“I also deeply appreciate the time and energy they set aside for me. Now more than ever, time is precious—so it really means a lot to me.”
In December 2020, model, entrepreneur, and lifestyle blogger Mikaela Lagdameo-Martinez began an IGTV (Instagram TV) series, “Saturday Night Life With Mikaela.” Now with 40 episodes, the series follows a talk show format where Martinez casually catches up with family, celebrity friends, and influential people on her contacts list.
“Speaking, hosting was one of my biggest fears & insecurities so much that I would have to decline [hosting projects] because my heart would beat out of my chest,” the 36-year-old shares. “For years, I’ve been praying for strength and courage to help me get over it.”
Martinez’s prayers were answered when she woke up one morning and felt the urge to call her friend and former Magic 89.9 radio jock Andi Manzano-Reyes to be her first guest.
When Manzano quickly accepted her invitation, Martinez knew recording the weekly series would be something she’d look forward to as she could share other people’s stories instead of her own.
“It was about catching up, highlighting the life of a friend, and honestly, it’s been such a blessing in my life. Just hearing all their stories and what they’ve been going through, what they’ve learned, it’s been so encouraging,” the mom of three adds.
The topics she talks to guests such as actress Iza Calzado, beauty queen Kylie Verzosa, fashion designer Patty Ang, and multi-hyphenate Solenn Heussaff revolve around personal anecdotes and how each of them has been dealing with the persisting pandemic.
When asked who her favorite guest has been so far, the entrepreneur finds it difficult to choose because each conversation “hits her differently.”
“But I have to say the one with my husband Chucho Martinez and my brother Andre Lagdameo…but gosh, all! Just so much learning every time!” she says with enthusiasm.
The #SaturdayNightLifeWithMikaela episode with Chucho involved their life experiences together and marriage advice. At the same time, the conversation with Andrei offers encouragement and the importance of taking risks to pursue your goals.
Martinez shares that although the public platform reaches thousands of viewers, the live conversations with her friends and family extend to deeper topics. “I also deeply appreciate the time and energy they set aside for me. Now more than ever, time is precious—so it really means a lot to me,” she muses.
Aside from overcoming fears and insecurities, the pandemic also gave Martinez a chance to give back to those in need. “I did donation and distribution drives for several months, and that really didn’t give me any time to worry,” Martinez says, recalling the first lockdown in June 2020.
“But honestly, I didn’t mind just being at home because I feel like I got to accomplish all the things I’ve been putting off like redecorating, some renovations, decluttering, [everything] like that. [My family and I] spent a lot of time together getting into new hobbies as well.
A new venture
Beyond maintaining a weekly live IGTV series and taking care of Noelle, Tyler, and Maxen, her three young kids, Martinez recently opened the rooftop spot Calor Membership Lounge in Makati.
“[My husband and I] just wanted a place where family and friends could come together anytime just to watch the sunset, enjoy delicious food, have a drink, sing songs, and jam together,” Martinez says. “We love entertaining—so this was just the perfect idea. Sadly the pandemic hit, but I hope that it all works out as we just opened.”
Last Monday, the Lounge officially opened and fulfills her husband Chucho’s dream of having “a place of his own.”
“Instead of holding his meetings elsewhere, he thought, ‘why not?’ Building something from nothing into something just amazes me,” she says with enthusiasm.
Martinez adds that she’s also proud of coming up with the Membership Lounge’s name, as “Calor” is her husband’s nickname to his childhood friends.
Located in Paseo De Magallanes, Calor Membership Lounge is a three-story penthouse that features a main lounge, seven VIP rooms, and a complete stage with lights and sounds. “We have a beautiful roof deck overlooking the skyway and the rest of the Metro. It’s just beautiful,” Martinez says.
Banner photo from @mikaelamartinez on Instagram.