The Romantic Kim Chiu
Kim Chiu admits to being hopelessly romantic, but she is plagued by the ‘villains’ that being a celebrity presents. She speaks about her life – a life that’s not exactly the stuff fairy tales are made of, but is worth every page of the book
Text by Michaela Sarah De Leon
Photography by Fritz Tentativa
Makeup by Jerry Javier
Hair by Albert Kurniawan
Styling by Kim Yap and Boop Yap
Shot at The InterContinental Manila
Special thanks to Ms. Portia Dimla-Morales and Joy Meneses
Kim Chiu admits that she isn’t a wide reader, but she knows a romantic story when she sees one.
In fact, she admits to being hopelessly romantic herself.
When she loves, she gives it her all.
“Give love your all so if you break up, you won’t have regrets. You won’t think about the things that you should and should not have done,” Kim said in Filipino as she begins to rub her thumb to the side of her index finger – a mannerism she does when she’s nervous in an interview-photo-shoot session done one sunny afternoon.
Even after the controversies that surround her in her love life, she came out of it whole and admittedly stronger and wiser.
“[I’ve learned] that you must love yourself more. Wag ka magpaapi. ‘Tsaka wag mong pilitin ang sarili mo sa isang bagay na di naman talaga dapat. (Don’t let anybody treat you badly and don’t force yourself into something that shouldn’t be.),” she says.
She says the people who broke her heart are just part of a learning process. At the end of the day, she says, there will be one person meant for you – destined for you.
“Wag kang malungkot na mawala man yung taong yun kasi sabi ni God, ‘di siya for you (Don’t be sad that the person you love is gone, because God says that he’s not the one for you.) There’s someone else in store for you,” she says.
Kim’s real life fairy tale ending goes like this: she dreams to get married and have her own family.
She sees her two siblings who have families of their own. She likes what she sees. She dreams of living with her family in a white country house with a garden and a swimming pool. It should have stairs and a white fence.
It’s not happening any time very soon though.
“Soon, but not now. Career comes first,” she says.
FANTASIES OF THE FANTASTIC
If there’s another thing that Kim loves other than her family, it would be acting. She sees herself acting 20, 30, 40, and even 50 years from now.
She describes herself as a dedicated actress. It’s her way of venting out the negativities in her life because Kim is essentially a positive person.
“I want to be happy and free. When there is negativity, I don’t want to be near it,” she says in Filipino. “Surround yourself with happy people and you’ll be happy too.”
When Kim isn’t acting, she feels sad. When she acts, that’s when she pours out all her bad feelings.
“You just think of what happened months ago, the bad things that happened, I can vent it all out through acting,” she said.
Now, she just wants to act like her idols, Cherry Pie Picache and Gina Alajar, who are still acting even when they already have their own families.
Like them, she is also open to doing indie films, but not those that border on the X-rated. The roles that she does want to do now are very far from the dramatic roles that she usually does.
Kim wants fun roles. She wants to do fantaseryes.
She says she wants to play a mermaid, superhero, or triplets.
Like her role in Wansapanataym: My Fairy Kasambahay, Kim says she wants to do those kinds of shows.
“I want stories that inspire people to help people to realize something in a good way,” she says.
KIM, THE COMEDIENNE
It may be easy to make Kim laugh, but she said she’s not good at making the jokes herself.
When she starred in Bakit Di Ka Crush ng Crush Mo with her co-love team Xian Lim, she doubted her ability to make others laugh. After 16 block screenings, when she’s heard what her audience has to say, she says she’s proud of herself.
“Natatawa sila sa akin (I made them laugh),” she said.
Her new movie with Xian Lim, which was brought by great public demand because of the popularity of the tandem, is a romantic-comedy with a little bit of drama.
“I’m happy and grateful. I am very thankful to the fans who gave us so much support,” she said.
In fact, her fans are so dedicated to her that they created a Facebook fanpage that they also manage by, among other things, transferring photos from her Instagram to her fanpage. They also keep track of where she is even when she’s grocery shopping.
LURE OF THE TELEVISION
Believe it or not, all that Kim wanted was to be seen on television – even if she’s just waving on news telecast.
But the lure of the television went beyond that when she first entered Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition (PBB) seven years ago. Her reason for joining was simple – she could win one million pesos.
“The way I am, the way I think, the way I act, there is a maturity as years pass by”
She didn’t expect to become an actress after the competition was done. She didn’t expect that she’d be the most successful of all the housemates that came out of the reality show.
She explains that nobody knew that the housemates will come out of the PBB house as artistas since they were the first batch. The show is on its third or fourth batch and housemates can really expect to come out as celebrities the moment they get out of the house.
“Showbiz na talaga. Even inside, they want to prove that they can sing, act, and dance,” she said.
Of course, in the end she won in her batch. She laughingly wonders how she did it. She said she didn’t do a lot. The entire experience was just like being in a house with her friends.
We’re glad she did.
Today, she has countless movies, teleseryes, shows, awards, and even an album to her name.
BEYOND EVER AFTER
Seven years after Kim won PBB, she says a lot has definitely changed.
“The way I am, the way I think, the way I act, there is a maturity as years pass by,” she says.
She watched herself on PBB and she says laughingly “Ang bata-bata ko pa! (I was so young!).”
In the seven years that followed, she has lost touch with some of her former housemates who now have families or careers of their own. She has also faced controversies left and right.
If news stories and gossip columns are to be believed, Kim faced betrayals, heartbreaks, and skepticism about her body in the seven years of being a celebrity.
When asked to name one instance herself, she says she’d rather not. Instead, she tells us the kinds of friends she keeps and those she would rather pass over.
