Host Tara Tricia Merced-Bontol loves making beautiful memories
By Deneb Batucan
THE microphone is her weapon; her power is her voice. Be it be singing or hosting, Tara Tricia Merced-Bontol keeps her cool when onstage or in front of the camera. Confidence, to her, is second nature with her chosen field. Yet she relishes every moment, taking in the energy of her audience and giving her utmost best in every event.
Tara started her hosting stint in college, where she studied mass communication major in corporate communication in St. Theresa’s College. She used to host various events from general assemblies to variety shows.
It was in 2012 that she did hosting professionally with the help of her friend and mentor, Bruce Cortes Bollozos. Known for her beautiful voice — singing or speaking — she has sang various company jingles and hosted many events both private and corporate.
Tara loves being a host because she gets to help make a beautiful memory. “I get to be part of something beautiful in a person or people’s lives, like in hosting weddings or birthdays, or be part of something grand in a company’s milestone. I get to make an impact even in a little way,” she said.
What makes Tara love her hosting job more is that she could busy herself with other things other than work. “Practically, it’s a job that allows you to do more of what you love, especially now that I am a wife and my husband and our home is my priority. But then at the same time, I get to earn and learn. Hosting allows me to work, be with my family and do ministry in church. A work-life balance,” she shared.
But sometimes, like in any other job, it gets challenging. From cancelled bookings to filling in dead air to little to no talent fee, Tara said it sometimes rattles her. In the end, she still gives it her absolute best. “At the end of the day, it’s still a blessing and so I am grateful,” she said.
As a host, Tara feeds her energy to her audience who then gives back the same enthusiasm with her. Part of an event’s success is to have a happy and engaging crowd and Tara makes sure that she helps in giving her audience a happy memory.
Today, Tara is on the verge of making a milestone in her hosting career as she delves into the world of TV hosting. She is part of the roster of hosts of the newly revamped regional TV show, Top Pick: Business + Lifestyle + Technology.
Top Pick is has a quad media platform that entails it airs in both TV and radio and will also appear in print and on the internet. It basically uses all the forces of media to deliver the crème of the crop in terms of business, lifestyle and technology.
Tara is the main host for the TV format of Top Pick and will feature mostly lifestyle segments. She’s beyond excited for this big break but nervous also since it’s different from live hosting.
“The difference between TV and live hosting is just like theatre acting and film acting. In live hosting, you have to be extra cautious with everything you say, because unlike in TV hosting, you can redo taping if you mess up a little bit unless it’s live. But the same principle applies really. You have to be a responsible communicator,” Tara said.
Aside from her new hosting stint, Tara recently had a major change in her life. She married her longtime boyfriend, Dr. Raymond Reel Bontol, last April. “Being a wife and a homemaker is such an honorable thing that no one should belittle,” she said. “As newlyweds, it’s been a roller-coaster ride — a lot of emotions. It’s definitely an unexplainable, wonderful journey. I feel very blessed to be with somebody who supports me 101 percent!”
Tara is at the pinnacle of her life now. She is doing all the things she wants — hosting, singing, worship leading in Citi Church and being an awesome wife. She wishes to be an even more awesome mom in the future and to travel more. But, as she notes, she’ll go wherever God leads her.
“Success is relative. I really don’t need to be the richest, most famous, most accomplished or have the highest rank. For as long as I live God’s purpose in my life, I am the happiest and most successful,” she said.
Photos: Alfred Gregory E. Bartolome
HMUA and Styling: Ferdinand Moncada
Locale: Sky Park, SM Seaside City