MANILA -- Her life changed drastically after having won "Pinoy Big Brother," Kim Chiu recalled, adding that since then, she was able to buy her family a new home and send her siblings to college.
It was no surprise that the actress is willing to bear the brunt of the bashing online for speaking up against the decision of the government to shut down the free broadcast operations of ABS-CBN.
The network was the one which brought the "Big Brother" franchise to the country, and Chiu, speaking in a Facebook live stream Friday, said that the reality show allowed her to dream of a better life.
"Ito lang ang kaya kong i-sukli sa kanila, sa panahon ngayon," she said, during the stream dubbed "Laban Kapamilya," which featured the station's stars freely express their grievances over the shutdown.
The order to have ABS-CBN's free channels taken off air, said Chiu, meant that now ordinary people, like her before her fame, would not be able to dream the same dreams she had back then.
"Bakit niyo tatanggalan ng pangarap at pag-asa ang isang tao?" she asked, close to tears.
Addressing the government, she told them: "Bakit niyo tatanggalan ang tao na, 'Gusto kong sumali sa ganito dahil kapag nanalo ako ay maipagamot ko iyong lola ko.'"
"Iyong saya ng bawat Pilipino, kahit maliit lang, pinagkaitan niyo sila ng saya sa panahon na ito."
Chiu went on to remember how her simple dream back then was just to be seen on television, and she balked over the thought of having the country's biggest network close down, along with its numerous contests such as "Tawag ng Tanghalan" on "It's Showtime."
"Nangarap lang ako na gusto ko balang araw ay makita ko ang sarili ko sa telebisyon, na gusto ko lang balang araw ay maiahon ko iyong pamilya ko sa hirap," she said.
"So nilagyan ko ng pangarap iyong sarili ko, na dahil sa istasyon na iyon ay posibleng matutulungan ko ang pamilya ko --may posibilidad na makakaalis kami sa maliit na kuwarto, na maia-ahon ko sila."
Chiu said that while it's true that there are other television stations which would offer other shows, ABS-CBN perhaps has the widest platform, offering ordinary Filipinos more shots at their own respective dreams.
"Kung nagawa ko, magagawa din iyon ng ibang tao, sa tulong ng ABS-CBN," she said.
Chiu was joined by the likes of Coco Martin and Judy Ann Santos on the stream, both of which opened up about their opinion against the National Telecommunications Commission cease and desist order.
The stream was held to launch the "Laban Kapamilya" campaign, which urged fans of ABS-CBN to post pictures of them online with their fists over their heart as a show of support against the order.
"Sa NTC, dumudulog kami sa inyo na sana bawiin ninyo na iyong cease and desist order. Sana hayaan niyo na kaming mamahayag, at sana ibalik ninyo na ang ABS-CBN," she pleaded.
You can watch the full stream below (Chiu's part is around the 49 minute mark):