Body Talk with Toby Tiangco

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - February 24, 2006 - 12:00am
With his macho good looks, he could be an action star. So if he were not (a two-termer) mayor of Navotas City today, would Toby Tiangco venture into showbiz?

"I would be a businessman, involved in our family businesses including fishing," said Toby, 38, an Ateneo Business Management graduate (Batch 1989) whose dad is a second cousin of Mel Tiangco, his only showbiz "connection."

He’s the only one from the Tiangco clan who has gone into politics. Asked what’s the hardest part of being mayor of the most densely-populated town in the country (with a population of 250,000 over a land area of 10-square-kilometers) which doesn’t have a single moviehouse (the old one, now gone, was owned by the Blas family of LEA Productions), Toby smiled, "Trying to please everybody. Everybody in the family is a businessman. My family frowned on my entering politics because they said politics is dirty. But it all depends on whether or not you allow yourself to be drawn into the dirt. What counts is the service you render to the people."

Toby is married to Michelle Romualdez Yap (a Hotel and Restaurant Management graduate from UP), herself a looker, with whom he has a son, Tommy, nine.

A health freak, Toby stands 5’10", weighs 168 lbs., has a 31-inch waistline, and wears medium-sized (body-fit) shirt and size 10 shoes.

Do you really have to please as many people as possible?

"As much as possible. It’s hard, of course. But what’s important is that what that majority of your constituents approves of what you’re doing."

Not all mayors are as fit or as health-conscious as you are. What sort of diet do you follow?

"When I was young, I ate anything and everything. Lahat ng bawal kinakain ko – lechon and everything. When I reached 30, I decided to change my eating habits. Now, I avoid fatty food. I take six small meals every day. My meals are prepared by the week, so nagbabaon ako when I go to my office."

What vitamins and/or supplements do you take?

"Vitamin C and multi-vitamins."

How much water do you take per day?

"More than 10 glasses. I don’t take soft drinks, iced-tea or coffee. I’m a water person."

What workout do you do?

"I work out five times a week, a maximum of one hour and a half each time. Thrice a week I do cardio exercises. I go to any of three gyms, whichever is nearer at workout time – Fit World (in Navotas), Slimmers of which I’m a lifetime member and on weekends the Manila Polo Club; I bring along my son to play tennis."

How much sleep do you get per night?

"At least eight hours. If I get less than that, I get a headache. I’m usually in bed by 10 p.m. and up at 6 a.m."

Do you need any sleep aid?

"No. I can sleep easily; I can sleep anywhere. As soon as my head hits the pillow, I doze off."

What’s the last thing that you do before you go to sleep?

"I pray."

And the first thing that you do when you wake up?

"I try to make it a habit to pray as soon as I wake up but I always feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Then, I check my cellphone for ‘missed’ calls."

Aside from working out, how do you cope with stress?

"I talk to my son; I play with him. We do the PlayStation together. In fact, just watching what my son is doing relieves me of stress."

Do you watch movies?

"I’m not fond of movies. Nakakatulog ako! I watch movies only when I accompany my son."

And reading?

"I don’t have time to read books. I read a book only when it’s needed."

What was the last book that you read?

by Rudy Guliani (former mayor of New York City)."

What’s your favorite city?

"Navotas is not a city but it’s my favorite place. There’s so much to do and it’s a challenge to me. I thrive in work; I’m a workaholic. Yes, my favorite city is, I guess, Hong Kong because it’s only two hours away so it’s very convenient. You can find everything there; it’s a nice place for a short vacation."

Any favorite hideaway?

"None. Maybe our bedroom."

How’s your nightlife?

"Zero. I’ve been transformed from a party-goer to a patay-goer. You know how a mayor is...He has to attend wakes. That has been my routine almost every night."

Being health-conscious, you are clean-living, naturally.

"Oh yes, I am."

Do you smoke?

"No, I don’t."

Do you drink?

"Seldom. If ever, social-drinking lang. Just a little red wine."

How do you divide your time between your work and your family?

"I make it a point not to accept any invitation on Saturdays and Sundays, except if I have to be a ninong at a wedding or a baptism. Otherwise, I’m with my family all the time."

How do you spend time with your family?

"I usually accompany my son to whatever sports he’s interested in. Or I accompany him to watch a movie of his choice."

Do you dress up according to your position?

"Not necessarily. I’m more comfortable in casuals. At home, I’m usually in shorts and sneakers. But from Mondays to Fridays, I’m in polo barong because I have to meet with a lot of people. At the municipal hall, I wear whatever is the uniform of the employees."

How often do you see your doctor?

"I have an executive check-up once a year. I’m mildly asthmatic. When I feel an impending asthma attack, I run to my doctor. I go to my doctor for small things."

Are you hypochondriac?

"In a way. If I feel something, no matter how mild, I consult my doctor."

Are you the type who takes a medicine for the mildest symptom?

"No, I’m not. That’s why I consult my doctor right away so I won’t be taking any medicine."

Is your blood pressure okay?

"Yes, it is."

What about your blood sugar?

"It’s okay. But I have a problem with my cholesterol, medyo borderline. That’s why I’m careful with what I eat."

How often do you see your dentist?

"Twice a year; every six months."

And your dermatologist?

"Regularly. I go to Dr. Jonathan Yu, son of Dr. Nellie Yu (Sister of Seiko Films boss Robbie Tan; one of the best dermatologists in the country. – RFL). Dr. Nellie used to be my dermatologist when I was a kid."

What part of your body is your favorite?

"My triceps; back of my arms."

What part of your body is most vulnerable?

"My head. Under tension or when I lack sleep, my head aches."

And what part of your body do you think needs some improvement?

"My abs."

Being married to a beautiful woman, do you still look at other women?

"I try not to, para walang tsismis."

But what part of a woman’s body do you "accidentally" look at first?

"The eyes."

Name three women you think have nice bodies.

"My wife who is also health-conscious and who goes to the gym five times a week. Angelina Jolie. Lucy Liu."

And three men...

"Brad Pitt. Edu Manzano. And Freddie Webb. That’s my goal: To have a Freddie Webb body when I reach his age."

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph)

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