While it's not every day that you see both a mother and a daughter foster a passion for pageantry and reach the international stage, their connection goes beyond the world of beauty.
Here are the times when Michelle and Melanie were indeed like mother and daughter:
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At just 15 years old, Melanie became the youngest aspirant to become a pageant titleholder when she emerged victorious at the Miss International 1979 competition.
It seemed that her genes as a beauty queen were passed down to her daughter, as the 28-year-old Michelle put on her heels and sash to join the world of pageantry. Eventually, Michelle won her first national pageant in 2019, clinching the Miss World Philippines title. The same year, she represented the country at the Miss World stage and placed in the top 12.
Michelle had the chance to represent the country once more when she won Miss Universe Philippines 2023.
Aside from their skill on the runway, Melanie and Michelle were also recognized for their skill behind the camera.
As actresses, the two of them had starred in several local films and television series. Melanie had played parts in action and dramatic films such as Sandakot na Bala, Super B, and Habang May Buhay. Her most acclaimed work is that of her bio-picture, The Untold Story of Melanie Marquez, for which she won "Best Actress" in the Metro Manila Film Festival.
On the other hand, Michelle landed roles in Because I Love You, Agimat ng Agila, I Left My Heart in Sorsogon, and Mga Lihim ni Urduja.
Like her mother, Michelle received an award for her acting skills, having won "Best New Movie Actress" for her role in Because I Love You at the 36th PMPC Star Awards for Movies.
With a big heart
While Michelle inherited her mother's captivating looks, she also shares her mother's empathetic nature, being an advocate of autism awareness, mental health education, and LGBTQ+ rights in the Philippines.
Michelle previously highlighted Melanie’s inspiring traits that helped her become the compassionate woman that she is today, including her willingness to lend a hand to people "if she's in a position to help."
“This is another attribute, the fact that she loves giving back. Also, it's the reason why I'm so big in advocacies is because at such a young age, I saw my mom give back at every chance she could get,” Michelle said.
She continued, “And that's something I really want to become when I'm older or even now pa lang. Hindi naman kailangan 'pag tanda. Pwedeng now na.”
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Another common thread between the mother and daughter is their knowledge of the field of business.
Melanie graduated cum laude in Business Administration from the International Academy of Management and Economics in 2006.
While Michelle took a different path and graduated with a degree in psychology from De La Salle University, she eventually enrolled at Harvard Business School to take up a certificate program in entrepreneurship essentials, which covered how to evaluate opportunities, manage start-ups, and finance ventures.
“Nothing beats the satisfaction of finishing something you challenged yourself to do," Michelle wrote when she shared a snapshot of her certificate of completion.