Self-worth is a powerful determinant of one’s quality of life. It is the self-perception of one’s right to achieve happiness and be given respect, of one’s ability to understand and solve problems, and to triumph in the small and big challenges of life.
LoveYourself believes that self-worth is key to building an empowered community. We exist to ignite in each one an active desire for a healthy and vibrant self-worth, especially among the youth and males who have sex with males (MSMs).
Through awareness, education, counseling, fun social interactions, and activities that weave these elements into a unity, we take delight in spreading our message of the value of self-worth and the critical importance of loving oneself.
LoveYourself is the brainchild of Ten Outstanding Young Man of the Philippines (Youth Leadership) and Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World Awardee (Humanitarian Leadership), Ronivin (Vinn) Garcia Pagtakhan.
He was joined by friends who were inspired by the increasing demand and queries by the Youth & LGBT-MSM through social media such as Twitter on STI, HIV, sexuality and gender. Since 2011, LoveYourself exponentially grew through social networking. With the able support of a core group of concerned and socially aware youth & LGBT-MSM professionals and supporters with diverse ideas and preferences, the membership has now grown to almost 1,100 volunteers from all sectors of society.
By embracing and nurturing our self-worth, we inspire others to do the same and create ripples of positive change in the community.
A model community of MSM and friends who empower and affirm the self-worth of youth and MSM in the Philippines
In July 2011, Ronivin Pagtakhan founded LoveYourself. Under his wing, LoveYourself received several accolades:
- Elected as the Chairman of ISEAN (Insular SouthEast Asian Network of Male Reproductive Health)
- Sub Recipient of the AFAO via Global Fund for SKPA (Sustainability of HIV Services for Key Population in Asia)
- Sub Recipient of the Save the Children via Global Fund Philippines NFR (CBO Development Program) 2018 – present – Establishing Community Centers for HIV prevention and Treatment all over the Philippines
- Granted as recipient of AmFar via WHO for Project Preppy (pilot study of Pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV in the Philippines (2017)
- Recipient of Save the Children via Global Fund Philippines NFM (Condom Promotion Program) 2017-2019
- Granted as Sub-sub-recipient of HIV Prevention Program: 3S Project (Global Fund – HIV Component Philippines) 2014
- TAYO Awards (Ten Outstanding Youth Organizations in the Philippines) (December 2013)
- Top Choice Awards: Top Advocacy of the Philippines (MEG Magazine December 2012)
- PR Accolades
#StayNegatHIVe Campaign in partnership with Rappler and Dentsu Jayme Styfu (2016)
- Boomerang Awards
- Araw Values Award
- The Warc Prize for Asian Strategy
- Effie Awards (Bronze)
- Kidlat Award (Bronze)
- LoveYourself Philippine Business Sector Response to HIV/AIDS with Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc. 52ndAnvil Awards (Silver)
- Council Member Makati City and Taguig City Local AIDS Council
- Official Advocacy Arm of the Philippine Business Sector Response to HIV
- Catered HIV workplace policy advocacy and trainings to 114 companies
- 2019 Catered to 65,000 client for HIV/STI testing, assisted 3542 HIV clients for treatment, 2.5 million website views of www.loveyourself.ph
Vinn is a registered nurse in the Philippines and US. He is a graduate of the University of the Philippines Manila, where he took his BS Nursing degree with honors, and PWU for his Masters in Nursing and Doctor of Philosophy in Education.
He has been an educator since he was 19, and is a faculty member of Mapua Institute of Technology, Centro Escolar University, UP core-group review CENE LEARN and other national nursing board review centers around the Philippines. He was among the topnotchers for the nursing board exam in 2004 and a university scholar. He has been active in socio-civic activities since his college days where he was part of the UP USC (student council). He co-authored a book entitled National Board Exam Review Notes by CENE publishing.
In 2011, he was recognized in the 2011 Social Media Oscars – TwitterShorty Awards as the Nurse of the Year (@twitrnurse), the first Filipino to win the said international awards. Also, in the same year, he was recognized as one of the MAPUA’s most outstanding professors.
In 2016, he was chosen as the Chairman of ISEAN (Insular SouthEast Asian Network of Male Reproductive Health)
In 2017, he was added to the roster of Tatler-Generation T Leaders. He was also awarded by the University of the Philippines Manila College of Nursing as an Outstanding Alumnus for Community Service.