The Woman of Substance My mom was born in Cebu City on May 1, 1934, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker to Norberto Yanson Riego, a ship captain and Estrella Guingona Meñes, a pharmacist. They named her "Erlinda" although she claims that she has another name, Maritza but she never got a record of it because birth records in Cebu before the war were destroyed by fire. From age three, she was raised in Manila where she had her secondary and college education at the Philippine Women’s University (PWU), graduating Cum Laude. She was the student council president, an Intercollegiate Girl of the Philippines, the school's representative to national student organizations. She rubbed shoulders with national leaders, so much so that people around her thought they had her future life all figured out.
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