Albay governor Joey Salceda slammed Xian Lim on Facebook on Friday for the ABS-CBN actor’s alleged rude behavior against his chief-of-staff and local tourism officials during the provincial government’s Chinese New Year event on Thursday.
According to news report, Salceda also did not take Lim’s apology on Twitter and accused him of lying over claims he refused to wear an Albay souvenir shirt even though Lim was paid a P375,000 fee to perform and help boost the provincial government’s tourism promotion.
Salceda said it was customary for honored guests to receive a “Warm Albay” shirt and coffeetable book courtesy of Albay’s Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office upon arrival.
However, this gesture allegedly provoked a hostile response from the actor, who arrived in Legazpi wearing a black hoodie and dark shades as though he didn’t wish to be recognized.
“Xian Lim says to my face while handing the cofeetable book, ‘I’m not here to promote Albay.’ Bastos siya,” Atty. Caroline Cruz, Salceda’s chief of staff, immediately posted on Facebook on Thursday afternoon.
The actor made the statement after an online news report quoted him as saying, “I am not here to promote Albay.”
“I just read an online article about an incident which is deeply upsetting because it doesn’t tell the right story. In the article I was quoted as saying ‘I am not here to promote Albay’, something I never said or would ever say,” he said.
“Earlier, the author of the online article handed me a coffee table book of Albay and a t-shirt to wear. My exact words to her were ‘Sorry po, hindi ko maisuot yung tshit kasi baka magka-conflict sa clothing endorsement ko. Pasensiya na po.’ Later on, someone reported her as saying ‘Ayaw daw niya.’ I love Albay and I am always happy to be here with its good people. I deeply apologize to Governor Salceda and the people of Albay for the misunderstanding about my reasons for refusal to wear the t shirt.”
“My parents raised me to be respectful and generous to everyone, and my management has always stressed the virtues of decency and humility. I do not do drugs and have worked hard to get to where I am. If you send me the t shirt and after I have cleared it with my clothing endorsement, I would be more than happy to wear it online and on air. I am also very willing to promote the book of Albay,” he added.
Albayanons recalled that Albay was one of the first places where Xian first became known, over four years ago. At that time, for a gig there, his talent fee was a mere P75,000.
This time around, the organizers of the Chinese New Year event acceded to his huge talent fee because he was on the shortlist of talents whom the local Chinese community wanted as guests, and he happened to be available.
The Albayanons also contrasted Xian’s behavior with another young ABS-CBN actor, Mateo Gudicelli, who was in Albay a few months ago for a motoring promo gig.
The governor said they paid Lim P350,000 as talent fee and they expected a kind gesture from the actor.
In a statement posted on his Facebook account, Salceda said, “Since we paid ABSCBN Starmagic for his services, we expect them to be fair in reporting this hurtful PTCAO incident. Ordinary PTCAO working staff ang hiniya at ininsulto niya.”
“Liars go somewhere,” he said, adding the actor could have just issued an apology and acknowledged that his behavior was wrong.