Amid the coronavirus pandemic, several people from all walks of life made a stand and emerged as heroes in their own ways. Even celebrities continue to lend a helping hand to the frontliners, the government, and those immensely affected by the lockdown period.
Kapamilya actor Miko Raval does his part by creating PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) for the frontline workers through his clothing business, Steeze Design Studios. A few days after the community quarantine was imposed, Miko was not only worried about Steeze’s sales but he felt more scared for the workers who have other mouths to feed. He knew that his business couldn’t afford to shell out money without the proper operations.
Coincidentally, the demand for PPEs blew up at that time. And his fiancée, Kaira Dimatulac, being a fashion designer by profession, joined the Manila Protective Gear Sewing Club founded by Mich Dulce encouraging everyone to take action in the fight against COVID-19. News about the scarce medical resources all over the country and health workers recycling trash bags as PPEs fuelled the local designers’ initiative. And after a quick meeting, Miko’s Steeze Design Studios signed up and started creating PPEs using the resources collated through donations. It was hitting two birds with one stone – helping the frontliners and providing opportunities for manpower.
In his recent Kapamilya Chat live interview, Miko took us to a quick tour around the Steeze studio. The first step in making PPEs, according to the actor-entrepreneur, is creating the pattern. Then, the ‘cutter’ will do his task and hand the pattern to the sewers.
After distributing 7,500 PPEs to healthcare workers and beneficiary hospitals, Steeze Design Studios still continue production of PPEs but, this time, they’re focusing back on commercial purposes. They cater to companies and organizations that would like to order PPEs for their staff.
Miko has indeed gone a long way as an entrepreneur since launching Steeze Design Studios with Kaira six years ago. The sweethearts, fresh college grads then, simply wanted to sell something for the Christmas season. But the universe brought them the right people and inquiries piled up, convincing them to take the garment industry seriously. From a 14-square-meter house that served as their small production area, Miko and Kaira managed to move into a 400-square-meter studio in a span of six years.
When asked how he is able to manage the business while working as an actor, Miko said the magic lies with hiring the right people and partners. Miko is confident that his ‘baby’ is in safe hands while he’s out hustling as a future bankable leading man.
As Jun Samaniego in Tubig at Langis
Apart from being the owner of the clothing factory Steeze Design Studio, we all know that Miko is also an actor whose biggest claim to fame is portraying the character of Fabio Serrano in The Killer Bride. But, did you know that before starring in The Killer Bride, Miko has been part of another Kapamilya teleserye Tubig at Langis?
He played as Jun Samaniego, a bad guy. In the series, Jun is Clara (Isabelle Daza)’s brother who connived with her and their father, Nestor (Efren Reyes Jr.) against the Villadolids.
Miko smiled as he relived the first few shooting days on the Tubig at Langis set. He was admittedly shy and intimidated, “kasi lahat sila may pangalan tapos ‘pag dumadating ako doon, ako ‘yung ‘the who’” With a knack for acting and fun-loving personality, Miko eventually fitted in and he got along well with his co-stars. Their friendship continued even after the show has concluded.
The neophyte actor then took every opportunity learning about the craft. He grasped inspiration from Zanjoe Marudo’s sterling dramatic performances. And while fans always take notice of their resemblance, Miko wishes to take the comparison beyond the façade. “Bro, sa physical pareho na tayo. Hinahabol ko na lang ‘yung acting skills mo,” he often tells Zanjoe in jest.
His most memorable moment from the show was shooting his death scene, coincidentally, on his birthday. It was in Tubig at Langis where Miko had his first taste of action scenes which would later on intensify in The Killer Bride.