, tapos sasaluhin ni MLF sa kabila kasi malapit dun yung townhouse niya dati. Tapos ibabalik niya sa akin ober da bakod uli. "

In Flores's squad, nobody is ever left behind. "She taught us how to be fair and tough while still being nice and sensitive. She led with honesty and never abandoned anybody, even through the most difficult moments, Morales said.

I will also never forget how, after each shift, she would send a text message of appreciation for the hard work. These little expressions of appreciation usually boost morale. "Nakakapawi talaga siya ng pagod para sa amin," she says.

She believes in you

Kapag naniwala sa 'yo si Ma'am Marissa, paninindigan ka niya hanggang sa huli. "Siya ang naniniwala sa akin na mula sa radyo ay puwede akong mag-telebisyon," says Arnold Clavio, alluding to his debut TV program, Brigada Siete.
"Siya ang naniwala sa akin na kaya kong gumising ng umaga (Unang Hirit), at na mas guwapo ako kay Edu Manzano (for Emergency)." Clavio says that Flores felt he could have a discussion show, which led to the creation of "Tonight with Arnold Clavio," and that Arnold could stay up all night to offer viewers news. "Siya ang naniwala sa akin na kaya kong magpuyat ng may responsabilidad (Saksi)".
"It is very evident to Kaya that I AM NOTHING without Ma'm Marissa. Thank you for believing in me, and because of that, I want to thank my family and friends.
He claims that Flores taught him how to enjoy his work. "Practice buong-buo, and your job will return your affection."
"Tinuruan niya rin ako papaano irespeto ang paniniwala ng iba. Na walang monopolya ng kaalaman. At kung pagsasamahin ang lakas ng isipan ng bawat isa, ito ay magresulta sa mas epektibong at mabungang pagsasama."

Humble leader

In a sense, Marissa Flores represented a television counterculture. In a business filled with egos, she possessed almost none. She had a modest life, maintained a low profile, and wore cosmetics infrequently. She was not a fan of selfies, according to Howie Severino.

He says that Flores's example kept them grounded. It served as a reminder of what is truly important.

It was not fame or money, but rather the consistent application of fundamental beliefs. Priority was given to honesty and fairness. If you violated any regulations, she would communicate with you in a stern but nonthreatening manner. Regardless of the severity of the transgression, no one felt embarrassed, especially in front of others. Howie adds, "I've never heard her raise her voice or say anything unkind about anyone, even in private."

"In a potentially poisonous and competitive workplace, she wanted to establish a place where people cared for one another and assisted one another when in need. Safety was always a consideration. This source of humanity provides motivation to strive and serve. "

‘Do what is right.’

Nessa Valdellon, GMA's First Vice President for Public Affairs, explains, "In many management crises over the years—everything from on-air disasters to harassment cases to outright corruption, you name it, we've faced it—I would come to her office, sometimes in shock, sometimes in tears, asking what I should do."

'In so many ways, her values, her spirit -  her life - has been at the heart of GMA News and Public Affairs’ long success,' says GMA’s First Vice President for Public Affairs Nessa Valdellon

"Her typical answer was along the lines of 'Find the truth' or 'Tell the truth.'" Always conclude with the phrase, "Do the right thing." This constant guidance has never failed in a broad range of scenarios.

Valdellon also describes Flores' continuous support for them. "She admired our wacky ideas. She supported our efforts in digital journalism, immersive graphics, reality series, game shows, chat shows, anthologies, historical plays, soap operas, films, podcasts, and all the social media platforms that have emerged over the years.

"She was pleased with all of our accomplishments. She reprimanded us nicely for our several errors. She was the type of leader who applauded from the sidelines so that the spotlight might shine on us.

Jaemark Tordecilla, Senior Assistant Vice President for GMA News and Public Affairs Digital Media, explains, "Hers is a quiet brilliance since, at her heart, she has remained a journalist throughout the years." "Her first goal is always getting the facts correct and speaking the truth; her main concern is how our products will benefit the public."

'Her biggest concern is how our productions would be of service to the people,' says  GMA Senior Asst. VP for News and Public Affairs Digital Media Jaemark Tordecilla

Jaemark describes how Flores enabled him to oversee the digital news team for the Network. She was never one for motivational speeches, but her leadership was always present: supporting me, challenging me, and allowing me to fill the role of digital person on a conventional television network. She did it not only for myself, but for the entire team as well. "

From being a researcher for documentaries and special reports to becoming the president of GMA Network News and Public Affairs, Flores closes a chapter of her Kapuso career with the admiration and affection of everyone—both on and off camera.


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