10-mel-tiangco-2colsIn the latest issue (April, 2009) of Joann Maglipon’s Yes Magazine, she listed the most influential or powerful personalities in Showbiz for 2008.

This was picked up by the two giant networks’, ABS-CBN and GMA 7, entertainment reporters owing to the inclusion of their own talents and mainstays and TV executives. Of course it’s news worthy because anything about exceptional or pedestrian comparison between the two networks deserves headline attention.

In Channel 2, the news item was read by the trio Julius Babao, Karen Davila, and Ted Failon. It was Mel Tiangco, in GMA 7, who broke the news. While on the item, Mel’s face morphed as if encased in hardened lead.

The news readers’ reaction to the amusing research was a study in contrast. Yes Magazine is not a stranger no longer in the disclosure of top entertainers’ bottom lines.

In January this year, it featured Willie Revillame in one issue, regaling us readers the extent of the material possessions of the Wowwowee host (rounded off in cheap Philippine pesos). In short, the magazine found a goldmine in journalisticvoyeurism. Talks fly on who is the undisputed richest entertainer in the country today. Kris Aquino comes to mind, the indefatigable lady of network games and showbiz intrigues. She rewrote the format of a talk show by the inclusion of her idiosyncrasies in the day’s agenda at the expense of her guests.

We kept tab on the The Pacman’s purse, making mental multiplication on the percentage of his take in each slug out. That of course includes all the product patches sewn on his shorts.

We take our hats off to a homegrown hotshot awash with cash. We saluted Ferdinand Marcos when he upended the legend of Yamashita treasures.

However one gets his assets is not for us to find out. It is the green monster that gobbles our spleen in a painful way. That perhaps made Mel Tiangco bristled when she read that piece of news. The trio in the rival channel was put in their proper place.

It would have been Mel in the slot of Charo Santos or Wilma Galvante, both daintily laughing all the way to the banks after all these years. The research of Maglipon certainly has some impeccability in it. Mel was blindsided. “Ako pala ang nagpapayaman sa kanila.” Mel is a prized possession of GMA. In legal history, her tiff with her erstwhile network, ABS-CBN, reached all the way to the High Court. Being in the midst of controversy made Mel a hot stuff on TV, especially in public affairs program. She exudes that aura of authority approximating that of Katie Couric’s saga from NBC to CBS. She thought she had the goods and the eyes of the network gods. How much does she earn from 24 Oras and “Mel and the other fellow”, both top earners of GMA? Maybe short of a half a million pesos a month. But she puts in 20 hours of work in that network by the end of Timog, daily. With billions in bottomline annually, her take home pay is pathetically paltry. Of course management is generous on holidays with a million bucks in red envelop. But this amount does not pull her up in the celestial world of TV zillionaires.

Now she understands the peculiar smile of Charo and the condescension of Wilma. Charo and Wilma hold the proverbial remote control on the beasts of burden. Mel is painfully one of them. When the contract expires, Mel dances at the palm of Felipe Gozon’s hands. His daughter-lawyer Anna Teresa G. Abrogar seconds him in the million capers department.

Does Mel have some leverage in restructuring her contract? She complained openly with Mike Enriquez. But he too is in the club being a management guru in the network of Uncle Bob. Mel is just a talent, and her battery life is ticking low. Was she put one over? She has no doubt now.

Now she understands her partner’s almost sick nitpicking on Willie. It’s envy, one of the deadly sins as old as the serpent engaged in the first manipulation of public opinion, or is it.