âI am Totoy Tigas at homeâ
‘I am Totoy Tigas at home’
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - September 4, 2020 - 12:00am

First, a disclaimer.

“No,” stressed Joel Reyes Zobel, the macho Kapuso TV host, “I don’t belong to the famous Zobel clan. I am a fake Zobel.”

That’s about the only thing “fake” about Joel who, like his Radyo na, TV Pa co-hosts (Mike Enriquez, Arnold Clavio and Ali Sotto), frowns on fake news related to them by unreliable sources (iwas kuryente, as they say). Besides that, he strictly toes the network’s “walang kinikilingan, walang pino-protektahan” guideline.

Like most of his Kapuso colleagues, Joel has been a media frontliner since the March lockdown. Asked about observing the protocols, Joel said, “Yes, definitely! We cover the news, so we know the risks involved. And, of course, we expose ourselves to the very same risks because part of our job is to be at the forefront of things.”

He added, “Mahigpit si misis (Badez). She makes me wear so many things because we can’t wear basic PPE like the mask and face shield while on-cam. As early as February nung pumutok na ang news on COVID-19, she already ordered an air purifier necklace from Taiwan, and air purifier clips from Japan. I am to wear those when I’m at work and when I run some errands. Meron din akong baon na Sterillium sprayer for the hands. Niloloko nga ako nina Igan and Ali, ang dami ko raw anting-anting laban sa COVID. But eventually, sila rin bumili na. So I had the last laugh.”

He’s just as careful, and even more so at home.

“Our unica hija, Yizzy, is only two-and-a-half years old, so we are really strict when it comes to anti-COVID measures. Bawal ako pumasok ng bahay kapag galing ako sa labas, nang hindi ako naliligo sa garahe. Ma-che-checkpoint ako ni kumander.

“It’s quite taxing actually, kailangan maligo, magmumog ng strong mouthwash, at magpalit ng lahat ng suot mo, bago ka makapasok ng bahay. Pati mga gadget, small items, niyu-UV pa. Kaya we really plan our errands kasi once nasa loob na kami ng bahay, tatamarin na talaga kami lumabas sa dami ng ritual na kailangan gawin.”

The fear doesn’t go away even after he leaves the studio. “Yes, kasi nandoon yung fear mo na yung binabalita mo ay maaaring dumapo sa mga mahal mo sa buhay. Unfortunately it did, and I just recently lost my beloved father-in-law to COVID. He was getting well because we had very good doctors and we made sure he received all the best treatments, but his heart eventually gave up kasi ganun katindi sumira ng organs ang COVID. Napaka-traydor nyang sakit, and mind you, it’s a very expensive illness, too.”

Like everybody else, Joel worries all the more about his family.

“Of course. I worry about my family, my work, our future. Nagtatanong din ako gaya ng kailan ba ito matatapos, kailan ba magkakabakuna, kailan mababalik sa normal ang buhay. Actually I believe, these are times that your faith is going to be tested. So I just cling on to it. Dasal. Yan ang pinaka-sandata ko ngayon.”

Okay, on to some Body Talk.

An Aquarius (Feb. 18, 1968), Joel stands 6’2”; weighs 215 lbs.; and wears XL shirt and briefs and size-12 shoes.

What kind of diet do you follow?

“I do intermittent fasting. I don’t eat breakfast. Ang kain ko ay from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. I want to eat everything kaya ako nag-e-exercise. I enjoy cooking and eating. Totoy Tigas ako sa bahay. Tiga-luto, tiga-grocery, tiga-paligo ng baby. Hahahaha!!!”

How much water do you drink per day?

“I drink alkaline water (we have the Kangen) and I try to drink eight glasses a day. No soda but I love coffee.”

Vitamins/supplements you are taking?

“My wife takes good care of me. We don’t miss out on anti-COVID supplements (Vit. C with Zinc, Glutathione, Probiotics, etc.). We take loads of those every day.”

How much sleep do you get per night?

“No more than eight hours. We go along with my daughter’s sleeping habits. Maswerte nang maka five hours na diretsong tulog ako on a working day.”

What’s your daily routine?

“Everyday routine (Mondays to  Fridays), wake up at 4:30 a.m. Coffee, then 15-minute run on the treadmill and then 30 minutes of light to heavy exercise before dressing up and going to work and doing the news. After board work, I head straight home and eat lunch with my wife and daughter.”

Favorite sleepwear?

“Boxers and an old shirt.”

Last thing that you do before going to sleep?

“We pray and then I kiss my wife and daughter good night.”

First thing to do as soon as you wake up?

“Check the phone for messages and alerts, news.”

How do you deal with stress?

“The ever reliable Netflix. Home massage. I bought a massage chair (one year to pay via credit card, hahaha!!!). Minsan nakakapag-golf din.”

Favorite hideaway?

“The beach. We have a small condo near the beach na hindi naman namin mapuntahan because of the community quarantine.”

One thing you can’t do without?

“My phone. And one person I can’t do without is my wife. She really takes good care of me.”

What’s inside your bag that you carry every day?

“I have a backpack that has a small toiletries bag where I have my  throat spray, sterilium/alcohol, etc. I also usually bring an IPAD, extra face mask, pair of shades, actually, pairs of shades that I now seldom use because I wear a face shield whenever I go out. Tinatamad na lang akong mag-unpack. Hehehehe!!!”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com.)

JOEL REYES ZOBEL
Philstar
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