The story of this interview is special. I’ve spent high interesting hours, abandoning political questions as Trini Paredes Foliente, vice president of the LA-Makati Sister, Inc. talked exclusively about casual topics: herself, her family, trials as a woman and her friends.

Among her circle of friends are political heavyweights, and the filet mignon of women who shine the brightest lights on the porch of the Filipino-American community, with whom boundless admiration and touching affection are shared.

With this powerful personage—whom you can praise or revile, as you like—you cannot deny the adjective fantastic, a word we have to be careful about.

My first meeting took place at a posh conference room on Brand Blvd., seated on a table groaning with food that can only be eaten, not described, and excellent company of the Makati club leaders.

Polished and poised, Ms. Trini exudes the virtue of affluence and the best schooling. In her disarming simplicity, she seemed concerned only to make me feel at ease. She is a mother, civic leader and formidable fundraiser for humanitarian efforts, who carries a bedrock principle and compassion that cannot be shaken. She always gleams with health and vigor.

She’s a great storyteller and a friend to many — so patient and tolerant, even if asked too many probing questions. She spoke in a compelling narrative about the rough roads (as well as good), from a child in search of her dreams to her sacrifices, which transformed the best and worst experiences into hard-earned wisdom.

Her eyes sparkled when she spoke about education for the underprivileged children and the senior community in general.

MDL: Ms. Trini, I am seizing the word dignity for you. What is dignity?

TPF: I believe dignity is knowing what to do with one’s self. It is a way of combining goals in a commitment that never ends. When you’re  affected by a slice of power, you are not affected by a slice of power; you’re looking at results, acquired skills abilities to achieve the best on any endeavor.

MDL: That entitles me to ask you a question I’d like to put on every woman or man of power and authority. What gives you anxiety Ms. Trini?

TPF: When my sense of equilibrium is distributed by thoughts like, why am I spending so much time on something that may not do well? What if something goes wrong? Weary is the head that wears the commitments and hopes of that can be done for others.

MDL: Ms. Foiliente, you just said that to be successful, a woman has to be more capable than a man? Doesn’t that perhaps mean it is more  difficult to be a woman, than a man?

TPF: No. I am saying that I have never suffered an account of men, because I am a woman. I am saying that men have never given me special treatment, but neither have they placed obstacles in my way. Of course I am lucky, you see, Mylah , not all women have had the same experience.

MDL: Are you capable, I mean  Ms. Trini. Can you respect and adversary?

TPF: Always, of course, the moment you think you’re better than your adversary, you lose that word, no one should be beneath you or above you—just be in that special grace of God. And I am always trying to put feminine compassion in the law, what we can do altogether to contribute to the progress of the community, regardless of leanings. Every human being should be treated with dignity and respect.

MDL: An abrupt question, Ms. Trini, what you do you see as our country’s most pressing problem today?

TPF:  Poverty, through immoral behavior. Ako muna, ako muna, ako ang bida is endemic in our society. I can only point that out to them and if they are receptive, they will see it first and recognize it, and then maybe change. Perception is not reality, but an interpretation. What we need is compassion. Your feelings are there because you put it there; you have to be selfless.

Ms. Foliente never looks at the clock, but looks within her heart for every way she can help with irresolute enthusiasm, devoting her moves to get LA-Makati Sisterhood, Inc. where she wants it to go. She wholeheartedly steers the enormous undertaking (like the rest of her present work) with gracious disposition through a thicket of negotiation and paperwork. In the midst of a gold mine of facts and reason, she teaches everyone working around her the goodness of her heart and sweetness of spirit.

The LA-MAKATI  Sisterhood, Inc. is a well-guided organization espousing a myriad of possibilities: the promotion and development of the Philippines, our arts and culture, our trade and industrial relations, our diversity of heritage, with bold and fresh aplomb.

The Induction and Gala Night will be on May 3 at the Omni Hotel in Los Angeles, and is expected to be attended by the Fil-Am Community en masse.

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