Paano Kita Mapasasalamatan: A chain of kindness that saved Kim Chiu from giving up

Genuine concern and kindness certainly offers a touching chain that affects the lives of many people—selfless, compassionate acts we all celebrate and recognize on Paano Kita Mapasasalamatan.

In the June 27 episode, we shall witness how this chain of kindness affected many lives, including Kim Chiu, who admitted she almost thought of leaving showbiz and migrating to Canada.

The show first featured Nanay Baby Cerdena, who had faced countless misfortunes as a waste picker and charcoal vendor in the remote, impoverished Isla Pulo in Navotas with her fisherman husband Antonio and their 12 children.

After devotedly allotting a small amount from her meager earnings, Nanay Baby was able to purchase a small outrigger boat for fishing. But when the devastating Typhoon Ondoy struck Luzon, Nanay Baby’s family not only lost their home, but also their means of livelihood, including the outrigger boat, which was destroyed in the storm.

They tried to face their ordeals squarely and never gave up, even if they were quite difficult to bear.

Nanay Baby meets Kim

This was until an ABS-CBN celebrity challenge program I Dare You in 2011 picked their community to have Kapamilya stars immerse themselves into their daily lives.  Here, Nanay Baby got to meet Kim Chiu, who with fellow challenger Ryan Bang, had to stay in their simple abode for three days without any of their belongings, including money, and had to depend on what their host family would provide them while doing their everyday chores.  It was during this time that Kim had shared a close bond with Nanay Baby, because she truly showed the traits of a real mother to her by trying to provide her and Ryan what they needed despite her limited resources.

With Nanay Baby having been endeared to Kim, the Kapamilya actress would give her the surprise of her life after the program—a small outrigger boat that the family needed to continue fishing, including food items and other forms of assistance to the family and the community. Because of this, Nanay Baby has since considered Kim her daughter by heart, and when the Love Thy Woman star’s life was endangered in an ambush incident earlier this year, she said she cried her heart out in deep concern for Kim. And when Kim became a target of incessant bashing over a controversial statement online, Nanay Baby took her detractors to task for attacking her generous, pure-hearted “panganay.”

Nanay Baby would then embolden Kim not to let these bashers bring her down, and urged her to continue to fight. To show her gratitude to Kim for all the help she has given her family, Nanay Baby gave her a simple token of appreciation—a long sleeved blouse that she said would signify her love for her as a second mother.

Having such a motherly figure was something Kim truly wanted, after the passing of her mother Louella to brain aneurysm in 2013. Kim said that with Nanay Baby around, she knows she has another mom very much alive to look after her.

Ups and downs of Kim’s life

The death of her mom was definitely not the only hurtful incident in her life, but Kim knew how to face all these ordeals. From the time her parents were separated and her mom becoming bankrupt to having trouble finding relatives to support her schooling and even provide her and her siblings a place to stay, Kim was a survivor even at her tender early teens.

When she succeeded in entering and emerging as the Big Winner of the Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition 1 in 2006, life changed for the better. And a thriving, triumphant showbiz career provided her the means of bringing her family together under one roof, and supporting her siblings’ schooling.

Even with the many victories she achieved, there were terrible, shocking downturns. The ambush try last March already was something that left her in tatters, but she still managed to compose herself and still pushed through with her activities for the day, like a true professional.

READ: God is good! Kim Chiu is back to work after van shooting incident

But when she got bashed and ridiculed left and right for a controversial live statement over the shutdown of ABS-CBN, Kim seriously felt she could no longer take it and give in to thoughts of leaving showbiz for good and migrating to Canada.

WATCH: Kim Chiu on taking ABS-CBN off the air: “Bakit n’yo tatanggalan ng pangarap at pag-asa ang isang tao?”

Depressed and desolate, Kim stayed in reclusion for a while, until she got to read an “open letter” from a netizen named Adrian Crisanto.

In the letter, Adrian advised Kim not to let these bashers bring her down and instead use it to her advantage, and rise above it.

Thus, Kim’s “Bawal Lumabas (Classroom Song)” was born out of Adrian’s own ideas set to the beats of DJ Squammy. This made Kim turn what was seen to be a negative, disastrous situation into something that would redeem and reassert her superb stature as an entertainer.  The song was a hit and turned into a viral video with 10 million views in one day, a trending dance challenge, a song with numerous renditions in different genres.

Saving grace

As such, Adrian’s act of kindness and concern was Kim’s “saving grace” at her lowest point, making her still believe in herself and continue to fight on whatever happens.

With this, Kim had so much to thank Adrian for, especially for bringing back the confidence she needed to move on with her career. As a token of appreciation, Kim gave Adrian an upscale headset gear that symbolizes how she listened and took heed to his advice.

For Adrian, like Kim, he had experienced feeling down and out as he stepped out of college as a Communication Arts graduate. He couldn’t find the right job that suited him, until a college friend Edward Nonay suggested that he apply for a creative job in the advertising agency he works for. When Adrian got accepted, he would encounter a challenging work environment that also almost made him surrender. But amidst all Adrian’s professional trials as an art director, Edward was there to give him tips and words of encouragement for him to overcome those difficulties. And because of Edward, he did not surrender and continued to work for the advertising agency for a year until he had to resign for a more lucrative position that would help him fulfill his duties as a family breadwinner.

To thank Edward, Adrian gave him an artistic lightbulb-laden fixture that shows the wealth of ideas and inspiration Edward imparted to him that made him a stronger, productive creative person.

Second father

For his part, Edward had been selfless and caring for his friends, including Adrian, because he learned to be more expressive and outreaching from a campus Christian community leader, Tristram Batoto, who evangelized and made him join his group. Prior to meeting Tristram, Edward was an introvert. He had difficulty relating to other people and always had this tendency to withdraw himself socially. But when he met Tristram in the campus, Edward saw him as a “second father” and helped him build his confidence and communication skills. Tristram’s wisdom and advice made him navigate his college life pretty well until he graduated and found a flourishing career as a graphics designer.

How did Edward thank Tristram? He gave him a small map, which he said symbolized how he guided him in his difficult journey and became an accomplished person.

With Edward learning how to get along with people from Tristram, he became Adrian’s mentor in the advertising agency they worked for. And because of Edward’s guidance, Adrian learned the value of helping other people. This value led Adrian to inspire Kim with her “Bawal Lumabas” ditty to search for something positive from a negative situation. Thanks to Adrian, Kim realized that she has more to give as an artist and should not give up, especially spreading happiness and love to more people, just like Nanay Baby, who sees Kim as her beloved “daughter” helping her fight the good fight for a better life.  

A touching chain of kindness and redemption, indeed, that is certainly uplifting and inspiring.

Watch more enriching and enlightening stories each week on Paano Kita Mapasasalamatan, hosted by Judy Ann Santos, Saturdays 6:45pm on the Kapamilya Channel.