If there is one thing that Kim Chiu is known for, it’s her generosity. The young star has a reputation for being very accommodating to her fans, taking time to chat with many of them who fly in from as far as Australia just to see her. During a dinner she hosted for friends at her Quezon City home early this year to celebrate the Chinese New Year, she distributed cash in red envelopes (ang pao) to her guests, in keeping with Chinese practices.
It was a night where food, good conversation, and laughter overflowed. To mark her most recent birthday (she turned 21 last April 19), Kim visited Grace To Be Born, a home for abandoned babies located in Pasig City. Kim chose to go to this center after discovering that the institution was among the most in need of donations and yet was the least visited. She brought along supplies like babies’ milk. Visiting charitable institutions in time for her birthday has become a recent tradition. In an interview with a showbiz Web site, she said that it was her own small way of sharing her success with the people who have made it possible.
The blessings certainly have not stopped pouring her way since 2006 when the then-16-year-old Cebuana bested all by becoming the Big Winner in the popular reality show, Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition. She has appeared almost non-stop in TV shows and movies, usually with love team partner (and, for a time, boyfriend) Gerald Anderson. Among her most notable projects are the local version of the hit Koreanovela My Girl, the teleserye Tayong Dalawa, and movies Paano Na Kaya, and Till My Heartache Ends. This year, Kim appeared in her own drama anthology, Your Song Presents Kim.
In great shape
Very soon, she will take on a new and more challenging role in her upcoming TV series Binondo Girl, where she plays off with three new leading men: Matteo Guidicelli, Jolo Revilla, and Xian Lim. Although Kim cannot disclose the details of her new TV character just yet, she obliges the media with the following important detail: “Parang Mulan,” she announces at her birthday press conference. Kim is referring to the Chinese heroine who joined the imperial army and became the subject of a 1998 Disney animated film of the same name.
To prepare for the physical demands of her new role, Kim has doubled her time at the gym. The result: more toned muscles and a 12-lb. weight gain. According to showbiz news reports, she firmed up her frame from 96 pounds to 108 pounds. While Kim is no athlete, she is not a weakling either. She can play a mean game of badminton and is a competent swimmer. One proof of her fitness is her stamina to withstand her grueling taping schedule. “Sanay na ang katawan ko na work nang work, late natutulog at maaga nagigising. Kapag may araw na kasi sa labas, nahihirapan na ako matulog,” she explains.
In spite of the demanding workload, she rarely gets sick. “Lahat ng mga kasama ko—P.A. (personal assistant) ko, driver ko—may sakit na sila, pero ako wala. Hindi pa rin nagkakasakit,” she affirms.
A love for food
Kim attributes her imperviousness to a diet of meat and vegetables. (She is allergic to seafood. “Except for tilapia,” she qualifies.) Among her favorite dishes are pork chops, barbecue, hamburger, siomai, meatballs, pasta, mashed potato, and spare ribs. For breakfast, she usually takes cereal.
“Lagi na lang akong sinasabihan na, ‘Kumain ka! Kumain ka!’” Kim says, alluding to those who have made an issue of her thinness. “[Pero], kumakain naman ako. Hindi lang ako lumalaki. Tiyan ko lang at saka cheeks ko ang lumalaki. Yun lang talaga.”
Kim adds that her friends and co-workers can attest that she has a healthy appetite. “Nakakasabay ko naman sila kumain. Nagugulat sila. Sinasabi nila ‘Ay, malakas naman palang kumain si Kim!’ Sinasabi ko naman, ‘Oo! Wala lang sa katawan ko.’”
She credits the fruit in her daily diet to her stout constitution. While she prefers pears and melon and drinks a lot of buko and pineapple juice, she admits, “Minsan, nauubos ko ang isang pakwan!”