“I want friends who are funny, because it’s very easy to make me laugh.”
People that she avoids are people who are mapapel and people who use you because you’re friends.
Now, she is more careful in choosing friends.
“As you can see on my Instagram, only family and elderly friends are there. Some of my friends are from way, way back in high school,” she says.
However, she does still get along well with her showbiz friends, but she chooses not to cling to them so much.
THE LOVE STORY
“Okay naman kami. We get along. We’re friends. We get along very well,” she said about her rumored beau. Xian Lim, who will star with her in a teleserye and a movie in 2014.
Among the hottest issues discussed when Kim is involved is her love life. It’s been the subject of debate of many fans–and hecklers. And whether or not she’s found the one today, Kim is sure that whoever he is, he must love her family first as much as she loves them.
“Of course, he must love my family first because I do love them so much. They are my inspiration in everything that I do today,” she says in Filipino.
He must also have time for her no matter how busy or tired he is. He should be respectful and thoughtful, and he must love to do surprises.
If those qualities are not enough to draw a picture of her perfect man, Kim says her celebrity crushes are Channing Tatum and Robert Pattinson.
In fact, she is so smitten by Robert Pattinson and by Twilight that she even imagines herself as Bella of the movie.
BEAUTY IN QUESTION
Rumors are aplenty about Kim’s physical changes in tabloids, gossip columns, and hushed talk. Kim brushes all that off and explains that she has a very active lifestyle.
When she’s not working, she’s working out at the gym – core training, Zumba, Plana Forma, badminton, and volleyball. Sometimes, she does three workouts in a day.
She’s into extreme sports too. She’s done bungee jumping and sky diving. She’s swam with the sharks in Hawaii. Her next goal is to climb Mt. Pulag.
She said she’s also very careful about what she eats. In the morning, she eats only bread. At lunch, she eats big meals like rice and pasta, which is her favorite. By dinner, she eats light – no carbohydrates – because she knows her metabolism is slow.
She said she also reduced sodium and salt in her diet, because it makes her cheeks larger, adding that it’s especially true for her who comes from a family of large cheeks. Soy sauce, junkfood, and anything that is salty retains liquid.
Before those were her favorites and when she found that salt retains water in her cheeks, she stopped.
“Tinigil ko na kasi tignan mo naman pisngi ko (I stopped. Just look at my cheeks!),” she says.
Another question about her supposed physical changes is about her face, which she says she’s tired of hearing. They can look at my nose, there are no stitches, she says in Filipino.
She gets radio frequency facials, which melts fat on her cheeks and on the sides of her nose.
However, if there is food that she can’t resist it would be pasta and pansit: pasta, spaghetti – regular Pinoy spaghetti, pansit, pansit canton, noodles, penne – just about any kind of food that is long and carbo-loaded.
PBB may be Kim’s big break in showbiz, but it would not have happened if her grandmother had her way.
Coming from a very conservative Chinese family, Kim said that her family was divided in her joining PBB.
They don’t want to let people know our story – where we came from and what life we have before, she said in Filipino.
Of course, we know what happened after that. Seeing Kim with her entire family is a rare occasion, according to her.
Her sister is a flight attendant and her brother has his own family in Mindoro, which makes it really a rare occasion that they are complete. They see each other on special occasions like birthdays, New Years, Christmases, or summer vacations.
Meanwhile, her relationship with her parents was at one point rocky, but everything was resolved this year. Two things happened to Kim: her mom passed away and she reconciled with her dad.
But, her independence kept her going.
After she won PBB, she began living by herself in Manila when she became a star. Because she does everything herself, she has learned to become more and more independent.
And she wasn’t forced to become mature even if she’s become a breadwinner for her family. She says she wanted to become mature because she does not want to ask for help when she can do something for herself.
DREAM COME TRUE
At 23, Kim has achieved success in all its glory – a feat that only rarely happens until a person reaches their 30s or 40s.
Kim is humble enough not to trumpet her achievements too much, but she says she feels proud that she’s achieved her dream come true.
At 23, she even managed to become among the top 20 celebrities who pay their taxes in just 2012, which is why she is miff ed about what’s happening to the people’s coff ers as the issue involving Janet Napoles ensues in the Senate.
“In life, there will always be hard parts, and then after that, the Lord will give you your reward”
She says “actors, actresses, and those who work in showbiz gives big contributions to the government and we’re not sure where they are going. We still see squatters and roads that need repair. Good things are happening, but when the opportunity to become rich presents itself to a person, I think the temptation won’t be entirely gone.”
“Maybe, they should use them in good ways. We can’t do anything about it now. Things like that really happen. We can only off er our prayers,” she said.
SACRIFICES AND REGRETS
The success that she has today was brought by hard work and so many sacrifices. She sacrificed her studies and her privacy, among others, but she regrets none of them.
“Those sacrifices brought me here. Before you reach something good in life or something better than what you expect, you need to sacrifice. You need to pass through a needle hole to really feel your successes. It’s not right to have only success. In life, there will always be hard parts, and then after that, the Lord will give you your reward,” she says in Filipino.
The days is about to end after a seamlessly easy photoshoot. Kim is wearing a pink flowy dress with the backdrop of royalty behind her. She looks the part, the princess that she treats herself to be. Sometime during her photoshoot, she tells us about her 175-175 vision and an astigmatism on her right eye.
That was a revelation. We knew there was something else about Kim that she never said in our interview. She says she sees herself as hopelessly romantic. We see something else. The word “hopeless” doesn’t suit Kim Chiu at all. Kim is just a “romantic”.