TAGS: kim chiu, starstudio

Photography by: Stephen Capuchino

One fine Thursday afternoon, Kim Chiu sits down with StarStudio.ph for an interview covering a gamut of topics, and ponders the idea of having one great love, which happens to be the title of her Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry.

“One great love is, siguro,” she begins, trying to organize her thoughts, “kahit anong gawin sa ’yo, hindi mo siya makakalimutan. Basta nagmarka siya sa ’yo. Maiisip mo na sa dami nang dumaan sa ’yo, siya pa rin talaga. Parang gano’n.”

Photo from Regal Entertainment

Her beautiful face lights up when asked if she considers her boyfriend Xian Lim her one great love. “Yes, oo!” goes her quick reply. “Siguro ngayon? Yeah.”

Then, the 28-year-old actress and TV host gives a big smile. “Hindi ko talaga alam,” she admits, laughing now. “Hindi ko nga alam kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng one great love.”  But Kim knows exactly everything in her life and heart that concerns Xian. “We’re happy naman sa where we are now and what we have now,” she declares.

Photo from Instagram (@chinitaprincess)

Kim and Xian first worked together in her first solo project, the teleserye My Binondo Girl, which ran from August 2011 to January 2012. She had three male lead costars: Jolo Revilla, Matteo Guidicelli, and Xian Lim. Xian turned out to be the perfect one for Kim, and they were soon paired in more TV dramas like Ina, Kapatid, Anak (2012-2013) and The Story of Us (2016). They also headlined the hit romcoms Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo (2013), Bride for Rent (2014), Must Date the Playboy (2015), and All You Need is Pag-ibig (2015).

Photo from TFC.tv

Over the years, Kim and Xian have grown closer as the KimXi love team and as real-life friends, so much so that people have started speculating romance blooming between them. For starters, they turned up as each other’s date in the 2013 edition of Star Magic Ball (now known as ABS-CBN Ball), and they have since made up one of the annual event’s favorite couples. They also have kilig posts of each other that pleased their fans to no end.

Five months ago, Xian celebrated his 29th birthday before the actual date, July 12, and he posted on his Instagram account a video of what transpired that day: he was having a little party with Kim and his basketball team, Mandaluyong El Tigre, along with a black panther on a leash.

The following day, Kim posted a heartfelt birthday greeting to Xian. She wrote: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the person who always brings out the best in me, always makes me believe that I can do things that [I’m] afraid of doing, always makes me laugh so hard, for riding with all my craziness (esp riding rollercoasters that you dont really like. My official travel photographer, my sponge when [I’m] feeling down, thank you for being you! Wishing you nothing but the best in everything that you do! Know that [I’m] always here for you enjoy the rest of the day!”

Photo from Instagram (@chinitaprincess)

During our interview, though, the 28-year-old actress and TV host turns coy about the exact date she and Xian became officially a couple.

“Hindi ko nga sinabi kay Tito Boy,” she tells us, referring to her interview on talk show Tonight with Boy Abunda (TWBA), with whom she confirmed her romantic status. “Akin na lang ’yun!”

THE CONFIRMATION

In the November 14 episode of TWBA, host Boy Abunda, who’s known in and out of showbiz as Tito Boy, asked his guest star Kim Chiu why she and Xian have not been very vocal about the real status of their relationship.

“Grabe, Tito Boy!” Kim reacted, squealing. At the time, the actress-TV host had just returned home from Australia for the ASAP Sydney show, and she said she hasn’t seen much of Xian, who, for his part, was filming in Japan.

But Tito Boy pressed on, wondering aloud that he hasn’t heard Kim and Xian say, “Kami.”

Screengrabbed from Tonight With Boy Abunda - November 14, 2018 episode

“Oo, alam na naman ng mga tao,” she pointed out.

Tito Boy became straightforward in his next question: “Are you and Xian officially together?”

“Tito Boy, grabe po ’yun,” she replied, squealing again. “Mahirap po ’yun for a 28-year-old. Joke!” She then paused for a moment, and announced what her and Xian’s followers have been waiting to hear. “Yes, oo, Tito Boy.”

The TV host then commented that Xian is probably one of the most misunderstood in the business, to which Kim agreed, and revealed the other side of her boyfriend. “Pero kung magpapakita siya ng sweetness, do’n matutunaw ka na kasi iba talaga siya mag-surprise, mag-express,” she said.

Tito Boy became more forthright, inquiring: “Is he the one?”

“Grabe, hindi ko pa alam, Tito Boy,” Kim said. “Wala pa ang isip ko sa mga gano’n… Wala pa, Tito Boy. Wala sa isip ko ’yan ngayon.”

Screengrabbed from Tonight With Boy Abunda - November 14, 2018 episode

On a lighter note, Tito Boy asked Kim what she finds so sexy about Xian. Giggling, she responded: “Sa akin, ano ba ang sexy kay Xian? Mata niya, at saka ang jawline niya. Na siya lang ang may jawline na gano’n.”

And then Tito Boy ventured into the future and posited this hypothetical question: “If you were to marry someone, would it be him?”

Kim was unmoved. “Wala pa nga sa isip ko ang kasal talaga,” she firmly said. “Hindi ko rin alam… Hindi namin pinag-uusapan din. Meron kaming mga priorities. Marami pa kaming gustong gawin sa buhay. Ang bata pa naman. Ngayon naman ang mga career woman, mga 30-plus pa nila iniisip. Pag nag-30 sila, do’n na lang iniisip.”

