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Megan Young and Mikael Daez Are in It for the Long Run

by Owen Maddela | Feb 14, 2019

Sparks flew for everyone to see on the set of Megan Young and Mikael Daez’s long overdue couple shoot. While their chemistry is indeed tangible, it’s the deeper, unseen things—discipline, patience, and sacrifice—that have kept their love on fire.&

“We were all rehearsing at [the now defunct] Republiq. She was going to host and I was going to walk down the ramp at a magazine event. Sobrang lamig because there were only a few of us and the [aircon] was on full blast. We models hid in a room to keep away from the cold. Eh, si Miss Megan Young, gininaw din. She was looking for where everyone was hiding and as soon as she opened the door, I was in front and there were about 20 dudes behind me.”

ON MEGAN: Strapless square neck navy gown, price unavailable, STEPH TAN, cel. no. 0927 650 8041, Infinite two-layered Diamond necklace, Cleopatra Diamond Ring, Amara Emerald Cut Ring, and Hyacinth Diamond Dangling earrings, prices unavailable, DIAGOLD, Ascott Makati.

ON MIKAEL: Velvet suit, price unavailable, PAULO LAZARO, cel. no. 0906 256 4109,

Mikael Daez, host, actor, and occasional model—his are the only wholesome underwear billboards you’ll see along EDSA these days—still remembers the day he first saw his future girlfriend, also the future first Pinay Miss World, up close back in 2010. He narrates with a tinge of kilig, as if it just happened the other day.


“Do you want my jacket?” he asked, offering an extra layer to ward off the cold and speaking to the host-actress for the first time. They would be introduced formally by a common friend after the event and the rest, as they say, is history.

Love on the Downlow

But it’s a history with “official” receipts known only to them—or the few who knew from the get-go. They neither share a portmanteau nor a couple hashtag that you can search on Instagram.  (#BehindRelationshipGoals, also the title of their podcast, came way later.) Sure, there are images of them together through the years but they dismissed them as just “travel buddy” photos. And save for 2018’s GMA telenovela The Stepdaughters and despite local showbiz being as small as fish bowl, their individual careers never truly intersected.

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Then in their early 20s, they decided to keep relationship under the radar to prioritize their careers. “He had just started auditioning for a number of things and when we first got together, had just signed up with GMA,” Megan recalls. At that time, she was affiliated with ABS-CBN and knew right away that the idea of two lovers from rival networks would prompt the press to ask her who he was, dig up his life, and milk the relationship dry.


ON MEGAN: Dusty blue gown, price unavailable, MICHAEL LEYVA, cel. no. 0977 825 1571, Windsor Teardrop Diamond earrings, DIAGOLD, Ascott Makati.

ON MIKAEL: Gray suit, price unavailable, PAULO LAZARO, cel. no. 0906 256 4109, Poplin shirt, price unavailable, ZARA, SM Mega Fashion Hall

The couple agreed to focus on the work and set ground rules such as not visiting each other at the set of their respective shows. They knew that they would be a distraction to each other and did not want to disrespect the networks that gave them work. Mikael was then being paired with fellow upstart Andrea Torres and Megan felt that she shouldn’t be in their way or hinder the love team from growing.

“We figured that if they were going to build him up, we might as well be quiet about it and just be on the safe side. It would be easy for us to not say anything so that we won’t have to cover anything up,” she adds.


In their early 20s, they decided to keep relationship under the radar to prioritize their careers.

Off-duty, they would hang out in public but usually with friends. And during the times that they decided to spend time alone, they wouldn’t kiss and hug in front of people. “We’re not the kissy kind,” Megan emphasizes. “Para lang kaming  barkada even if it was just the two of us.” Fortunately, too, social media at the start of the decade wasn’t as prying then, wasn’t how it is today—and that has allowed them all the more to keep their love on the downlow.


Distance Be Damned

When it was time for Megan to make her big leap into pageantry, Mikael took to the sidelines and supported Megan all the way to Miss World victory, even if it meant maintaining a long distance relationship. He used the time and space apart to improve his skills and just work harder. “Here’s my girlfriend, extremely close to me, she worked hard and got her dream,” he looks back. “I told her to focus on her work and not worry about me, because I was focused on mine.”


ON MEGAN: Champagne dress, P210,000.00, VERA WANG, 8 Rockwell. Charlotte Drape Diamond necklace, Cathedral Diamond Dangling earrings, and Tri-color Row Diamond Ring, prices unavailable, all DIAGOLD, Ascott Makati.
ON MIKAEL: Tuxedo jacket, P146,498; trousers, P54,298; and tuxedo shirt, P46,698; all CHRISTIAN DIOR, Homme Et Femme, 8 Rockwell. Brogues, P4795, PEDRO, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City

Megan, for her part, did have the time of her life, but fought through occasional homesickness and the things that came with it: anxiety, bouts of loneliness, and insane roaming charges. “I was abroad and we didn’t exactly know how to tackle an LDR together. It was not something that was easy for us but we chose to really work through the distance,” she shares. “But other than that it was exciting to think that I was gonna come home to him and have these stories to tell.”

