Arriving at the shoot in a button-down denim shirt and stark white jeans, Mikaela Lagdameo-Martinez looked far from a mom of two—to 9-year-old Noelle and 4-year-old Tyler—and a woman with numerous roles that may be daunting to others.
Besides modeling and being co-owner of Elan International Models (an agency that has been around for more than 15 years), she’s also a money broker for government security bonds, the proprietor of Gourmet Pao, and vice president of Professional Models Association of the Philippines.
She does them all with an ease most women would envy. And she finds time to bond with her kids. Her weekly Instagram photos usually show them playing a game of Twister, going on beach trips, doing arts and crafts together, and even cleaning house—“anything and everything” they can do together.
“I make sure my kids are respectful, humble and truthful at all times,” says Martinez. “But at the same time, we encourage them to speak out and say how they feel… we really are a bunch of best friends.”
A past photo shoot with LOOK Magazine showed the camaraderie between this happy bunch. Mother and kids were among the easiest subjects to photograph. Not only were Martinez’s kids gracious and sweet, but also cooperative and quite mature for their age.
“Of course there are some struggles, like those sleepless nights when they were babies, and having to discipline them,” admits Martinez. “But the joys are just so much more. They can make any bad day turn good… My kids changed my life.”
Stick to classics
When it comes to dressing up, motherhood has definitely agreed with her, as she now has “better taste in fashion as a mom than when I was single.”
On this spread, she shows how moms can mix form and function with Payless’ current shoe styles and this season’s latest fashion trends.
“Don’t try so hard and always stick to the classics,” advises Martinez. “If you go trendy, just stay away from looking trashy.”
On moms who have little to no time to get dolled up, she says, “Everything is a choice, and I believe they say ‘no time’ because it’s not in their list of priorities.”
She adds: “Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration.”
For her, “me” time consists of doing “little girly things like a monthly massage, mani-pedis, and shopping trips.”
Though finding time for herself amid her mommy duties is important to her, she says motherhood has also taught her to be selfless and humble.
If there’s one thing she’d like to teach her kids, it’s “to always be the best you can be. It doesn’t matter if sometimes you fail. What’s important is that you get up and try again.”
Photography by Mark Ches AngStyling by Carmencita S. Sioson
Makeup by Mayesa Delos SantosHair by Mark Familiara