EXCLUSIVE: Mikael Daez And Megan Young Reveal Their Love Story, From "Hello" To "I Do"
After a five-year engagement, this couple is finally husband and wife!
Brewing a good cup of coffee requires a willingness to wait.
There's an art to choosing which bag of beans to open, grinding them with the right intensity, gingerly pouring water over them, then finally, waiting for liquid satisfaction to fill one's cup. The first sip is delicious, no doubt; but the ones that follow are even more flavorful, with the taste pleasing taste buds, mind, and heart in succession, and then all at once.
Take your time.
Coffee is best enjoyed slowly and with intent, after all.
Just like the perfect cuppa, the word instant is all but present in newlyweds Mikael Daez and Megan Young's vocabulary—except, perhaps, when it comes to the undeniable connection they made 10 years ago when they met by chance, as coffee-lovers in the making and better yet, as two people soon to learn that they had found the love of a lifetime.
"When you're so happy, [even though] you're doing the absolute simplest thing, life becomes very, very simple and easy. Some people need to have this and that to be happy, but the flip side is, if you're able to enjoy coffee with the person you love and you feel that that is the highlight of your life, how much more is life going to get easier for you?" reflects Mikael as he looks over to Megan perched on her makeup chair who's getting ready for their first-ever photo shoot as Mr. and Mrs. with Metro.Style.
The Miss World 2013 titleholder overhears this and responds with a playful allegation that he's exaggerating. In a minute or so, her makeup is done and she walks over to him, interrupting him mid-sentence with a kiss on the lips and a syrupy gaze that left many things only they know unspoken.
"That sums it up," says Mikael with a smile and without breaking eye contact with his wife.
This time, Megan agrees.
Then preparing to tie the knot at their intimate January 25, 2020 wedding in Subic, this couple recounted everything and everyone that have led them to this extra special day here and now, the point in their relationship that solidifies a decade's worth of falling deeper and deeper in love.
"Mik and I have been together for nine years. When I think about it, I can't believe it's already been that long," shares Megan as she looks back at how it all began.
As the story goes, Megan and Mikael were unknowingly brought together by Megan's best friend, celebrity stylist Adrianne Concepcion, for an event in 2010. Megan was hosting, and Mikael was a model. Behind the curtains, they waited for their turn to appear onstage—only, Megan was visibly cold and uncomfortable.
"We were huddled up inside because we were all cold. I saw her—s’yempre chicks and I was single—so I was like, 'You want my jacket?' laughs Mikael.
It was the introductory line that would open up a continuous stream of conversations and according to this groom, conversation is the best way to his heart. The pair talked and talked some more throughout the evening and two weeks after that, but alas, Mikael had to sit tight. Megan was in another relationship and treated the meet-cute as a fun, friendly experience.
Love is always a choice. You have a choice to flourish it or to make it go a different direction—Megan
"About a month after I met him, I was single by this time, Adrianne says to come out and enjoy singlehood. So we go out—lo and behold, Mik was there—and I did find him cute. So we talked. We talked and talked and talked the whole night and we ended up closing the bar that night," Megan reminisces.
They kept things going for weeks and weeks and Megan had high hopes of being in for yet another memorable time at a party Mikael had invited her to.
Instead, she shares, "A bunch of people kept texting him that night and I was like, 'What is up with this dude? Why does he keep texting?'" Feeling irritation swelling up, she went on her phone herself and a quick social media scan provided the much-needed explanation—it was her date's birthday!
She didn't know, and she certainly didn't have a gift—a major social faux pas in most cases.
Little did she know that everything Mikael had wanted that night didn't require fancy wrapping paper, ribbons, or a greeting card; his gift was right there, and he would go on to let her know exactly that before they parted ways for the evening.
"It was exactly one hundred days after that that he asked me to be his girlfriend [on his birthday]," Megan divulges with a bit of rouge blossoming on her cheeks.
I love yous and I love you toos came soon afterwards, but another recollection of how it all unfolded from Mikael turns another page of this love story.
