MANILA – In September 2020, Lauren Dyogi was tapped to be the new head of ABS-CBN’s talent management arm Star Magic.
Dyogi succeeded Mariole Alberto and his new assignment became effective on the first day of 2021.
In a recent interview with Toni Gonzaga, Dyogi opened up about this transition in his professional career, saying “it happened because of necessity.”
“It happened because the company was shut down and the company was forced to scale down. We were asked to double task. I seem to be a good candidate in terms of efficiency because I can say anong kailangan sa production, tapos I have the roster of artists. We would know how to match it and be more efficient. I think it’s logical that I take it on. It’s a challenge, it’s exciting,” he said.
But he admitted that that period caused him stress and depression.
“Kasi nanggagaling siya doon sa na-shut down tayo, may pandemic tayo, tapos may bago kang responsibilidad. Tapos pati yung mga artista, they are also going through a lot. So yung demands sa time and energy mo. And then I was overeager and excited to do something different, something new. Patong-patong iyon,” Dyogi told Gonzaga.
The ABS-CBN executive said it came to a point that he needed to take a break from work.
“It was my first Sabbatical leave in my entire career. Nag-break ako, hindi ako nagbakasyon. Nandoon lang ako sa bahay… I was having anxiety attacks. Hindi ako nakakatulog nang maayos. Nagsisikip yung [dibdib ko]. Feeling ko nga, COVID ba ito? Kasi hindi ka makahinga. Tapos my shoulder pain was so bad. Talagang nagpatong-patong yung preparation from the Congress hearing, shutdown,” he said.
Recalling the day when ABS-CBN’s franchise application was finally denied, Dyogi said: “Parang manhid ka na noon. Hindi pa nagsi-sink in, eh. The sinking of the feeling came days after, weeks after. Ano na ang mangyayari sa ‘yo?”
More than a year since the ABS-CBN shutdown, Dyogi feels that the company is being “redirected to where the Lord wants us to go.”
“Because kung hindi rin po dahil sa shutdown, hindi kami makakadiskubre ng ibang paraan ng paggawa. Kasi naka-concentrate kami sa free TV for the longest time. Ngayon, forced ka maghanap ng pera, forced kang gumawa ng paraan,” he said.
“In a way, challenging and exciting. It’s a good time also to be in ABS-CBN. Kaya lang nga, nandoon yung pangamba lagi. But I think yung kaba is good also for our growth. It’s still not a perfect set-up. It is still difficult. But alam mo kasi na kung sino yung kasama mo sa hirap, siyempre yun yung hopefully kasama mo sa ginhawa. One day,” he added.
In the same interview, Dyogi opened up about the former Kapamilyas who decided to leave the company, although he refused to name who they are.
“I suppose when the boat is sinking, you can’t expect everybody to stay in the boat, to stay with you… As I said, tao ako, masakit talaga. Especially doon sa mga taong kinausap ko na one, two or three times. Masakit talaga. Sana lang, ako kasi, from the onset, sabihin mo na lang na hindi mo kaya,” he said.
“Siguro I suppose, if I am going to analyze it, siguro kasi dumadaan din siya sa proseso. Iniisip din niya kung ano yung tama sa kanya. Hindi ko naman maalis sa kaniya yun. Pero masakit talaga. But I guess hindi ko controlled yun. Hindi ko na controlled ang utak at puso ng ibang tao. May priorities sila. May priorities din naman kami. Hindi siguro nagtugma at this point. I will wish them well. I will wish them the best.”
“It’s always (during) very difficult times, crisis, challenging times na lumalabas yung tunay mong pagkatao. So okay na rin. Nagkakaalam tayo kung ano yung pinaninindigan mo. Bilog naman ang mundo. Ang liit-liit ng industriya,” he said.
When asked what this whole ABS-CBN shutdown experience taught him, Dyogi’s first thought was humility.
“It’s really a very humbling experience. You were the number one network and [in a snap], everything gone. Kailangan mo lunukin lahat ng pintas, lahat ng harsh words. You just have to believe na kaya mo bumangon,” he said.
Dyogi also thinks what keeps ABS-CBN going are the relationships that Kapamilyas have built with each other.
“Totoo pala talaga yung Kapamilya, na sa hirap at ginhawa, magkakasama kami. We experienced pay cut… Pero ganun naman ang pamilya, 'di ba? Kapag nasa hirap, magti-tighten ng sinturon, sama-sama kayo dahil mahal niyo yung katrabaho niyo, mahal niyo yung kumpanya niyo, mahal niyo yung pamilya niyo. Importante yun,” he said.
At the end of the interview, Dyogi said he is optimistic that the company is “being directed to a better path, a better place for yourself and for the people you care for.”
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