Everybody loves Xian
- Cai Subijano () - March 24, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Xian Lim isn’t a household name yet, but despite the initial difficulties with pronunciation (it’s “see-an,” not “shee-an”), it will be pretty soon. The 22-year-old has all the qualities a matinee idol requires: He’s 6’2”, has the good looks, skin, and bone structure of an eyewear model, and a really nice smile. But there’s more to a matinee idol than being really, really ridiculously good-looking. After all, not just any Tom, Dick, or Harry with a handsome mug can present himself to the Mr. Johnny Manahan and have him respond by nodding his head and saying the magic word: “Okay,” which is exactly what happened to Xian. Three years later, he’s snagging endorsements most working actors can only dream of and pairing up with Kim Chiu — in other words, he’s turning out to be a pretty big deal. 

But before all this, he was warming the benches as a forward on the UE Red Warriors Team B. After learning that he had to wait two years in order to establish residency (he was born and raised in the US, but went to school here as a child and visited frequently for vacation), he decided that he’d rather head back to the States where everybody called him “Alex.” “Sabi ko, ‘I’m done with the Philippines. I’m just gonna go back to the States and do my regular thing.’ And then I met (celebrity stylist), Ton (Lao). I took some set cards with him tapos one day he said, ‘Gusto mong mag-artista? I’ll introduce you to Mr. M.’ After that, he introduced me and that’s how it started,” Xian says.

If Mr. M had a good hunch about Xian, it was with good reason: If showbiz was an instrument (and he can play about 20 of them, having been a band geek in the brass section when he was in high school), Xian is picking it up pretty quickly — he knows how to play the game. Ask him about his relationship with Kim, he’ll be coy and say they’re really good friends, but mention that “she’s really special.” Ask him to rate himself as a basketball player and he’ll kid, “Nako, kung ako kasi yung tatanungin mo, magaling na talaga ako, eh! (laughs) Babawasan ko pa ba?” And when the laughter dies down, he’ll follow it up with: “No, no, siyempre, I’m okay…” sending off another round of laughter. And if you try asking him to try out one of his famous pick-up lines on you, he’ll wait till right before the interview ends and pretend to forget, saying, “Mayroon akong favorite na pick-up line, eh. Yung sobrang cheesy kaya gustong-gusto ko... Grabe, wala talaga akong maisip na pick-up line kasi ikaw nalang yung nasa isip ko palagi.” Boom. What can we say? The kid is good.

From getting a kick out of getting a couple hundred or thousand hits singing and throwing pick-up lines on Youtube, the kid now gets 100,000 views in two days with his McDonald’s McFloat TVC. Heck, the kid’s hawking McFloats along EDSA-Guadalupe, on web banners on various websites, LRT billboards, on the radio, and as a life-sized standee in all 330 branches of McDonald’s. See where we’re going with this whole household name thing? Just give Xian until the end of this summer. You’ll see.

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