 

BEING WITH XIAN

Nonetheless, the lovely and in love showbiz star can’t help spilling the beans on the other aspects of their relationship during our interview. She recalls with amusement that “nangyari na lang siya,” and it started as “biruan.”

She relates to StarStudio.ph what happened next: “Pero ’yun, sabi ko, ‘Try natin one week kaya? Two weeks kaya? Three weeks kaya?’” Nodding, she says it was like a trial relationship at first. “Pag hindi talaga, huwag na. Okey. Gano’n.”

Photo from Instagram (@chinitaprincess)

Kim agrees that falling in love on the TV or movie set, where she and Xian have spent a lot of time in, tends to become inevitable. “Oo, naaano ka talaga sa leading man mo, lalo na pag parati kayong magkasama,” she explains. “Nagiging gano’n talaga, di mo maiwasan. Pero at least, inspired ka to go to work every day. May kausap ka, nagkakaintindihan kayo, kasi parehas kayo ng ginagawa. Kaya ’yung mga young love teams ngayon, di mo rin sila masisi kasi lalo na pag bata ka, mafo-fall ka talaga. Kahit akting-akting lang ’yun.”  

Even then, she never restrained herself from going where her heart leads her. She points out, “Parang ‘pag nangyari, okey. E di na-fall.”

And it helps that Kim has found Xian to be someone who’s not difficult to develop special feelings with.

“Para siyang shock absorber,” she says of her boyfriend. “Nakikinig siya sa lahat ng mga problema ko. And then, funny siya. Lagi siyang nandiyan, ’tas pareho kami na hindi masyadong mahilig gumimik, lumabas. Mahilig lang kami kumain, mag-work out. Parehas kami ng hilig.”

At first, though, Kim says Xian was the jealous type, but when he starred in the erotic thriller Sin Island in February 2018, he loosened up. That’s why Kim happily reports that Xian didn’t make an issue out of her love scenes with her One Great Love leading men Dennis Trillo and JC de Vera.

In fact, she says he looks forward to watching her movie, which will open on December 25, Christmas Day. “Na-excite din naman siya,” she exclaims.

Kim observes that she and Xian have different ways in expressing their affection to each other. “Siya kasi, mahilig siya sa surprise, as in manggugulat lang talaga siya,” she beams. “At saka sa sweet gesture. Sa akin, iba din naman. Tatanungin ko lang siya kung ano ang gusto niya. Mamaya, bibigyan ko na siya. Pero depende sa gusto niya.”

Photo from Instagram (@chinitaprincess)

More often than not, Xian yields to Kim’s trip. Case in point: the couple’s December 2017 trip to Finland to experience the Northern Lights. “Ako lang ang may gusto,” she laughs. “Kasi siya ang gusto niya talaga, mag-Greece. Sabi ko, ‘Walang snow doon. Walang reindeer, wala si Santa Claus. Gusto ko makita si Santa Claus.’ Sabi niya, ‘Sige na nga, tara na.’”

“Pinagbibigyan niya ’ko sa mga trip ko,” she adds. “Like nag-rollercoaster kami kahit ayaw niya. Skydive kami kahit ayaw niya. Ayaw niya ng heights, e. Ako, gusto ko.”

She lets out a hearty laugh when asked about the sacrifices she makes for her boyfriend: “Oo nga, no? Wala, charot!” She then thinks hard. “Hindi ako nagsha-shopping pag kasama siya kasi naiirita siya,” she finally replies, giggling. “Naiinis siya pag marami siyang dala.”

Yup, the shopaholic has someone who carries her fashionable loot.  “E binibitbit niya, e!” she says. “Sabi niya, ‘Alangan naman pagbitbitin kita.’ So, sabi ko, ‘di na lang ako mag-shopping. Okey, sige, mag-a-adjust ako. Pag may maganda, titignan ko na lang, ’tapos di ko na bibilhin. Pag nagta-travel kami, di ako nagsha-shopping. So pinupuno ko na lang ang bag ko ng mga pang-OOTD ko. Kasi alam ko na hindi naman ako bibili.”

Being forced to bring her bags full of outfit of the day (OOTD) stuff and skip shopping has a pleasant side effect to it. “Natuto din akong magtipid,” she says, agreeing that maybe it was Xian’s way of helping her save up. He is a certified kuripot, according to his girlfriend.

“Ano siya, very Chinese, pag dating sa money, sa gastos,” she says. “Pero gagastos siya sa pagkain. Kasi mapupunta daw ’yun sa katawan niya. Hindi daw niya makakalimutan ’yun. Hindi maiiwan sa bahay, ganyan.”

Xian has also influenced Kim to work out more. “Tambay siya sa gym, e,” she points out. “Ako lang din, sige na nga, mag-work out na rin ako.” On her own, though, the forever slender showbiz star does yoga, Pilates, and triathlon.

“Give and take kaming dalawa ng mga gagawin,” she continues gushing on how their relationship works. “’Tas pag travel, siya ang photographer ko. Marami kaming pictures, videos. Mahilig kami mag-picture, actually.”

And that’s why Kim is a picture of romantic bliss these days.  Ah, love!

 

 

 

 

 

Art Direction: Alfred Amado
Photographer's Assistants: Tony Valente, Ryan dela Cruz
Makeup: Anton Patdu
Hair: Jaymar Lahaylahay
Styling: Gian Carlo Laxamana