Tim Yap defends throwing party in Baguio after being called out for breaking COVID measures
Events producer Tim Yap is defending his choice to throw a party in Baguio after drawing flak for hosting the event, stating that he wanted to promote local tourism.
Yap was criticized online after photos and videos from his birthday party, held at a hotel in Camp John Hay last week, circulated on Twitter. Instagram posts and Stories showed Yap and his guests without masks as they danced and posed for photos close to one another.
A probe has since been launched by the Department of Tourism Cordillera Administrative Region, with a Notice to Explain issued to the establishment.
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The Baguio City Public Information Office said in a statement on Facebook today, Jan. 27: “The city government gives hotel 72 hours to explain why it should not be sanctioned over celebrity party protocol breach.”
Yap spoke to ABS-CBN News yesterday, Jan. 26, about the event, stating that he organized it to promote Baguio for local tourism. He said he and his guests tested negative for coronavirus before going up to Baguio. He claimed too that guests all had masks and that these were removed when it was time to eat, after which a traditional community dance took place.
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“It was never my intention to offend anyone. I would never do anything na makaka-endanger kahit sinuman (to endanger anyone),” he said. “We are all responsible citizens of this country and all we want to do is really to help restart the economy and the push for local tourism.”
Baguio City Mayor Benjie Magalong and his wife, Arlene, were also guests at the party; one photo of them with actress KC Concepcion, who was maskless, shows the mayor wearing a mask, while his wife did not have one on.
Besides the lack of COVID-19 measures such as physical distancing and wearing a mask, some Twitter users called out Yap, who was wearing an Igorot headdress and woven fabric, for allegedly appropriating indigenous culture. Niña V. Guno /ra
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