MULTI-talented Kapuso broadcast journalist Mariz Umali has officially joined the country’s longest running morning show Unang Hirit (UH).
The newest UH barkada shares her excitement in joining the award-winning Kapuso morning show. “Noong una, hindi ako makapaniwala. Hindi ko rin talaga naisip na mapupunta ako dito kasi ‘yung mundo ko puro balita lang – kaya hindi ko na-imagine na makukuha ako rito. Pero noong sinabi sa akin ng mga boss na magiging part na ako ng Unang Hirit barkada, I am very grateful kasi siyempre ang hosts and anchors ng UH ay matagal ko nang mga kaibigan – and this time makakasama ko na sila sa isang programa kaya ang saya lang talaga,” Mariz said.
Mariz has been a Kapuso for 17 years already, joining GMA Network right after getting her BA Broadcast Communication degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman. She anchored and hosted several GMA and GMA News TV shows and specials such as Balitanghali Weekend, Pamana: Saving Our Heritage, Brigada, News TV Live, Kape at Balita, Born to be Wild, and iWitness, among others.
She was recently named as Best Female Field Reporter at the 2019 Gawad Tanglaw. Throughout her career, her most memorable coverage was the Double Canonization of St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII in Vatican. Mariz is a veteran of hard news reporting, having been stationed to the Malacanang and PNP beats.
“I love that I am able to help other people through the stories that we do, na kahit hindi ako personal na makapagbigay ng tulong sa kanila, nailalapit ko sila sa agencies na makakatulong sa kanila. In a sense, feeling ko calling din ito or vocation. I’ve been doing this for the past 17 years since pagka-graduate ko,” explained Mariz.
In Unang Hirit, the Kapuso viewers will also get to see a different side of Mariz, far from the serious reporter or anchor they see when she delivers the news.
“Dito, talagang mas lalabas ang tunay na personality ko kasi ang hindi alam ng mga manunuod natin ay sa kabila ng seryosong mukha ko sa pagbabalita ay talagang bungisngis ako. Ako ang taga-tawa sa mga joke ng mga tao—kahit corny tinatawanan ko. And hindi rin nila alam na sobrang mahilig akong kumanta at sumayaw,” Mariz shared.
Though it will be a big change from her field reporting life, Mariz is more than ready and looking forward to starting her weekdays with the UH barkada.
“May adjustment kasi kailangan kong gumising before 4 a.m. para maaga ako sa UH. But I look forward to starting my day with the UH barkada, and of course, our viewers – at makapaghatid ng balita sa kanila, umaga pa lang,” she said.
When she’s not in the field looking for news, Mariz is actively serving the church at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Shrine. She also loves to go scuba diving, watching movies, traveling, and singing with her husband and GMA co-broadcast journalist Raffy Tima.
Catch Mariz Umali in Unang Hirit together with the rest of the UH barkada—Arnold Clavio, Rhea Santos, Ivan Mayrina, Susan Enriquez, Connie Sison, Suzi Abrera, Lyn Ching-Pascual, Lhar Santiago, Love Añover, and Luane Dy, as well as Nathaniel “Mang Tani” Cruz, Atty. Gaby Concepcion, and Mareng Winnie Monsod—from Monday to Friday, 4:55 a.m., on GMA-7.