Winning regional acclaim with her performance in her maiden film project, Mike de Leon’s Itim
, as Best Actress in the 1977 Asian Film Festival.
But as she appeared in a few more noteworthy films with critical acclaim, such as Romy Suzara’s Pag-Ibig na Walang Dangal,
Lino Brocka’s Kontrobersiyal
and Gumapang Ka Sa Lusak
and Elwood Perez’s Ms Dolora X
, Charo became more passionate in working behind the camera in producing such exceptional classics as Ishmael Bernal’s Himala
and Peque Gallaga’s Oro Plata Mata
. She found her calling in crafting instead of starring in films for such studios as Experimental Cinema of the Philippines, Vanguard Films, Vision Films and eventually Regal Films.
And, ABS-CBN took notice. We all loved what Charo was doing for film. Can she bring her magic onto TV as well? In 1987, while most had welcomed her shift, not a few frowned at her joining ABS-CBN as a production consultant. She had only earned her stripes as a film producer, how can she do the same with TV. In fact, people thought she was only a pretty face, nothing more.
But did that discourage her? Not at all. In fact, she wanted those naysayers to bring it on to prove them wrong!
And she first did it with the drama anthology for the ages. Maalaala Mo Kaya
premiered in 1991 with Charo reading real and inspirational tales of difficulty and deliverance. While reading stories from letter senders is nothing new to the drama anthology genre, Charo made sure that impeccable cinematic elements are weaved to TV production and come up with breathtaking, compelling stories to not only watch but also experience.
Especially with her style of narration being most recognizable to any Filipino televiewer, Charo has defined and depicted Pinoy drama to its most outstanding form.
And comedy, too. When in 1992, after being named as concurrent ABS-CBN Head of Programming and Production, Charo then made an “unpopular” decision then to even rev up the network’s ratings. Get a supposed has-been and controversial philanderer to star in ABS-CBN’s centerpiece program.
“Dolphy is Dolphy,” Charo said, bequeathing her unmistakable faith and confidence to the country’s Comedy King (and My Juan en Only
co-star) and pinning her career hopes on his comeback.
And, from its premiere during the Christmas month that year, Home Along Da Riles
became the Philippines’ most watched show, catapulting Dolphy anew as the entertainment legend and proving Charo’s production mantra of driven and passionate belief of what’s best even to the point of extreme risk.
With the Comedy King and ABS-CBN chairman Gabby Lopez when the network’s Studio 1 was renamed Dolphy Theater.