James Yap and girlfriend Michela Cazzola: Enjoying their love ride together

MANILA, NOVEMBER 11, 2013 (PHILSTAR) FUNFARE By Ricky Lo- No, James Yap told Funfare in his first very open interview, he and his Italian girlfriend Michela Cazzola haven’t really planned a wedding yet.

“It will come,” said James when Funfare sat down with him last Saturday at Mototechnik (at #96 Gilmore St., Barangay Valencia, Quezon City, telephone nos. 411-4485/0906-2651222), the motorcycle store he co-owns with close friends Jeffrey Yap and Renato Alfante Jr., which was formally opened that afternoon. “Nandyan lang ‘yan. Darating din kami dyan.”

James with Jeric and Jeron, Fr. Joey Faller (who officiated at the blessing) and Dr. Welson Yap (Jeffrey’s father)

Rumors about their “impending” wedding circulated after Michela was quoted in an ambush interview that it was going to happen next year, if not end of this year. She must have said it tongue-in-cheek.

“Really?” James feigned surprise. “Did she say that?” adding in jest, “I better ask her first.”

The truth, added James, is that he hasn’t even proposed yet. But, as he just said, “It will happen,” but there’s no definite date yet. We still have to get to know each other very well.”

The night before the interview, James’ team, San Mig Coffee Mixers, won the PBA championship for the nth time and the victory party lasted up to the wee hours of the next morning.

As she always is when James has a game, Michela was at the Big Dome during the finals and James proudly pulled her to the center of the court so that she could relish the victorious moment with the team.

James hadn’t slept a wink when he showed up for this interview at 10:30 a.m., the appointed time. Still, despite the aches and pains that he sustained during the game, James was upbeat.

“Kasi may nagpapasaya, eh,” he admitted, this time very open with his personal life unlike before when he was mum when asked about it even if he and Michela would upload pictures on his Instagram taken during their trips abroad, the last one having been to Michela’s native Italy.

More than the PBA trophy, Michela is undoubtedly the most precious one for James — sweet, loving, friendly, nurturing and beautiful inside-out.

“That’s what I love about her,” said James. “Game siya sa lahat ng bagay. Marunong makisama, hindi mahirap pakisamahan. She’s comfortable with my family and my friends. Kinakausap niya ang family ko. She’s very positive, masayang kasama. I’ve also met her parents when we took a vacation in Italy. Mabait din ang parents niya.”

Steadies for more than a year now, the sweethearts often have dinner with their circle of friends.

When James has his car washed, Michela is game enough to go with him. Walang kaartehan sa katawan, as they would say. No airs, no pretensions, just as down-to-earth as James is. No wonder they click. They are two right people who met and matched at the right time.

“She’s maalaga, very caring,” added James. “Basta, mabait talaga siya.”

So who wakes up ahead?

“Siya,” James said. “She wakes me up and then we have breakfast together. She’s the one who usually prepares breakfast.”

In the next breath, James clarified that they are not living-in…yet.

“Sometimes,” he admitted, “I sleep over in her place.” But not vice-versa.

They haven’t decided whether to finally live together. As of now, they’re enjoying their time together, savoring every moment of it whether at home or during trips abroad.

“You have to make sure that if you get married, kung magiging okey ba kayong dalawa or if you will be happy together. I’ve learned from experience. ‘Yung pagpapakasal, hindi ‘yon minamadali. Sabi ko nga, nandyan lang ‘yan. So why rush?”

James’ love for Italian has influenced his and his friends’ choice of business. Most, if not all, the goods at Mototechnik are of Italian brand.

“I checked them out when we were in Italy,” assured James. “And they are of good quality.”

Michela is good with finances (she works at a big company that deals with big money). Asked if he got tips on handling money from Michela, James said, “Not really.”

By the way, if and when they decided to get married, what kind of wedding would they have?

“Hmmmmm,” James paused for a while, “we haven’t talked about it yet.”

Why not a hardcourt wedding, something unique and in line with James’ profession?

“Oo nga ano!” James’ eyes lit up. “Good idea. Nobody has done it yet.”

If and when, how many children do they plan to have? James has four siblings while Michela, said James, “is unica hija.”

James laughed. “Five para isang team,” adding in haste, “that would make seven,” that is, including his son Bimby and Joshua (whom James loves as his own).

When asked for a message for Michela (as if they are not together all the time), James smiled.

“I’m just here for you.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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