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Fashion and Beauty

Full of life at 90

PERSONAL CHOICE - Frannie Jacinto - The Philippine Star

Aida Cruz-Del Rosario was born in Laguna 90 years ago (1922).  Her sculptor father, Amado, was an influential figure in her life and convinced her to take up architecture instead of an original desire to be a dentist. She became the first female architecture graduate from the University of Santo Tomas in 1947 and placed seventh in the board exam, making her the first registered female architect in the Philippines the following year. 

Aida and her husband of over 50 years, engineer Jose del Rosario, had a formidable partnership in construction and design with over 120 homes, edifices, and hospitals from Luzon to Mindanao.  The couple was a picture of togetherness in their work and personal life.  

Though widowed a decade ago, Aida keeps herself busy and alert with her regular mahjong sessions and always putting a smile on her face.

During her recent 90th birthday celebration at Manila Hotel’s Champagne Room, she shared her views on life.

“Seeing all my children accomplished and successful in their respective careers makes me fulfilled and happy.   Though they live in different countries, the distance does not diminish the closeness I have with each one of them.   The practice of my profession was my passion.  In the 50 plus years of practice, I never got tired of designing homes, keeping up to date with architectural trends and delving in real-estate endeavors.  But as I look back to the past, my greatest happiness is my family,” she said.

* * *

Oftentimes we bump into friends whom we haven’t seen in a while and we say the usual “Let’s get together soon!”  But the days go by swiftly and we never get around to seeing each other. When Mert Loinaz celebrated her milestone birthday, it was a perfect time to gather friends and relatives with whom she wanted to recall happy memories with.  The group included some of her Assumption classmates, Pilates group, women writers workshop group, Kaakbay group from the street parliament days, eating group, friends from the foundations she worked with, and childhood peers that she wanted to be sure to see now because, let’s face it, life gets shorter as the years pass by.  

To add to the fun, there was the Rockin’ ’60s band that played the music of Mert’s era while the ladies were having their lunch at the Manila Polo Club.   This was certainly the most fun hen party I have ever been to with all the guests laughing, singing, and dancing the whole afternoon. It ended with a conga line that was headed by the celebrant herself. 

AIDA

AMADO

CHAMPAGNE ROOM

DEL ROSARIO

MANILA HOTEL

MANILA POLO CLUB

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

WHEN MERT LOINAZ

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