Finding your roots isn’t only about looking at where you came from but also at the foundations of who you truly are.
Returning for the second episode of Chinese by Blood, Filipino by Heart: #ROOTS, nationally renowned TV host Gretchen Ho walks us back to the youthful passions of her childhood, her athletic career, and her drive for public service, all the while combating the stereotypes of what a Chinese-Filipino woman is expected to be.
“I wanted to know about the world. I didn’t want to be on top of a hill. I was very conscious about my own upbringing and the way Chinese-Filipinos were seen,” said Ho, explaining the thought process of how she began her career. “I needed to reinvent myself. Evolve as a person. And I wanted to. I think that’s the key.”
Those who grow up in a Chinese-Filipino household know that when it comes to choosing a career, there are certain expectations that are inherently present due to a traditional culture of diligence and practicality. However, as the middle child of a Chinoy family, Ho was very conscious about creating her own sense of individuality — a sporty sister chasing after her brothers, a volleyball athlete who graduated from one of the most challenging degrees of the Ateneo de Manila University, and a TV host who travels all over the Philippines to share inspiring stories of communities and individuals in action, among others.
For Ho, staying connected to one’s #ROOTS does not simply mean accepting what has always been. Rather, it’s about living out the Chinoy values that have been passed down to her from her family and community. Knowing what to let go and what to return to is how Ho has successfully engaged in careers in the realms of professional volleyball, journalism, entertainment, and public service, well-earning her title as a “woman in action.”
“I just really made a conscious effort to move away from what I knew and what I came from to be able to immerse myself in different environments and cultures to be able to understand [them],” said Ho.
In the midst of all this, Ho launched her own travel documentary Woman In Action, a platform that gathers and showcases the active efforts of NGOs and organizations to empower women and to provide a voice to those who need it.
“I get to do many things. I get to maximize my potential in my life. I feel like it can also be empowering for other women to choose the same,” said Ho. “So if we can lift up other women, then we would be creating an environment where everybody would feel good about the success of each other and help each other be part of a bigger puzzle and a bigger community where women thrive.”
In conclusion, Ho summarizes her identity here: “I’m Gretchen Ho, and I’m proud to be Chinoy. I’m a news anchor, a TV host, an athlete, and an advocate.”
Catch Gretchen Ho in the second episode of Chinese by Blood, Filipino by Heart: #ROOTS, airing on June 4, 2023, at 8 PM on CNN Philippines! Don’t forget to follow CHiNOY TV on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube for further updates.