Even if Chris and Charles are already adults, for Daddy Jerry, they are still his boys
The two Tius of Philippine basketball, player Chris and pundit Charles, owe their charm and wit to their father, Jerry. Before the brothers became familiar faces on court and on television, from collegiate basketball to the world of the pros, they were enjoying the sport as father and sons.
“We’d play as a family on Sunday nights when we were younger,” said Chris. “As we got older, he got an ACL injury and so retired from playing basketball and now he just watches my games in college, the national team, and now in the PBA.”
Jerry would like to think that he’s strict: he values punctuality and stresses industriousness to his kids. But his boys note him as a dad whose affection never wavered through the years.
“My dad is pretty malambing,” said Charles. “Doesn’t matter if we’re 30 years old already.” On the other hand, Chris would think, “Dad, what are you doing?” but he’s glad to be on the receiving end of his father’s lovely antics.
“(Dad) can be more of the mom, he reaches out to us and is more expressive,” said Chris. To him, his father is makulit and likes to joke around. Daddy Jerry is indeed a kenkoy dad. It doesn’t matter if his boys are already men. They’re his sons. That will never change.
For him, Charles is “always my little angel” and Chris has always been his “35-year-old-son” regardless of age, even back in high school. “(Chris) has always been mature, thinks like an adult, and he’s very serious.”
Chris grew closer to his father through another sport, golf, which he started to play at around 7 to 8 years old.
“It’s the perfect time for bonding: the long car rides to the golf course, the hours spent together on the fairways, and we’d talk a lot about life and the business,” remembers Chris. “That’s why I think I was ahead of my batchmates in terms of business education and knowledge. He taught me a lot of things I’d not normally learn in the classroom: real-life examples based on his experiences.”
Charles and Chris both claim that they never had a rivalry for their father’s attention. “I’m not the type who seeks for attention so you can leave me by myself and I’ll be happy,” said Charles. “I’ve always been supportive of Chris and our parents have always treated us all fairly so there’s no competition whatsoever.“
When it comes to business, Charles would seek Jerry’s opinion. “Our parents raised us well that I think we’re able to do that (make decisions). But we still look to them for guidance because they have so much experience through the years, especially in dealing with business, so they know what’s going on. We learn from the mistakes they have made before,” he added”
If there is a legacy that Jerry wants his kids to build, the elder Tiu chooses character. He is proud of the character of his sons. “They were brought up well, in principles, good grooming, discipline, industriousness, honesty. It’s almost everything when you get to mold a child the way a parent should.”
Both sons also see the Tiu character as a legacy: being good persons who care about others first before themselves; who put God, family, and community above their own needs.
The Tiu Legacy is one which they wish to stand the tests of time, which reminded of their good friend, the Sys, and SM.
“They’re the most admired family. I work with Mr. Sy, the old man, and we’ve turned around the company and I’m very happy and proud to get the chance to work with him and his children,” said Jerry. “I’ve learned and continue to learn a lot from them. I’m amazed by how their culture of being so humble and open to listening is, how they continue to improve their management.
SM Makati was like a home to Jerry. Chris remembers being frequently brought there by his mom, and Charles is often at Mall of Asia Arena. SM Malls are homes to branches of Happy Lemon, Pepper Lunch, and Eric Kayser which are run by Chris.
So where will the Tius go for Fathers’ Day?
Maybe they’ll try one of the new Chinese restaurants, said Chris. Charles would like to get a meal or two with immediate family.
But if you ask Jerry, he’ll just let the young Tius choose. “(Making them decide) is a way of spoiling them so they have to negotiate what is the best place to eat.” Anywhere is okay for the elder Tiu, as long as he is with his sons and daughters who will forever be kids to his heart.