Chris Tiu recounts happiest moments

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Chris Tiu took time out of his busy schedule to be among the guest panelists in the recent Asian Conference on the Family, wherein he and fellow youth “sharers” opened up on family experiences and why family ties are a sure source of happiness.

The 28-year-old multi-hyphenate (PBA cager/TV personality/entrepreneur and barangay kagawad in Urdaneta, Makati, etc.) recounted two happiest moments of his life and how family relations significantly figured in them at the youth forum titled iBelieve: How We Put Love and Find Joy in Our Families held at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in UN Ave., Manila.

“There are two happiest moments in my life. The first one was when we won the UAAP Championship in 2008 when I was still playing for the Ateneo, I was in my third year, and it was against our archrival De La Salle, so that made it even sweeter. That was a defining moment in my life,” he shared in the session moderated by inspirational author Bo Sanchez.

He further recalled, “The entire Ateneo community was ecstatic. We hadn’t won a championship in almost six years, I believe; it was a very sweet championship. Despite the adulation and the excitement of the entire community, I think what mattered to me most was my family was there when we won the championship… (My parents) supported me and my basketball development over the years, and were there for me.”

Chris said that his other happiest moment was marrying his long-time sweetheart, Clarisse, a former investment banker, in Canada. He shared: “Clarisse was my girlfriend for 12 years. We had a small and intimate wedding in September of last year, with about 100 guests, mostly family and our closest friends, and it was a very special moment and a day I would never forget.”

Offering a peek into his very private wife, he added that the qualities that he appreciates the most in her are her sincerity and loyalty. “I have to admit that even if we have been together for a total of 12 years, there were years when we weren’t doing very well and despite those moments, we were able to forgive each other and for the most part, she was able to forgive me (laughs). She was faithful and she trusted me, and we were able to work it out and finally got married. Right now, I think we’re at the happiest moment in our relationship and hopefully, it will stay that way.”

The TOYM (Ten Outstanding Young Men) 2013 awardee also paid tribute to his parents, particularly his mom for her faith. He said, “My mom is a religious person and her faith in God is unshakeable. Early on, when we were still young, she really tried to pass it on to us as well. When I was starting to learn basketball, when I was 10 years old, every Sunday morning we would have games in Alabang. She was always present and would drive me from our home in Makati to Alabang, and on the car, we would pray the rosary together, and we try to continue that practice, but we got older, we got busier…”

He continued, “It was just Mother’s Day recently and she sent me a text. She told me, ‘Don’t worry about getting me any gift for Mother’s Day, what I want as your gift to me, is to go to confession and to go to Sunday Mass.’ And every time, she celebrates her birthday, that’s what she says, don’t worry, don’t get me anything, just go to confession, go to Mass and pray for me. (And) her detachment from material things is just so amazing and it definitely inspires me. Being in an environment where there’s so much distractions and temptations, in the media and in the basketball community, the environment can be a little challenging but to have parents who guide me, I’m very thankful for that.”

He said he’s trying to give back, especially now that he’s beginning to build his own family. “As much as possible, I give my time for the family. When I was in college, I would enjoy so much the company of my friends, always partying at night, but as I got older, maybe (starting) three years back, and when I got married, I felt a shift. After a long day at work, I would just look forward to meals with the family.”

He added, “That’s one thing I respect so much about my parents, both of them, because when I was playing basketball at Ateneo, our practices would end at 8 or 9 in the evening and I would get home around 10. By the time I got home, obviously my parents were done with dinner. But no matter how sleepy they were, they would come down and join me on the dinner table, and would ask me how my day was.”

“I appreciate that. And now as I get older, and I guess more mature, I make it a point to spend my time with them, especially during the long holidays. Then, I also take out my younger siblings — there’s five of us in the family, the youngest one is in high school, and the second youngest one is in college — whenever I can, I try to bring them with me, watch a movie, or go abroad to bond and catch up.”

The four-day Asian Conference on the Family, which culminated with a Festival of Families at the University of Sto. Tomas, was hosted by the CBCP and attended by educators, youth, legislators, religious and lay people, among others. 

Aside from playing for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters team, Chris is also a World Vision and Habitat for Humanity ambassador. He can be seen on TV as host of Man vs. Beast and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! every Saturday on GMA 7.











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