Kuya Kim Atienza on experiencing an ‘empty nest’ with wife Feli

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
Kuya Kim Atienza on experiencing an �empty nest� with wife Feli
Kuya Kim Atienza on keeping his marriage strong with wife Felicia ‘Feli’ Atienza: ‘Every day, I still court her.
STAR / File

This 2024, one of Kuya Kim Atienza’s goals is to spend more quality time with his family, especially since he and his wife, Felicia “Feli” Atienza, are going to experience an “empty nest” as their youngest of three children is also set to study abroad for college.

“Mag-e-empty nest na kami ni misis. My kids are going to be abroad already and I’d like to spend a lot of time with my wife and our dogs, and do a lot of traveling in our free time,” the Kapuso TV personality told The STAR in a recent interview.

During their most recent trip to Antarctica on a Nat Geo cruise.

His eldest son Jose, 21, is studying at Tufts University in Boston. “He’s graduating (with honors), mana sa nanay, he’s taking finance,” the proud dad further shared with this paper.

“Jose is probably the youngest Filipino to fly solo at 16. And then he got his license at 17. Not for anything, he just loves airplanes, not for the career, he just likes to fly planes. But his career is finance. Nagtatrabaho na siya ngayon. During his internship, he was hired by his company. He was told, ‘When you graduate next year, we want you to work for us…’”

His second child Eliana is studying at the Ivy League school, University of Pennsylvania. “I have a daughter at UPenn, who turned out to be an activist, nagmana sa akin, kung paano ako sa UP ganun din siya sa UPenn, lagi may pinaglalaban,” he said of his daughter, who’s passionate about causes related to sustainability, fossil free, and the environment.

Their youngest is Emmanuelle who’s also headed for abroad. But while their Manila home will become an empty nest, “it will be a house filled with love” and their many dogs, “and dito na kami tatanda.”

The couple with their rescued dogs.

When asked how they are preparing for or dealing with this new phase in their relationship, Kuya Kim, who’s been married to Feli for about 22 years now, admitted, “Now is the time to work on the relationship,” readily acknowledging that this period is different from what they’ve been used to at home.

“So, I’m really focused and she’s really focused on making the marriage work and bringing us closer together, kasi kami nalang.”

Speaking more about making the marriage strong, he said, “I always work on it. I always support my wife. I mean, every day nililigawan ko yan.”

Kuya Kim dating his wife Feli back in 2000.

Like being nice and sweet to her even through the little gestures, such as making coffee every morning and enjoying it together every day. They also make sure to have dinner together every night. They also love to travel together and entertain friends together — basically doing things together as a couple.

“Kasi kung hindi mo kasundo ang misis mo, tapos empty nest kayo, hiwalay.”

He added, “It’s a daily choice to make it work.”

Meanwhile, Kuya Kim was asked what his daily routine is like.

He shared, “I’d wake around 5:30 to 6 in the morning and have coffee with Feli, it’s a ritual. Every day, we have coffee together before the day starts, that’s about an hour. Around 9 o’clock, I leave the house or sometimes, my crew for ‘24 Oras’ comes and I take a couple of spiels for my segment here in my house, kasi house ko parang forest. Sometimes, they shoot me on top of a tree, sometimes, there’s bursting water, but dito lang lahat sa bahay yun.

“After spiels for ‘24 Oras,’ I get to my gym, I do crossfit around 11 o’clock, then I’m done by lunch. I do other things until 3 o’clock and around 3:30, I head to GMA and prepare for ‘Dapat Alam Mo!’ (on GTV). After, I rest for about 30 minutes and then do ‘24 Oras.’”

For his daily pre-noontime program “TiktoClock,” it’s live on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and then they tape for the other days.

Kuya Kim continues to take care of his health after his health scare over a decade ago. “My stroke was in 2010, and my paralysis was in 2013. It was also in 2013 when I became a born-again Christian.”

“My health is good,” he said. “I still get to work out (despite my schedule), but I’ve stopped doing triathlons and long-distance races because I’m already 57. Based on all the studies, at this age, one needs to build strength and muscle. So I do cross fit, four to five times a week.”

He will also be in his third year as a Kapuso this 2024.

“I’m just so thankful at this late stage in my life — I’m already 57 — and it’s my 18th year on television, to be given a second wind in my career. Normally kasi after 17 years, you slow down but ito parang na turbo boost yung career ko… I’ve been blessed with a newfound passion and new breaks because of my Kapuso family. I’m really thankful to God for that. They put so much trust in me.”

Looking back, he said, “Itong move namin sa GMA, feel na feel namin yung kamay ni Lord.”

“This transfer was definitely God’s will. It started with an opening and one thing led to another and then (my manager) Noel Ferrer, we didn’t know, is the college ka-barkada of Annette (Gozon-Valdes, GMA senior vice president) so the negotiations were so ‘friend to friend,’ no playing games, everything bottom line.

“The negotiations were done in a couple of hours and the handshake was done in one day. The permissions were asked within three days and within two weeks I needed to transfer.”

Kuya Kim is currently part of three shows, covering entertainment, news and public affairs, and we wouldn’t be surprised if he would be offered to take on another one.

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