What Xian Lim is most proud of in his 15 years in showbiz

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
What Xian Lim is most proud of in his 15 years in showbiz
Xian Lim addresses all the issues he faced recently, explaining: ‘I’m not a bullsh****r and this is probably why I’m getting plenty of intrigues as well because I live truthfully.’

Xian Lim feels grateful and humbled for reaching 15 years in showbiz.

MANILA, Philippines — If there’s one thing he is proud of, it would be his growth as an artist.

“Because to be honest when I first got into (former home network) ABS, when they got me as a talent, as an artist, hindi ko naman (siya na-imagine),” said Xian, adding that he was “very sheltered, shy and introverted kid” who leaned towards sports and entered quite late in the business.

“So, I think the growth of loving yung pagiging isang artist and actor, and then pag-grow din into becoming a filmmaker and writer, I never imagined that it would be me.

“But this is where fate brought me and now, I’m also writing and directing.”

The STAR and another media outlet got to interview Xian, who also addressed all the issues he faced recently, saying, “I’m not a bullsh***r and this is probably why I’m getting plenty of intrigues as well because I live truthfully.” Below are excerpts from the interview (edited for brevity).

On his 15-year milestone:

“I feel really proud, to be honest. As much as possible, ayoko kasi siya talaga bilangin. I’m proud that I’ve been doing this for 15 years and more but I’m not saying I know it…

“I remember when I did ‘Everything About Her’ with Miss Vilma Santos, we had a talk because I was so nervous I couldn’t memorize my lines. We had a confrontation and crying scenes, and she pulled me to the side and she said, she’s been doing it for over 50 years and hindi pa rin, one can’t fully grasp what it is that we do, alam mo yun? Parang we are still under the baton of the director, we are still under the baton of everyone around us so we’re just a vessel. Being an actor is just the vessel. So it’s the experience. Yes, I’m proud of the experience but I’m not saying I know everything.”
On advice to his younger self (joining showbiz):

“Just be prepared to get out of your comfort zone, work really hard and just roll with the punches dahil masakit siya. Because you will get constant criticism tungkol sa sarili mo, tungkol sa ginagawa mo, because it’s a creative field.”

On the viral comment he was difficult to work with:

“Wala po kasi talagang relationship or contact ang isang artista at isang writer at all in a TV show, maybe in a film yes because you get to jam, it’s a collaborative process, but in a TV show, it’s very systematic.

“So the person I get to talk to is the production manager and the creative head of GMA. They pitched this show (‘Hearts On Ice’), very broad, ‘Xian, are you willing to accept the project na love story that happens on ice?’ Sabi ko, ano po yung role? Hindi pa namin alam yung intricacies, yung full details but you fall in love with a figure skater. I said, wow amazing, I just came from my first show which was ‘False Positive,’ yung buntis ako, what a perfect time to showcase my passion, how hard I work. I said yes (even) if I don’t know how to figure skate. I took private lessons with my own money… That’s what I wanna be proud of is the amount of time I put in with (the coaches who are talented figure skaters). I went in for six months. On the sixth month (of training), I was issued a certificate then finally the show began.

“Kinamusta ako ng mga creatives on how I am, the progress, I proudly showed them the certificate. Then I was just asking about my character, ano yung mga gagawin ko, which is I think valid because ako yung magpo-portray so I know what to do. I don’t know the guy, I’ve never met him… How I wish he can elaborate because I worked really hard for that show.

“But to answer your question, am I difficult to work with? I don’t think so. I speak my mind on set. I raise concerns, I give an opinion and ask questions about the character I am about to portray. As I should because it’s my job to bring life to it… Maybe it comes off as difficult to other people...I’m just passionate about my craft.

“Sadly, when it comes to these kinds of rumors, it’s easier to believe that artists are being difficult. That’s the easiest fruit to pick. Rather than seeing how much effort we are putting in. Let’s remember that there are always two sides to the story.”

