EXCLUSIVE: Fashion Designer Patty Ang And Businessman Migs Almeda Start The Next Adventure In Their Love Story
Fashion designer Patty Ang and businessman Migs Almeda's love story could make for a good plot whether of a romantic movie or a novel. It's one that started about 30,000 feet up in the air, aboard a plane from Manila to Hong Kong. All it took was about two hours for a precious journey to begin unfolding.
She was with her friends, while he was with his family. But fate worked its magic; they found themselves separated from their travel buddies, and seated beside each other in the plane. Patty was in the middle, flanked by a young man and an old man. She had one too many cocktails at the time, and couldn't help but excuse herself several times to go to the lavatory. For all those restroom breaks, she had to bother this young man beside her, just so she could make her way to the aisle from her seat and vice versa. The young man (aka Migs), of course, couldn't help but notice this woman who was passing in front of him as well.
"My sister was seated behind me, and she kept on asking me, 'Bakit daan nang daan 'yung katabi mo sa harap mo?' Her passing in front of me really caught my attention," Migs shares. Although he was quite intrigued by his seatmate, he couldn't make a move or start a conversation with her, because he thought the old man sitting beside Patty was her father. "When we were about to step out of the plane, I saw her one more time as she was going to the restroom and I told myself, 'Ay, cute pala 'yung girl,'" he adds. That first encounter was in November 2013.
A part of him regretted that he didn't get to talk to her, but if they were really meant to meet each other, fate would find a way to bring them together. And fate sure was working overtime then. After landing in Hong Kong, Migs and his family immediately shuttled to Macau. Only a couple of days after, Patty and Migs saw each other again—this time, they actually met and got to chat with each other. Oh, what a small world! Who would've thought they would meet again? But then, they did, and there was no way that could've meant nothing.
Gown by Rosa Clara (available in Rosa Clara at Greenbelt Residences)
It was a Saturday night. Migs' sister was hanging out with some friends until he received a text message from her: "'Yung katabi mo sa plane, kasama ko dito sa Venetian. Punta ka dito." Great job, fate! Who would've thought they were both planning to head to Macau soon after landing in Hong Kong? Who would've thought his sister and Patty had some common friends? It was becoming obvious that fate was starting to write the first few paragraphs of this love story.
He says, "That was the first time I knew there was a Patty Ang that existed, that’s when I first found out about her name, found out what she does (she had just graduated), and then I told her when we get back to Manila, maybe we can hangout. That’s it."
Their next encounter was in another hangout place, at Tipsy Pig. Despite the crowd that surrounded them and the blaring music that enveloped the place, he only had his eyes and ears for her. "We had a good time together, and then I got her number," he says.
Gown by Rosa Clara (Available in Rosa Clara at Greenbelt Residences)
Getting to know each other
Patty, 26, is a fashion designer who has become the favorite of celebrities and society personalities for her exquiste creations that are feminine, minimalist, and effortlessly stylish, some made more playful with her signature ostrich feather accents. With her notable achievements, she was one of the featured designers at the Metrowear 2017 show alongside her friends and fellow fashion designers Mark Bumgarner and Michael Leyva. She also made waves internationally when actress Andi Eigenmann (who was part of Brillante Mendoza's Ma Rosa film) attended the Cannes Film Festival in 2016, wearing a white ensemble by Patty Ang; Andi made it to several best-dressed lists, like that of Vanity Fair's, for that clean and chic look. Other celebrities who have worn her creations include Heart Evangelista-Escudero, Maggie Wilson-Consunji, Bea Soriano-Dee, Sarah Lahbati, KC Concepcion, Bea Alonzo, Maureen Wroblewitz, Kylie Verzosa, Martine Cajucom-Ho, Marie Lozano, Lovi Poe, Pia Wurtzbach, among many others.
Migs, 34, on the other hand, now helps run their family business, the Junna Group of Companies, which is into several businesses, such as parking management, air duct cleaning & decontamination, industrial & rescue equipment, and logistics services.
Like most love stories, theirs built its foundation on friendship. Patty shares, "I just got out of a relationship at the time. I just wanted to have fun muna. But, I don't know, I guess everything just fell into place. Everything happened so fast."
Their courtship stage lasted for four months. It was time well spent getting to know each other, first as friends but definitely, the hopes of later being more than just friends were lingering with every encounter. Although he was already courting her, Patty and Migs were also laying the foundation for a solid friendship, from which a stable relationship could grow.
Nightouts with some alcohol have been part of both their social calendars. One night, Migs got drunk and got into a minor car accident. The first person he called was Patty. He told her, "'Patty, I bumped my car.' She just told me, 'I can't talk right now, my daughter is sleeping. But I will help you, pick me up at 10 in the morning tomorrow, and I'll help you get your car fixed.'"
Coat, pants and shirt all by Erwin Flores
The plot thickens
Hearing the woman he was courting say "my daughter" understandably came as a bit of shock to him. Still, that didn't ward him off; he was already too interested and invested in her for that fact to put a dent in his efforts on pursuing her. As planned, the day after his accident, he picked her up, they had his car fixed, and they proceeded to a mall for lunch.
"That was the first time we had a formal conversation without alcohol in front of us," Migs says. "That’s where she told me everything, no holds barred."
"Du'n ko na na-realize na this girl is not just like a typical girl na makakasama mong kainuman, friends, good time. No, there’s another side to her. If that accident didn't happen, I would not have looked at her the way I look at her now. Kasi that’s when I found out na grabe 'yung pinagdaanan niya. She has a very strong personality. Everything. Full package. So that’s when, I guess, I fell in love with her."
