2002 | 25 min
Cyrus is a filipino friend I know through the Singapore International Foundation ASEAN Fellowship programme that hosts student leaders for 6 months in Singapore universities. Cyrus and about 50 other fellows were in Singapore from Jul-Dec 2. In a series of online introductions, this was what he wrote in the SIF2000 yahooogroup when he introduced himself on 22 June 2000:
Name: Cyrus Mark Celestial Yap
Birthdate: 21 December 1979
Birthplace: Koronadal, South Cotabato, Philippines
University Attending: University of the Philippines – Diliman
SIF University Destination: National University of Singapore (NUS)
He was always an active contributor to the yahoogroup, organising gatherings, meetups or just congratulating others on their birthdays. But I never knew him on a one to one basis. Two weeks after my dad passed away in Nov 2001, I received an email that Cyrus would be in Singapore and that he needed some help. He was in SGH to confirm if he had mutiple myeloma. He had been undergoing kidney dialysis and needed a bone marrow transplant eventually. I was asked by the SIF Alumni if I can make a video to help to raise funds for it. In his last day in Singapore after discharge, I followed him around with Shiwei, from nustudios, to make this video. It was shown in 2002 at the SIF Alumni conference and a Cyrus Concert held in SMU and raised more than $15k in all, I think, which was not enough for his transplant but helped defray cost of his treatment.
There were two versions of the video that I did. One was a 5 min fundraiser; one was a video letter to his loved ones, his last words. the latter was shot at the studio room at 2am before he catched his morning flight. We were sleepy but he kept up and sang for us. He loved music and he sang whenever he could, as do all Filipinos.
It has been some time since he left us. Curious, I googled for his name and found no trace of him, except in our private yahoogroup that no one posts anymore, except for the automated birthday emails that informs everyone when a birthday of a fellow is due. I found one written by Yui, a thai fellow on 21 Dec, 2003:
Re: [SIF2000] Reminder – Cyrus’s Birthday
have a very happy happy birthday…..our sleeping child
Visit the SIF2000 eGroup at: http://www.egroups.com/group/SIF2000
We would like to remind you of this upcoming event.
Date: Sunday, December 21, 2003
Time: All Day
Happy birthday, Cyrus!!!
In memoriam of Cyrus Mark Celestial Yap (21 December 1979 – 12 Aug 2003)