Why Chris Tiu is more perfect than you think

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MANILA, Philippines - Cager Chris Tiu is seen before an exclusive interview at the Yahoo! Philippines office in Taguig City, south of Manila, on 27 November 2013. (Voltaire Domingo/NPPA IMAGES)
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  • Chris Tiu
    Filipino basketball player

If you think Chris Tiu is perfect, well then, think again.
 
Tiu plays professional basketball with Rain or Shine in the PBA. It requires him practice and training every day. How hard can that be for a former Ateneo Blue Eagles team captain, right?
 
Every now and then, he also has to shoot for commercials and host educational programs on TV 5 and GMA 7. He just needs to smile, speak, and look cute at the same time. That’s not difficult, either.
 
 
‘Life is not about work’
In between these gigs, Tiu tries to do his part as co-owner of Happy Lemon and fledgling Japanese restaurant Tampopo. There’s nothing spectacular about sitting in long business meetings, too.
 
But learning that, on top of all of these, he’s still very active in helping out people through various socio-civic foundations makes you realize that whoever said “nobody’s perfect” must be lying.
 
He’s actually better than that.
 
“You just have to make time. Some things make you realize how blessed we are and life is not about work. Life is about living and it’s about being able to be a helping hand to our fellow brothers and sisters. Work just comes secondary,” Tiu told Yahoo SHE.
 
 
In many Yolanda efforts
When super typhoon Yolanda battered Eastern Visayas, the former councilor of Barangay Urdaneta in Makati City was in every fund-raising charity event and activity you could imagine.
 
He donated signed jerseys and kicks to charity ball games like Heroes of Hope, GMA Kapuso Foundation and TV 5’s Alagang Kapatid Foundation, and even joined ABS-CBN Kapamilya Foundation’s telethons to raise funds for Yolanda victims.
 
The TV host also hinted at giving donations when he said he has been pouring his support to the various programs of Habitat for Humanity as well as the National Youth Commission.
 
At the same time, Tiu encouraged people to support his own group Charis Foundation's Make A Child Smile program. It is a project that aims to grant the wishes of 1,000 kids who survived Yolanda on Christmas.


His job is ‘to make noise’
Downplaying all his efforts, Tiu clarified that he wasn’t able to personally help out in actual volunteering works like repacking or distributing relief goods for calamity victims.
 
“For me, I feel that it might not be the most optimal way for me to help if I would personally travel there and give relief goods because I think that is a duplicable type of work. Other volunteers can do that,” Tiu explained.
 
“But to be able to make noise—to call on other people to help out and to give—I think that’s something where I can be of more use. The way I see it, the best way I can help is to raise awareness through the media and within our own network of friends,” he added.
 
 
Donate stuff to sell
This is why Tiu agreed to be the face of Caritas Manila, the socio-economic arm of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
 
As one of its ambassadors, the TV personality has relentlessly campaigned for the group’s Segunda Mana drive, encouraging every Filipino to donate whatever things they can spare to those in need.
 
Segunda Mana is a program that sells all the items that are being donated to Churches, the proceeds of which will be used to fund health, youth leadership, education and awareness, as well as livelihood programs of Caritas Manila.
 
 
Happier letting go of things
“(Caritas Manila) uses strategic parishes to collect the donated items and these items are then sorted out and then sold in the stores. We have 11 stores so far and more to come,” Tiu explained.
 
But Tiu reminded Filipinos to only give items that can still be used and sold, noting that donating ball gowns, high heels or goggles are okay as long as they’re in good condition.
 
“What we discourage is giving the items that cannot be sold or cannot be used already. So (don't donate) expired medicines, computers with virus or broken printers, DVDs with immoral content,” he added.
 
 “We just want to encourage giving something that has value to you in a way. If you are able to let go of that material possession, the happier you get,” he added.
 
 
The lesson of calamities
The national athlete also invited Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike to buy pre-loved goods from Segunda Mana, which has allotted more than P50 million of the proceeds it generated since last month.
 
Fr. Anton Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila, announced Segunda Mana collected almost P64 million in cash and P20.7 million in kind donations.

Pascual explained of the total amount, P52.5 million have already been dispersed to provide emergency relief in the form of 116,887 relief bags. They were were sent to Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Cebu, Samar, Iloilo, Masbate, Palawan, and Leyte.
 
“This is a good start. Calamities and tragedies like this are actually a good start for us, for people who are less concerned about others, to start giving. And I’ve seen that first hand. Friends and family members, who don’t usually go out of their way to give aid, help,” Tiu said.

 

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