Photography: Stephen Capuchino
Things started with the most basic: an interesting exchange of text messages where the guy jokingly composed his text messages, and the girl beamed upon receiving his every message.
“Talagang natuwa ako sa kanya,” she says, recalling the first time she got a text message from him.
Alex appreciated the effort Mikee made in composing his text message, as evidenced by the amount of time it took him to send it through WhatsApp, in which he’s identified as Michael in Alex’s contacts.
“Alam mo ’yung kumakain kami ng mga kabarkada ko, nakita mo pa rin—kasi nasa WhatsApp ko na rin siya—‘Michael is typing.’ Kasi hindi pa siya tapos,” she says. “Kasi nga kung ano-ano ginagamit niya. Ang galing niya gumawa. So natuwa ako sa kanya do’n.”
But there’s definitely more to Mikee than being a chill, funny guy and a familiar face in Alex’s Instagram account and YouTube channel.
Mikee comes from a family of five that hails from Lipa City in Batangas. He grew up in a religious and somewhat strict household, with parents who are very particular about finishing their food.
He studied Psychology in De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines for two years and then he moved to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in California, U.S.A., to take up International Development Studies.
Looking back on his time at UCLA, he says he learned to be “more independent” and to have the “commitment to go to school.”
“Kasi I committed to move there,” he explains. “I had to start from scratch. I worked for my tito. We did ’yung mga Apple, Mac products. I used to open all the MacBooks. We repair and sell parts. So, I learned different things when I was there.”
He remembers one of those different things happened in school: “I took up Philippine history, ’tapos ’yung teacher ko, puti. ’Yun ’yung isang experience na hindi ko makakalimutan.”
Today, Mikee runs his own toll manufacturing business for household and cosmetic brands. If, for example, a client wants to have an original perfume line, Mikee’s company can develop and deliver the actual product. The self-confessed workaholic plans on expanding his business in the future.
For leisure, Mikee enjoys hanging out in his house, going to the movies, and eating out. He admits to being a fan of Filipino romantic comedies, and counts the John Lloyd Cruz-Sarah Geronimo starrer, A Very Special Love, as one of his favorites. He likes it so much that he often requests Alex to sing the movie’s theme song to him.
Mikee might not have been the Mr. Right that Alex had originally pictured in her mind, but in the end, he turned out to be the perfect man for her.
“Kasi gusto ko talaga is English speaking na Chinese,” Alex candidly admits. “Na ’yung kumbaga hindi ko kabarkada. Hindi ko friend. Pero no’ng nakita ko si Mikee, siya naman ’yung first ko naging boyfriend… na talagang I liked him as a person. Not because of what he is or who he is but because I just like him. Period. I am attracted to him. So important pala talaga sa relationship na dapat you really like the person.”
Art Direction: Alfred Amado
Makeup: Denise Ochoa
Hair: Jerry Javier
Styling: Cath Sobrevega
Photographer's Assistants: Tony Valete, Ryan dela Cruz
Shot on location: Zoomburst Studios