Latest Stories

The Working Class

Mikaela Lagdameo Martinez: Model/banker/entrepreneur–a stylish multitasker


NECKPIECE, Parfois; printed bondage dress,  Mika’s own, Topshop

Mikaela Lagdameo Martinez was born beautiful. Her interesting features—almond eyes, sharp nose, thin lips, narrow cheekbones and jaw line—came from a striking lineage, as both her parents, Butch Cojuangco Lagdameo and Vicki Fernandez Zabarte, were models.

In addition to her natural attributes, she has glowing, sun-kissed skin. “I simply love the beach, and my Sundays are sacred and reserved for golf with my husband Chucho!” she says.

Martinez’s schedule is quite packed, since she holds a regular job as a money broker.

“I’ve always had the entrepreneurial spirit,” she says. “In grade school, I was thrilled by the thought of tripling my money. I would buy a jar of Jell-O or bake cookies and sell them to my classmates for P4.50.”

MIKAELA sports the almost nomakeup look.

An avid fan of Chalk magazine when the glossy was new about a decade ago, she attended the mag’s parties where she met Xander Angeles, who took her photographs and sent them to an agency. She started modeling at 15, then started a clothing company (Ebony & Ivory), a magazine (Luxe), became a partner in her modeling agency (Élan) and developed a food business (Gourmet Pao)—while working behind the cameras as fashion stylist.

“While delivering Gourmet Pao to the company I now work in, they asked me if I was interested in working for them!” And another job was born.

Stepping up

Maneuvering between two careers, modeling and banking, Martinez is well aware of the demands of both industries. “The one thing they both have in common is competition. You simply have to step up! There is always someone better than you in what you do, so when you have that in mind, you keep working toward improving yourself all the time.”

But as her work continues to accelerate over the years, Martinez remains up to speed. “Funny thing is, as soon I started a family, I was driven and inspired like never before,” she says.

MIKAELA with husband and kids

How does this driven woman maintain her youth, spunk and class? She has the almost no makeup look. “The less stuff I put on my face the better. I stick to the basics: cold water, cleansing oil and moisturizer. I don’t wear makeup if I don’t have to.”

Her mode of dressing is simple. “I always say go for classic pieces. Have trendy statement pieces once in a while to give your look a good twist. I will always choose simplicity over extravagance, because it overpowers you.”

She promotes local designers, but when it comes to shoes, she leans toward Marni, Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga.

Simple yet spruced up, reserved yet sensual, classy yet down-to-earth. What a woman.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Lifestyle , Mikaela Lagdameo-Martinez , People

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  3. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  4. No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  5. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  6. The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  7. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  8. Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  9. What has happened to Barrio Fiesta and Singing Cooks & Waiters?
  10. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. This is not just a farm
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  10. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer


  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • [VIDEO] No assurances on Janet Lim-Napoles’ bid to become state witness
  • South Sudan president fires long-time army leader
  • Grenade explodes outside MPD Station 1
  • 25 cops ordered relieved over links to drugs
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted