Tim Yap wear many hats—TV host, eventologist, PR consultant, entrepreneur, restaurateur, club owner, newspaper columnist, editor, name it, he's done it.
Even with his hectic schedule, he always finds time to unwind, relax, and see new places.
“Travel for me is a continuing education of the mind,” he tells PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in an exclusive interview on June 25 over dinner at his newly-opened Aracama Restaurant in The Fort, Taguig.
“[I travel] to learn new things, to be open to new cuisines, new ways of thinking, cultures, religion.
“I never stop traveling because iyan iyong parang masters ng Masters [degree] ko.”
Tim earned his Masters degree in Business at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).
He sees traveling as an enriching experience, more than just leisure.
“I feel kasi, ang buhay, lalo pag paulit-ulit, minsan nakakabobo.
“Ayokong mabobo. Lagi kong gusto na may natututunan and travel gives me that.
“Kasi iyong utak ko laging gumagalaw, laging gumagana. Gusto lagi akong may ginagawa or sinusubukan na bago.
“So, never kong binabakante iyong utak ko. Kumbaga lagi akong naka-treadmill.”
His on-the-go lifestyle here in Manila seems to affect his traveling habits as well.
Among his favorite destinations are the cities of New York and Paris.
“Kasi ang gulu-gulo!
“Gusto ko iyong gulu-gulo, ang dami kong natututunan. Parang buffet, todo lang nang todo, you choose your own adventure.
“Wala kang time ma-bore. Wala kang time tumigil. Parang wala kang time matulog. Go lang nang go!”
New York and Paris are most memorable for Tim because “I’ve had a lot of turning points in my life there.
“At the times when I’m happiest or saddest, I’m abroad.
“May mga natututunan ako [doon] na pagkatapos kong matutunan, pagbalik ko [sa Pilipinas]...Bang! Either may binubuksan ako na bagong restaurant or whatever.
“I was just in South Africa recently and then I opened this place,” referring to his Aracama Restaurant.
JOHANNESBURG. Tim shared with PEP some photos from his South African sojourn.
(CLICK HERE to see photo gallery)
He had the opportunity to visit the exotic cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town.
He visited the colorful Maboneng district in Johannesburg and found a lot of urban street art in the most unlikely places.
One structure in front of a building was a huge ball made of wood, with small glass panels.
“Akala ko kung ano lang na art piece na inilagay diyan sa tabi.
“Iyon pala, it’s the guard house sa may entrance ng parking,” says Tim.
The Africans’ way of integrating art into their daily life really impressed Tim, who himself is a huge fan of art.
He hopes that more Filipinos can emulate such creative expression.
“Sa kanila, buhay na buhay ang ethnic culture, na parang they give it a twist to make it more appealing to foreigners.
"Kung tutuusin, kayang-kaya din nating gawin iyan dito sa ‘Pinas.”
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Tim also visited the Teatro at Montecasino in Johannesburg, where he felt a deeper appreciation for his work as a television host.
After seeing what went on backstage at the production of The Phantom of the Opera, which at that time was showing in the area, Tim appreciated the load of effort and creativity put into a producing a Broadway play.
"Grabe. Grabe ang talent, effort, at creativity at patience ng mga tao sa production.
"Lalo kong na-appreciate ang trabaho ng mga tao sa production crew namin."
He also had the opportunity to meet some of the cast and crew—the same team that's coming to perform in Manila this August—including lead actor Jonathan Roxmouth who plays the Phantom.
LION'S PARK. After his art tour, Tim’s next stop was to see the wildlife at Lion's Park in Lanseria, Johannesburg. There he watched lions, giraffes, zebras, antelopes, cheetahs and may other different animals up close.
Didn't he feel scared that he might get bitten or attacked by the animals?
“Hindi,” Tim answered confidently. “Hindi ako takot sa hayop kasi I grew up in a house with 10 dogs, cats, rabbits.
“Meron nga kaming giant python dati sa backyard at ako ang nagpapakain do’n ng manok at saka daga.
“I’m so into animals na, for me, it was so nice to be in the wild kasi kita mo talaga na ang galing.
“Parang ang simple lang, pero parang doon mo mare-realize na ang ganda ng pagkagawa ng Diyos sa mundo.”
CAPE TOWN. After journeying around Johannesburg, Tim decided on impulse to take a trip to Cape Town, South Africa.
“Wala akong plano pumunta doon noong una. Bina-bribe ko pa nga iyong mga kasama kong babae sa Johannesburg na, ‘Sige na, sumama ka na. Ako nang bahala sa lahat.’
“Kaso natatakot sila kasi daw Africa daw is not safe or Cape Town daw is the number one most dangerous city in the world.
“Sabi ko naman, ‘Ay naku, e, taga-Pilipinas ka, anong kinakatakot-takot mo diyan?’ Di ba? Pero wala, ayaw nila pa rin.
“So I went alone. But I was happy I went alone kasi ang dami kong nakilala.”
Tim made new friends among his companions during the random tour group that he joined.
"There was this girl, Louie, who is from Manila also, a mother and child from Swaziland, and a couple from Brazil.
“Every day pareho kami ng tour na sinasalihan, so, para kaming naging friends na.”
Together they visited the Cape Point lighthouse and Table Mountain National Park, where Tim caught himself having a spiritual moment.
“I was on top of the world, literally overseeing Cape Town.
“I was on top of the Table Mountain looking down, seeing how, you know, iyong mga metaphorical na, ‘Ang buhay puwede naman palang simple, bakit ginagawang kumplikado?’
“Iyong gano’ng lang. It was so simple pero ang dami kong profound learnings.”
FUTURE DESTINATIONS. After seeing South Africa, Tim wants to go to the Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
“Hindi pa kasi ako nakapunta do'n. I heard it's beautiful.
"I also want to see Brazil and Argentina,” he adds.
Tim says that despite having a busy work calendar, he’ll never stop traveling. “It is my personal enrichment na hindi mababayaran ng kahit anong education, kahit anong pera.
“It’s something that I owe to myself and I owe it to the people I love.
“Feeling ko kasi nagiging mas magaling ako magmahal after I travel.
“Parang I always say this, e, ‘There’s a half-full, half-empty glass. Pero hindi ako baso, pitsel ako.’
“Kaya para ako maging magaling na pitsel, kailangan ko mag-refill nang mag-refill nang mag-refill and I can only get that from traveling.”