Returning actress and former ABS-CBN president Charo Santos morosely recalled that the darkest moment of her career was the tragic Ultra stampede in 2006.
The accident happened during a live episode of the now defunct noontime show Wowowee held at the Ultra Arena (now known as the PhilSports Arena), which claimed 71 lives.
Charo noted the moment in her book My Journey: The Story Of An Unexpected Leader how she felt when she received a call about the accident from one of the staff of the show.
“The horrors that unfolded from the time I received the news over the phone to the days and weeks immediately after will forever be etched in my memory," Charo wrote.
"No matter how many times I have lived and relived those moments, the shock of having so many people die has not faded. They were our audience, those whom we promised to serve," she continued.
A portion of the book also revealed how ABS-CBN, along with its top executives, established the 71 Dreams Foundation to aid those affected by the catastrophe.
That same portion revealed how the network managed to bounce back after the tragedy.
Charo bolstered this portion of her book during its launch on March 29 by recounting how she had to face the audience to talk about the unfortunate incident.
"At that point, when I faced the crowd and I told the crowd that the show will not push through, kahit na takot na takot ako na maaari akong batuhin ng mga bote o kahit na anong object, because they were waiting there for three days and three nights, ‘di ba? Hinarap ko yung takot na ‘yun kasi katungkulan ko na akuin ang responsibilidad," she said.
Charo considers that moment not only as the most painful but also the most unforgettable chapter of her career with the network.
“And I think that's a lesson that a Kapamilya should always remember in their hearts and in their minds. Because it keeps us grounded and it makes us human. It was a humbling experience and there are so many lessons that can be derived from [it]," she said.
Published by ABS-CBN Publishing, "My Journey: The Story of an Unexpected Leader" is now available in selected National Bookstores and Powerbooks outlets.