A Year Later: Honoring Sari Yap and Her Legacy of Courage

A year after her passing, the life of One Mega Group founder has proven courage plays an important role in our lives.

We may remember Sari V. Yap as a pioneer in the media industry, but more than the sterling woman that she truly was, she was also an inspiring figure who braved through difficult times in many aspects of her life. From starting the first glossy magazine in the Philippines, growing different media brands, to battling with personal struggles, Sari has always shown great determination. One year after we bid farewell to her, we continue to celebrate her bold and daring spirit, firm in fulfilling her dreams and empowering people along the way.

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Courage to be fearless

29 years ago, it was Sari Yap who was among the forward-thinking individuals who brought an impactful change in the media industry. Having established MEGA Magazine, the first glossy publication dedicated to fashion and lifestyle, she defied even more odds such as dealing with the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. “Sari has always had excellent foresight,” Suki Salvador, Vice President for Content and Creatives of One Mega Group, Inc., says, “She could see things in the future that left many of us perplexed.” Decades later, we continue to witness the impact of her decisions as brands like MEGA, Lifestyle Asia, and BluPrint shape the industries they belong to, enriching many people’s lives.

Amid the success, there would always be obstacles to face. Sari Yap, just like most of us, underwent personal struggles, especially with her health. However, she didn’t allow this to get in the way of connecting with people and encouraging them. Managing Editor Pipo Gonzales shares a time he had lunch with Sari and other young leaders of One Mega Group. “She had a genuine smile and the way she complimented my work made me feel up in the clouds. That was a sign of strength for me,” he recalls, “Amidst the hardships she was experiencing with her health, she gave her time and effort to inspire us with purpose.”

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Courage to stand firm

In dealing with personal challenges, one might wonder how Sari Yap was able to stand firm. “I think for someone as passionate as [Sari], her sense of purpose and mission kept her grounded,” Pipo muses. There was pressure but the support of family, friends, and fellow dreamers helped One Mega Group grow into a groundbreaking publishing company that it is today. Suki can attest to this, having worked alongside Sari for many years. “When she was able to firmly establish her company, One Mega Group, which espouses positive values even until today, she knew she was a success story. That feeling kept her grounded and fulfilled even during the months of her personal struggle.” Of course, Sari never forgot to share her success, mentoring a new generation of leaders. As Pipo confirms, “It still feels surreal, remembering our first meeting, because not only were you in the presence of someone who has made significant strides in Philippine publishing, but also a person who really wanted you to succeed.”

Courage to lead

Leading a growing company is not a walk in the park. It takes an extraordinary vision and guts to adopt risks and make decisions that can ultimately build people—and Sari embodied all this. Pipo perceived this in the time he has known her, “She has shown how women can comfortably lead and succeed—and still look good while they are at it. There is sublime and almost silent courage in this,” he ponders. Suki echoes a similar sentiment in how Sari espoused the right attitude in leadership. “One of the things she told me was, ‘Suki, to be an excellent leader, you must brave to hire people that are better than you.’”

Throughout her life, Sari was able to harness the courage to take on the world, learning from and teaching people. Her fearlessness to face what life threw her way shaped her to become the strong, admirable, passionate, and influential woman we knew—and for that, we continue to honor her remarkable legacy.

Photos from One Mega Group, Inc. archive

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