Chris Tiu on evolving parenting styles in the midst of a pandemic
Although time seems to be a foreign concept with all that is happening in the world right now, one can’t just simply forget about the impending day meant to celebrate fathers and father figures alike every third Sunday of June. As the world continues its battle against the on-going Coronavirus pandemic and recurring social injustices, people also learn to gradually get a hang of the “new normal” not only by means of celebrating festivities in quarantine but heftier adjustments such as parenting in the midst of the most disruptive decade in history.
For Kapuso TV personality and iBILIB host Chris Tiu who is currently in a work from home set-up with his wife of six years, Clarisse Ong, parenting a la quarantine has certainly altered some conventional practices of raising a child.
“My wife and I have become even more hands-on in our parenting style, from partially home schooling them, to doing domestic chores together, more time playing together and just enjoying each other’s company. We are also able to discipline them more on the spot now since we’re always home during ECQ. They’ve also been doing online classes.”
Before diapers and milk bottles, Chris used to shoot three pointers and outmuscle towering opponents in court as a professional basketball player. Following his retirement from basketball early last year, the host now juggles his time with golf, music, start-up businesses, television career, as the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) brand ambassador and the uncharted territory of fatherhood.
Chris shared that although quarantine has given him ample time to rekindle with some of his old hobbies and spend more time with his two daughters, Amanda Claire and Mari Diana, dealing with the abrupt paradigm shift for businesses caused by the pandemic still takes up most of his time.
“I was able to play the piano a little bit more often. But in reality, it’s been quite busy despite being at home. We’re constantly thinking and meeting with our teams on making adjustments and adapting to this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. For one, when my wife was on a 14-day quarantine in the room, I learned the skill of babysitting two toddlers 24/7. And it was exhausting!”
Since 2012, Chris has been the host of GMA Network’s award-winning infotainment program iBILIB wherein, together with comedic pair of Moymoy Palaboy, he explores various bizarre and interesting trivia on the world of science and tries fun experiments from Street Genius which viewers can follow at home.
Chris’ undying pursuit of knowledge coupled with his duty as DOST’s brand ambassador further amplifies his eagerness to be an instrument of wisdom to kids whose education was jeopardized by the recent turn of events.
“Now na wala munang pasukan sa mga eskuwelahan, I think this is a great platform for alternative learning. What we do in the show is to teach science. We do science experiments using ordinary things. We make it fun and nakakabilib and then we explain principles behind it using graphics and methods that are easy to understand.”
iBILIB airs Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:25 a.m. and Sundays at 9:35 a.m. on GMA 7.
Apart from the myriad of fun experiments, life hacks for home, and DIY segments from iBILIB which parents and kids can try while stuck at home, Chris revealed that he has mastered the art of monologue in an attempt to keep his children immersed in learning.
“I like to role play a lot with my kids. So I’ve developed the skill of monologuing and coming up with stories with values on the spot to entertain my kids or put them to sleep,” he explained.
Parenting can be tough as is and as families adjust and adapt to the dramatically changing way of life that’s been mandated by the ripples of COVID-19, parents like Chris hope for nothing but a better world for the children of this global pandemic.
“I wish my kids will learn from the lesson of this pandemic, to appreciate and cherish the things and values that truly matter in life. Family and friends. Kindness. Good health and the gift of life. Simplicity of living. Patience. The environment. Our faith.”