"Ito 'yong show na nandoon na 'yon, matagal na. Ever since bata pa lang ako, pinapanood ko na 'yong Ripley's Believe or Not. Ngayon na ako ay may chance na mag-host, siyempre very excited ako," says Chris Tiu about his new show Ripley's Believe It or Not.

Photo: Noel Orsal


Chris Tiu is one of the hoop heartthrobs in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP). He is currently the team captain of the Ateneo Blue Eagles. But his stardom does not only revolve inside the basketball court since he decided to join show business.


Chris started to get more fans when he co-hosted with Pambansang Kamao Manny Pacquiao in GMA-7's Saturday program called Pinoy Records. Now, as he gets more popular, Chris is given a show of his own in the primetime block of GMA Network. He will be hosting Ripley's Believe It or Not every Monday as part of "Bilib Ka Ba Nights" in the Kapuso network; the other two programs are World Records to be hosted by Paolo Contis and Masquerade featuring the tandem of Ariel & Maverick.


During the press conference of "Bilib Ka Ba Nights" yesterday, August 12, at the Mandarin Oriental Suites, Gateway Mall in Quezon City, Chris said that he's more excited than nervous about hosting Ripley's Believe It or Not alone.


He explained, "Siyempre 'yong mga experience ko sa pagte-tape sa Pinoy Records... Napansin n'yo naman siguro na si Manny, usually [nasa] abroad nagte-training. So, madalas ako nagte-taping mag-isa. Medyo nakuha ko na rin 'yong flow ng pagho-host. Enjoy din ako and excited din ako, siyempre bagong concept 'to lahat."


In the taping of the first two episodes of the said program, Chris said that he is still adjusting to his new job. "Nakakapagod kasi siyempre yung spiels mahahaba, malalalim na Tagalog. So, medyo nag-a-adjust ako pero enjoy naman."


The 23-year-old basketball star admitted that he feels pressured since this would be his first solo show. "Siyempre mayroon din kasi gusto natin na maging successful yung show. But, for me, importante na masaya ako sa ginagawa ko, masaya yung mga nakakatrabaho ko," said Chris.


BUSIER SCHEDULE. Now that he has another show, Chris's schedule has become busier. Aside from basketball training, he also has to allot some of his time for studies. He is currently on his fifth year at the Ateneo de Manila University. He's supposed to take a course in management training in 2007 but he decided to take his second major, math in finance, minor in Chinese.


How does he manage his time for work, studies, and basketball training?


"Ever since naman, e, priority ko na ang pag-aaral," replied Chris. "Siyempre, ngayong UAAP season, gusto ko rin namang manalo ng championship para sa Ateneo."


Is it true that he took a second major for him to be able to play in the UAAP?


"That's one of the reasons," Chris agreed. "But I really got into finance later on when I was in third year already. I was exposed to the finance industry and I also wanted to become an investment banker initially. I wanted to know more about the field that's why I took the course related to that. At the same time, I get to play basketball."


Although he finds a way to attend to all these activities, Chris admitted that sometimes he also has to sacrifice his time for his family and friends. "Nabawasan na 'yon kasi 'yong time ko ngayon, talagang ibinibigay ko para sa basketball training. Kasi, in a day, siguro mga four to five hours kami nagte-training, siguro every day 'yon. And then, kapag minsan walang training naman, taping naman ako sa Pinoy Records and may Ripley's na rin."


However, this does not worry Chris because he knows that people, especially his parents, understand him. "Naiintindihan naman nila 'yon. Very supportive sila sa lahat ng pinapasukan ko—sa basketball, sa media—very supportive naman sila."


COMMUNITY SERVICE. If studies, basketball, and show business are not enough, Chris is also serving his constituents in Makati as barangay councilor.


"For me, that's a chance for me to really give back sa mga opportunities and blessings na ibinibigay sa akin. So, service talaga siya para sa mga constituents namin doon sa Makati."


Unknown to many, Chris started being a public servant in Sangguniang Kabataan. He used to be the SK Chairman in their community. "Dati talaga, SK [Sangguniang Kabataan, chairman] ako for about five years. Very fulfilling ang trabaho ko doon."


The varsity player-TV host said that he really wanted to help people so he joined the politics. "Actually, I wanna say it's not tabaho, e. I mean, 'yong position na 'yon, suwerte na ako. I'd like to be in that position na nakakatulong sa ibang tao. Ngayon na kagawad na ako, ako ang in-charge sa education and culture community. So, ganun din—paggawa ng mga projects, pagbibigay ng lingkod sa bayan."


However, when asked if he sees himself leading the entire nation someday, Chris answered, "I don't know, it's hard to say now. But I think I'll get into business more than politics."


And like politics, Chris has no plan to shift into acting from hosting. "Parang hindi ko lang makita ang sarili ko na nag-a-act. Hosting na lang. It's just not my thing talaga. Hosting na lang at saka basketball."