JAMES YAP HAS 3 GOOD REASONS TO CELEBRATE

James Yap gives girlfriend Michela Cazzola a loving kiss during an exclusive interview with Funfare If James Yap is feeling light and easy these days, it’s because he is in a celebratory mood for three good reasons: His team, San Mig Coffee Mixers, beat Rain Or Shine in the PBA Philippine Cup championship even if he was nursing an elbow injury; He and ex-wife Kris Aquino have made peace concerning their son Bimby after a hearing at the Makati Regional Trial Court, and James can now enjoy unrestricted visiting rights; and He has a very beautiful girlfriend in the person of Michela Cazzola, an International Studies graduate in her native Italy, who is working for the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Last Friday night, James gave a thanksgiving party at the Skye Lounge in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, hosted by Mototechnik which he co-owns with partners Jeffrey Yap, Andy Cheng and Renato Alfante Jr. Before he and Michela showed up at the venue, James spent time with Bimby, just the two of them, but did not (because he wasn’t supposed to) bring the boy to the party. “It was our most memorable together after a few years,” said James. “Imagine, after a long time Bimby still remembers his favorite game on my celfone and he kept looking for it. Unfortunately, it was in the celfone that was lost. I think I’ll give him a new one with his favorite game in it.”

ALSO: The charm & charity of Dingdong and Marian

Since Day One, the real-life romance of Kapuso Network’s primetime royalties — Primetime King Dingdong Dantes and Queen Marian Rivera — have been subjected to so many “tests.” But their relationship proved to be too tough to be knocked down. Their onscreen love affair on GMA 7’s top-rating primetime series Marimar eventually veered into the path of reality, spurring suspicious observers in the showbiz industry to speculate: “Are they a couple?” Before long, the two ended such speculations and announced that they were, in fact, real-life lovers already. And despite critics saying theirs is a relationship that will not last, Dingdong and Marian are still very much together for years now, proving their detractors wrong. Besides, a relationship lasting for more than five years seems a lifetime already in showbiz. In a recent interview, Marian shared that the real secret to her long-lasting relationship with Dingdong is “God.” According to Marian, placing God in the center of their relationship makes it more sturdy and able to resist temptations. The two also make sure that despite their busy work schedules, they still find time for each other, and they find joy in doing things together. One of such activities is getting involved in charitable works. Moved by the plight of the victims of Typhoon Yolanda, especially those who depend on fishing to earn a living, Marian recently started a campaign of her own to raise funds to provide fishing families in Cebu who lost their boats to the typhoon a chance to get back on their feet and move on from the disaster.


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James has 3 good reasons to celebrate

MANILA, MARCH 10, 2014 (PHILSTAR)  FUNFARE By Ricky Lo - James Yap gives girlfriend Michela Cazzola a loving kiss during an exclusive interview with Funfare If James Yap is feeling light and easy these days, it’s because he is in a celebratory mood for three good reasons:

His team, San Mig Coffee Mixers, beat Rain Or Shine in the PBA Philippine Cup championship even if he was nursing an elbow injury;

He and ex-wife Kris Aquino have made peace concerning their son Bimby after a hearing at the Makati Regional Trial Court, and James can now enjoy unrestricted visiting rights; and


James with Virtual Sports, Inc.’s Dondon Monteverde (second from right) and brothers Jeric (leftmost) and Jeron Teng

He has a very beautiful girlfriend in the person of Michela Cazzola, an International Studies graduate in her native Italy, who is working for the Asian Development Bank (ADB).


…with Ginger Conejero and Alex Cabagnot…

Last Friday night, James gave a thanksgiving party at the Skye Lounge in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, hosted by Mototechnik which he co-owns with partners Jeffrey Yap, Andy Cheng and Renato Alfante Jr.

Before he and Michela showed up at the venue, James spent time with Bimby, just the two of them, but did not (because he wasn’t supposed to) bring the boy to the party.

“It was our most memorable together after a few years,” said James. “Imagine, after a long time Bimby still remembers his favorite game on my celfone and he kept looking for it. Unfortunately, it was in the celfone that was lost. I think I’ll give him a new one with his favorite game in it.”


An undated photo of the professional basketball player with his son James "Bimby" Yap, Jr. Photo courtesy of Yap's Instagram page

James, who turned 32 last Feb. 13, is thankful to Kris (said to have her own new boyfriend, a foreigner whose identity she’s keeping confidential) for her being in a good mood leading to the settlement of their long-running (four-year) court battle, at the same time praising Kris for being a good mother to Bimby (and Joshua whom James treats like his own son)


On her Instagram account on Saturday, Yap’s ex-wife Kris Aquino posted a photo of him and Bimby along with her son Josh. “Happy Birthday James. Peace, harmony & God’s blessings to you… I am a Mom who has learned to set aside past hurts & I’ve learned how to move on w/ God’s grace because I want my sons to be well adjusted & positive. And that starts w/ my example. #peace #maturity” she wrote.

In her Instagram, Kris thanked Judge Sulit, her lawyer Sig Fortun and James’ lawyer Lorna Kapunan “for the patience and guidance to help James and I reach a long-term agreement regarding Bimby’s custody/visitation…,” adding in another entry, “At the end of the day, as parents we want Bimby to grow up feeling loved and secure. James and I as a couple weren’t blessed with a happy ending but through God’s grace we have been given a chance to have an ‘And they Lived Happily Ever After…’”

During the Skye affair, James and his partners showcased Vespa and Aprilia by Mototechnik, and offered special promos, plus a raffle of gift certificates. He also welcomed sponsors Titan, Focal Speakers, Outlast Battery, Standard Insurance, Insurance Experts Agency, Gadgets in Style and Fabulous Autoworks.

