Last August 20, 2011, at the Imperial Palace was the 73rd Birthday celebration of Mother Lily Monteverde.
The Regal Film matriarch said she considers the presence of James Yap as one of the things which made her 73rd birthday complete. She told reporters that she asked for only one gift from her son Dondon Monteverde: “I told Dondon, for my birthday gift, dalhin mo si James sa birthday party ko.” Dondon serves as the manager of the basketball player. Mother Lily really Love James Yap and James Yap feels overwhelm and thankful because of it.
Last June, Kris Aquino told ABS-CBN that she refused to talk to James because of what she experienced at the witness stand duringone of the court hearings related to her petition to annul their five-year marriage. But James pointed out: “Bakit siya magtatampo? Hindi nga kami nag-uusap. Walang tampuhan. Magkaibigan kami pero busy siya, busy ako.” Since James and Kris have been living apart, James said his four-year-old son, Bimby, has been asking him tough questions. The basketball player said: “Si James (Bimby) kasi lumalaki na so kumbaga nakakaintindi na siya. So medyo ingat lang… minsan nagtatanong siya, ang hirap sagutin pero kailangan talaga.” And according to James, he visits Bimby when his schedule allows it.
James Yap clammed up when asked if he was traumatized by his unsuccessful marriage. “Kung na-trauma? Hirap, eh, kasi minahal ko naman. Gano’n lang talaga ang buhay,” he said. But when asked if he’s dating, he replied, “Ba’t gusto n’yo akong mag-date kaagad?” Then he said in jest, “Oo meron….anak ko.” Turning serious, he said that as of now, “wala pa.”
James seems to pretend surprise when asked about his feedback to Gab Valenciano’s statement that he’s dating Isabel Oli, in an interview, “Ha? Talaga? ‘Di ko alam. Mabait naman si Isabel, eh. Kaibigan ko ‘yon,” he said. “Suwerte si Gab kasi mabait si Isabel. Kaibigan ko ‘yon. Sobrang bait na babae,” he added. With the matter between him and Isabel, Yap did not distance himself from the actress. “Hindi naman kasi alam naman namin na kaibigan ko siya. Wala akong masasabi kay Isabel kundi mabait na babae.”
As for another woman being linked to him, Yap once again stressed that he and singer Marie Digby are just friends. “Lumalabas kami as a group. Kaibigan ko si Marie.” James is not surprised with the rumor because he said he’s single. James declined to make a reaction on Digby’s guesting on Kris Aquino’s morning show Kris TV. “Hindi ko napanood ‘yon kasi wala ako dito, eh.”
With the unsuccessful crack at marriage, the basket ballplayer learned a lesson about relationships: “Kailangan talaga magkasundo and kung meron akong magiging asawa siyempre kailangan talaga team kayo. Kumbaga, kung ano ‘yung desisyon kailangang ipaalam sa ano. ‘Yon na ‘yon. Natuto na ‘ko.”
Aside from James Yap, who came with his manager Dondon Monteverde, celebrities who took time to drop by to greet the Regal producer were senators Bong Revilla, Antonio Trillanes, Dick Gordon, also Paulo Avelino, Boots Anson Roa, Ricky Davao, Toni Gonzaga, Paul Soriano, Dennis Trillo, Martin Escudero, Audie Gemora, Gabby Conception and Baron Gieisler. Other stars present to greet Mother Lily are the lead stars of My Neighbor’s Wife, namely Lovi Poe, Dennis Trillo, and Jake Cuenca. Jillian Ward, Mart Escudero, Lan Batherson, and Ervic Vijandre were among the other guests. Ruffa Gutierrez also arrived at the party with her mother Annabelle Rama. When Nora Aunor arrived with German Moreno, Mother Lily personally met the superstar at the entrance of the mezzanine floor where the party was being held.