Monica

When did you start your radio career?

I’ll never forget the date because it was the birthday of one of my best friends, who also happened to kickstart her radio career in 101.9 Radio Romance on the same day as our P.A. — June 16, 1989. Yup, been in radio for most of my living years thus far.

How did you get into radio?

I wanted to be a flight attendant for Cathay Pacific fresh outta college, but a month before I was supposed to fly to the FA Hong Kong residency, the company physician serendipitously detected a mild heart murmur during a routine medical check up, forcing me to make a detour from the airline to the broadcasting industry. No regrets.

How was your first boardwork?

Simultaneously nerve-wracking and exciting! I couldn’t even get up to go to the restroom within my 4-hour boardwork! The memory is a bit hazy to me, but I’m sure I made a bajillion mistakes on the air. Yet, I remember that it was one of the most blissful times of my life, long before realizing that radio is gonna be a lifetime passion of mine. Suddenly, on that fateful day, my life had a purpose.

Any memorable thing happened in your rookie year as a jock?

I began my radio career on the overnight shift at 9pm–1am, and I’ll never forget my dad driving me to work every night before I had a car. As the brightly-lit transmitter tower got bigger whenever Papa drove closer to the station, I remember always thinking in disbelief, “Butterflies in my tummy be damned, I’m gonna be heard across the country in a few beats, and Imma make a difference in people’s lives somehow.” I’ve always lived by that mindset in my radio career ever since, except now it’s reaching people on a global scale. So grateful.

Did you have the full support of your family when you started out?

Not at all. I even had more support with my erstwhile modeling career before I became serious about broadcasting. I was heartbroken when my Mama — whose approval I needed the most — sat me down for “The Talk” about how I’m wasting my life not earning enough in radio. A 12-hour shoot for a Nivea soap ad earned more than a month’s pay in radio, after all. But, knowing how passionate I am about making a difference in my own li’l way by helping make people happy no matter the paycheck, I’m pretty sure she now approves from the great beyond.

When you’re not on air, what kind of music do you listen to?

It changes, really. I listen to almost everything and anything, from Japanese jazz fusion, which I got from my mom; to the classics like Sinatra and The Temptations, which were inspired by my dad. My folks’ musical tastes were blissfully eclectic, and I am blessed to have grown up with all kinds of music at home. I also love checking out TV and movie music today, which keeps me current. Justin Timberlake will always be a fave though.