On how he is after breakup with Kim Chiu:

“Of course, no ill feelings. I’m really just focused on work, I’m really just focused on my craft. I want to be as creative as possible. I wanna create. I just finished writing and directing a movie, it’s a horror movie that you will know soon. We shot in Thailand… My focus is on work, nothing else in terms of ill feelings. Wala po yan because we talked about this.

“It was a wonderful 12 years, it wasn’t a toxic relationship… So when it happened, we assured each other that we would be (OK). We are on good terms. And we’re gonna be happy for each other.

“I know it’s painful especially for the people who supported us for 12 years pero hindi naman namin ito ginusto. Kaya nga siya tumagal ng 12 years is because we worked on the relationship. Pinagtatanggol namin ang isa’t isa, we were there for each other, wala pong pagkukulang.

“It’s just that life happens. Nangyari po yung nangyari so masakit din po yun para sa amin. I think they should accept and let’s just all move on with our lives.”

On his mom as pillar and support system:

“She really just advised me to stay away from the news, social media platforms because it was just getting out of hand… too out of hand. Her advice is to stay home and not mind all the fake news, all the bashing, all the things that people are saying about me because deep inside… alam naman namin ang totoo, so that’s all that matters. Kung ito ang gusto nilang paniwalaan, wala naman akong magagawa dun.

“But yeah, she was my support, my pillar, the wall I leaned on to and even until now. I’m very lucky she’s a strong mom. Other people might have broken down. Dahil dito, sa nangyari na ito, even she was getting harmful, over-the-top messages, threats from people.

“Ang tagal din kasi nung relationship plus the team-up… And the supporters, I don’t even call them fans, I call them friends because sa sobrang tagal, they became family.

“They have my mom’s number. She was just a text away from the followers but all of a sudden, itong nangyari na naghiwalay po kami, I just don’t understand why people we know are going out of their way to say hurtful words to my mother.

“Syempre nakakalungkot siya because these are people we trusted but then wala. My mom had to change her number and ang dami pang nangyayari. I’m glad she’s strong even until now na ang dami daming mga bagong lumalabas.”

On latest issues (steak rumor and calling Kim):

“There’s no truth to it, okay, it’s very absurd… I did not. It’s not possible, ‘di ako yung nag-initiate ng break-up eh.

“(As for calling and asking Kim to announce he was seeing someone else) No truth to it... Kinuwento sakin ng kaibigan ko, hindi ko naintindihan yung context so I had to… I don’t watch mga ganyang intrigues. Nakaka-stress lang kasi 90-percent of the time naman parang hindi naman siya accurate so no truth to it.

“What’s true is that I called Kim. We parted ways then nung mga panahon na yun, may mga lumalabas na nabali-balita… Eto na po yung nakakatanggap nanay ko ng threats… If I may give an example, there was an instance na may may sinabi sila na parang sana mamatay na daw yung lola ko, they even brought up her cancer. And this is from a supporter that turned into a family that we know.

“It has gotten way out of hand doon sa two weeks (after breakup). So I had to give her a call… this was around November. I was actually begging Kim that we should release a statement that we have gone on our separate ways, on good terms, walang sigawan, of course, may iyakan like normal human beings but walang masamang tinapay, walang masamang anything, but it was getting out of hand..

“I asked her to and I actually was begging for both of us to release a statement but during that call, she declined… She said ‘in time.’ I guess that ‘in time’ was December before Christmas. Hindi ko alam kung bakit yun ang na-decide nila and why nila ako pinagbigyan but I was glad we got to release both statements. Again, wala naman pong masamang tinapay, pilit lang po kaming pinag-aaway ng, I guess, kung sino man.”

On why he was speaking up on the issues:

“Yun lang po yung pinanghahawakan ko, the truth, these are the things that happened. I wouldn’t say it’s liberating but I think people deserve to know the truth…

“Parang I just wanna work. I’ve worked really hard to get where I am today. Fifteen years is no joke so I don’t wanna be defined or maalala ako ng mga tao dahil lang dito sa breakup, because of the negative things, and the made-up things people are saying. No. I work hard, I wanna be remembered for the projects that I do and for living truthfully.”

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