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EXCLUSIVE: A Peek At Tim Yap's Modern, Art-Filled Home That Took Inspiration From The 1969 Moon Landing

 For someone who spends most of his time out of his house for work or his businesses, Tim has slowly-but-surely turned what’s seemingly an odd structure to his dream home.



Metro Society catches multi-faceted Tim Yap between his commitments for various business ventures and projects. He gives us a glimpse into how, as an events host, he has somewhat blurred the fine line between business and pleasure.

For this businessman, host, writer and event planner extraordinaire, events and gatherings are not planned and executed just with any simple formula. Having been in the fashion, entertainment, and events industry for decades now, and being an indispensable figure in Manila’s nightlife scene, Tim is more than grateful to have found and created a refuge in the city.

Chancing upon a property that he liked, Tim made the initial payment on the lot less than an hour after a reservation made by another prospect buyer expired. Tim saw this as a sign and from there on, he really took time to build his dream home. He shares, “After making the down-payment, I was certain it was for me and I made sure I was really hands-on in every step of building the house, which took us about a year.” Revealing that he was very much inspired by the 1969 moon landing when he was much younger, Tim tells us that he had always wanted to have a house built to be like the moon, so he himself could be “the man on the moon.”

Upon meeting with friend, visual artist and architect Carlo Calma, they came up with a concept that took elements from Tim’s early inspirations, as well as modern design. “You’ll see elements of the concept around the house, because Carlo would always want to incorporate the idea, just as you’ll see it in the main door or in the sculpture as seen from outside the house,” he shares.

He further tells us that in furnishing his home, the art came first and furniture next. “You know, one of my designer friends said before, ‘When you move in you really have to enjoy the nothingness of the space first.” You don’t move in and everything’s set. That’s not the way you live life; you live life and learn one lesson at a time and you become better. So with this space I just first had nothing,” Tim tells us. It was an oversized Ugandan mask he brought back from a trip to Africa that he first installed in his home, then an especially commissioned piece by artist Leeroy New of an astronaut, plus other pieces inspired by the solar system and other heavenly bodies all throughout the house.

Noteworthy is an area rug that Tim designed himself, as his interpretation of the moon. He shares, “I collaborated with the designer of Tai Ping for my carpet, and this is the last batch of carpets they made because they stopped doing this. So I was the last client they were able to squeeze in and we stitched my own doodle of my interpretation of the moon. The blood moon hadn’t even occurred yet by that time, and we already chose to execute it in shades of red.” Although he feels there are still missing pieces in his home (like a buffet table he is having custom-made with local furniture manufacturer Philux), this hasn’t restrained them from conducting
business as usual.


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Mixing business with pleasure

The home also serves as venue for bi-weekly lunch or afternoon meetings for Yaparazzi Events,
which their house cook usually prepares for. Oddly enough, the home Tim shares with his husband Javi is rarely the venue for the bigger get-togethers for their several social groups, and is often just a rendezvous for impromptu gatherings. Tim admits, “I entertain at home, but usually impromptu. I do have some friends that I host for our group’s Christmas dinner in my house. Although I have all the equipment, ingredients, and makings of a party, I also have some get-togethers catered and order from NawwTy’s Kitchen. Trish (Panlilio) helps me out a lot, and she’s one of the best hostesses that I know. She’s really good at the table, whatever she serves she serves so yummy and hits the right spot.”

The host tells us that although it may seem natural for him to be throwing and hosting big groups in their home, it’s quite the opposite. He admits, “I like to be at home and have quiet time at home. The life I have at home is quite different from my life outside of it; when I’m at home I really just want to be restful and just have peace and quiet. I’m honestly a bit of a closet loner, so if I’m not working, I would rather be left along with our pets at home. But when I entertain, I make sure it’s just a few of my closest friends because it’s something different and something more personal.”

Tim further admits that given his schedule and that of his circle of friends, it gets very challenging to get people together. When they do get together, however, Tim tells us that he enjoys preparing Mexican food, as it’s easy to prepare. You can expect to have a Mexican-Filipino treat of Cebu lechon tacos and be delighted with a good selection of wine or expect a mixologist in the corner, ready to whip up whatever you fancy to drink.

Having to already plan events and host parties for a living, he likes to keep gatherings casual and “as D.I.Y. as D.I.Y. can get,” keeping everything low-key, only having friends come over when their schedules align, and have meetings for their other business ventures. He further tells us that these get-togethers and meetings often spill over, or come one after the other, with the house welcoming guests throughout the day. He adds, “so that’s like working then entertaining, or entertaining at work. It’s not really one or the other, but rather a good mix of both.”

After organizing big affairs such as Kho-Belo and the Pitt-Belo weddings, Timand now husband Javi chose to have an intimate New York wedding of six people, including the officiant.


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1. The multi-hyphenated personality succeeds in keeping the look and feel of his home interesting by adding bits and pieces from all over, while keeping big spaces or pieces of furniture in whites or grays. 2. Quite obviously having an eye for art, Tims home is filled with pieces from various local and international artists, mostly inspired by heavenly bodies. 3. Tim's dressing room. 4.  Kept austere is the master bedroom which has the lone focal point—a commissioned line portrait of Tim himself. 5. Clearly without a lack for inspiration, walls and stairways are bedecked with art. 6. The topmost deck. 7. The den. 8. This area features commissioned work by artists such as the ceiling installation by Leeroy New and the red moon rug from Tai Ping. 9. Although he likes to keep it casual, Tim still pays attention to details and occasionally gets help from Trish Panlilio of Mulberry Door to elevate the menu or look of his tables for especially busy days or special gatherings.  


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Of contrasts and company

Just as he likes to decorate their home with art pieces from his travels, Tim is likewise fond of purchasing smaller items for their everyday use. He shares, “I once hand-carried a full set of Fornasetti plates from Italy. Javi and I really checked that these were the most unique ones, just like the one that was designed to look like an astronaut. I also have Elmer Borlongan plates that I really like, and others given to me by friends, such as the plates with my TY logo that were given by Stephanie Zubiri.” He further quips, “I really use what I buy, and I’m not one of those people who just buys and hoards things. I make sure we use them. Why display plates
when we can use them, right?”

With his no-nonsense attitude and a penchant for keeping things between sane and outrageous, Tim truly enjoys spending quality time with those he holds closest and dearest across all industries he belongs to. He has a healthy appetite and a love for spicy, exotic food from all over the world, so there is no shortage of interesting tastes, imagery, and stories when Tim and his friends get together. Just like his colorful life, his home will always bear witness to these get-togethers and is, as Tim puts it, “a reflection of my constant evolution as a human being."


* This article was originally published in Metro Society's June 2018 issue.


Photography by Paul Del Rosario