"It was the end of that particular year when I realized I loved her the most. That was a more important realization for me. We talked about it—you know how we all feel that we have 'loves' of our lives? Sometimes, even though you've settled down and you have love, at the back of your head, you think, 'But the great love isn't this person.' I was scared. I was scared that it wouldn't be her. But I liked her; iba 'yung feeling. It was that moment [that I realized it was her]. That's why I can't forget it," he adds.
The years that followed were full of promise and adventure; Megan would eventually win her pageant title and become an actress, Mikael would find success onscreen, on runways then eventually on the Internet, and together, they would live their lives to the fullest, gradually learning that love—true love—is not without its share of prickly moments and thorny days.
"We got through it because of honesty. I told her, in year one of our relationship, that if there was anything I was going to give her, it's honesty," Mikael declares, a change his tone apparent and firm. That meant honesty in everything, he reiterates—honesty in thoughts, words, and actions, even if it meant having to call each other out or tell the other person that they didn't appreciate something they said or did.
"You don't get married and then say we can be honest with one another. That's impossible. You don't just turn that switch on, so we've been lucky," he continues.
For Megan, it was communication. And boy was it a tough lesson for her to master at the start, being the introvert that she was who had trouble finding her words and expressing feelings at the peak of heated discussions. The process was slow but steady, and today, it's mission accomplished: she's now able to talk about anything and everything with Mikael, happy and sad, praise or critique, calmly and confidently.
Patience was there, too, alongside generous servings of understanding and unconditional commitment.
"In the first half of our relationship, we went through major trials with our families... It was very emotional and they were low points of our lives, individually, but we were there for each other in whatever capacity. That moment was a jump-off point where our relationship deepened and our bond intensified because of what we were going through. We helped each other out. Things got real there," Mikael explains.
You love somebody through their best and worst moments. That's when I knew that Mik and I were ready to get married; we've reached the point where we love each other unconditionally and would do anything for each other—Megan
Megan Young and Mikael Daez are married!
Megan Young and Mikael Daez are married!
But as all storms do, these familial challenges came to pass, the pleasant irony being that it was Mikael's love for Megan's brood that had convinced her that she had found the man she was going to marry.
With tears welling up in her eyes at the thought of this, Megan shares, "There would be times when he looked out for my sister and my brother, or my mom, even. So when moments like that happened, I knew that this was my future and he was my husband, the guy that I was going to spend the rest of my life with... That's when I knew—when he wasn't selfish in taking care of others. "
Soon after they and their families were past difficulties, Mikael and Megan became free to explore other facets of their relationship.
As they matured over time, so did their expectations of each other, of relationships, and of their future.
When Mikael was once worried about personality differences creating a deep divide between them, Megan re-framed his perspective to see it as two people bringing the best aspects of each other, to each other, to make a beautiful, unique whole.
When Megan was once in need of encouragement to help her find individuality and self-confidence, Mikael was there to help her experience independence outside of their relationship, watching her grow with pride as she found her voice and her footing.
When goal-oriented Mikael was moving too fast, Megan was there to ground him and remind him to stop and appreciate the simpler things from time to time—an attitude he says is one of Megan's biggest gifts to him.
When either of them were unsure of where they stood in life when things would get the best of them, the cure to their doubts was always clear: "No matter what happened, siya 'yun. I would be there for him. I would protect him, and he would protect me," describes Megan.
And when talks of marriage began, Mikael and Megan were definitely in it together, hand in hand and one hundred percent ready to say yes to a lifelong union.
At the end of the day, we have to make sure that we make each other better people. If we don't, we have to re-evaluate what we're doing wrong. I feel like it's helped us grow and understand each other more—Megan
It was in 2014 when Mikael popped the question, or should we say, smoothly segued into asking Megan to marry him.
It was funny, they both recall, for different reasons.
For Mikael, it was pretty much just like it was when he had asked her to be his girlfriend four years earlier: casual, fuss-free, and low-key.
"When I proposed, I [didn't even] have a ring. It was so spur of the moment! I felt that I wanted to ask her something. We were just hanging out in the room and I just felt it. Usually dapat bongga or may plano kahit papano, but I was spontaneous," he smiles.
On the other hand, Megan was surprised, but not in the same way most women are; she's always felt that she and Mikael had thought and behaved like a married couple since the beginning, but nevertheless, it was a big resounding "Yes!"