James and several players are managed by Virtual Sports, Inc., the biggest sports agency in the Philippines headed by president Dondon Monteverde, chief executive officer Charlie Dy, and managing directors Edgar Tan and Paula Punla.

Two Sundays ago, James and Michela discussed their romance in their first tell-all interview for The STAR.

Asked how soon they are planning to settle down, James said, “It will happen, pero enjoy muna kami together.”


James and Michela

Smiling, Michela (also a Catholic like James) nodded, “Yes, in God’s own time.”

The charm & charity of Dingdong and Marian KAPUSO DAY By Butch Raquel -


Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera have chosen the higher road, and paying it forward seems to suit them both well

MANILA -Since Day One, the real-life romance of Kapuso Network’s primetime royalties — Primetime King Dingdong Dantes and Queen Marian Rivera — have been subjected to so many “tests.” But their relationship proved to be too tough to be knocked down.

Their onscreen love affair on GMA 7’s top-rating primetime series Marimar eventually veered into the path of reality, spurring suspicious observers in the showbiz industry to speculate: “Are they a couple?” Before long, the two ended such speculations and announced that they were, in fact, real-life lovers already.

And despite critics saying theirs is a relationship that will not last, Dingdong and Marian are still very much together for years now, proving their detractors wrong. Besides, a relationship lasting for more than five years seems a lifetime already in showbiz.

In a recent interview, Marian shared that the real secret to her long-lasting relationship with Dingdong is “God.” According to Marian, placing God in the center of their relationship makes it more sturdy and able to resist temptations.

The two also make sure that despite their busy work schedules, they still find time for each other, and they find joy in doing things together.

One of such activities is getting involved in charitable works. Moved by the plight of the victims of Typhoon Yolanda, especially those who depend on fishing to earn a living, Marian recently started a campaign of her own to raise funds to provide fishing families in Cebu who lost their boats to the typhoon a chance to get back on their feet and move on from the disaster.

“Ang hirap kasing ipaliwanag e, hangga’t hindi mo nakikita ang mga taong nangangailangan ng tulong na nakikita mo lang through pictures, through interviews, hindi mo masyadong ma-fe-feel e. Makikita mo, mararamdaman mo, pero pag nandoon ka, sila mismo nagpapasalamat sa iyo at sinasabi nilang ‘Naku Marian, salamat, habambuhay hindi ka namin makakalimutan,’ parang iba ‘yun, ibang fulfillment ‘yun for me as a person, hindi bilang artista,” Marian shared.

Through the support of her home network, GMA, Marian launched the Kapuso Adopt-A-Bangka Project with GMA Regional TV, in partnership with the Bantayan Island Association of Hotels, Resorts, Bars and Restaurants, Inc. The goal of the said campaign is to donate sturdier bangka to fishermen in areas hit by Yolanda.

Marian said that replacing the damaged boats of these fishermen will give them and their family a chance to start life anew and sustain a living.

“Hindi kami basta nagbigay lang ng bangka,” explained Marian, “Binibigyan namin sila ng idea, parang nag-aaral sila — ano ang dapat gawin sa pangingisda, what if walang makuhang isda ngayon ano ang pwede nating gawin, ano ang pwedeng trabaho, ano ang pwedeng substitute? Lahat may pag-aaral. Hindi ‘yung pagkabigay ng bangka, bahala ka na sa buhay mo.”

Exactly a month after the campaign launch, it was able to fulfill its commitment to give away 100 boats as part of its first wave. “Nawala lahat ng pagod ko nang makita ko ‘yung 100 families na binigyan namin ng bangka. Nakakataba ng puso na nangyari ‘yung pinangarap naming mangyari,” she confessed.

The said project also aims to help these fishermen sustain their living by checking up on them after a certain period of time. “Siguro within five months, ano ba ang nangyari sa mga taong binigyan naming — naka-survive ba sila, naka-ipon ba sila, nakatulong ba itong bangkang ito? Hindi lang siya basta project lang, kumbaga nakatali kami sa buhay nila,” explained Marian.

Dingdong, for his part, has been very active in his own advocacies. In 2009, Dingdong formed his own foundation, Yes! Pinoy Foundation, which has helped thousands of students in public schools and more recently, families in areas affected by recent calamities including Yolanda. The foundation has been involved in various social development programs advocating for education, youth development and disaster response, among others.

Just last week, Dingdong and Marian graced the Panagbenga Flower Festival in Baguio City along with other Kapuso stars and entertained their fans via a series of shows in the country’s summer capital. Before meeting with their fans, Dingdong and Marian dropped by Loakan Elementary School in the city to donate school supplies.

“I appreciate the effort of GMA Regional TV. They’re really exerting everything that they can to reach the viewers. So maganda rin na naisip namin that everytime we go to a place, we will tap one of the schools that are very much in need of school supplies,” said Dingdong.

Prior to Baguio, the actor visited Iloilo during the Dinagyang Festival where he also distributed school supplies in a local elementary school. Dingdong also spearheads the rebuilding of classrooms in Estancia, Iloilo, where an entire school was wiped out by Yolanda.

“We were able to collect enough funds para sa isang two-storey building. Apparently, doon puro mga single floor lahat e kaya madaling mawasak so talagang we plan to make it disaster-resilient,” he explained.

Dingdong hopes to complete the project before the beginning of the next school year in June.

The couple has chosen the higher road and paying it forward seems to be suiting them both well. Indeed, Dingdong and Marian’s way of spreading love, especially to the less fortunate, only proves that when love is given away, it comes right back.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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