Visionary, Pioneer, and a Woman of Wisdom: Remembering Sari Yap
Years after her passing, we fondly look back at the vibrant life of One Mega Group Founder Sari Yap and the many lives she’s touched.
One Mega Group (OMG) founder Sari Yap is remembered by many as a woman with high hopes and big dreams. And rightfully so, as she is the founder of the country’s first-ever fashion glossy: MEGA Magazine.
Many years after, more titles have joined the roster: high society brand Lifestyle Asia, architecture and design brand BluPrint, parenting title Modern Parenting, and of course, fashion mogul MEGA—where it all began. But even so, Yap had bigger plans in mind—one set on the digital mainframe this time.
Thus the advent of OneMega.com—a website that promised a coming together of great minds and industry experts. “Sari was one of the visionaries for OneMega.com,” shares editor-in-chief Marga Tupaz. “She wanted to get a group of experts under one roof providing content firsthand.“
Her Life Story in Fashion and Media
As a graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication, Yap has always been a staunch supporter of Filipino fashion and design. “She wanted a magazine that would cater to Filipino women, to inspire them with fashion and style,” shares MEGA editor-in-chief Peewee Reyes-Isidro.
In 1994, she launched the MEGA Young Designers Competition, which produced the country’s biggest names in fashion: Rajo Laurel, Ivarluski Aseron, and Patrice Ramos Diaz. Likewise, she spearheaded the annual MEGA Pinoy Pride Ball and MEGA Pinoy Pride Awards—both prestigious events in Philippine fashion.
Broadening her horizons, Yap took her master’s in Navarre, Spain. And during her return, she built MEGA—the country’s first fashion magazine and brand. While other glossies have folded or shifted to a purely digital mainframe in the wake of modernization and the pandemic, MEGA stood its ground as one of the remaining Filipino print magazines today.
“Sari believed in the power of creating a multiplatform product that is true to its DNA and, at the same time, adaptive to cultural shifts. That is why MEGA is stronger than ever. With her life and legacy, she was truly a force to be reckoned with,” Isidro reveals in an interview with Inquirer Lifestyle.
Valuable Life Lessons from a Mentor
Amid her many successes, Yap also faced challenges in her pursuit of excellence. From navigating the turbulent waves of the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 and even her sickness, she never looked back—choosing only to set her sights forward. What’s more, she used her time to connect with people, inspire them, and teach them valuable lessons.
“What do I remember about Sari Yap? Well, she always spoke her mind and never minced her words,” shares Modern Parenting editor-in-chief Marga Tupaz. “Her standards were high and she knew what she wanted. I am talkative, but she was way more talkative! Our Mancom meetings used to last eight hours or longer.”
“People either feared her, detested her, or admired her. She was undoubtedly ahead of her time—having founded the Philippines’ best fashion magazine and building a media empire. I didn’t get to know Sari as the ‘dragon lady’ I was told she once was. She was tough, yes, and she called everyone out. But this time, she was more awakened, and ultimately, she became my healer,” she adds.
In her pursuit of excellence, her passion shines through as she has touched many lives with her wisdom, her kind heart, and her personality. And even after her passing, her legacy lives on in the hearts of many.