Who says stardom is only for the young? Up-and-comer Richard Yap is proof that anyone can make it big in show business, regardless of age, as long as he or she has the talent and looks for it. At 45 years old (born May 18, 1967), and practically a new-comer in Philippine show business, Yap is now one of the most recognizable faces on local television with a huge fan base consisted of teen-age girls, mothers and even lolas.
For Yap, entering showbiz was purely incidental. He was just an ordinary Filipino-Chinese born and raised in Cebu City, graduated from De La Salle University, raised a family (he has two kids with his wife of 18 years) and started up his own business. He was then offered to appear in a televison commercial for a Chinese fastfood chain. He remained virtually unknown despite portraying a chef for the food chain’s ads for 7 years.
A big break came when he was approached by the producers of the hit teleserye, My Binondo Girl, to play one of the supporting characters, Chen Sy, a rich taipan and father of the lead character played by Kim Chiu. He was hesitant at first because of his lack of acting background but eventually accepted the offer. The rest, as they say, is history. Yap portrayed the role with flying colors and made himself a household name and “Papa Chen” a frequent trending topic on microblogging website, Twitter.
After My Binodno Girl, Richard Yap appeared in other Kapamilya shows such as Maalala Mo Kaya and Walang Hanggan. He also became a judge of the noontime talent-variety show It’s Showtime.
In 2012, the biggest break of Yap’s career so far landed on his lap. He was offered the lead role in the daytime romatic-comedy series, Be Careful With My Heart, opposite Jodi Sta. Maria. Just like “Papa Chen,” Yap once again made a mark with his portrayal of Sir Chief or Ricardo Lim. Since its premier, the series continues lord over ratings in its timeslot, making it the #1 daytime show on Philippine TV.