Tito Mikee on working with institutions promoting inclusivity

‘Tito Mikee’ proud to be associated with institutions promoting inclusivity

05:36 PM June 08, 2024

‘Tito Mikee’ proud to be associated with institutions promoting inclusivity

Mikee Reyes. Image: Instagram/@mikee.reyes

As the first fully tattooed news anchor on Philippine primetime television, Mikee Reyes, also known as “Tito Mikee,” said he takes pride in working for a network that promotes inclusivity. He appears on TV5’s nightly newscast “Frontline Pilipinas” together with the first transgender news anchor in the country, Kaladkaren, who he said he is also immensely proud of.

“Talagang magaan katrabaho iyong gano’ng brands, gano’ng kumpanya (It’s easy to work with those brands, those companies), and of course iyong mga gano’ng tao (those people) around you,” he told INQUIRER.net on the sidelines of the event of a health and beauty care chain store in Pasay City on June 5.


The former Fighting Maroon and professional cager said he appreciates the private sector’s measures in promoting inclusivity on the policy level, as someone who has also experienced discrimination because of the ink on his body. And although he acknowledged that it is “not on the same level” as the struggles of the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and others), he said he could still relate to them.


“Sobrang proud namin, kami ni Kaladkaren (We are really proud, Kaladkaren and I), personally, sobrang proud namin (we are extremely proud) to be the first fully tatted, and first transgender newscaster,” Reyes shared.

He also found a different dimension to the vast inclusivity spectrum. “[Me] as a ‘Watsons Tito,’ [it’s a big thing] for men to be able to have a safe space, also, and confidence. [You can see the] effort [of] Watsons to be inclusive even for the guys,” he explained.

Reyes observed that before, men would be ashamed of shopping for personal care products, and would pretend to just be accompanying their girlfriends.  “[Now] the effort is really opening up the men’s minds [that they need to take care of themselves, too],” he said.

He admitted that he also used to shy away from the personal care aisles when he was younger. “In our era, the less you care, the cooler you are. Especially me, as an athlete growing up, [you’re] a basketball player, dapat maangas ka (you should be tough), a bad boy. So hindi regular iyon na mag-skincare ka bigla, or mag-aayos ka, or magpapabango ka (it was not regular for you to suddenly have skincare, fix yourself, wear perfume),” Reyes confessed.

Now he finds more men embracing the concept of personal care, and he would want to take part in efforts to further promote this new mindset. “So I think iba na rin talaga ngayon ang ‘cool’ (being cool is different now). I think it’s cooler if you care, if you show that you care, if you respect the people around you, to take care of yourself, iyong hygiene mo inaalagaan mo (you care for your hygiene). So I think that’s the new norm for guys,” Reyes explained.

And to the men who sneer at the progressive ideals that society now embraces, he had this to say: “I believe that everybody should be accepted for who they are, as long as wala kang inaapakang tao (you’re not stepping on anybody), as long as wala kang dini-disrespect (you’re not disrespecting others), wala kang sinasaktan (you’re not hurting others), I really believe [that] we are all of the same level, we should all just be close to each other.”


Reyes also imparted this message to the LGBTQIA+ community for Pride Month: “Mahal namin kayong lahat, magmahalan tayong lahat. Mas masarap ang buhay kung nagmamahalan tayong lahat, naniniwala ako (We love you all, let’s all love one another. Life is better if we all love each other, I believe that). Let’s all be positive, let’s all bring positive energy around, and let’s love each other. That’s all there is to it talaga (really) for me.”

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