Me and my Philippines: actor Mikael Daez

Midnight Express TV host Mikael Daez on wild zip line rides over the beaches of Palawan and some of the Philippines' best eats

Photos and video courtesy of Mikael Daez

Wild ride on the Sabang X zipline in Palawan. Check out

I’d miss playing basketball in the Philippines if I were away filming in Cambodia for like three weeks…‘cause in the Philippines you can play basketball anywhere. Yeah, that’s off the top of my head. 

I try to go to the gym even when I'm abroad. You know, I get even just a one-week membership or a day pass.

My favourite places? I think Sabang beach in Puerto Princesa, Palawan is underrated. Beautiful, beautiful beach. And I like Subic, a really great place to hang-out in. Boracay, for me, is still the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen, especially during the off-peak season. Baguio is fun, especially when the temperature drops (Baguio's temperature is known to drop to as low as 11 degrees celsius during the December-January period.) Ilocos Norte's sand dunes is a great place for a picnic.

Any Philippine holiday is a good holiday! Recently I went on a day trip to La Union, I went to Flotsam & Jetsam Hostel, had some El Union coffee and took a spontaneous trip to Tangadan falls. That was fun!


The best halo-halo I’ve tried is from Halo-halo de Iloko. That’s in San Fernando, La Union. Bacolod chicken is always a winner. When you're up North in the Ilocos region, you've got to try the Ilocos empanada (a pastry not unlike the English pasty), the Vigan longganisa or local sausage, and Vigan longganisa pizza (try Bistro Candon). I like poqui-poqui (Ilocano grilled eggplant and egg dish. Try Kusina Felicitas at Grandpa's Inn in Vigan). In Baguio, try strawberry sinigang (a sour-savory soup), at Zenz Restaurant at Mines View Park Hotel.

My recent favorite restaurant would be Sensei Sushi, it’s a Japanese restaurant in BF, Aguirre street. It’s great.

Life is good...Mikael on Sabang Beach

When I travel, I like to surf, drive, trek, chill, everything and anything as long as it's new, fun, exciting. 

My idea of paradise changes. Sometimes, I want to be a loner, sometimes I want to be with my family. Experiencing something new makes me happy, and if I’m happy, then, well isn’t that paradise?

My favorite travel buddy? Oh! Anyone, I guess. I haven’t really had bad travel buddies. I’ve been lucky. Well, I have my older brother, my cousins, some friends and they’ve all been okay. So as long as that person is open to new experiences as well, I’m good with them.

Let the waters take you. Mikael in Capones Island, Zambales

When I travel, the things I take with me are my backpack, cameras, laptop, and Tupperware full of toiletries.

I use the Sony RX100 Mark III and my iPhone. I love them to death! I’m getting the Mark IV soon. I’m keen on photography. Definitely more than the average person. I like learning about it and trying to get better. I’m happy with my work on

I don’t like bringing things home. Yeah, I’ll shop a bit, if ever sneakers maybe? A new pair of sneakers.

My dream destination in the PhilippinesAmanpulo, why not? Yeah, Amanpulo and Mt. Pulag at the moment.

Into the wild. Mikael at a mangrove habitat in Puerto Princesa, Palawan

About Mikael Daez

Mikael Daez is an actor and host of Midnight Express, a food and travel segment for late night news show Saksi on GMA 7, as well as a regular for gag shows Bubble Gang and Ismol Family. He also currently stars in Blood in Dispute, a Filipino-Cambodian soap opera where he plays a Muay Thai fighter. The show premiered in Cambodia on August 7. At the same time, Mikael ventured into theater for the first time in The Sandbox Collectives No Filter, which premiered on July 25.

Follow Mikael on his travels on YouTube channel, Instagram, or on

Interview by Amanda Lago

Published August 2015