On September 13th, 2020, history was made. Mela Habijan, a Filipina writer and activist, shattered glass ceilings to become the first-ever Miss Trans Global. But this Filipina queen’s journey, however, transcends the glitz of pageantry, paved with milestones that challenged norms and championed identity. From writer to actress, activist to entrepreneur, television presenter to post graduate foreign student, Mela wears many hats, each one woven with a thread of unwavering self-belief and a dedication to amplifying the voices of the marginalised.


Eduction and activism

A graduate of Ateneo de Manila University, Mela honed her craft as a writer, contributing to publications like Rappler, Esquire Philippines, and even mentoring aspiring journalists. But her pen wasn’t just a tool for storytelling; it was a weapon for advocacy. As a proud transgender woman, Mela became a vocal champion for SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression) education, tirelessly advocating for various rights of the LGBTQIA+ community in her country, most notably, her fight for inclusive school uniforms for transgender students with the hashtag #MakePHSchoolsInclusive.
Her voice resonated across platforms, from esteemed embassies to corporate giants, and her TED Talks in Nepal and the Philippines ignited conversations on acceptance and understanding.
Beyond her activism, Mela took to the stage and screen, shattering stereotypes with each performance. She graced the sets of GMA 7’s “Asawa Ko Karibal Ko” and iWant’s “Manilennials,” portraying transgender characters with authenticity and depth.

In 2016, she boldly entered the political arena, running for the Marikina City Council with the slogan “Bata. Bago. Bakla” (Young. New. Gay), challenging societal norms and inspiring young Filipinos to dream big.
Her resilience shone ever brighter during the pandemic. Faced with challenges, she didn’t falter. Instead, she launched “Miss Mela’s Peanut Butter,” a testament to her entrepreneurial spirit and resourcefulness.

Mela’s influence extends beyond the Philippines. She has graced the covers and pages of magazines in the United Kingdom and the Philippines, a covergirl for Beauty MNL, appeared in commercials, and partnered with brands like Avon, Pantene and Shell Pilipinas. Her journey, however, continues to evolve.

From Manila to Madrid

In 2023, she was trained at the prestigious Coco Rocha Model Camp in New York City, where she gain valuable experiences to enhance her modeling career.

She was also honoured at the Cosmopolitan Women of Influence as one of eight women who continue to empower Filipinas to be the best versions of themselves.

I learned what love is and what power love can bring through my parents. And as one of @cosmopolitan_philippines ‘ Women of Influence for 2023, this will always be my resounding message that I will never get tired of echoing.

Queen Mela Habijan

But Mela’s story doesn’t end there. In 2024, she embraces new horizons in Spain, pursuing a dual degree in International MBA and Creative Direction. Her pursuit of knowledge reflects her insatiable curiosity and her desire to continue leaving her mark on the world.

Mela Habijan is a testament to the power of personal narrative and unwavering determination. She is a writer, an actress, an activist, an entrepreneur, a presenter, and most importantly, a voice for the voiceless. As she embarks on this new chapter in Spain, one can only imagine the stories she will continue to tell, the barriers she will break, and the hearts she will touch, all while reminding us that dreams have no gender, public service and selflessness is the only true beauty in a queen.

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