TV host-athlete Chris Tiu usually spends Holy Week with his family.
“Nagpupunta kaming Tagaytay…we stay there for three, four days.”
“And that’s where we do all the services. Yung Visita Iglesia…Stations of the Cross, Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday Mass.”
But this year, he decided to take some time alone to do some reflection.
“I’ll be going on a retreat, a silent retreat for three days.”
“I’ll be going on my own with my… yung spiritual director ko 'tsaka yung priest who will be conducting the retreat… yung mga talks, silent prayers, services, benedictions.”
Chris belongs to a devout Catholic family. His mom, Lianne, is a member of Opus Dei. He was educated in Xavier and Ateneo.
He refused to disclose the retreat venue but clarified that it is within Metro Manila.
“Within the city, actually. But you will be isolated from the world. It’s just between you and God.”
“You’ll have reflection and prayer… which I think kailangan ko na rin.” He said with a grin.
“At least once a year, di ba? Matagal na akong hindi nakakapag-retreat,” he added.
Family vacation. Though it has been tradition to spend Holy Week with his family, Chris said they don’t mind him doing it differently this year as they are scheduled to leave for a vacation right after.
“After Holy Week. Dun ako babawi sa kanila ng bonding time,” he said.
“We’ll be on a family vacation somewhere in North America. But I won’t be joining them the entire time.
“Eh maraming trabaho dito, hahabol na lang ako.”
Chris hosts iBilib on GMA-7 and Toink! on TV5 and has other advocacies, not to mention a business (milk tea franchise, Happy Lemon) to attend to.
But being very close to his family, he takes every opportunity to spend time with them.
“It’s a long overdue family vacation. We weren’t able to take one this past December.
“Normally, we do it traditionally every December 25 or January 1, yung long weekend na yun. But this year hindi namin nagawa so babawi kami ngayong summer.”
His two youngest siblings just graduated, one from grade school and another from high school. So, this would be a good way to celebrate, he added.
Beach body. What are this athlete's secrets for a beach-ready body?
“No secrets but exercise and proper diet. Eating the right food and quantity,” Chris answered instantly.
“Siyempre, iwas ka sa masyadong maraming sweets o taba…unnecessary calories na hindi mo naman masusunog.”
“And, of course, kailangan mong mag-exercise. You gotta burn fat, you got to do some core exercises.”
Though he is in hiatus from basketball (his status as a member of the national team is still uncertain, as of late), he said he still finds time to work out.
He goes to the gym twice a week and plays some pick-up basketball game with his friends.
“Hindi talaga siya competitive… para lang pawisan 'tsaka para hindi ko makalimutan kung paano mag-basketball,” he smilingly said.
But he does admit that he misses playing competitive basketball.
Most memorable summer. Chris lights up when he talks about his most memorable summer experiences.
One was when he went cliff diving at Ariel’s Point in Boracay, about five years ago.
“I went with my friends. Of course, with the help of Discovery Shores we organized this day-picnic trip to another island.
“We took a bangka, we brought our food. Mga thirty-minute boat ride to another island.
“And then, it has a cliff, may point siya na may cliff. Tapos, dun kami na nag-talon-talon kami sa cliff,” he enthused.
“Then dun kami nag-picnic, barbecue…”
“It’s a bit commercialized now. At that time wala pang tao masyadong pumupunta dun, kami pa lang. Ngayon marami nang pumupunta dun,” he said.
Another experience was when he went to Las Vegas with his friends. That was the first time he went there to watch Manny Pacquiao in action. It was against Barrera then.
“At that time, I got to travel around Vegas… Nag-chopper pa kami para tingnan yung Grand Canyon. And then I took a side trip to Vancouver,” he added, to visit some friends.
Canada was another place he got to explore.
“We took a tour bus to Banff National Park in the Canadian rockies. Talagang, beautiful, beautiful view of the scenic mountains capped with snow, glaciers, frozen lakes.”
“Ang ganda, ang ganda! And you get to see deers and bears just strolling around.”
“Tapos sobrang lamig, mga -1, -2 tapos may hot spring dun. Hot spring, syempre, pampa-relax naman ng katawan. That was really one of the best summers.”
Best places to see abroad. For someone who has traveled a lot, what are the places he still wishes to see?
“I think somewhere sa South America…sa Brazil, Mexico… Just to, you know… see a different culture, a different place.
He adds South Africa, Alaska and Greece as some of his dream destinations. Plus Cho-saiko City in west China.
“There’s this beautiful city in China called Cho-saiko. They say there’s only one month in a year when the flowers really bloom… you can see all the colors exposed and all the flowers blooming talaga.”
“Napakaganda daw talaga. Parang artwork na dinrawing lang. The water is so clear, puwede mong inumin,” Chris related.