A Toast to Charo

Toast delivered by retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban
during a testimonial dinner held on June 14, 2008 at Hotel InterContinental Manila in honor of the newly appointed President of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Network, Ms Charo Santos Concio

To say that Charo is beautiful is to say the truth. But not the whole truth. Because her beauty does not come merely from the contours of her face or the sparkle of her eyes or the sweetness of her smile or the melody of her voice. It comes from the deepest recesses of her being, shining forth, glowing, radiating, penetrating and captivating. I do not merely behold her, I bathe in the glow of her sunshine; I drink of her like sweet wine and then relish the stupor of my merry drunkenness.

To say that Charo is intelligent is to say the truth. But not the whole truth. Because mere intellectuality is barren, stale, unexciting, even boring. But Charo is riveting, tantalizing, enervating, uplifting. When she moves she projects, when she writes she persuades, when she whispers she entrals, when she speaks she convinces.

To say that Charo is the boss is say the truth. But not the whole truth. Because she does not merely command. She envisions, she inspires, she teaches, she leads. She does not merely do her job. She shows how it is done. She explains why it is done. She makes her people believe in themselves. She helps them overcome their puny limitations. She enables them to excel beyond themselves.

To say congratulations to Charo because she is the first woman to head a major network whether here or elsewhere in this planet is to say the truth. But not the whole truth. Because she does not need human exhortations to achieve her vision and to accomplish her mission. Of human attributes, she has an abundance already. She has the passion, the determination and the erudition to reach her goal. What I wish for her today goes beyond what is humanly possible. What I wish for her is the Lord’s benediction and sanctification. With humans, some things may not be possible. But with God, nothing is impossible.

So Charo, my prayer for you today is eternal and immortal. Today, I do not merely say “Congratulations.” I say, “The Lord has chosen you because He loves you. All your dreams and all your hopes are always fulfilled because He is always with you, beside you, above you, within you, guiding you, blessing you, empowering you, sanctifying you, loving you, now and forever. Amen.”

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