MANILA — “Kim Chiu, buhay na buhay ngayong 2020!”
For the actress, that would be the most fitting headline to encapsulate the year that’s been for her, amid successive challenges in her career and personal life, among them one that literally endangered her life.
Chiu, 30, was asked to come up with her own headline in light of her role in the just-released horror flick “U-Turn” — a journalist, Donna, who investigates a series of suicides.
“Kim Chiu, humihinga pa rin sa 2020!” she quipped, laughing, during a recent virtual conference for the film.
Turning serious, she said: “Tama, ‘no? Buhay. Masaya lang ako na after everything, buhay ako!”
“Alive” applies to both herself and her career, Chiu said, recalling the March shooting incident involving a van carrying her, and the broadcast shutdown of her home network ABS-CBN.
She also survived the “Bawal Lumabas” meme meant to ridicule her — an episode she once described as “one of the lowest points” in her life — and has since turned it into a music hit and a series.
“Buo ako,” she said of the van shooting. “Walang daplis, walang dugo… Ang dami, emotionally, physically, ang daming gulo — but, ‘Kim Chiu, buhay na buhay sa 2020!’”
Seven months since the life-threatening incident, and five months since ABS-CBN was forced off free television, Chiu has somehow become more ubiquitous than ever.
Currently, on top of the digital run of “U-Turn,” Chiu is juggling daily hosting duties on “It’s Showtime” as a recently added mainstay, weekly performances on “ASAP Natin ‘To,” and preparations for the series adaptation of “Bawal Lumabas.”
Those succession of projects came immediately after the conclusion of “Love Thy Woman,” her ABS-CBN drama which successfully transitioned to digital after the network’s free-TV exit.
“Honestly, it’s overwhelming, ‘yung mga nangyayari,” she told ABS-CBN News. “Parang, ‘Shocks, nangyayari ba talaga ‘tong sabay?’ Siyempre, not complaining kasi ang haba rin ng ipinahinga natin, simula noong March.”
“Ang daming nangyari noong mga panahon na ‘yun. Lahat tayo, ako, nag-aalala kung ano ang mangyayari, ano’ng next nito? Magta-trabaho pa ba ako? Ang daming mga worries na ngayon ay napunan na,” Chiu said.
“Ang daming ginagawa, but at the same time I’m very happy, I’m very grateful sa mga opportunities na ibinibigay sa akin ng Kapamilya channel.”
Chiu’s ongoing projects are also more diversely accessible than ever. “U-Turn” is the inaugural Cinexpress offering of ABS-CBN, while “It’s Showtime” and “ASAP Natin ‘To” are on free television (A2Z), cable (Kapamilya Channel), and online (Kapamilya Online Live and iWant TFC).
During variety shows’ respective return to free television, Chiu was seen tearful on stage — and again, when she was asked to recall her emotions at the time.
“Happy lang and very thankful with everything that is unfolding in these last months,” she told ABS-CBN News.
“Masyadong mabigat ‘yung taon na ‘to. Totoo nga ‘yung sabi na umiikot talaga ang [kapalaran], hindi ka laging nasa baba. Ngayon, dahan-dahan na ulit na umaakyat.”