TV host-actress Kris Aquino recently sat down with Kim Chiu and her leading man Xian Lim to talk about growing-up pains, heartbreak, and their respective careers.
To begin their guesting at the December 9 episode of Kris TV, Kim and Xian performed a duet that elicited cheers and applause from the audience.
Growing up lonely. Kris pointed out that Kim moved around a lot while growing up.
Kim narrated: "Opo, from one city to another... five times. From Tacloban to Cebu, Cagayan de Oro to Gen San [General Santos City], tapos Mindoro, tapos Cebu ulit."
Since she moved around a lot, Kim didn’t have a permanent set of friends.
Xian, on the other hand, spent most of his growing-up years in the United States where he felt like an Asian kid who didn’t belong.
He admitted, "I felt like an outcast. Sa Filipino community na ito, ha. Sa Filipino community sa Daly City."
Xian moved to the U.S. with his mom at a young age.
Kris asked, ’Wala kang friends?"
The model-actor replied, "Siyempre, meron na silang barkada." He mentioned that for a time, he had to eat lunch in the little boy’s room.
"Nangyari po ’yon. Since high school, meron na silang sariling cliques. May mga groups like the jocks, the basketball team on one side, mga popular girls on one side. Even the nerds had their own. I really didn’t have anyone to hang out. Parang naisip ko, punta na lang ako sa banyo. There was a point in time naging ganoon."
One similarity between Kim and Xian is that they came from "broken homes." Xian’s father separated from his mom when he was little; Kim’s parents separated when she was nine years old.
On working with Kim Chiu. While working together on the primetime series My Binondo Girl, Kim and Xian developed close friendship.
Kim said about her leading man, "Super friends kami. Yung graduation ko, graduation party, pumunta siya. Pag may party sa bahay, pumunta siya."
Xian pointed out, "Noong galing akong States, my very first soap, kasama ko si Kim. " Xian played the role of a photographer in Kim’s former show called My Girl.
Kris then addressed Xian and asked him directly: "The best relationship starts out with friendship. Are you a sincere friend?"
He replied, "Sinasabi ko, magaling magmahal ang mga Cancer [people born under this sign]. They’re very loyal. They will not fool around, 100 pecent pure love. If you’re saying po, Miss Kris, na kung ano ang intention ko, I will be here, always for Kim as a friend."
Kris posed another question: "Do you feel pressured with Kim’s success and achievements, considering that this is your first starring role as a leading man? Do you feel "threatened"?
Xian explained, "Kinausap ko si Kim tungkol diyan. I’m very open. Eto po yung eksena sa My Binondo Girl nasa sa Subic po. I came up to Kim and told her sana okay ang mga ginagawa ko, I hope I’m not doing too much. Hindi kita na i-insult in any way...I don’t want to go overboard. I want the respect to be always there. Gusto kong malaman niya na my intention is 100 percent towards her."
Do you feel insecure that she’s Kim Chiu?
The actor disclosed, "Hindi ko nararamdaman na ’I’m Kim Chiu.’ Wala akong nararamdaman na ganoon. Noong first time namin na magkaharap sa screen...noong first time ko maka eksena, nagstu -stutter..."
The lead actress of Binondo Girl recalled: "’Tsaka ang tagal. Ang tagal namin magka-eksena sa una naming eksena. Pawis na pawis na siya."
Do you have a crush on Kim?
Xian admitted, "Malaki ang paghanga ko kay Kim. Katulad nung kanta. Ginawa ko yung kanta...Yung kantang kinanta namin kanina, ’Sa Yo Lamang.’ He said, ’inyong-inyo lamang ako.’ Yun po yung line na nag-appear nang ginagawa ko yung kanta. And ang ibig sabihin noon, I’m just showing her what she’s worth."
He also mentioned that he already met Kim’s siblings while doing a mall show in Cebu. "Noong nag-mall show kami sa Cebu, na-meet ko silang lahat. Super bait the sisters, lalo na yung kuya niya. He’s really funny...Mabait silang lahat."
When asked what her siblings can say about Xian, Kim said, "Maayos siyang kasama. Nage-enjoy sila. Kasi pagkatapos ng Binondo Girl mall show namin sa Cebu, nag-hang out kami, sumama ang buong cast, kasama siya, kasama yung mga kapatid ko. Nag-dinner out kami... Nagbar-bar kami ng konti...Ka-bonding niya ang mga ate ko."
Though they haven’t gone out on a "personal date," Kim and Xian have already gone out on group dates with common friends. Both of them had serious relationships that lasted for four years.
Ready to fall in love again. After being in long term relationships that didn’t work out, are they still open to loving again?
Kim: "Siyempre...di naman agad-agad. Kasi noon, seryoso ako."
