Born of Filipino-Chinese descent, she walked the streets of Tacloban, General Santos City, Mindoro, and Cebu as Kimberly Sue Yap Chiu. Growing up, she found herself constantly moving from one place to another with no permanent address, oftentimes estranged from her four other siblings. It wasn’t the ideal fairytale life, especially with her parents going on separate ways; hence, Kim only had one dream in her heart – to reunite her family. She wanted to build them a castle they can call home. This time, a permanent haven filled with love. But as luck would have it, Kim would be first living in another house.
In 2006, Kim joined the hit reality television show Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition – the first of its kind. Tagged as the “Chinese Cutie ng Cebu,” she stayed inside the Pinoy Big Brother house for more than 42 days, showing off her undeniable charm and extraordinary skills alongside 12 other hopefuls. The Philippines couldn’t get enough of the girl named Kim Chiu, so she was eventually crowned as the ultimate Teen Big Winner – the only housemate who wasn’t even nominated for eviction. This unprecedented victory became the turning point of her life. After the competition, she immediately signed with Star Magic and went on to guest star in a number of television shows in ABS-CBN. Kim had also made her debut as a regular performer and co-host on the Sunday afternoon musical variety staple, ASAP. She amassed a huge following from Filipinos all over the globe, marking the revolutionary comeback and rise of devoted fans and fans clubs alike. Soon enough, Kim headlined her own shows, and there’s no stopping her.
A few months into her whirlwind success, she starred in the primetime television drama, Sana Maulit Muli in 2007, opposite her on-screen partner Gerald Anderson. They first met as housemates inside the Pinoy Big Brother house, eventually becoming an award-winning love team after their reality TV stint. Better known as Kimerald – a combination of their first names in jest – Kim and Gerald were suddenly catapulted into stardom. The mystery of their reel and real romance mesmerized the whole nation, which led to more significant projects together. These include the Filipino adaptation of a Korean drama, My Girl (2008); the critically acclaimed series, Tayong Dalawa (2009), where the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation Box Office Entertainment Awards recognized them as Prince and Princess of Philippine Movies & TV; and Kung Tayo’y Magkakalayo, the country’s highest rating teleserye in 2010. They also proved their huge star power in blockbuster movies such as First Day High (2006); Kimerald’s first romantic feature, I’ve Fallen For You (2007); Paano Na Kaya (2010); and their last major film as a love team, Till My Heartaches End (2010).
Much has been said about the controversial on-screen split of Kimerald in 2010, but Kim took this as an opportunity to spread her wings and hone her craft as an actress. She showed versatility in the television anthology, Maalala Mo Kaya: Kalendaryo episode (2012), where Kim portrayed the role of a blind woman with a brain tumor, among her other many guest appearances on the show. In the same year, she also starred in the thriller, The Healing, together with The Philippines’ Star for all Seasons, Vilma Santos. Likewise, Kim continued doing off-beat roles in the much talked about period drama, Ikaw Lamang: Books 1 & 2 (2014) that gave her that year’s Best Drama Actress recognition from the PMPC Star Awards for TV, plus the daring satire, Etiquette for Mistresses (2015).
It was in 2011 when Kim made the audience fall in love once again via the series, My Binondo Girl, opposite her new partner, Xian Lim. This marked the birth of the KimXi love team. Their amazing chemistry and effortless sweetness spawned more team ups on television such as Ina, Kapatid, Anak (2012) and The Story of Us (2016), shot in Palawan and New York. Kim and Xian have also charmed their way to the big screen with the romantic-comedy film, Bakit Hindi Ka Crush Ng Crush Mo? (2013) and the 2014 KimXi follow-up, Bride For Rent. The latter was met with both critical and commercial success, grossing over 325 million pesos, which also led to a third box office hit, Past Tense (2014).
In 2015, Kim released her second album, Chinita Princess, featuring the lead single “Mr. Right.” The song became a certified chart-topper with its easy melody and playful lyrics, an achievement reminiscent of her 2007 musical success with the pop culture favorites, “Crazy Love” and “Peng Yu.” In 2016, Kim held her first major concert to celebrate her 10th year in showbiz coinciding also with her birthday, the Chinita Princess The FUNtasy Concert held at the KIA Theater. The venue was filled with ever loyal fans and friends in the audience.
While doing her first Athlete-Serye Ikaw Lang Ang Iibigin, Kim Chiu eventually fell in love with adrenaline inducing activities. She discovered her love for heights, extreme adventures like bungee jumping and sky diving that she documents herself and shares in her social media via the hashtag #KIMadvenCHIUres. She now pursues being a tri-athlete and actually finished strong in her first Ironman event In Cebu this 2017.
Through the years aside from acting, Kim Chiu has also ventured in music, hosting, modeling, and extreme sports. And by doing so, she evolved into a multi-media brand that is true to her core. She was that cute, chinita girl who became an entertainment royalty that we all grew to love – still with a heart for her fans and most importantly her family. With all the success she has earned, Kim today has already built a home fit for a princess… and her loved ones. Her ultimate dream to reunite her family completely has come true. And although it may only have lasted for a short while due to her mother’s passing in 2013, Kim is still grateful of that auspicious chance. That unforgettable and happy memory, which will fuel her to work even harder as the nation’s one and only Chinita Princess.