Not too many people know that as soon as he returned to the Philippines in the late 1990s, after being an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) for many years, Manuel V. Pangilinan began seeking opportunities to give back and share much of what he had to his most beloved alma mater, San Beda College, now University.

MVP, as he is popularly known, is one of San Beda’s superstar alumni (Grade School 1958, High School 1962), on the same level as the first Bedan president Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Although MVP modestly describes himself as “the original OFW,” published stories about his life and career portray a highly successful Bedan and national treasure who has deservedly earned the title “Asia’s Captain of Corporate Turn-Around,” even during the havoc caused by the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic that caused the closure of a number of businesses.

MVP’s commitment to his alma mater is demonstrated by his being able to find time, despite a hectic schedule overseeing his numerous business interests, to chair San Beda Mendiola’s board of trustees. He has had this great responsibility for over 20 years now and, in this role, he has given back unselfishly to his alma mater and provides quality global educational leadership to the youth.

In one of his media interviews, MVP revealed that, compared to other schools he attended, San Beda was closest to his heart.

The 122-year-old Benedictine learning institution is not among the MVP Group of Companies, but it benefits enormously from the chair’s mega-rich industry experience.

Today, San Beda University is recognized nationally and globally as one of the best Philippine higher education institutions by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Times Higher Education World University Impact Rankings, respectively.

Summing up his life accomplishments, MVP says his life mission is really building enduring organizations in the country, and sharing his resources and God-given talents with others.

The San Beda-Ateneo-Wharton-bred leader possesses a genuine passion for serving and giving. And he takes pride in what he has accomplished in carrying out that mission.

A role model for today’s youth, MVP puts much premium on education, believing that it is the best antidote to poverty. This may be because MVP is not the scion of a business tycoon but just an ordinary Filipino who dreamed big, worked hard, and succeeded.

Since 2014, MVP, through his PLDT-SMART Foundation, Inc., has sponsored a scholarship program under the San Beda Alumni Foundation, Inc. for financially challenged but deserving students who wish to experience the distinctive Bedan education. Countless Bedan scholars have benefitted from this MVP-sponsored grant.

For all his good work, members of the San Beda community see him as a truly outstanding Bedan whose “heart beats for others.”

Today, as MVP turns 76, he begins this new chapter in his interesting and meaningful life by participating in a solemn and traditional Benedictine-officiated Holy Mass at the Abbey Church of Our Lady of Montserrat, with members of his family.

His entire Bedan family joins the Filipino nation in wishing him good health, God’s caring presence, and unending grace, as he continues making a big difference in serving and giving much of himself to others.

Salamat MVP, Mabuhay ka!

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