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Bowling News USA - September 4, 2012 An Interview with Storm's Robert Dong...Honoring Dr. Enrique C. Yap

(The late Dr. Enrique C. Yap served as the Executive Vice President of Euro-Med Laboratories Philippines Inc. from 1994 to August 8, 2012. Dr. Yap served as Vice President of Usautoco Inc. In addition, Dr. Yapp served as Vice President of U.S. Automotive Co. Inc. and Director of Phil-Progress Securities Corporation. He served as a Vice Chairman of Euro-Med Laboratories Philippines Inc. from December 17, 2008 to August 8, 2012 and served as its Director since 1994. Dr. Yapp also served as a Director of Manila)


What are your fondest memories of Dr. Enrique C. Yap?

There are so many when I reflect back to thinking about Ahing. But I guess my very first meeting with Ahing comes to my mind....

It was at Pearl Plaza Bowling Center during my visit to meet Johnson (Cheng) to discuss future Storm business approximately 12 years ago. As I was walking towards Johnson's office, I saw from the corner of my eye, one gentlemen bowling on two pairs of lanes...just throwing ball after ball, not really looking at his score much. 

What interested me was the temperature in the center was quite low with air conditioning going at full speed. But this man was sweating so much he needed to wipe himself off after each shot.

When I entered Johnson's room, I asked Johnson with a bit of craziness... "Who is that crazy guy out there just throwing ball after ball, sweating himself to death?"

Johnson, with a big smile on his face told me."Robert, he is the person who wants to meet you (when he found out you were coming today.) He is Nena's (Johnson's oldest sister) brother in law, affectionately known by his friends as Ahing."

To make the story short, when he met me for the first time, with a big smile on his face and with much joy in his voice, he said to me, "Hello Robert!" So glad to meet you, call me Ahing!"

Well, I think you can imagine the rest. In our second meeting, he became the main sponsor of the Euromed/Storm Int'l Master's Challenge.

When we signed the deal, he told me "Robert my handshake is good enough." "I am very happy to be the sponsor of Euromed/Storm, and hope this tournament will reach those who love bowling. I will enjoy the special friendships it will create."

His love and compassion and foremost his generosity continues on, even after his passing. I miss him dearly.

Ahing was one of the most successful businessmen in the Philippines. Why do you think he had such an interest in the sport of bowling?

I am not sure if it was his interest in bowling so much, but his love for people and his desire to take care of those who loved the sport of bowling (just like him), but did not have the financial ability to move forward with developing their game and skills.  When I signed the deal to be his partner in sponsoring the event, he told me, "Robert, please help me to create special relationships through this event. "Our recognition and brand image will come automatically, if we can gain the respect and the love from those who come to our event each year."

I still remember Ahing's smiling face as he would take his valuable time to visit the tournament, and greet everyone from those who were bowling in the event, to those who were working in the center, and all of those visitors who came to see the event.  I cannot imagine how many drinks he offered to buy to all the people he met during each year. He was never in the spotlight, but always in the back taking care of everyone!

I still remember Ahing leaving the center from his visits...  with his thumbs up and smiling...Boy, do I remember!

What kind of impact did Ahing have in Philippines bowling and the Philippines National Team?

I think many knews he did financially help many local events via directly and indirectly, not only to tournament organizers but to those individual bowlers in need. However, I want to recognize his true impact of local Philippine bowling scene via his strong passion and always positive outlook. I never ever heard Ahing say no or  heard negative feedback when discussing difficult issues. As a matter of fact, he wanted me to be always positive and work through problems, not go around them.

With Ahing, Johnson, Nena, and everyone at Eurodex and Pearl Plaza, I believe Philippine bowling took a giant step forward!

What was Ahing's impact on the Euro-Med Storm International Masters Challenge and PBAP Bevida-Storm International Classic?

He brought not only financial capability to organize these two wonderful events, but his passion was able to bring special friendships to all, via these two events. So many who attended these events will tell you... they all had a great opportunity to meet so many great people, and those who are still left here will make sure Ahing's wishes will carry on in the hearts of all those people whom he touched.

At Storm, we have gained so many good friends from Philippines, Asia and also worldwide via these two events. We lost a dear friend who also loved our products, and our overall image.

Tell us about Ahing's 'speed bowling'.

What can I say...  I think it was his way of keeping himself in shape from his busy schedule, but doing it with a game he truly loved.

In short, he would take one or two pairs of lanes for given amount of time, with several of his bowling balls on the rack, keeps throwing balls moving from a lane to lane.