Much to the surprise of many of their followers and supporters, Mikael and Megan have actually been engaged for five years and have simply been amazing at keeping it private. They shouldn't take offense; an entire year would pass before they told anyone, family and closest of close friends included.
"We kept it to ourselves for a while, just the both of us, not even our siblings and parents. We just wanted to enjoy and think of our future together, without anyone else—yet. We thought long and hard together and decided to make it about our relationship," Megan says.
But prepare yourselves; there's another big reveal aside from their engagement: Mikael and Megan actually already tied the knot on January 10th in an extremely private ceremony in Calaruega with only a little over 10 guests present.
Contrary to the idea of celebrity weddings, this miniscule ceremony was the best thing that they could have asked for; it had a priest of Megan's choosing that she felt knew their love story the best, they were surrounded by those dearest and nearest to them, and the moment was theirs and theirs alone, no cameras, no fanfare, just them and their commitment to each other.
Perhaps, one of the few material things that Megan and Mikael will cherish from their wedding day was their rings. Megan's is especially worth noting; the piece of jewelry boasts of a white wedding band encrusted with small diamonds and a topaz stone right at the center.
"It was perfect for us. It's a symbol of calm and peace, healing, and it gives concentration and communication which is us as a couple, and it's the jewel of love and loyalty. Hindi namin sinasadya, but it was like things fell into place," she explains.
Becoming her husband doesn't really make a difference, I'll be honest... I'm all out. As soon as I see you and I like you, and after our first date and I like you, let's take the leap. It's just a matter of improving how much you give to a person—Mikael
Keeping their engagement a secret and waiting half a decade before planning the big day—it's a different approach to preparing for marriage, they admit, but that's exactly who they are: non-traditional, private, and in no way in need of a spectacle to celebrate their love.
It's the way they've always been and intend to keep on being, now that they're husband and wife.
In fact, in the course of their relationship, they gave up a ton of socials, parties, and constant late nights for more hangouts at home—video games and endless cups of coffee included.
Speaking of coffee, the centuries-old beverage hasn't just become their current obsession and reason for traveling (they go wherever the coffee is!), but more meaningfully, it's also become a hugely symbolic drink for them.
It stands for everything they are as a couple, and in Megan's own words, she says, "[I feel loved] in the most unexpected moments. Sometimes, it will be as simple as just us having coffee together and relaxing. It makes me so happy that we can make coffee for each other every day. Mikael and I aren't opulent and we don't really like grand things, but what we do like is taking care of each other in little ways. And those little things make me feel so lucky."
Mikael and I already think like a married couple—the things that we do, the way we approach things. We've already thought ahead and the thinking that we've already been committed to each other, so when we get married, nothing's going to change. It's going to be the same. We're just going to be official now. That's what's good about it; we've already learned so much about each other. The hurdles, we've already been through—Megan
Their years together have taught them that really, it doesn't take much to be happy if you've found the right person; even the most mundane becomes special, the repetitions become beautiful rituals. And for these two, there's nothing more able to speak this truth than sharing a fresh brew whenever they can. The simple act of sitting together, often silently but comfortably, has given them a wonderful sense of security and reassurance—they found love, this is it.
It doesn't take long to see that they're both lucky; Mikael and Megan were made for each other.
"I did tell her this one thing this month after we had a Pre-Cana [wedding] seminar: "'Hey [Megan]. If I make you coffee every day for the rest of my life, happy na ako.'"
Indeed, good things come to those who wait, whether it be waiting for the perfect brew, or for forever.
Megan's gowns by Rosa Clara. Mikael's suits by Chynna Mamawal
Produced by Kate Paras-Santiago
Photography by Shaira Luna
Makeup by Albert Kurniawan
Hairstyling by Francis Guintu Of Aveda Philippines
Styling by Adrianne Concepcion
Sittings editors: Grace Libero-Cruz and Judy Arias
Set design by Beam Mariano
Furniture from 18th.ph
Shot on location at the Hilton Manila
Special thanks to Vidanes Artist Management, Ramon Vera, and Patti Tecson