Richard Yap has become one of the most sought-after leading men in showbiz. Starting out as commercial model for a popular Chinese fastfood chain, he has proven that age is not a factor in being a star.
Yap became known as “Papa Chen” in My Binondo Girl and “Sir Chief” in the long-running drama series Be Careful With My Heart. Since then, he made several appearances in movies and television shows.
Now at 49, Yap continues to make waves in his acting journey.
“With one word I will describe my showbiz career as blessed. I guess I’ve been very blessed that I was there at the right time, at the right place and maybe at the right age too. I have accomplished so much in five years while others have been trying to do it their whole life so I think I’m just very fortunate to be in this position,” Yap told The Manila Times.
He considers his late morning teleserye Be Careful With My Heart along with actress Jodi Sta. Maria the highlight of his career. It is undeniable that his fame was at its peak during that time as the series lasted for two-and-a-half years.
The screen partners reunited two years later topbilling the Star Cinema romantic comedy The Achy Breaky Hearts along with actor Ian Veneracion.
Whe asked about his reaction on being compared with Veneracion he answered, “Ian has been in the business for so long. I’m sure he has a lot of fans. We have different looks, he’s more on the mestizo side and I’m on the ‘Chinoy’ side. I guess we’re just both lucky that we have been able to work with Jodi and our partnerships have worked like we did a movie together and it clicked also. We’re very fortunate.”
Yap revealed that beyond shooting, the three were able to hang out, setting aside their work as actors.
“Behind the shooting, the three of us have been able to spend time together. Just like after the movie, we went out and we really had good times,” he shared.
At his age, he has surprisingly become a lady’s man, whether teens or grown-ups. Humbled, he said, “Maybe they’re just idolizing my character onscreen but I’m just glad that I made a lot of people happy. I think it’s a blessing also.”
Despite the frenzy of juggling schedules in his career, on which added to the hecticness is topbilling the seventh installment of Regal Entertainment’s Mano Po movie, Yap sees to it that he always give quality time for his family.
“I think I’m very lucky to have a family that’s very supportive of what I do. So they know that most of the time I’m working. If I’m not working I usually have time for them, mostly on weekends. We go out, we have lunch, dinner, watch a movie together or coffee,” the actor said.
Upon his rise to fame, Yap added another side to his persona, which is being an entrepreneur. He partnered with friends to establish Wang Fu Restaurant, which specializes in Chinese cuisine.
“It’s something that I started with my partners, we grew the business from one branch and then it’s now up to four. We’re trying to grow it more so we have another branch coming up,” Yap shared.
Aside from being a restaurateur, he is also a division manager of a leading brand of American-made office furniture.
“With the furniture business I’m very hands-on. I’m the one in-charge of day-to-day operations. On the other hand, I’m more on the marketing side for Wang Fu. I help them with leasing, when we’re trying to get a new space or when we need to indulge in marketing promotions—that’s where I come in,” he said.
On August 16, Yap kicked off the next chapter of Manulife Philippines’ “Start Your Story” campaign as one of its brand ambassadors.
According to the actor and businessman, he learned the importance of having a plan and preparing for both good and bad times as it will allow him to protect the fruits of his hard work.
“Life insurances helps a lot because if you have businesses you have to be insured also. You have to insure yourself also for your family. You need to have a financial adviser because you can’t just put your money in the bank. So if you’re not into business right now, you can choose that avenue also by putting your money somewhere else so that it can grow,” he shared with The Manila Times.