He is a storyteller.
And this–is his story.
It starts out ordinary.
A simple boy, born and raised in a nipa hut in windswept Borongan, Eastern Samar.
Trained by a father to dream.
And nurtured by a mother to listen with his heart.
Elementary was at the Borongan Pilot Elementary School.
High school was spent at the seminary. There, he was exposed to reading, and learned the rudiments of discourse.
His story is replete with twists and turns.
He had to stop school at the Ateneo, where he studied Business Management, due to his father’s tragic passing. This brought him to face the bitter realities of life.
He became a salesman. A tour guide. A theater stage hand.
And soon after–without him knowing where this was all going–a Public Relations Director for the Manila Metropolitan Theater.
From theater, he moved to television, where he has since led a flourishing career.
In broadcast media, he became recognized as a multi-awarded host and producer. Currently, he hosts television shows on ABS-CBN: Tonight with Boy Abunda, Inside the Cinema, and the 2011 Asian Television Awards Best Talk Show awardee, The Bottomline.
He is a formidable endorser. A public relations authority.
A brand and creative development lead, and of course, a respected talent manager.
A mentor and critical thinker, his name and brand have become synonymous with deep, unwavering trust, within the worlds of entertainment, business, and public affairs.
The man’s story, however, does not end here.
Nothing, not even the stripes that he has earned, has ever stopped him from further learning, and discovering.
He earned a Masters Degree in Communication Arts.
And eventually: a doctoral degree in Social Development from the Philippine Women’s University.
He has taken extensive seminars on International Relations and Public Diplomacy, under the tutelage of Ambassador Rosario Manalo.
He is Arts Ambassador for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, a former champion of the United Nations Population Fund, a service ambassador for the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
And yet–this man still has more stories to tell.
He is travelling the world, talking and lecturing, sharing stories and exchanging thoughts with people from all walks of life. He teaches at the EmpowerU program of the University of Hong Kong and at The Boy Abunda Talk Workshop that covers Public speaking, Hosting and Interviewing and the Q&A.
He has strong, steadfast beliefs about living a just life, free from judgement, and stigma.
About living a life free from fear.
About living a life that recognizes the unifying value of kindness.
Hence, his founding the Make Your Nanay Proud Foundation and
His creation of inspirational books such as It’s Like This and Nanay’s Gay Boy.
His stories challenge, intrigue, trigger.
His stories educate, and inspire.
His stories bare the soul.
Today, together with each one in this room–
With each listening ear–
and with each open heart–
he begins yet another beautiful, fruitful chapter
in his continuing story.
Dr. Boy Abunda.