By Mariel Abanes
If, as a kid, you’re like us who are suckers for weekend shows, Mikee’s face may seem familiar. At first glance, you may find yourself asking, was she on TV? The answer: Yes.
Mikee de Vega was a former reporter for an educational children’s show that run for almost three years, and back then, she even was dubbed as, “Smarty Mikee.” It wasn’t hard to see why—and until now, the 22-year-old lives up to this title she has carried for more than a decade now.
“I'm quite an all-around person and I'm into many things,” Mikee says. Presently, she’s a double-major student at the De La Salle University, taking up AB International Studies, majoring in European Studies, and BS Legal Management. She’s also the President of DLSU’s University Student Council and has been a debater for most of her teen years until now. She participated in several competitions in and out of the country, was the former prez of Philippine Debate Union, and works as a debate consultant since 2014. Oh, and just this year, she’s awarded as one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines in NCR.
With everything on her plate, we wonder: How is she able to manage it all? “I think juggling everything on my plate is living my youth to the fullest,” she answers it short and sweet.
Debate is a big part of her being, and she admits that public speaking is a great takeaway from this sport, which helped her in all her leadership roles. Mikee recalls her beginnings in debate back in high school, joining her school’s team to prepare for Law, which she initially wanted to pursue. Her track changed but debate stayed in her life—a passion she unexpectedly found.
Mikee remembers the World Championships in Greece, which put together everything she loves about debate. “I was able to travel to a beautiful country and meet new people from all over the world through this tournament. More importantly, it was such an honor to do what I love the most with one of my best friends on the world stage, bearing the Philippine flag,” she shares. "Of course, being able to have my first experience with snow would have to be the cherry on top.”
It's not all tourney and tours for the varsity debater, though. She believes that paying it forward is the way to go. Bringing the medal home for the Philippines is one story; imparting her skills through teaching future public speakers about what she knows and loves is remarkable. Mikee sees debating as a way for people to grow confident to speak for themselves, no matter the field they find themselves in. It’s how she perceives to create change in today’s generation.
“In teaching debate, I have seen many people find the courage to give their opinion on issues, share their experiences, and defend themselves from those who seek to put them down. Most grow into leaders in their different advocacies, and I think it's mainly because it taught us how speaking up is essential if we are to right the wrongs in the world today,” the Human Rights advocate reflects. In the long run, Mikee aspires to continue debate as she enters the ‘real world.’ “In five years, I still see myself supporting advocacies and causes I care about, despite working,” she states.
As for specific future plans, the TOSP awardee likes to keep the doors open. “I guess we just have to wait and see,” she ends.
Watch Mikee star in our 18th anniversary campaign #ChalkGen18 as part of this year's Chalk Bright Young Manila:
ALSO READ: #ChalkGen18: Meet The 18 Individuals Of This Year's Chalk Bright Young Manila
Photographed by Stephen Capuchino
Art Direction by Mikka Caronan
Styled by Madel Asuncion
Makeup by Andi Sapina of Makeup Design Academy
Hair by Sam Corbillon of Triple Luck Brow and Nail Salon
Clothes by Forever 21