Exclusive: Mikael Daez as digital storyteller
Mikael Daez doesn’t mind gushing about the people and things he loves.
He is eloquent about his passions and has an innate flair for storytelling. Which is why it comes with little surprise that Daez— together with Miss World 2013 and girlfriend of eight years, Megan Young—is now host to a charming new podcast called Behind Relationship Goals. It’s a series where the pair discusses and reflects on pressing issues affecting modern romance.
The podcast sees the 31-year-old put on a new hat yet again—something he’s never been afraid to do since 2011—the year he went out on a limb to pursue a career in show business. Our interview below sees the actor reflect on life under the limelight, social media, and the person he is today—a digital age renaissance man.
Let’s start with a bit of a backgrounder. Tell us about how you got into show business.
I kind of fell into it. I was a management student in college, I minored in finance and in economics. I thought I was going to go into the banking industry, a corporate desk job. But opportunities were completely different after I graduated. GMA [gave me an opportunity] so I took it. I took a leap of faith. I think in wanting to prove myself, I wanted to make the most out of every opportunity. It wasn’t just about acting in the shows GMA would give me; I wanted to show them that I could do other stuff—hosting, blogging [for] the first half of my career, then eventually blogging turned into vlogging.
How has technology factored into your work and life?
Technology has been absolutely amazing. I’ve always been into tech. When I was younger, I was the computer guy in the family. I come from a family of nine kids, I’m number two. I was the one tinkering with the computers, mostly breaking it at that point because there was no internet to guide me through troubleshooting. I would open it up, break the motherboard, drop the screwdriver inside, etcetera.
As technology evolved, life became easier for me because I would be the kind of person to maximize it. Taking photos, being more active on social media, being able to collect all my information, scheduling into one device, and then eventually pairing those devices and syncing them all together—my laptop, my tablet, my phone. That came naturally to me because I would look for ways to figure it out. I was always looking for more ways to be efficient, and tech obviously helped that in a big, big way.
Speaking of tech, let’s talk about your YouTube vlog. How did that come about?
[I was] trying to justify my expenses in tech! (laughs) I’d spend my money—’yung luho ko, basically—on a nice MacBook Pro. I always wanted this high-end one, [which] at the time was around P80,000. I was like, “Am I really going to do this?” And then I’d spend on nice cameras, nice tech bags. It came to the point that I was spending on these things, but my practical senses would hit me [and I’d ask myself], “Why am I spending this much money [when] I have zero return on this? I’ve got to figure out how to do this.” I had heard people were starting to make money out of [vlogging and so I tried it out].
And the rest, as, they say, is history. Is there a set process you follow when creating vlogs?
There is a process in the chaos. Spontaneity leads to adventure, and adventure leads to a great story. For me stories make compelling videos and content. I try to be as spontaneous as possible and I try to put structure. And structure I learned from acting because you see such structure in producing teleseryes. I kind of picked up from that.
I have to know the equipment I need to capture what I have—my tripod, my camera, my hard drive. For the story, my trick is to leave the camera open just a half-minute longer—that’s where you get your bloopers, your moments, you say things you aren’t supposed to say but you love saying it because it looks well on the vlog. You learn about timing, the structure in terms of what to shoot, in terms of whether to shoot B-roll or spiels first, and how long and efficient you can be with spiels.
You’ve also launched your podcast, Behind Relationship Goals, recently. How did the concept come to light?
It was launched last December. I like talking, Megan likes talking. And there are certain topics we feel very strongly about that we can’t discuss at length in a vlog. Podcasts give us this space to blab on for 30 minutes to an hour and a half, and people accept it because that’s the format. And yes, it’s behind relationship goals because we wanted to create a theme that was consistent, but we’re jumping into different topics already—(there’s a) travel edition, the next one’s managing your finances edition.
You kept mum about your relationship with Megan for a while. Why choose it now as a podcast theme?
We were private mostly because of work and mostly because of me. I needed that privacy because I needed to work on myself. I needed to develop the skills to try to be successful. I needed that alone time. Also, I had a love team, Megan had a love team, and she was at a different network. Eventually, when all circumstances said we can go public, we forgot about it. We were so into the status quo where we don’t tell other people about us. It just came along organically.
Now, true enough, Megan and I are able to show our true colors on social media, and people have been very receptive. We just wanted to capitalize on it, and I guess some people look up to our relationship because we’ve been together for eight years, which I know is objectively a long period to be with someone at this age. We wanted to share our stories about that and hopefully people learn from it.
How have all these social media platforms affected your personal relationships?
It adds another avenue to communicate and connect. That’s always good. Long distance relationships are not so bad nowadays. Being connected to your loved ones is so much easier. I think that’s the extent of the advantages. But there are downsides. Everybody can be so darn clingy! It’s annoying, especially for those who like their alone time. It’s harder to detach because there’s a lot more pressure to connect to people and to stay connected. I think a lot of people don’t deal with that pressure very well. I think I deal with the pressure well.
Good on you! How do you feel about curating social media feeds?
People naturally do curate. It depends on how their relationship is with social media.
In a certain way, you can treat your social media as another person. How close are you to this person? If it’s your best friend, you’d tend to share more private things. You know how some when after a fight, they take a photo and spill the details? I respect that as long as you know what it means to share this much information to this best friend. It’s a living organism because there are other people involved so you will draw a reaction. When you share this much, be ready to receive this much or more.
Interview by Fidel Feria. Photos by Patricia Calica.
This article first appeared in Speed Magazine’s March 2019 issue.