Benigno Aquino III - Early Life and Education

Early Life and Education

Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III was born on February 8, 1960 in Manila. He is the third of the five children of Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., who was then the Vice Governor of Tarlac province, and Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino, former President of the Philippines. He has four sisters, Maria Elena (Ballsy) Aquino-Cruz, Aurora Corazon (Pinky) Aquino-Abellada, Victoria Elisa (Viel) Aquino-Dee, and Kristina Bernadette (Kris) Aquino. He attended Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City for his elementary, high school, and college education. He graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor's degree in Economics. He was one of the students of former professor of economics at Ateneo de Manila University, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In September 1972, Aquino's father, who was then a senator and prominent opposition leader to President Ferdinand Marcos, was arrested for subversion. In August 1973, Aquino's father was brought before a military tribunal in Fort Bonifacio. On August 25, 1973, Aquino's father wrote a letter to his son from Fort Bonifacio, giving advice to his son;

"The only advice I can give you: Live with honor and follow your conscience.

There is no greater nation on earth than our Motherland. No greater people than our own. Serve them with all your heart, with all your might and with all your strength.

Son, the ball is now in your hands."

In 1980, after a series of heart attacks, Aquino's father was allowed to seek medical treatment in the United States, where Aquino's family began a period of self-exile. In 1981, shortly after graduation, Aquino joined his family in the United States.

In 1983, after three years in exile in the United States, Aquino's family returned to the Philippines, shortly after the assassination of his father on August 21, 1983. He had a short tenure as a member of the Philippine Business for Social Progress, working as an assistant of the executive director of PBSP. He later joined Mondragon Industries Philippines, Inc. as an assistant Retail Sales Supervisor and assistant promotions manager for Nike Philippines, Inc.

From 1986 to 1992, during the presidency of his mother, Aquino joined the Intra-Strata Assurance Corporation, a company owned by his uncle Antolin Oreta Jr., as vice president.

On August 28, 1987, eighteen months into the presidency of Aquino's mother, rebel soldiers led by Gregorio Honasan staged an unsuccessful coup attempt, attempting to siege Malacañang Palace. Aquino was two blocks from the palace when he came under fire. Three of Aquino's four security escorts were killed, and the last was wounded protecting him. He himself was hit by five bullets, one of which is still embedded in his neck.

From 1993 to 1998, he worked for Central Azucarera de Tarlac, the sugar refinery in charge of the Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita, as the executive assistant for administration from 1993 to 1996, then he worked as manager for field services from 1996 to 1998.

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