Straight from Tim Yap
As told to AA Patawaran
On New Year’s Day, multi-media personality and multihyphenate Tim Yap revealed that he had married his partner of over four years, creative director and events organizer Javi Martinez Pardo, on Christmas Day on the rooftop of The Peninsula New York. Apart from the officiant, an Argentinean woman named Veronica Moya, and two other people who helped put everything together, there were only two people present as witnesses—Lea Salonga and Marcel Crespo.
Here are snippets of Tim’s side of our conversation about “Ever After” following the big reveal on New Year’s Day.
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‘No fuss, just the two of us.’
One of the reasons we decided to have an intimate wedding was to be able to keep the messages of love we had for each other. I didn’t want to be pressured or play to an audience. I didn’t want to impress anyone. I didn’t want to put on a show. Sometimes when there are so many people in front of you, you can’t help but play things up. I wanted to say it only to my partner because he was the only one who was meant to hear it.
‘The scarves magically united our outfits.’
I wore Dolce and Gabbana and Javi wore Hugo Boss, both of which we bought off the rack at their Fifth Avenue stores. Our friend Sophie, when she found out we were in town, sent us the Gucci scarves with the word “LOVED” embroidered in red and gold. I thought it was perfect. The scarves magically united our outfits. Plus, both outfits were covered with overcoats because we did the ceremony outdoors and we had to protect ourselves from the cold. Only the scarves could be seen. And the word “LOVED.” It was perfect!
‘I didn’t have a script.’
It’s still a blur, to be honest. I remember how the sun was shining and how it warmed my skin against the cold wind of the New York winter. Our arms were interlocked to form the infinity symbol and I remember feeling my tears rolling down my cheeks as we told each other our vows. I didn’t have a script. I didn’t write anything down. I wanted to speak from my heart.
‘How serendipitous is that?’
Javi and I met at the Peninsula Manila where I was hosting the Peninsula in Pink breast cancer benefit. He even worked as a waiter at Salon de Ning briefly. Two years later, I was still hosting the event and auction and Javi was already directing it for Yaparazzi Events. These efforts have quietly helped fund a breast cancer center spearheaded by my dear friend Sonja Vodusek and the Pen.
I think our relationship has gone full circle because, more than four years later, we got married on the rooftop of the Peninsula New York, at the outdoor area of Salon de Ning. How serendipitous is that?
We didn’t know if we were going to have an officiator as most of them were not in town and it was going to be on Christmas Day. Lesley from the Peninsula booked a woman to officiate. She was an Argentinian woman whose name was Veronica Moya. The first thing she asked of us when she found out we were from the Philippines was “Do you know Lea Salonga? Coz I’ve loved her since I first saw her in Miss Saigon.”
She’s our witness, we told her.
‘How blessed were we to have the goddess of love as our witness!’
Our witnesses were Lea Salonga and Marcel Crespo. The first thing we did when we landed in New York was watch Once on This Island to ask Lea if she would be willing to be our witness. Javi and I asked her in front of her husband and daughter, knowing it was going to be on Christmas Day. “I’m not doing anything that day,” she said. “So yes, I’m game!”
Javi and I share a love for musical theater and for Lea. When we knew that we needed a witness in New York, Lea was top of mind because we knew she was going to be in the city for her new Broadway show.
I’ve known Lea since I was 17 to 18 as we had worked together on a show way back. She even surprised me at one of my birthday parties that Javi arranged, which brought me to tears. I even remember Lea bringing me to the Miss Saigon theater on Broadway to watch the show before she flew back to Manila to play Kim. This time she was playing Erzulie, the Goddess of Love. How lucky and blessed were we to have the Goddess of Love as our witness!
Marcel has been a dear friend to me for so many years. He was one of the few friends who saw me through my father’s death, till the day my father got buried.
‘It was the most intimate event we had put together ever.’
It was just I and Javi, Veronica the officiant, Lea and Marcel our witnesses, and Lesley from the Peninsula who were there on that rooftop. It was a wedding party of five.
After the ceremony, we went downstairs to the restaurant Clements to have Christmas lunch slash our wedding banquet. Chef Sam Linder, who used to be the chef at Old Manila at The Peninsula Manila, prepared a special feast for us. I savored every bite of the meal. I was able to taste everything well and even had seconds and third servings from the appetizer buffet of salads and crustaceans. The conversation flowed and we really enjoyed each other’s company. Normally I’d be hopping from one table to another, to make sure all my guests were having a great time. This time, I had only two guests. I think it’s safe to say they had a great time. We had a great time. It was the most intimate event we had put together ever.
‘When you find a good thing, you should try to make it last forever.’
I never thought I would get married. I was never one of those people who knew that they were going to get married. I guess when you find a good thing, you should try to make it last forever.
‘Only you will know what to do to take your relationship to the next level.’
I have nothing to say about (the debate on same sex marriages), except that it is their choice. I respect their opinion and I hope they respect my decision. Only you will know what to do to take your relationship to the next level.
Javi makes me a better individual. We bring out the best in each other. We are polar opposites but we have found this beautiful harmony together. He is the most selfless person I have ever met. Though him, I have experienced unconditional love, that it’s possible pala.
Love is generous and not judgmental. Love nurtures and brings out the best of each other. Love is loving and kind and unconditional. I’ve found all of that in what I have with Javi.
‘The future looks bright.’
It looks bright, but I’ve always seen it as bright. It looks beautiful. But I’ve always observed things and appreciated their innate beauty. I guess the only difference now is that it’s not just me, it’s “we.”