Seek The Uniq Founder And Metro Most Stylish Icon Mikka Padua Passes Away
Mikka was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in December 2018
"...My hope is to use this experience to spread awareness and maybe save lives. I’m new at this but there has got to be something good to come out of this, right? I just refuse to believe that it’s all bad," said Mikka Padua.
Those were words she spoke during a conversation we had with her in early 2019, about two months after she learned she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Later on, she emphasized it wasn't just your every day breast cancer diagnosis, either.
"In my case, knowing I like all things UNIQ, I got blessed with the most unique subtype the breast cancer realm has to offer. Triple Negative baby!!!" she candidly wrote on Instagram on June 8 as part of a longer post. It became typical and even expected of Mikka to handle her cancer this way—unafraid with head held high, looking beyond the obvious things about this life and concentrating on the deeper, hidden messages of things.
The post would be her last.
On June 20, Sunday, we learned that Mikka had passed away, two years and a half after she was told she had cancer. Alongside her loved ones, we mourn the passing of the woman who gave us so much inspiration for us to live all areas of life to the fullest.
Mikka was, first and foremost, a wife and mother.
"I didn’t cry as I heard the news [about her diagnosis], I squeezed my husband’s hand and immediately felt sorry for him and my daughter. Never mind me, I’ve lived a good life, but them, they’re all I could think of. They need me," Mikka said during our interview with her.
In her wake, she leaves behind her husband Mitch and their daughter Mischka. Throughout it all, her heart remained beating for them.
Mikka was also a creative. Her most notable accomplishment was founding Seek The Uniq, one of the first of its kind in the Philippines. The website collected all of her favorite things in clothes, shoes, accessories, and even a bit of home design and wellness, but all of it spoke about her aesthetic that other women loved to admire—and cop!
She was every inch a style icon, but she also exceeded the sometimes limited definition of a woman who becomes known for her looks and contents of her closets.
For this, she was recognized as a Metro Most Stylish 2020 woman, and in her shoot with us, she got real about her rise to fame for being a certified fashionista.
"Style for me is all about individuality and confidence... But I’m saying this because I’m 40," she shared.
"I didn’t have this kind of confidence in my 20s and in my 30s; I wasn’t confident like most of us in that age... A stylish woman, first of all, has to know herself well. She has to be more than just trends or fashion. There has to be something else beyond because otherwise, she’s going to be boring. She’s just a mannequin," she continued.
A mannequin certainly Mikka was not, but she was a modern muse. She showed women how to be pretty in fun ways, and in meaningful ways, too. To her, fashion in its entirety was the accessory to the woman wearing it. The kind of person you were was the core that could never go out of style.
With her Instagram account still up, messages of thank yous, memories, and beautiful send offs have come pouring in. Personalities like Happy Ongpauco-Tiu, Kelly Misa, Vania Romoff, Pam Quiñones, Andi Manzano, Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, Hindy Weber, Rosanna Ocampo, Patty Laurel, and Kat Cruz-Villanueva were among those who left comments on Mikka's last ever social media post.
Finally, we mustn't ever forget.
Mikka was a lover of life, too. Her spirituality was intact until the finish line.
For all the cards that life had dealt her, she took it all in with a grateful, curious heart.
"Not once did I question the Lord WHY, only WHAT. What do you want me to do with this? What message do you want me to convey? His response has always been the same. That He will reveal to me in due time," she wrote.
"Meanwhile all I ask from Him is to give me joyful endurance. To endure this dreadful disease and still be my inspired self," Mikka said.
Truly, an inspiration Mikka was and will continue to be.
Photos from @mikkapadua