Her Mod Equilibrium
Host, mother, business consultant, and stylesetter Pia Guanio-Mago has been reinventing the meaning of multi-hyphenate as she takes on her various roles with determination, pliability, and a whole lot of faith
The TV-watching population of the early 2000s knew Pia Guanio as the first ever traffic angel, waking up viewers of the (now defunct) morning show Alas Singko Y Media with her personal brand of reporting (aboard a chopper, no less) that made talking about the traffic more than just talking about the traffic. A poster girl of women empowerment at the height of her career as a journalist, she voiced out her smart opinion on just about anything and everything—this was at a time when social media was non-existent and the internet was just in its infancy, so TV, radio, and print were the primary platforms and everyone there knew their stuff. Yet Pia, a broadcast journalism graduate from UP Diliman who also worked behind the scenes for top ABS-CBN Current Affairs shows and learning from Loren Legarda and Korina Sanchez, still stood out from the sea of strong, independent women of her batch.
Today, she remains to be headstrong and opinionated, but now channels her energy to a greater cause: Family life. Chatting with her post-shoot of her family's fashion editorial for The StyleList PH, it was crystal clear that this is a space she cherishes, doting on her husband and children surrounding her. Pia the fierce girl-about-town of the early millennium was nowhere in sight, and in her place is Pia the power wo-mom. I say wo-mom because while motherhood is a role she evidently plays gracefully, Pia remains multi-dimensional—she still gets to influence many as one of the regular hosts of the country's most iconic daily noontime show, through social media, and most recently, through a lifestyle show centered on homes and interiors. All these she juggles with being an intentional mother (she's a very hands-on mom, even engaging in many of daughter Scarlett's school's activities for parents), proving that you can strike a good balance between everything on your plate. Find out more about Pia's formula to being a modern-day class act of a wife/working mom/celebrity businesswoman and everything in between through this list:
Pia knows how and whom to ask help from. When her husband Steve is asked about what he admires most about Pia, he is quick to say that it's her spirituality. Pia shares that she seeks the Lord's wisdom and guidance for day-to-day living, devoting time to prayer and Bible reading. In terms of on fleek photo posing, though, she's got a special crew to coach her. "I work with millennials in my show and so I would ask them for help for posing tips!"
You could say Pia is a pioneering advocate of digital anything in Manila. Prior to being on TV, she was one of the editors of a Philippine publication that educated people about the internet, back when no one bothered to go on it. "Our articles would be about how it worked, what websites to check out because very few knew about it then—what a totally different era it was."
You can call her a "selfless" stylist—and a selfless homemaker. "I shop for my kids so much that I forget shopping for myself. Anyway, I'm on the show naman six days a week, that's practically everything I have to wear," she shares. But more than that, she opened up that her being a mom and wife take precedence over things for herself and that she really just wants to keep working on being better for her husband and kids.
When it comes to style, classy and sophisticated are Pia's keywords. "Before I used to be known wearing short skirts and tank tops, now [my style is] classier and more sophisticated. I wanna be casual, still, so I opt for athleisure… buti na lang uso na 'yung sneakers ngayon because I can't imagine myself in heels—not with a 30-pound baby in tow," she adds with a laugh.
Bashers don't get to her. "I have a 'no patol' rule—no matter what bashing I get or whatever, everything takes care of themselves so I just let them be kasi some of them wanna ruin your day lang. You don’t know their identity, they're not worth your response. That's part of it, ‘cause you’re putting yourself out there so you have to learn to take the good with the bad."
She may be on TV six days a week, but she makes sure to preserve majority of her time for her private life. "I've been learning to cook and studying for how the family can eat healthier, I've been helping out with the family businesses—you could say I'm an ad hoc member of [Steve's family's] businesses, their transport business. That keeps me busy also, and before you know it, Brooklyn's gonna start school na rin; Scarlett's school also encourages parents to be more involved, plus I also want to continue being involved in kids' church, teach once a month."