Kuya Kim Atienza in an episode of "Matanglawin"
MANILA – Television host Alejandro Atienza, more popularly known as Kuya Kim, recounted how the mild stroke he suffered three years ago changed his life.
In an interview with Ricky Lo published in The Philippine Star newspaper on Sunday, Atienza said he has never been as fit as he is now following the stroke.
“The stroke was a reminder to be fit. It made me realize that health is wealth talaga. What would I do with family, fame and fortune if I were bedridden or dead? Life is a miracle, all else is a bonus,” he told Lo.
While he has a hectic schedule because of his three ABS-CBN shows ("Matanglawin," "It’s Showtime" and "TV Patrol"), Atienza said the experience taught him how to properly balance his life.
“Though I spend so much time with work, I am always here for my beautiful wife Felicia and our three wonderful kids — Jose, 10, Eliana, 8, and Emman, 6,” he said.
Atienza said he is currently following a low-glycemic index diet, which consists mostly of vegetables.
“I minimize sugar in my diet, too. My meals are well-spaced. I choose my food,” he said.
Atienza said the stroke also encouraged him to do triathlons.
“I’ve been swimming, biking and running six days a week for two years now, and joining triathlons. I joined several triathlons last year including Cebu Ironman 70.3 which was a 1.9-kilometer swim, a 90-kilometer bike and a 21-kilometer run. I finished that for around six hours. I’ll do that again this August,” he said.
He added: “I also signed up for my first full Ironman this December in Western Australia. That’s a four-kilometer swim, a 180-kilometer bike and a 42-kilometer run. I’ve been training at least two hours a day for that. This keeps me slim despite my huge appetite.”
Atienza’s initial crack at broadcasting happened in 2004 when he replaced the late weatherman Ernie Baron as the weatherman of the ABS-CBN evening newscast “TV Patrol.”
He was eventually given his own segment on the ABS-CBN early morning show “Magandang Umaga, Pilipinas” in 2005.
When the program was reformatted, he joined the group of “Umagang Kay Ganda” in the same year.
Years later, Atienza was awarded his own full-length TV show, “Matanglawin,” an educational show aired every Sunday on ABS-CBN. It features interesting discoveries in nature and other environmental phenomenon.
The TV host is also known to many as an animal lover. He started to collect animals, including unusual pets, at age 11.
Atienza is the eldest son of former Environment Secretary Lito Atienza.