When James Yap and Kris Aquino ended their marriage in 2010, the basketball cager temporarily lived in a hotel room.
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player recalled, "No'ng nahiwalay ako kay Kris, siyempre wala akong bahay.
"Wala akong relatives dito sa Manila o bahay na malilipatan, so nag-hotel muna ako.
"Siyempre hindi naman for life na magho-hotel ka, kasi mahal, medyo madugo."
That was when he decided to look for a place he could call his home.
In the October 2012 issue of YES! magazine, James gave a glimpse of one of his biggest investments: a unit in a posh condominium complex in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
His initial plan was to get a unit in the same building in Makati where Kris and her sons Josh and Bimby used to live.
He told YES!, "Na-realize ko na kailangan kong maging malapit sa anak ko.
"Kaso, sabi ko sa sarili ko, 'Huwag na lang. Dito na lang sa Taguig.'"
Instead of a townhouse, he preferred staying in a condo despite its limited space.
James explained, "Parang mas safe pag condo.
"Ila-lock mo lang 'tapos meron nang magbabantay.
"At saka, siguro, hindi ko pa naiisip na bumili ng mismong bahay dahil wala pa naman akong partner sa buhay.
"Siguro darating 'yong time na 'Uy, medyo masikip na tayo dito, a.'"
At present, James is living with his Italian partner Michela Cazzola and their eight-month old baby Michael James.
This sleek 140-square-meter unit, with two bedrooms and three bathrooms, had a "modern, contemporary, classic" vibe.
YES! wrote, "the place emphasized James's penchant for minimalist and masculine designs."
According to him, his unit's color palette—gray, black, and white—looked calming and breathed an air of classy sophistication.
The dining area had six black chairs which were customized for big guys like James and his colleagues.
Originally, the owner wanted to go for the leather type, but his designer picked velvet "para at least softer ang texture at mas elegant ang dating."
Although he seldom cooks, he made sure that his kitchen is fully-equipped.
He joked, "Adobo lang po ang alam kong lutuin kasi iyon ang favorite ko."
Found in one corner of his unit was a custom-made open cabinet that holds all the medals and trophies that James bagged in his years as a professional basketball player.
He has been in the basketball industry for more than a decade.
His favorite room was the entertainment-cum-guest room, which had a flat-screen TV and DVD player, a surround sound system, and a SkyCable DigiBox iRecord personal video recorder.
His interior designer Kim Policarpio told YES!, "Binili namin 'to [personal video recorder] para pag may games si James sa Araneta Coliseum, automatic siyang magre-record.
"After the game, he can automatically watch it again."
The focal point of the master bedroom was James's California King-size bed, which is longer but narrower compared to the regular king-size bed.
Inside his room was the master bathroom and walk-in closet.
YES! wrote, "one of the walls of the shower area is see-through."
There was also a pull-down waterproof screen in case James wants a little privacy while bathing.
Meanwhile, his closet was custom-made by Kim's design team.
"The glass is tempered para pag nabasag, walang injured."
The large painting on one wall of the entrance hallway was definitely an eye-catcher not only for its size, but also its meaning.
According to the YES! story, the painting, which was bought from Indonesia, showed four tropical birds perched on branches of bamboo.
Kim recalled, "Actually may istorya 'yan, e.
"Marami kaming tinignan na artwork, but James wanted this kasi sabi niya parang 'yong dalawang birds sa taas e sina Baby James at Joshua, 'tapos iyong dalawa sa baba are him and the girl na hinahanap niya."
Read original article in YES! magazine October 2012 issue.
Originally written by Joseph R. Dayrit
Photos taken by Rene Mejia