Why Sherilyn Reyes-Tan has more empathy now


Sherilyn Reyes-Tan couldn’t hide her excitement at the presscon for the weekly public-service program, Si Manoy ang Ninong Ko, which was held three days before the airing of its pilot episode today, 3 March, on GMA.

Galing lang po ako ng (I just came from) Guimaras. Amoy Guimaras dagat pa po ako (I still smell of the sea),” she said while joining her co-hosts in the panel. The “Manoy” in the show’s title refers to Agri Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee, who’s also called by that Pinoy honorific. He shares hosting duties with Gelli de Belen in the studio segment, interviewing experts in socio-cultural topics. On the other hand, Sherilyn and Patricia Tumulak go on separate trips to different parts of the country to send mostly financial aid to the needy.

Sherilyn went on sharing what she’s been learning so far: “Sa bawat lugar na aking nililisan, ang akala po nila, sila lang ang natutulungan. Pero sa totoo lang, lahat kami dito sa programa, baon din po namin ang napakaraming magagandang aral na napupulot din namin sa kanila (In every place I leave behind, the people there think they’re the only ones who got help. But actually, all of us here in the program, we take the many good lessons we pick up from them).

Namumulat kami. Nagkakaroon ng awareness na ’yung puso ng bawat Pilipino, talagang may kirot at talagang lalabas at lalabas po ang pusong Pilipino sa bawat episode na mapapanood (We are enlightened. We gain an awareness that in every Filipino’s heart, there’s pain. The Filipino heart will come out in every episode).”

She admitted being especially affected and touched by the program’s mission because she and her husband Chris Tan have just started recovering from a huge financial setback. “Na-swindle kami, 2019. Halos naubos talaga kung anong meron kami (We were swindled in 2019. We lost almost everything we got). After that, pandemic. So, humiram ka ng pera. Lumaki ang interes. Nag-take advantage ang ibang nagpahiram sa ’yo. Dumoble, halos tumriple kung magkano ang nawala sa amin (We borrowed money. The interest increased. Some of our lenders took advantage of our situation. The amount we had lost doubled, even tripled).”

Looking back now, Sherilyn said, “You could only do it on the lesson, kung anong nangyari sa inyo as a family, paano kayo mas nabuo, paano kayo naging mas matatag. At saka kung ano ang plano namin, kung paano maso-solve ito, hindi kami, e! Si God talaga (On what happened to you as a family, how you became more united, stronger. And whatever our plan is, how it will be solved, it’s not us. It’s really God).”

The TV host, who’s also an actress, also shared how she’s gained more empathy and compassion, making her forget her own struggles in life and just focus on how to help the people she visits in line with her work on the show. She then brings home the lessons she’s learned to impart to her three children: Ryle, 25; Quirsten, 21; and Eia, 12.

Sherilyn noted that the people she’s interviewed on the field never lose hope and gratitude “no matter how hard life is,” explaining, “Mahirap humingi ng tulong. Naranasan ko na ’yan. Pero ang maganda dito, humingi sila ng tulong, hindi sila hihindian. Ang sarap sa pakiramdam (It’s hard to ask for help. I experienced that. But the good thing here is, people asked for help and they were not turned down. It feels good).”

Si Manoy ang Ninong Ko airs every Sunday at 7 a.m., just after the online Mass, on GMA.