Read an excerpt of this month’s MEGA cover star, restaurateur Milka Romero.
Finding one’s own success is difficult, no matter where you come from or the philosophy you subscribe to. In Milka Romero’s case, she believes in doing her best whenever she can, and finding balance in her life. She’s also quick to point out that she never forgets to find the beauty in the present, regardless if it’s big or small. It wasn’t always like this, but this hard-earned wisdom has come to her after several years of working.
At 28, she now runs several food brands and is a mainstay in the country’s list for the new generation of businesswomen. But more so, is living proof that the road to success in beauty and business is just as fun as the destination.
On a bright and early Saturday morning, while most of the team were still fueling themselves with cups of coffee in preparation for the cover shoot, Romero arrived all smiles, ready to get straight to it. “So, what’s the plan?” she excitedly asks. Being no stranger to the real-life hustle, Romero grew up with parents who taught her that to reap the rewards, she has to put in the hard work. “Coming from a background of a family in business, my siblings and I were taught to be goal-oriented.
My mom with regards to the little details while my dad showed me the bigger vision,” she shares. Her parents are Congressman Mikee Romero and Sheila Romero, Chairman of Philippines Air Asia and Globalports Terminal Inc. Having a well-known surname in the business industry can make things easier, but for the outspoken restaurateur, she wanted to find her own voice
“They were there to listen to me, but it wasn’t easy. I’m that type that has many ideas and my inspiration comes from all around me,” she expresses as any young hopeful dreaming big, “so yes, the creativity was there, but my parents taught me the value of money and to survive in the industry there are calculated risks.”
Taking her parents advice and making it her own, she formed a work ethic grounded in reality. From taking orders herself to spicing up her food brands with her personal flair, she became the sole driving force behind her career. “It’s an extension of you, you end up finding your own direction, finding your own voice, finding your own brand to build on,” Romero proudly tells me. “You can’t lead if you don’t know what’s happening on the ground.”
Photography DOOKIE DUCAY
Creative direction JANN PASCUA
Art direction and Production design NICOLE ALMERO
Fashion Direction JEB FRONA and LYN ALUMNO
Styling GEE JOCSON assisted by IAN REY
Beauty Direction TRINA EPILEPSIA BOUTAIN and MIA CASTRO
Makeup ROBBIE PINERA
Hair RAYMOND SANTIAGO
Shoot Coordination ERICA LUNA and LOUIS ESGUERRA
Shot on location at SHUTTERSPACE STUDIO