He would only stop when he felt he needed a quick rest for a drink or to wipe himself off. He continued doing these repeated steps until his scheduled time wass up. One thing I want to mention...he was not of PBA or Int'l National Team caliber, however I did see him time after time, throw great games. Ahing should have been one of the competing bowlers in his events, not just the sponsor helping others.

What kind of company is Eurodex?

On the record, Eurodex is the Storm/Roto Grip Authorized Distributor/Warehouse in Philippines for the last 14 years. They not only supply our products to Philippines, but also to Guam, New Zealand, and to those very small countries where Johnson had created special relationships via his past Philippine National Team coaching days.

What will be Ahing's legacy?

I believe his greatest legacy will be his character and his inner and outer strength as a human being. His way of showing love, compassion and his willingness to always help those who were in need.

Hopefully we will carry on his spirit as long as Euromed/Storm continues and beyond.

 Any additional comments about Ahing?

I was not able to see Ahing before his passing. As a matter of fact, Johnson let me know of his illness a few weeks prior to his passing (going against Ahing's wishes.) Ahing didn't want to worry anyone concerning his illness.

If I had an opportunity to see Ahing before his passing, I would have wanted him to know that is was a great pleasure to know someone like him and to experience his kind of love and compassion.

I know Ahing is up there looking down on us. Ahing, thank you so much for your special friendship and hospitality given not just to me, but to everyone you came across! We will miss you terribly. Rest in peace, and all our love from everyone here.

More tributes to Dr. Enrique C. Yap:

From Mr. J. P. Jeon:

I heard of Mr. Yap's sad news via Johnson and Robert recently. Even though I never really got to be close with Mr. Yap, I am very sad of his passing, and we have lost one great individual who loved bowling and offered not only financially but through his passion, his support of bowling in Philippines and also for throughout the world. My special regards to both Yap and Chang family, and all the best to Euromed.


Bill and Barbara Chrisman:

All of us at Storm Products offer our sincere condolences to the Yap family. Ahing was a great supporter of bowling and Storm. He will be missed.


Kazuo Kawashima

We were saddened to hear the passing of Mr. Enrique Yap. His valuable contribution to our sports should be remembered and highly regarded. We extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Yap and his family.


Mr. Kok Wee Yap:

The difference between you and the rest is that you truly care. This difference translates to Storm Company as well. A CLASS ABOVE THE REST! I am proud to be associated with you and Storm!

They say when a person passes away, we should not feel sad but happy as he or she would be in a better place, that the person would now be with our Lord.

But, the truth of the matter is, it is so tough to be happy when we have suffered a lost.
More so in this case where we remember the late Enrique Yap.
Mr. Yap has touched many lives and so many good things and kind words could be heard from all those around him when we attended the wake, he was truly a man that was loved and respected by all that knew him.
Not many people knew that Mr. Yap was ill.
As usual, in his own way, he managed his sickness as best as he could, as quietly as he could, without wanting to be  a hindrance to those around him.
Quietly he suffered and only those that were closest to him, knew and understood his suffering but never once did he let the sickness get the better of him.
How shall I remember him?
I shall remember him as a strong person that was soft spoken and in control of his emotions.
I would remember him for the times whereby he took me a side to talk to me. Even when he was away, which was quite often as business grew, he would always take the time to reply to my text messages.
I would remember him for his thoughtfulness, his kindness.
I would remember him for always encouraging me when I was down and always getting me to look things from a “more positive prospective”.
I will learn to understand and appreciate that Mr. Yap is in a better place, that he is no longer in pain, that he is now at peace.
I came across this poem which I would like to share with everyone:  
I'm Free
Don't Grieve for me for now I'm free,
I'm following the path God has laid.
I took His hand when I heard Him call,
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found that peace at the close of day.

If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joys.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Oh, yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow.
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.

My life's been full, I've savoured much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.

Lift up your hearts and peace to thee,
God wanted me now, He set me free.

Tim Mack:

Such sad news.....I knew Mr Yap and he was a fantastic man. Without his support and vision the Euromed- Storm event would not be what it is today . A tremendous man gone way to soon. My condolences to his family.


 Bob Hart:

A very fitting tribute and deserved fond memory of Mr. Yap !!


Jason Belmonte:

This is very sad news. Ahing was a really nice guy and deserved to live longer. 



(Editor's Note: Robert Dong is Storm's Vice President of International Sales & Marketing)









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September, 2012