Quiet Elegance: Michelle See-Tan Is An Icon Of Her Own 

Michelle See-Tan breaks from the mold, revealing the strong, compassionate, and thoughtful personality behind her more reserved public image.

This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s December 2023/January 2024 Issue.

One might easily dismiss Michelle See-Tan as just another figure on the city’s social calendar, yet her story unfolds beyond such presumptions. Recognized for her reserved demeanor, those who truly know her talk about a woman of profound consideration and incredible thoughtfulness.

Michelle See-Tan
Michelle See-Tan

But, akin to the adage about still waters running deep, Michelle’s story reveals layers not apparent at first glance. The eldest daughter of businessman Wilson See, Michelle demonstrated leadership qualities from a young age, guiding her three siblings—a trait that would serve her well in her later banking career. 

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Fate led her to Alliance Global CEO Kevin Tan, the scion of a conglomerate with diverse business interests from real estate, liquor, and even food. Unaware of his background during their initial encounters, Michelle would join the Tan family just two years later, marking a decade of significant life changes. Reflecting on the shift from unmarried to married life, Michelle shares, “Married and unmarried life are two different things. I thought there was more self-exploration and self-growth when I was still unmarried, but I still had these when I got married and had my own children, just in a different way. My relationship with my family and my role in it also changed, and I was also able to create different meaningful connections with other people.”

Michelle See-Tan continues her journey of self-growth, even well into her married life
Michelle See-Tan continues her journey of self-growth, even well into her married life

Michelle’s calendar, once filled with boardroom meetings, now resonates with family activities and well-chosen society events. Finding profound joy in spending quality time with both the Sees and the Tans, her children, and husband, she regards these moments as a means of bonding, creating memories, and nurturing meaningful relationships. The transition from the fast-paced corporate world to a slower, yet equally rewarding pace, has allowed Michelle to find her rhythm. “Family time is very important to me because I learn new things and explore new hobbies with them,” she notes. 

Finding balance in life is a challenge many face, but Michelle navigates it with grace and fulfillment. “I find fulfillment in doing what I love the most. During my free time, I try to explore my interests and just continue to learn more. I am thankful for these opportunities, and I make sure that God remains at the center of my life,” said Michelle who is also known to have artistic talents. 

Behind Michelle See-Tan's reserved public image is a woman of many talents
Behind Michelle See-Tan’s reserved public image is a woman of many talents

Amid the pandemic, candid glimpses into their family life surfaced on Kevin’s Instagram account, showcasing Michelle’s versatility as the family’s hairdresser during salon closures and how their family would spend time together. Sometimes, even dressing up in superhero pajamas with their children for bedtime. As the family adapted to changing circumstances, Michelle’s resilience and adaptability shone through in these intimate moments. 

TRAVEL: NOURISHING THE MIND AND BODY 

Michelle admits that she and her family are avid travelers. Something they can now freely do once more and are still making up for the two years lost to a global pandemic. “We love traveling because it gives us beautiful stories to share. Eating has always been a part of it, whether it’s at a beautiful cultural setting or with amazing chefs or our loved ones,” she enthused. A known foodie and avid cook, Michelle cherishes the memories associated with dining. She fondly recalls her grandmother’s Kiam Peng or salty and savory rice, as well as noodles from regular Sunday lunches. 

Food and travel are essential parts of Michelle See-Tan's life
Food and travel are essential parts of Michelle See-Tan’s life

Her mom’s saffron sun-dried tomato crab pasta and beef stew also hold a special place in her heart. These dishes link her to cherished moments and loved ones. “Eating has always been a part of our travels,” she shares. “Recreating and sharing those dishes at home, even the simple ones like spiced crunchy chickpeas, really brings me joy.” 

As a well-traveled group, Michelle and her family have some go-to travel destinations. Their journeys frequently take them to various parts of Asia as it’s easiest to venture to with small children, but they also explore destinations outside the region. One of their recent adventures took them to Portugal, a beautiful experience that included a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima. Spain and Hong Kong are other favorite destinations, often rekindling cherished memories from Michelle’s childhood. “We make it a point to bring our kids where our parents brought us before and even recreate some of the family trips we had in the past,” she added. 

Michelle See-Tan
Michelle See-Tan

Each trip brings a unique experience and while the pandemic allowed for Kevin to stay home more and spend time with them, they are also thankful for the opportunity to travel once again. It was filled with simple pleasures like sledding and watching her kids play in the snow. These moments of togetherness are deeply cherished by the couple. 

Read the full cover story by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia December 2023/January 2024 magazine viaSariSari.shopping or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.

Text by CAROL RH MALASIG 

Photos by KIM ANGELA SANTOS OF KLIQ, INC.

Sittings Editor: CANDY DIZON

Shoot Coordination: MAE TALAID & KIM LUNA

Shot on location at HOTEL OKURA MANILA

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