By Nancy Ibo Mediavillo
LEGAZPI CITY, 20Feb2015 -– After allegedly showing unpalatable signs of ingratitude to his hosts, celebrity Xian Lim, who was the guest during Fiesta Tsinoy held here on Thursday in celebration of the Chinese New Year, has been receiving heaps of negative remarks from Albayanos.
Some are even asking that he be declared persona non grata in Albay.
Lawyer Caroline Cruz, chief of staff of Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, recalled that when one of her staff told her that Lim had arrived at The Oriental Hotel at past 11:00 a.m. Thursday, she met him as part of the traditional gift giving of the Provincial Government of Albay and as representative of Salceda.
“Welcome back to Albay! Maybe this is your second or third time here. You know, I’m so impressed with you because the last time you came here, you really took the van to perform here,” Cruz said while he noticed the actor pouting and remaining seated.
She narrated that when she handed a t-shirt to the actor, the latter parried her hand and said, “No, ma’m, I don’t like.”
The lady lawyer instead handed a coffee table book on Albay to Lim who allegedly said, “I did not come to promote Albay.”
She asked her staff to just keep the book and they would have picture taking instead.
Then Cruz left for her car but those who witnessed what happened followed her and told her that they saw all what happened.
“Ma’m we saw what happened. We left the ill-mannered man alone. And to think that we paid high for his talent fee,” they claimed.
When she reached the provincial tourism office, Cruz said, Lance Tan, The Oriental Hotel vice president, complained to her about the attitude of Lim.
“Ma’m, our guest does not want to have picture taking with requesting fans and guests. He left us when we asked permission to have photos with him,” she quoted Tan as saying.
As to the alibi of Lim about the possibility that he might breach his contract with a company that manufactures t-shirts if he put on the Albay t-shirt, Cruz said that there was no competition in branding because it was Albay that brought him here as talent and the Provincial Government of Albay is not private but a local government unit.
The lawyer stressed that Lim was a talent of Albay and was paid Php375,000 for being so.
She disclosed that they were having headaches earlier as Lim would not like to ride in an economy flight in coming here to Albay.
Cruz said Rhondon Ricafort, from the governor’s staff, explained to Lim’s manager that there is no first class plane accommodation in the Manila-Legazpi route because it is only a 45-minute ride.
The governor’s chief staff felt bad because this was the third time for Lim to come to Albay and they started paying him Php75,000 then agreed to raise it to Php375,000 the third time.
She said that the first time Lim came here four years ago, “his head was not yet swollen.”
“Even the flight was cancelled, he pushed for his performance even he had to ride a van in coming here,” Cruz recalled.
What the governor did was to request the spectators to wait up to 10 p.m. instead of the performance starting at 7:00 p.m.
Cruz said this was part of the recognition of Salceda of the strong relations between the Filipino-Chinese Community and the provincial government and the former’s great contribution to the economy of the province.
She said the Filipino-Chinese Community has a list of celebrities to invite – like Jose Mari Chan, Enchong Dee, Kim Chiu, Lim and others — but it was only Lim who was available for the occasion.
Probably, Salceda said, it was because of any of the following that Lim acted that way: 1) His parents did not raise him well; 2) He had bad education, 3) He is not managed well, 4) His character is inversely proportional to his looks and 5) He is on to something.
Writer Abdon Balde Jr. said when he arrived at the tourism office, all those who met him were very angry with Lim who, they claimed, was ill-mannered and a liar.
“It’s Chinese New Year celebration and he was hired by Albay to perform. And then he said ‘I’m not here to endorse Albay’?” Balde also angrily said.
Ronaldo R. Pontuya, a real estate broker, called for declaring Lim persona non grata in Albay.
“This is insulting to hard working tourism officers of Albay. He made them liars… You are no longer welcome in Albay!” he said.
Netizen Ariel Abeleta said this would be Lim’s last performance in Albay, adding “He’s only good in camera.”
“Persona non grata. Never allow him to set foot again in Albay. Zack Efron of the High School musical is better because he enjoyed and took pride in his vacation in Albay. He even paid for his stay in an expensive resort. Let’s not patronize the films of Lim,” Marilou Sario said in Filpino.
For lawyer Marilou Duka-Castillo: “Declare him persona non grata.”
“Devoid of sensibility I must say. He must learn the word and meaning of humility,” advised Tessa F. Frost. (PNA)