But Mikael pulled through and met Megan right where she was. “He was very supportive of me behind the scenes and visited me, kahit super tago! My bosses knew about it because I was upfront that I had a boyfriend but they were supportive of him visiting. He went to the UK to visit for a week once, Hong Kong during another work trip. But whenever I was at work, he’d just do his own thing and meet me after. There was still discipline in that regard.”


More importantly, Mikael was self-motivated and secure enough to do his part in keeping the relationship together. He was aware of the possibility of the two of them drifting apart what with the distance and Megan’s new normal—but he was secure enough in himself and was sure that Megan was the same girl despite her newfound celebrity.


Mikael took to the sidelines and supported Megan all the way to Miss World victory. “Here’s my girlfriend, extremely close to me, she worked hard and got her dream,” he looks back. “I told her to focus on her work and not worry about me, because I was focused on mine.”

“How it panned out for me was that I had never been ingrained in the show biz lifestyle prior to joining it so all these [negative possibilities] did not stick to me at an emotional level. I was not affected by that.” He adds, “At the end of the day when the hype dies down, you get back to your normal selves. I think it’s when people get caught up in the hype that the relationship dies. But if you’re grounded and focused on what you have to do, which is to work hard and make the most out of the opportunity, I think that really keeps you grounded. That’s what happened to us.”

Secret's Out

There are no secrets that time does not reveal, and for Megan and Mikael, it was after they pursued their individual career goals that they felt more comfortable in making their relationship known to the public. And so they made it known for all of the internet to see in 2017, after his string of teleseryes and hosting the food segment in GMA’s news department and after her tour of duty as the first Filipina Miss World and move from ABS-CBN back to GMA.


“It was only a couple of years ago that we became open about it,” Megan admits. “I think after the whole Miss World thing and after the attention on me died down and I could just be normal and not anxious of people’s expectations of me or how I present myself was when I also became relaxed with discussing my personal relationships. What’s great about him is that he makes me feel comfortable and he makes sure that it’s not going to make me feel anxious. He has this magic. The way he talks is so comforting for me.”


It also became timely that they got to work on their first project—seven years in. The Stepdaughters aired in early 2018 and it ran for almost year—the longest teleserye we’ve both been, in which I hope says a lot about us being together as a love team,” Mikael gushes, deeming the project as a career boost. “It’s brought a lot of opportunities three months since it ended—so many opportunities have arisen for us individually and as a couple.”


The couple has been working on a lot of digital content and are thrilled at the thought that people are slowly beginning to notice and enjoy their online presence. What started as casual vlogs have turned into more regular content that, seven weeks ago, has evolved into their #BehindRelationshipGoals podcast. They’ve also started streaming some of their video game play, once only a downtime couple activity, and are looking to continue the podcast even while on vacation in Japan and Iceland this summer. Mikael, the self-professed geekier one, remarks, “I am glad I can share this with her.”

“It was only a couple of years ago that we became open about it,” Megan admits. “What’s great about him is that he makes me feel comfortable. He has this magic. The way he talks is so comforting for me.”

For the Long Run

The chemistry between Megan and Mikael was palpable enough to elicit the oohs and aahs from everyone behind the camera. The way she looked at him—she traded her “think murder” gaze for the look of love—and the way he would lean in and press her thigh seemed like muscle memory at work, a love language revealed. Who would have thought they were the “work, work, work” kind earlier on?


“I’ll give you a tidbit: We talked about getting married right after Miss World but when the time came, we realized that we’re not yet ready for it,” Megan reveals.

But not getting married right away and deciding to enjoy their careers first have turned out for their mutual good. In between Megan relinquishing her crown and the day of this photo shoot, she and Mikael were indeed able to achieve more, seize more opportunities, and prepare for a much better future. But these days, they prefer to take it easy.


“It’s not an immediate plan anymore but we always talk about it and look forward to it—we just don’t know when,” she smiles.

Mikael chimes in, looking at Megan with aforementioned kilig, “Look, I would go as far as saying I’ll probably be with her my whole life. I find marriage to be important but definitely more as a label right now for me. The thing is, if I got married to her today, nothing will change tomorrow.”

To this, the former Miss World and future Mrs. Daez, hinted, “It could be something big that we’ll prepare for or it could be something that we’ll be like, ‘Hey, let’s go at it tomorrow.’ It doesn’t matter how anymore—we’re in it for the long run anyway.”

Produced by Isha Vallés

Photographed by Shaira Luna

Styled by Danae Dipon

Art direction by Mark Buenaobra


Co-produced by Nicole Arcano and Maura Rodriguez

Makeup by Jigs Mayuga

Grooming by John Pagaduan

Hair by Mark Rosales

Nails by Nailandia

Shoot Assistant: Teresita Gabat

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