As Patty believes, "Everything happens for a reason." All those times fate would bring them closer to each other served as stepping stones that led them to a stable ground—strong enough to support their relationship and allow them to endure struggles with great fortitude.
In an exclusive interview with Metro EIC Geolette Esguerra for the magazine's April 2017 issue, Patty opened up about a painful experience from her past that she has managed to transform into a beautiful story a lot of women can draw strength and courage from. It's a story that will make people look at her not with judgment but with astonishment.
Patty with her daughter Alexa, who is now 14 years old. Patty captions this photo, "And now I’m having champagne and popsicles on an afternoon affair with her. How time flies! I say it every year, and I will say it every year. You’re the best thing that happened to me, bimbap. Continue to be the person you’re destined to be. I’m just behind you. I love you to the moon and back!" | Photo from @pattyang_
"I was a simple girl, I wasn't even kikay. But my childhood was normal. Things weren't going well at home, it was messy, and I was caught in the middle of it. At some point my mom and I had to move somewhere far. I turned 11 there. I remember that age so well, the number 11, the age when everything changed and nothing was ever the same," Patty said in the interview. "You see, I was raped at age 11. At a time when kids my age would just be worrying about finishing their homework, or picking a toy they'd make their parents buy, or which kids are cool enough to have recess with in the cafeteria, I was going through something I was too young to understand."
This reality used to make Patty feel embarrassed; she was judged and was the subject of gossip. But maturity comes with experience, not age. Despite being young, she knew better than to wallow in misery. She has a daughter who needs all the love and care she can possibly give.
"Now I'm more comfortable talking about it. I've always felt that what happened to me helped shape who and where I am now. I wouldn't feel this mature, compared to people my age. I wouldn't even be this independent. It opened my mind to a lot of things, financially, emotionally—and my daughter's a big part of it. I really think that if I didn't have her, right now I'd be out on a carefree cloud—drinking, hanging out with friends, not thinking of my future. Because of her, I was lucky I knew what I wanted to do even before, and so I feel lucky now that I know all of this because of her."
When Patty told Migs the story of her life, she made it clear that if he wanted to date her, he would need to accept her daughter as well. He had to deal with the fact that they're forever a package deal. She told him, "If you don't accept her, you don't get me." Revealing the truth may have been hard for Patty, but you can just imagine how taken aback Migs must have been. Patty says, "I don’t think it was a big adjustment for me. It was more probably on his side because that’s my reality already." Migs had to face the reality that by pursuing Patty, he also gets an instant daughter in Alexa.
Surprisingly and admirably, Migs took this revelation very well. He liked her still—in fact, he liked her even more—and that was what mattered most. At that moment, "like" quickly turned into "love."
Dress by Rosa Clara (Available in Rosa Clara, Greenbelt Residences)?
Happy ever after
They became a couple early on in 2014. While he had a lot of likable qualities, what Patty liked most about Migs is that he's mature. "He knew I had a kid, and he was fine with it. This guy is pretty special. He's the one person who can bring me back up when I feel down. He's my source of strength, and that he understands and supports me and my family—that's something so rare and special," Patty told Metro.
In March 18, 2017, he proposed to her in Madrid, Spain. "He kneeled before me, and asked me to marry him! Perhaps, this is my happy ending, that I can finally have a complete family for Alexa. That despite everything that happened, I have clawed my way out of the fog, that I fought for everything—for my life, my career, my child, and now, my love," she further told the magazine.
This is it! The countdown to forever is over. They will now become husband and wife. Patty has created the best thing that came out of the atelier she worked so hard to build: her own wedding gown. And she cannot wait to walk down the aisle to meet the love of her life.
The wedding, set to take place on February 23 in Solaire Resort & Casino, was meticulously organized by Migs, a self-confessed perfectionist who used to work on a lot of events at his previous job. The bride opted to take a step back in the wedding preparations, because she says, "As a designer, I feel pressured in a way and I don’t want to feel it. I don’t want to make the wedding for other people. It’s our wedding and, at the end of the day, as long as we're married, whatever goes wrong, I don't mind... As long as I'm happy, we're happy, and the event goes well, so be it. "
Migs agrees with what Patty said, "At the end of the day, 'yung marriage, the sacrament of matrimony, that is the most important part of it. It's not the party. It’s the marriage itself."
"Then the party!," Patty says, adding that their wedding doesn't have a specific theme. "I just want it to be elegant and fun. I like it to feel intimate."
Their love story doesn't end here. Their happy ever after begs for a sequel, the next chapter in their adventure, and that will surely be one for the books as well. This time, when they seat beside each other in the plane as they jet off to their honeymoon destination, they won't be strangers anymore. They will be a married couple, and they will be talking about a lot of things, perhaps sipping some wine while toasting to their future together, 30,000 feet up in the air.
Gown by Vera Wang (Available in Vera Wang at One Rockwell)
Patty and Migs' pre-nup was photographed in Paris, France, one of his favorite destinations. "We've been wanting to go back so it was perfect," Patty says. | Photographs by Pat Dy, courtesy of Patty Ang
Visit Metro.Style again for more details on Patty and Migs' #MigsSomePattyToLove wedding.
Produced by Grace Libero-Cruz
Photography by Doc Marlon Pecjo
Makeup by Xeng Zulueta
Hairstyling by Ezekiel Otilla
Styling by Eldzs Mejia, assisted by Bianca Elise
Shoot assistant: Cara Tirona