A Tribute To Dr. Belinda Aquino: Renowned Author, Educator, Philanthropist, And Civil Rights Advocate

by Dr. Arcy Imasa

On Sunday April 21, the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Hawaii will be hosting an intimate “Salu-salo with Lindy” lunch party at 3660 On The Rise, Honolulu to celebrate the incredible journey and legacy of Dr. Belinda “Lindy” Aquino.

Dr. Aquino is a civil rights activist, renowned author, and esteemed educator in both the Philippines and Hawaii. Her legacy has had a huge impact on generations of Filipinos in Hawaii, the Philippines, and the world.

She is a professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) where she served as a professor of political science and Asian studies for nearly 40 years before retiring.

She is the founding director of UHM’s Center for Philippine Studies, which was originally established as an educational program in 1975 by an Act of the Hawai’i State Legislature to recognize the contributions of Filipinos to the history of Hawai’i and to highlight the academic expertise on the Philippines at UHM.

Now, the Center aplays an important role in promoting interest in the Philippines and Filipinos in the diaspora by honing students under its undergraduate and graduate studies. Through the center, UHM is the first of its kind in the United States to offer a bachelor’s degree in Philippines Language and Literature.

Even after retirement, she continues her activism and promotion of a deeper understanding of Filipinos’ historical and cultural legacies. For so many in the community, Dr. Aquino is a brave Filipino warrior for human rights, justice and education.

Dr. Aquino is a long-time columnist and contributor to the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle (HFC). In her latest September 2023 contribution titled “A Life Between,” she shared a look into her life as a migrant and community activist in the Philippines, Hawaii, and the mainland United States. To read the article, visit https://thefilipinochronicle.com/2023/09/16/a-life-between/. In this HFC supplement issue, we honor and celebrate Dr. Aquino through a heartwarming cover story written by UPAAH’s Divina Telan Robillard, a feature by Dr. Raymund Liongson and a Chronicle Pulse featuring the community’s memories of Dr. Aquino.

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