Business Mentor: Life lessons from a TV news director 1

Business Mentor: Life lessons from a TV news director

Armando Bartolome

Posted at May 31 2020 10:09 AM | Updated as of May 31 2020 10:10 AM

I had the pleasure of interviewing ABS-CBN News Director, Guddy Hernandez. In my Facebook Live Biglaang Usapan Kaibigan (B.UK), it was his first time to be interviewed and I am just so grateful that he gave me a few minutes of his time. In the interview, he shared his struggles during childhood and how he attained his love for directing.

Direk Guddy Hernandez narrated how his life was growing up in Marinduque. He did not come from a wealthy family. He practically grew up with just one parent who chose to work abroad in order to meet the needs of their big family. It was a difficult time for them as they could not just rely on what their mother sent to them. He had to look for ways on how he could have enough money every day for his allowance and fare in going to school. He did odd jobs, even for just a peso per task. At a young age, he felt that there was nothing he could do with their situation except to do his share in order to survive.

Business Mentor: Life lessons from a TV news director 2
Direk Guddy Hernandez who has been behind the scenes of a number of news programs in ABS-CBN and ANC. Handout

I was in awe at how much he had to endure at such a young age. While some well-to-do-children would often complain of not having this and that, young Guddy had to scrub the floor of his neighbors, regardless of how big it was, for just Php1.00! We also sometimes hear children complain about the food prepared on the table because it is not what they expected. But young Guddy could not complain. There was no room for huge expectations. It was enough to eat rice with coconut milk or water poured over rice with salt. Just imagine how a young boy could deal with the realities of a hard life! Life was very difficult but it did not stop him from doing things better for him.

He was a working student in college. Just like most students, he wasn’t able to use what he took up in college. He wanted to become a soldier. An opportunity knocked on his door. One was to pursue his dream of becoming a soldier, and the other was a job which his uncle, a pioneer in the dubbing industry, offered him: a chance to be a voice talent. He was torn which way to go. After giving it a lot of thought, he finally decided to give his uncle’s offer a shot. Although the voice talent job experience was a good one, he felt that what he would earn from it would not be enough to meet the needs of his family since he would only earn per project. He needed a more stable job. He applied at Sarimanok News Channel where he became a playback operator. After quite some time in this job, he was able to learn musical scoring, basic editing, and some skills regarding the use of audio and camera. Eventually, the network felt that he was ready to take a step higher and so he was promoted as a full-time director.

Being a director is no easy task. One needs to wear different hats. Although there are people who help him make one show, he needs to have a keen eye and ensure that he doesn’t miss any detail. Otherwise, it could end his career. He works with almost 20 people under him – floor director, light director, cameraman, graphic artist, sound engineer, set designer, audio, etc. All these people should be able to do exactly what he says when needed. Thus, for people to follow him, strong leadership should be among his skills.


The lockdown made him realize one important thing: how to budget. When I asked him if he was prepared during this time, he said that he was because he had an emergency fund at hand. Knowing the struggles he had to go through early in his life, he didn't want his own family to suffer the way he did. And so, it was important for him to always set aside a certain amount for emergency purposes. The disruption brought by the pandemic has affected so many lives, and only those who have prepared for such occurrences will be able to live comfortably. However, we cannot be too complacent because our savings will eventually run dry, and we need to do something in order to sustain the needs of our family.

I asked him what are his lifeboats in times like this crisis and he said:

1.    One should be able to know what he or she is good at.
2.    One should be able to realize his or her skills/talents.
3.    One should know what he or she enjoys best.

These became his “tools” in making his life better. And he would rather think of a solution rather than sulk and let the problems remain unsolved. Some people may have lost their jobs and they may not be able to find a similar job during this time. What should one do? A person needs to discover what he is good at and make himself productive with it. I asked Direk Guddy what he would do if he loses his job as a director. He confidently answered that he knows how to cook and he can make use of this skill to earn a living.

One problem among Filipinos is not being able to easily adapt to change. Some of us easily say that we could not do this and that because we have gotten used to something. And we know that times have changed and will continue to change. Therefore, we must live in parallel with how the world lives. We need to learn to adjust to what is available and be good at it. As Direk Guddy said, “One needs to undergo a process in order to succeed.”


Fear arises with the threat of harm which may be affecting us physically, emotionally, psychologically, either real or imagined. For Direk Guddy, fear only creates anxiety, which could lead to more fear. There is no person in this world who is not fearful of anything. However, with Direk Guddy, instead of being fearful, he would rather think of what is best for his family. And I do agree with him. Being fearful does not allow you to do anything. You can be crippled with fear and just allow yourself or your loved ones to become more vulnerable. And what could that lead you? NOTHING! 

After all the struggles he has gone through, Direk Guddy has made himself stronger than ever. I am not saying that he will never make any mistakes, but at least, he does not allow fear to overcome his life’s decisions.


If there is something that anyone thinks he or she should do, he or she must do it right away. Procrastination is not on Direk Guddy’s list. He said that what must be done today, should be done today. Filipinos should get rid of the manana habit if he wants to live a successful life.

As his final words, he wants everyone to keep these three things in mind:

1.    To have faith in yourself. No one can help you if you don't believe in yourself. Thus, to make things happen, you must believe that you can.
2.    You always have to have a positive mindset. We should program our minds in such a way that we can make things work the way we want them to happen.
3.    We need to change our behavior and adapt to what is necessary. 

The community quarantine may have brought us both positive and negative effects. The positive: we were able to have time to be with our family and keep safe from the virus. The negative effect, however, is that some people may have gotten used to staying in bed the whole day just watching movies or sleeping. 

I truly had a great time interviewing Direk Guddy. I believe his story will inspire many people, and they can learn a lot from his experiences and advice he has shared with all of us. I admire people like Direk Guddy because life has taught them to be tougher than ever. 

If you want some topics that you would like me to talk about or write about, please let me know. I would gladly share them in my column.

For questions and more information, you may contact Armando "Butz" Bartolome 
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Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.