Comedian Jobert Austria, better known as Kuya Jobert, teared up as he opened up about his difficulty of being a responsible father to his eldest son who had witnessed his tough and chaotic past.
In a sit-down interview with host actress Toni Gonzaga, Austria shared how he tries to teach his son, who is now 30 years old, to be responsible.
According to the comedian, his younger years were marred by scuffles, law violations, and even drug use.
“Gusto ko ituwid mga mali ko, hirap din. Kasi paano mo ituturo sa kanya ngayon na, 'ngayon mo sasabihin sa 'kin yan e pinatanda mo kong ganyan. Ngayon mo sasabihing mali 'to?'” Austria said.
“Lumaki sa 'kin 'yun, nakita niya 'yung mga kalokohan ko. Ano bang klaseng tatay 'yung iniidolo mo 'yung tatay mong namamalo sa ulo.’ O 'yung tatay ko may ginulpi kanina duguan.’ Nakikita niya 'yun,” he continued.
“Mahirap maging magulang kapag pareho kayong walang direksyon,” said Austria, who also admitted he convinced his son to join a fraternity.
Realizing his mistakes before, Kuya Jobert is trying to patch things up with his family and guide his son back to the Lord.
“Pinipilit kong magkaroon siya ng direksyon kasi obligasyon kong itama 'yung lahat ng pagkakamali ko -- sa relationship ko, sa mga kapatid ko, lalong lalo na sa anak ko. Obligasyon ko bilang tatay na ibalik siya sa Diyos,” Austria quipped.
Austria also recalled how he found himself living in an abandoned jeep for two years.
According to the actor-comedian, he decided to leave his family after his foster parents died but since he had nowhere to go to, Austria stayed in an old jeepney of his friend and set it up like a room.
“Dumating din 'yung panahon na ayoko na maging pabigat. Ako na mismo ang lumayo. Sa jeep ako tumira, 2 taon. Lumang jeep ng kaibigan ko. Nakaparada lang do'n,” he narrated.
But gifted with an innate sense of humor, Jobert was never hungry as he banked on his comedic skills to get store owners to give him free food. He also had friends, who would pick him up every night to attend parties.
“Pag labas ko sa jeep ang saya ko. Pagbalik ko sa jeep ang saya ng mga kasama ko. Ako sa jeep, hindi. Syempre balik ka sa dati. Yung totoong nangyayari sa buhay mo, nilalamok,” Austria added.
Just as he thought his life hit rock bottom, Jobert lost the jeep, his only prize possession back then, when typhoon Ondoy hit the country which caused massive flooding in many parts of the Philippines.
Austria said he and his son had to swim to the roof of a chapel to survive.
“Umapaw 'yung creek. Lumangoy kami papunta sa chapel, sa ibabaw ng chapel. Ta's nakikita mo 'yung damit mo inaanod. 'Yung jeep na 'yun na ang pinaka kayaman mo na, nakita mo inaanod mga damit mo,” he said.
After the floods subsided, the comedian said he blamed and cursed God for what had happened to his life.
“Minumura ko ang Diyos. Umiiyak ako. Patayin mo na ko. 'Di ka naaawa sa 'kin. Pinagtatawanan ako ng mga kaibigan ko. Kung totoong Diyos ka naman, kunin mo na ko rito. Talagang minumura ko para patayin na Niya ko,” Austria admitted.
“Hindi ko alam na magiging ganito pa ko (artista), nag-aantay na lang akong mamatay actually.”
Kuya Jobert eventually become a comedian and became visible in showbiz, appearing on different Kapamilya sitcoms such as “Banana Split: Extra Scoop,” “Toda Max”, and some variety shows like “Happy Yipee Yehey” and “Laugh Out Loud.”