Life is Short, Eat the Cake: A Slice of Life with Imelda Aquino

Sunday December 1, 2019

By: Naiia Lajoie Life has not always been a piece of cake for Imelda Aquino. While she did grow up in a relatively well-to-do family in Palo, Leyte in the Philippines, she was number eleven in a twelve-child household. Despite carrying the Aquino name, she would opt to use her middle name of “Rose” as her surname so as not to draw attention to herself. Given people often associate the Aquino family name with riches, she recalls being called upon during her first day of school; once her full name was read aloud from the attendance sheet, she was asked if she came from wealth. Make no mistake, she acknowledges how blessed she was being brought up in a “comfortable” environment. She was raised with the help of maids – as is typical in Filipino culture –surrounded by Disney toys. Yet early on she found herself questioning whether life on the island was enough, perhaps at the behest of her immediate older brother, number ten of twelve. Imelda and her brother were particularly close, and as they grew together he felt as though there was more that life had in store for his younger sister, particularly when it came to courtship. As she approached marrying age (mind you, this is fairly early in the Philippines compared to their Fil-Am counterparts), Imelda’s brother bluntly pointed out that there was no one on her level. Though there was a fellow well-off family within the vicinity, he regaled her with thoughts of traveling abroad to America. He of course knew nothing of the subject, but from what he had heard it sounded magical. Over in America their family could easily split large helpings of pork & beans – a delicacy in his mind – and claimed that if...... Read more on Full Issue!

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