Although initially best known for her role in Bagets, actress Yayo Aguila has become one of the country’s most sought-after actresses with numerous teleseryes, movies, and even reality shows to her name.
Who would’ve thought Yayo would land a serious role with a cast and crew full of music lovers and entrepreneurs?
Apparently, there’s no stage fright for Yayo in wearing different hats. She revealed that since childhood, she’s always loved music because it makes her dance and feel happy.
“As I mature, ngayon, yung music is therapy talaga eh. Parang it de-stresses you, takes you away to a different world, away from your problems and everyday stress,” Yayo told SoundStrip in an interview during the One Stop Record Fair 2023 at the Estancia Mall.
The 56-year-old actress shared that whenever she’s in her room, in a car, or resting at work, she always listens to music since she finds it therapeutic and calms her down.
But what drew her closer to music was her non-showbiz boyfriend, whom she opted not to name. It was this guy who introduced her to the “old-school” music format: vinyl records.
Despite having easy access to music using various streaming platforms, Yayo said nothing compares to the experience of digging through recordings in physical format, listening to music coming from speakers, and having a personal collection of records. “Nothing beats analog,” she declared. Her favorite artists include Michael Jackson, Dua Lipa, and Harry Styles, and music from the 70s to 80s.
What started as a hobby for her partner many years ago turned into a collection of thousands of vinyl bought from Japan, sellers, and friends.
When the pandemic hit, everyone was confined in their homes, discovering hidden gems like vinyl records and turntables their relatives stored for so long, their love for music rekindled.
As a restaurateur, some of her partner’s restos weren’t spared by the lockdown and eventually went out of business including the Tambai Yakitori Snackhouse in Makati City.
But when one door closes, another opens. That’s when Yayo’s beau began selling vinyl records online.
He eventually moved to the south, in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, to get away from the hustle and bustle in the city where he found peace and solace and a place to get back into business.
Talking about his decision, “Iniisip din niya, as you get older, mas gusto mo ng quiet. Hindi mo naman vision yung retirement pero gusto mo na parang tahimik na lang,” Yayo said.
As if everything went into place, as Yayo described it, the couple ventured into the music business and opened a record store called Tambai Records located in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Yes, she is taking her love of music to the next level.
“I’m partnering with my boyfriend. Siya talaga yung brains dito kasi he’s a vinyl collector,” Yayo spoke candidly about her partner.
When her acting duties are wrapped, Yayo said she makes sure to oversee and help in their business, “I see to it that I’m able to help him out ‘pag wala akong work.”
Having someone she can share her love for music, Yayo said her partner also teaches her more about music and its business aspect.
“Happy ako kasi at least we’re working together, marami akong natututunan, ang dami kong nakikilala sa side ng business,” the actress humbly admitted since the only work and business she knows is show business, which she’s been in since the 1980s.
“Grabe nga siya eh! Yang mga plaka na yan, lahat yan memorized niya kahit sino magtanong,” Yayo exclaimed and pointed to Tambai Records’s booth manned by her partner in the record fair. [
The mahogany crates from Prizmic & Brill filled with mint-condition records spanning from classic rock, pop, to hip-hop genres, were neatly arranged while various audio equipment such as turntables, speakers, amplifiers, and vinyl accessories were also up for grabs.
Tambay at Tambai
Back in Sta. Rosa, the first neighborhood record store offers a different experience. From the word tambay, audiophiles can hang out in Tambai Records.
Here, audiophiles can listen to their choice of records, take it for a spin in their turntables, and enjoy listening to the rustic and warm sound of music, served with a free cup of coffee on the side.
Their store’s cozy interior invites avid listeners and collectors to dig through crates and crates full of thousands of record vinyl and hear from their various sound systems from Bowers & Wilkins, Pro-Ject, and others.
With her partner being the only one to accommodate inquiries and transactions, she said she always makes sure to help out whenever her work is done or there’s none for the day.
“Sobrang hands-on niya talaga,” Yayo admired her partner’s organizational skills, craftsmanship, and dedication to their business.
Yayo’s business approach
Yayo admitted that sometimes she gets frustrated because business comes with a lot of things to take note of, including what they sell and etiquette, among others. “Iba yung sa show business. Alam ko na yung gagawin ‘ko, aarte, ganyan. Yun na yon. Master ‘ko na yon,” but she keeps an open mind when it comes to business.
Labeling herself as a mature woman, Yayo said, “Dapat hindi ka nagsto-stop mag-grow. Dapat you go out of your comfort zone. Gusto ko yung ganon, yung matuto ako ng ibang bagay.”
Before, she and her children wanted to have a small business and open a cafe, but Yayo thinks God has a reason for putting her into this role.
“Sign ‘ko na ‘to at libre kong natututunan sa boyfriend ko. Why not grab the opportunity?” she thought to herself.
“I want to take it slow because I’m learning a lot from him. He’s teaching me so many things about running a business, about being an audiophile,” she added.
Speaking about the future of Tambai Records, Yayo said they are planning to expand soon by combining their record store and a restobar to serve food and drinks, which is her partner’s forte.
From the looks of things, the show that is Tambai Records is on the road and is ready for the next edition of One Stop Record Fair. Sharing the driver’s seat with her equally passionate partner, Yayo the audiophile looks more than capable of running it like a well-oiled machine. (All photos by Reine Juvierre S. Alberto/BM)
Image credits: Reine Juvierre S. Alberto