For her 32nd birthday this year, Gretchen Ho decided to make it even more special by spending it with more than just her loved ones this year. The celebrated athlete and TV host who had flown to Bukidnon last week during the Holy Week break, shared with her 2.3M Instagram followers how she and her brothers gamely shared an inspirational talk with the local students in the province on how to help them reach for their dreams. In the post, Gretchen also revealed her family’s own struggles and how they started from humble beginnings.
“HOW I SPENT MY BIRTHDAY. My siblings and I have always wanted to do an outreach together. When Fr. Robbie asked us if we could give a talk about ‘dreams’ for his students in Bukidnon, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to start.
“My family is pretty unique. My eldest brother is a lawyer, the 2nd one a doctor, me as part of media, and our ‘bunso’ in finance. Apart from my brilliant Uncle Charlie, we didn’t really grow up in a family of lawyers or doctors, nor was there anyone in the media. Just like any Chinese family, our parents had businesses.
“My dad started from nothing. He was a good basketball player who had to forego college & his pro-athlete dreams to be the breadwinner for his family at an early age. My mom’s family had a small botika which she & her siblings managed in Manila.
“Growing up, we saw our parents succeed & struggle, succeed & struggle. Business was hard, and there would always be some new technology or bigger company that would make ours irrelevant. Jumping from one business to another, mom & dad made it work, somehow.
“Our parents didn’t want us to go through the same things, so they encouraged us to pursue being ‘professionals’ instead. There would be more ‘stability’. So here we are.
“I’m grateful to my parents for pushing us into these different fields, for supporting us silently, even though they had no idea on how to guide us through the journey.
“As ‘first generations of’, we made sure we worked hard and made the most out of every opportunity given. We know we’re blessed to have even been afforded the opportunity to pursue our dreams.
“It isn’t just about stability for us. If there is one thing I am proud to share with my brothers, it’s our public service calling.
“I still find it weird how our family ended up this way, but the Lord has His plans & His ways.
“Yesterday, we shared a little bit about our own journeys to the kids of Zamboangita in Malaybalay. Mahiyain daw mga bata rito. Incidentally, my brothers and I are also all volleyball players, so we conducted a small clinic first to break the ice.
“Work hard. Dream on. Have confidence in yourself, no matter what the world says. Trust in the Lord’s calling for your life.”
During their Holy Week vacation, the Ho family enjoyed visiting the many sights in the Malaybalay province of Bukidnon like the Mindamora and Bayog Falls and enjoyed the outdoor activities at the Dahilayan Gardens and Resort which is located at the base of beautiful Mount Kitanglad.
Gretchen and her family also started off their Easter Sunday celebration by attending a special kind of mass that isn’t usually seen in Metro Manila celebrations. She shared a short video clip in one of her posts and wrote, “Happy Easter from the Lumad Tribes of Bukidnon! #Malaybalay #Bukidnon #HolyWeek2022”
Last year, Gretchen revealed she had moved out of their family home into her own condominium in order to keep her family safe as she continues to work in the field every day. After working as a host and field reporter for ABS-CBN since 2014, she officially transferred to TV5 in January last year.