TV’s weather man and trivia king is a family man first
Kim Atienza takes pride in being known as “Kuya Kim,” but what gives him greater satisfaction is being called “papa.” While his transition from politician to TV personality has been a success, this former Manila City council member holds his achievements in his personal life most dear.
“Having kids really makes you grow. With them, you gain such perspective,” he shares during a fashion shoot with Original Penguin by Munsingwear. “To be a parent, you have to be very selfless and be very conscious of how you spend your time. There has to balance and family should always be the No. 1 priority.”
A father of three, Atienza thought himself “immortal” in his bachelor years. “I was young, and felt that I was going to live forever. When I had my kids, and I watched them grow up so fast, and I realized I’m getting old!” he laughed. “But with that, I also realized that life is finite. [I asked myself] what am I going to do with the years that are given to me alive? It made me value time.”
Like any dad in any age, Atienza admits that he has stumbled many times as a father. He is humble enough to realize, however, that making mistakes is all but a natural part of parenthood.
But thankfully, whenever he finds himself at a loss, he turns to his father former Manila mayor Lito Atienza for a little wisdom.
“My father was always a mentor, in my life and career, especially during my time when I was in politics,” he shares. Inspired by his father, the younger Atienza served as barangay chairman for one term and Manila city councillor for three.
“One of those moments I could never forget was when I won a council seat in 1995 and my father was proclaimed as vice mayor. We gave each other a big hug in Comelec,” the loving son proudly recalled.
The older Atienza was equally proud that his son was following in his footsteps, until the latter realized politics was not where he truly wanted to be.
The morning he told his passionate politician father that he was leaving politics for good for a career in TV was a potentially tense moment. But like any father who only wants the best for his son, the former mayor gave him his blessing.
“He simply said, ‘I’m happy for you. Do whatever pleases you,’ and then he gave me a big hug,” Atienza recalls. “I am who I am greatly because of my father.”
It was from his father that he not only learned how to become a hardworking provider, but from whom he “also learned how to give love and share a life with another person.”
“I admire the way he loves my mom. Their solid relationship gave us our base in life. We grew up very secure knowing that our parents would always be there for us, because they were solid for us.
“So the way Dad loves Mom is the way I love my wife now. I know that through loving my wife and their mother, I give my kids the security of knowing that their parents will always be there for them. My kids know Mama and Papa will always be there for them until they decide to be on their own.”
Asked what kind of a parent he is, Atienza says, “As a parent, I’d like to think that I’m a balanced combination of my dad and my mom. I got all the good points from Dad, but of course, you morph it a bit in a way that you think is best for your kids. Kasi iba na ang mga kids ngayon eh,” he laughs.
“I’m a softer version of my dad. He was a bit strict and more controlling. I know my dad loves me very much, but he is very matipid with praise. So with my kids, I’m more into positive reinforcement and communication. I reinforce their good behaviour and I praise them all the time.”
He admits he is not the perfect father by any stretch, but he always strives to live up to his wife and children’s expectations.
Atienza knows too well the challenges and profound blessings that come with being a dad. But if there’s one thing that he’s learned so far, it is this: “In life and in parenthood, you can do better and be better by simply trying your best.”