Kris asked, addressing Kim, "What are you afraid of?"
The actress explained, "Di naman takot...gusto ko lang i-enjoy ang ganitong buhay. Marami kang text mates... May mga taong nagke-care sa ’yo. Di lang isang tao. Siyempre, masaya ako sa ganitong feeling. Bago for me and siyempre, may trust issues pa rin ako... Open naman ako. I’m ready at sana, alagaan niya ako, mahalin."
She later added, "I’m ready to try...."
"Is Xian sweet to you?" Kris informed the audience that every time Xian buys food, he also has some for Kim.
"Binili po niya ako ng soya milk," was Kim’s amusing reply. Both Xian and Kim laughed over this revelation.
Kim disclosed that Xian also gave her a teddy bear. "Life-size teddy bear, malaki siya. Mataba, malaki, fluffy, malambot... dark brown. Chismoso siya [Xian]. Napakinggan niya lang. Nag-usap kami ni Direk. Sabi ko, ’Direk, gustong-gusto ko yung life-size teddy bear ko...Direk, ang ganda. Parang lagi kang may kasama. Kahit sa movie room ko, may kasama ako.’"
When Kim and co-star Matteo Guidicelli went to Xian’s condo, Kim found an identical teddy bear there, too.
On having strong family ties. Kris surprised Xian with a phone call from his mom, Mrs. Mary Ann Cruz-Lim. The mother of the actor said, "I’m very proud of him, the way his career is moving right now. I hope he stays the same."
What is her wish for her son?
"Before he went into showbiz, lagi kong sinasabi ko sa kanya, ’Xian, I hope you meet a girl na old-fashioned.’ I don’t wish for him to marry someone who is rich. Sabi ko, it’s easy to find money but not a nice girl. So sabi ko, ’Mabait, okay din yung maganda. ’Yan yung wish ko sa kanya. If he finds the right person, he’ll be happy for the rest of his life, ganoon."
As a son, she pointed out, Xian is "every mother’s dream" and that "he is a survivor. He has inner peace and inner strength."
Xian then gave a touching message to his mom.
"Mom, I just wanna say thank you. I don’t really say this as much ’I love you, mom’. Thank you for being always there for me, for bringing me up kahit mag-isa ka lang. I love you very much. Ikaw lang naman ang naandiyan. So thank you," said the 22-year-old actor.
Even Kim noticed Xian’s closeness with his mother. Kim pointed out, "Sobrang close siya sa mommy niya. Wala siyang bukang-bibig kundi ang mommy niya... mommy’s boy siya."
Kris also called Kim’s sister, Ate Lakam, to ask her what changes she observed in Kim after suffering from heartbreak.
Ate Lakam revealed: "Nakita kong changes sa kanya, naging mature siya as a person. Mature sa lahat ng bagay."
Kim’s older sister also prays that Kim meets someone who is responsible. "Yung responsible at [mahalin] siya nang higit sa sarili niya."
Kim’s message to her Ate Lakam: "Ate ko at first, audition pa lang, siya na yung laging naandiyan. Lagi niyang bino-boost ang confidence ko...kung sa interview, dapat laging maganda ’yang damit mo. Kahit hindi maganda yung sagot mo, at least, mapapansin na maganda ’yang damit mo. Sa bahay, pinag-uusapan namin yung mga nangyari. Gustong-gusto na niya akong magjowa, sabi ko, ’Ate, hindi pa kaya. Wait lang, darating tayo diyan.’"
When Xian was asked to give his personal message to Kim, he said with a smile:
"Kim, gusto ko lang malaman mo na ang lahat ng ginagawa ko, it’s not because naandito ang show or people are telling me to do it. It’s straight from the heart. Baka you’re having doubts na ’maybe, he is being showbiz.’ It’s not like that. I’m sincere sa friendship natin. I’m happy and I’m comfortable around you. Masaya kang kasama. Sobra."
On listening to Xian’s message, Kim quipped: "Ang lalim naman. Di ko mapapantayan ’yan. Pasensiya. Thank you. Sa kanta pa lang, the lyrics, pinapakita niya yung respeto sa akin. Ang kung ano ang dapat maramdaman ko as a girl. Lagi siyang naandiyan. Sana huwag na siyang mahiya. Masyado siyang mahiyain. Sana mag-open up ka naman. Sana makilala pa kita at magkilalanin pa tayo. Thank you."
Before ending the episode, Kris gave advice to the two young stars: "Ang heartache at heartbreak lumilipas ’yan. Pero ang nananatili diyan, yung relationship.
"Kay Xian, yung pagmamahal na binuhos na mommy niya at kay Kim, yung pagmamahal na binuhos ng mga kapatid niya. Yun talaga ang makakapagsabi kung ano ka."