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Mr. M reminisces the very start of his career with GMA Network

He said that he actually started as a singer and has worked with the late Bob Stewart in one of his shows.

Johnny Manahan, also famously known as Mr. M, has been in the Philippine showbiz industry for five decades.

With his expertise in directing and helping artists reach their full potential, he has decided to open a new chapter in his career by going back to the company where it all started, GMA Network.

In his online media conference, he looked back at times he spent working as a Kapuso. He said that he started as a singer and has worked with the late Bob Stewart in one of his shows.

“Buhay pa si Mr. Bob Stewart, si Uncle Bob. Actually, the first thing I did in GMA… singer ako. Meron akong folk group and kumanta kami dun sa isang programa,” he fondly shared.

Mr. M also pointed out the differences between the GMA Network compound and how it is now.

“Wala pa yang building na yan. Dalawang studio lang. Dalawang maliit na studio at isang di kanais-nais na CR dun sa dati.”

He described his comeback as the one that “completed” his circle of life and added that even though he misses the ones he has worked with before, he’s still looking forward to what the future has to offer.

When it came to the process of his transition from becoming a freelancer last year to deciding to commit himself to the Kapuso network, he admitted that he thought would to retire sometime in between.

“I thought na magreretire na ko. Maglalagay na sa tahimik. But andun yung itch. Whenever I think about it, it’s hard not doing anything. Lalo na sa pandemic, wala akong magawa sa bahay.”

But he had a few friends who asked if he was interested in a spot at GMA Network, and he agreed to talk about it. It turns out that he got impressed by their offer, which made it easy for him to say yes.

“In a way, I could not refuse that offer. I go where people need us, where people respect us.”

Mr. M started his showbiz career as a freelancer and has directed several shows on different networks. One of which is GMA’s Two for the Road. He then moved to ABS-CBN after it re-opened in 1986.

A few years later, he and Freddie Garcia started creating a set of new stars that works exclusively for the network. They started Talent Center, which gave birth to Claudine Baretto, Jolina Magdangal, and Camille Prats, among others.

He became the Senior Vice President of Star Magic from 2003 until 2007 but remained as its head and consultant until 2020.


Manahan moved to GMA Artist Center as a consultant in July 2021.

Written by J M

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