'Sir Chief' on star status: 'It doesn't change who I am'

Posted at 02/07/13 6:30 PM

Richard Yap says singing career planned

MANILA, Philippines -- Richard Yap isn't one to let fame get into his head.

Richard Yap. File photo

Since taking on the role of "Sir Chief" in the hit daytime series "Be Careful With My Heart," the 45-year-old actor has become a household name. During mall tours, Yap's appearance with co-star Jodi Sta. Maria triggers a frenzy. Being approached by screaming fans to have a photo taken with him -- and on occasion, to hug and "pinch" him -- have become every-day affairs.

"But that's fleeting eh," Yap said. "So I'd rather not put that in my head."

In an interview with ABS-CBN News on Thursday, the actor said he has yet to get used to the attention that comes with being "Sir Chief."

Before starring in "Be Careful With My Heart" -- which is now the undisputed No. 1 daytime program on local TV -- Yap has had his share of popularity. As "Papa Chen" in the 2011 series "My Binondo Girl," he easily became a recognizable figure.

His turn as a household name thanks to his ongoing "kilig-serye," however, was something he had not anticipated.

"That's something I'll never get used to. I don't know why people would scream just to see me, because there is no difference between me before I joined showbiz and now," he said.

Currently, Yap is said to be one of the most in-demand TV personalities for appearances across the country and abroad, ranking him alongside Coco Martin and Piolo Pascual.

"That's very unexpected, and I'm very thankful to be held in that bracket. I don't want to pressure myself eh, so I just take everything as it comes, and I try to make the most out of it na lang," he said.

While his rise as a heartthrob has taken some getting used to, Yap said he's managed to adjust well in terms of his craft.

"Career-wise, I'm more comfortable now in front of the camera than before. But I'm still learning from all the others that I work with, so it's a continuous process," he said.

At 30, Sta. Maria's career as an actress already spans two decades. In "Be Careful With My Heart," Yap also co-stars with veteran actress Gloria Sevilla, whose beginnings in the film industry date back to the 1950s.

With the series extended to run until June this year, and a singing career still ahead, Yap is set to be very much part of showbiz for a while.

Had he passed up the opportunity to join showbiz, however, the former businessman feels he'd be largely unchanged.

"If I wasn't in showbiz, I'd be just like any other guy on the street. Na sa TV lang ako, biglang gwapo na ako. Wala namang nagsasabi nanag ganoon sakin. So I take it with a grain salt. It's just how people perceive you to be, but it doesn't change who I am," he said.