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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Kuya Kim begins new adventures

When Kuya Kim Atienza had his recent heart procedure, he decided to share a very important part of his life with the public by showing it in his program Matanglawin on ABS-CBN.

In last Sunday’s episode, viewers saw Kuya Kim writhe in pain when a needle was inserted into the outer layer of his skin to check for allergies. He was then placed on anesthesia so the doctor could insert an eight-inch catheter to his groin area and put a device.

Kim said he was presented with three possible scenarios by his surgical team before the operation, and that an open heart surgeon was on standby in case his procedure fails.

Fortunately, the latter didn’t have much to do as the procedure went well.

“God is so good! The best case scenario prevailed and I was again in perfect health just a few days after my procedure,” he said. “I’m physically 99 percent back. Kuya Kim 2.0 is just as energetic, triviatic and alive.”

It was just a few months back when people were stunned by the news that the Kuya Kim suffered a stroke due to over fatigue.

“I love this job so much, I could kill myself doing it,” he said. “I was working four weeks straight going out of town on weekends for Matanglawin the month I had a stroke.”

Still, his condition didn’t keep him from connecting to the outside world. While Kuya Kim was temporarily out of the TV screens, he was all present in the cyber world engaging his followers and the online community.

He spent six days at the Makati Medical Center’s ICU while being connected to all the machines and no television. He read four books and developed 30,000 followers on the micro-blogging site Twitter in just a week.

“Twitter is my post-stroke therapy,” he said. “The tweets kept my mind constantly working. This is the reason why I answer all the trivia questions tweeted by followers. Tweeting all my trivia reconnects all my brain neurons affected by my stroke. It’s the perfect therapy and better than the puzzles and mind games that were recommended to me.”

Kim is now back in TV Patrol and the noontime talent-variety show Showtime. Today, he returns to an all-new and hi-tech Matanglawin with PBB Teens finalist Ryan Bang joining him in sharing knowledge and information in fun and stimulating ways.

Kuya Kim recently won at the recent Star Awards for TV as the Best Educational Program Host for Matanglawin, which also won as Best Educational Program.

Prior to his successful career on television as a weatherman, broadcaster and TV host, Kim was serving as a councilor in Manila. But instead of following in the footsteps of his father and former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, Kim decided to pursue a career in broadcasting.

“I would have suffered a stroke earlier if I was in politics,” he said laughingly. “I love what I do here. I was made for TV, which keeps me alive and wanting to live.”

Given a chance, he would love to have a talk show. He said, “I want to be like a funny male Oprah Winfrey bringing out the best in people in a show that will make people cry, laugh, dance, sing and even pray.”

When Kim was recently honored in an awards ceremony for ABS-CBN employees, he told the audience that the best decision in his life was turning back on politics and joining ABS-CBN.

“The hardest thing I ever did was to tell my dad, ‘Ayaw kitang palitan. Gusto ko palitan si Ernie Baron,’” he said after receiving the award that recognized him for achieving his icon status not because of his family name but rather for his passion for work.

Reinventing himself from being a politician to a weatherman wasn’t easy in the beginning because people were skeptical that he was on TV to get elected.

But now, the public knows that their favorite trivia king and champion of animals and environment really loves TV.

“My dad has always been supportive of my TV career. He now introduces himself in public as the ‘tatay ni Kuya Kim,’” he said. “I am happy that my public allows me to be myself while handing out my trivia, kahit pakanta, pasayaw o lumalangoy sa Pasig. They accept my trivia 100 percent. I love them.”

And through the new media, Kim has found an avenue to engage the public just like the other multimedia journalists at ABS-CBN. Those on Twitter could attest to Kuya Kim’s accessibility as he readily takes questions and provides answers to questions posed by his followers.

“I genuinely feel for my supporters. Twitter gives me positive reinforcement. It connects me to my public and as is said, sharpens my mind post stroke. Twitter can be so powerful, just like media. I can inspire, inform and even change lives by example.”

With his second chance at life, he thinks God has a deeper mission for him to fulfill in media.

“I am waiting for His signs,” he said.

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