1st TOYM Impact Summit

May 16, 2023

1st TOYM Impact Summit – TOYM Foundation
May 13, 2023
Lakehall, Santa Elena Golf Estate,
Sta. Rosa, Laguna

In 1992, I was humbled to receive the TOYM award that honored my work as a journalist. Aware that the recognition required a proactive response, I pondered on how, as a Filipino, I could encourage people, especially the youth, to have a deeper and more meaningful involvement in their individual advocacies.

As we gather today for the 1st TOYM Impact Summit, we are given the opportunity to collaborate on how we can support this community’s march toward further excellence. Our goal goes far beyond simply acknowledging individuals’ achievements through our yearly awards. We also want the young to excel in their respective fields, and create more impact on the lives of those they choose to serve.

As part of the three-part theme “Imagine. Inspire. Ignite.”, I was tasked with the topic “Imagine,” which relates to our vision for the future and how collaboration helps us solve current complex challenges. Let me start with my vision.

As a Senator, I envision a country that gives importance to green development in all areas, where the environment is healthy and conducive to living, and innovation is promoted on a large scale. I also believe in building resilient communities, advocating for responsible and compassionate humanity, and striving for a future that is regenerative and sustainable. These are the fundamental elements that I deem critical to our development.

As a public servant, I strive to ensure that everyone has a voice and that needs are addressed. My personal advocacies are more than just mere ideas—they are a reflection of my legislative priorities and the many projects that I have been tirelessly pursuing.
Being an advocate is not just a job, it is a way of life. From advocating for social justice and environmental sustainability to championing initiatives that preserve our culture and heritage, promoting access to education and healthcare, and promoting gender equality, I am committed to fighting for the issues that matter most to the Filipino people.

Addressing the challenges of our times cannot be the sole responsibility of an individual or a single sector. It is essential that solutions to these issues are shared among everyone, with stakeholders taking ownership of both the challenges and the solutions. We must all recognize our roles in this cycle. We must share responsibility for the problems, and collaborate to create solutions. Through our shared ownership, we become more conscious of our purpose in life.

Without losing sight of current realities, let us collectively take action on the gravity of our environmental challenges, and the pressing issue of climate change. Let us trade ideas on how we can continuously support unity in diversity, and also rouse interest in our national identity. Let us spur innovation and support our local economies.

Together, we are a powerful force that can turn challenges into opportunities and emerge stronger. Let us embrace the value of collaboration in achieving excellence in our performances and creating a more equitable and sustainable world.

Before I end, it is worth mentioning that I envision the advancement of gender empowerment in the coming years. As I have relentlessly advocated for this, I also strongly urge renaming the award to “The Outstanding Young Men and Women Awards” to make it more inclusive and relevant to current times. This will demonstrate a commitment to recognizing and celebrating the achievements of all outstanding young people, regardless of gender.

Today’s event shows our limitless potential if we work together. May this serve as a source of inspiration and motivation in fostering significant collaboration, and further improving the well-being of people.

Thank you very much! Isang luntiang Pilipinas sa ating lahat!