MANILA — The irony of aspiring housemates who are now auditioning for “Pinoy Big Brother” after once supporting the broadcast shutdown of its home network ABS-CBN is not lost on Kim Chiu, the reality show’s first-ever teen winner.
Chiu, who credits “PBB” for her showbiz breakthrough in 2006, was asked Thursday about circulating posts showing supposed auditionees of the reality show having a history of using the hashtag #YesToABSCBNShutdown.
At the height of the controversy surrounding ABS-CBN’s broadcast franchise, Chiu was among the most visible Kapamilya artists who expressed support for the network — at one point becoming the target of ridicule for what’s now known as the “Bawal Lumabas” meme.
“Okay lang. At least hindi nanaig ‘yung sinabi nilang ‘Yes to ABS-CBN Shutdown.’ Meron pa ring liwanag,” she said.
Chiu was speaking during a media conference for the horror film “U-Turn,” one of her several projects since ABS-CBN was forced off air starting May and subsequently migrated to digital and cable.
ABS-CBN has also since returned to free TV through a blocktime agreement with Zoe Broadcasting Network, via the newly rebranded A2Z Channel 11.
Referring to “PBB” auditionees who wished ill of ABS-CBN, Chiu added: “Sa ginagawa nilang ‘yan, sinu-support pa rin nila ‘yung Kapamilya channel. So parang, kinain lang nila ‘yung sinabi nila!”
“Maganda rin, kasi at least nabigyan sila ng hope na maging isang housemate and matupad nila ‘yung pangarap nila for their family. Naniniwala pa rin — because of Kapamilya Channel, because of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ opening the house again sa lahat ng mga nangangarap — na there’s still hope. Kahit na sinabi nilang ‘Yes to ABS-CBN Shutdown,’ naniniwala pa rin silang merong pag-asa dito sa ABS.”
Chiu was 16 when she entered “PBB,” with the hope of providing financially for her family. After winning, the actress, now 30, steadily became one of the most in-demand actresses of her generation, and remains so today.
Asked if she has any advice for aspiring housemates who are now auditioning, Chiu had this to say:
“Just be yourself. Huwag ka magpanggap na ito ka, ganiyan ka. Kasi kung ano ‘yung personality mo, iyan ‘yung magugustuhan nila, kasi gusto nila iba-ibang personality. May funny, may misteryoso. It’s a combination of different personalities in one house, kaya nga nag-ka-clash sila. Kung ano ka, iyon ‘yung ipakita mo, kasi iyon ‘yung mahalaga.”
The ongoing auditions of “PBB: Connect” via the livestreaming app Kumu are open to hopefuls aged 16 to 35 years old.
“Connect” is the ninth season and overall the 15th edition of the iconic program, where strangers from diverse backgrounds share a home and perform social tasks for months.
Since its 2005 premiere, “PBB” has produced several big-name stars, including Chiu, Gerald Anderson, James Reid, Maymay Entrata, and Sam Milby, among others.