Metro Society Dads And Their Advocacies: Mike Toledo
The common thread that runs through Mike Toledo’s numerous advocacies is his focus on children—their right to education, their value to society, and the goal for a better future for them
Children learn by the example of others. They model themselves based on their environment, particularly of those around them. What they hear and see—the words and actions of their adults—are what molds them. For Mike Toledo, the examples he saw from his family, particularly from his parents, grandparents, and relatives, were defined by charity, open heartedness, and selfless giving.
“My parents would help others by giving them tuition, my grandmother would house others while they were students. My mother sponsored some seminarians so they could finish their studies. I think it was because she wanted me to be a seminarian. I guess it was because back home, I was already exposed to that kind of attitude towards helping others, and I’m grateful for my family for setting a good example, and really inculcating that sense of helping others,” Mike shares.
But even if Mike did not take on his mother’s wishes of heading into the seminary, he forged his own path, one that is still filled with charitable works and selfless giving. The Managing Director of the MVP Group of Companies Media Bureau is blessed to be in a place wherein he can champion numerous advocacies—some, he says, he sought out, while some he chanced upon.
Mike shares, “I felt that children should be really given priority, because they will be the next generation, they will be the ones to take over. They have to be taken care of in a holistic sense.”
He has been an avid supporter of several advocacies, sitting on the board or sometimes at the helm. He is currently the Vice Chair of Children’s Hour, an organization that raises funds through a simple message of asking for donations that amount to an hour of one’s annual salary. That one hour will benefit the projects of Children’s Hour that are geared towards a holistic approach of taking care of a child—health, welfare, development, nutrition, and education, to name a few.
Mike also helps S.O.S. Children’s Villages, an organization that champion’s children’s rights and quality care through providing a home for them, and “preventing family breakdown.” Another group he supports is L.I.F.E., a non-stock, non-profit organization focused on assisting “leukemic children from indigent families achieve remission… and to provide optimum care in response to the children’s material, psychosocial, and spiritual needs.”
Mike isn’t one to forget his roots, and he’s more than happy to give back to institutions that he loves dearly. As an alumnus of the University of the Philippines College of Law, it felt like coming full circle when he was chosen to serve as the communications director of the UP Law Alumni Foundation (UPLAF). The college has produced a number of esteemed graduates, and it felt fitting to be able to give back to the school through sponsoring scholarships for students and professors, funding lectures, publications, equipment and the like for the school. The organization is particularly proud of their Faculty Trust Fund, wherein they grant an honoraria to the college’s regular faculty members.
Getting the proper education is something Mike is very passionate about, and another one of the organizations he helps, Chevening Alumni Foundation of the Philippines, Inc (CAFPI), awards fellowships and scholarships to those who have the potential to become “global leaders.” Supported by the government of the United Kingdom, these leaders are brought to the UK to study.
Even in Mike’s professional life, he feels fortunate to be part of an organization that has a strong sense of corporate social responsibility. The PLDT Smart Foundation, Philex Foundation, and the MVP Group Tulong Kapatid have respective causes, and Mike is grateful that he gets to be exposed to so many kinds of advocacies through his work.
“It’s really part of the MVP DNA, which has been transferred to the MVP corporate culture, to be involved. You can see the dedication, sincerity, and focus of your Chairman, as well as the other officers of the different companies, who all lead by example,” he says.
The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is the current focus of Tulong Kapatid, an umbrella organization that includes PLDT-Smart Foundation, One Meralco Foundation (OMF), Metro Pacific Investment Foundation, TV5 Alagang Kapatid Foundation Inc. (AKFI), and Maynilad Water Services Inc.
Tulong Kapatid chose to focus on the National Capital Region, the hardest hit in the country, by distributing food packs and essential items. From food packs to Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), Tulong Kapatid aims to help as many people and organizations as they can.
When asked where he finds the energy to do or “have it all,” and still stay driven and focused while maintaining a healthy work-life balance, Mike replies, “When I wake up every morning, I thank the Lord for the right to wake up to another day. I always pray for that, and for His will. Right now, while we’re at home, we spend a lot more time together.”
Mike’s continuous commitment to helping those in need has not taken time away from his family, who, much like other families in this extraordinary situation, have sheltered in place. How is Mike Toledo as a family man? “If my children were to describe me as a father, they would describe me perhaps as funny, and yet a task master. I’ve always told them to not drop the ball, embrace both success and failure. I always remind them that nothing happens overnight; you have to work hard to be able to achieve your goals. I am also intent on this: How you treat the people in your own household, your own neighbors, is the foundation of how you take care of others.”
Photos courtesy of Mike Toledo