Kim tells press: We don't owe you our personal lives
Actress grilled on relationship with Xian Lim
MANILA -- "We don't owe you any of our personal lives."
This was Kim Chiu's sharp statement after being cornered about whether she and onscreen partner Xian Lim are a couple behind the camera.
The 23-year-old actress was speaking during a press conference held Tuesday for "Bride for Rent," her second film with Lim in a lead role.
The Star Cinema production, directed by Mae Czarina Cruz, will hit theaters on January 15.
Chiu, who was seated beside Lim during the event, was asked to answer with a "yes" or "no" when sought for confirmation as to whether she and her leading man are in a relationship.
"Ako, sinagot narin namin to sa last presscon namin [ni Xian]," Chiu said. "We don't owe you any of our personal lives siguro. You can think whatever you want to think as long as you're happy when you watch us on TV, nakikita niyo kung paano kami ma-inlove, ganyan. And 'yun na 'yon."
"And lahat naman tayo merong mga hindi dapat i-share o dapat i-share, and it's our choice, and I hope you guys respect that," she said.
Asked the same question, Lim said, "In time naman po malalaman naman po ng lahat kung ano 'yung status, kung anuman po 'yung gustong malaman nila."
"Pero I don't think this is the time, this is the perfect time para magsalita kung anuman po ang nangyayari, kung anuman po 'yung... Pero in time, we won't be selfish about it, we'll be more than happy to share it with you guys," Lim said.
Referring to Chiu's statement, another reporter told the actress he felt offended. Chiu and Lim's relationship, the reporter added, appears to be all for show, and that it is supposedly "fooling" their audience.
"Ay, umabot na po ba tayo sa gano'n?" Chiu answered. "Atsaka 'yung movie po 'yung pino-promote namin, hindi kaming dalawa."
'Respect for myself'
Short of saying that they are a couple, Chiu and Lim have been vocal of their admiration for each other since their "love team" took off in 2011 via "My Binondo Girl." While they admitted to "seeing each other exclusively" in a televised interview in July 2013, the two have never confirmed being officially an item.
During the press conference on Tuesday, reporters also noted how Chiu has been open about other aspects of her personal life, notably her family and her mother's passing in June last year, and yet is seemingly evasive of a "happier" subject that is her supposed relationship with Lim.
"Hindi naman po lahat ng malulungkot shinare ko," Chiu said. "Syempre may masasaya, na mataas 'yung rating ng soap, blockbuster, nakakuha ako ng Best Actress award. Marami din naman po akong shinare... Hindi naman 'yun press release. Syempre sine-share ko rin 'yung mga 'yun dahil utang ko rin ang success ko sa mga tao, at sa inyo, utang ko sa inyo kung ano ang narating ko ngayon."
"Atsaka 'yung buhay ko, simula noong lumabas ako sa TV, open book na siya eh, kasi nagsimula ako sa 'Pinoy Big Brother.' Alam nila kung saan ako nanggaling," she added.
Chiu was referring to her 42-day stint as a housemate in the first "Teen" edition of the reality TV show aired in 2006, where she opened up about the abandonment of her mother when she was a child, her estrangement from her father, and how she and her siblings grew up under the care of her grandparents.
She went on to become the first teen "Big Winner" of the show -- a title that served as her ticket to showbiz and being one of the most visible leading ladies on ABS-CBN.
Chiu has since had to tackle several controversies involving her personal life, including her breakup with former boyfriend, actor Gerald Anderson, and her falling out with best friend and "Ina, Kapatid, Anak" co-star Maja Salvador.
"I also have respect for myself," Chiu said, "and may mga bagay na gusto akong i-share sa inyo, and may mga bagay na sana gusto ko sana akin lang. Kasi minsan lang 'yun eh."