Bam Aquino on resemblance to Tito Ninoy: Embrace it
He once sported a mohawk and wore glasses in metal and even gold frames, and yet Bam Aquino has never been quite able to get rid of persistent comments on his uncanny resemblance to his famous uncle and namesake, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.
So if he can’t get rid of it, Paolo Benigno “Bam” A. Aquino IV thought he might as well embrace it, especially now that he has his eyes on a seat in the Senate under the Liberal Party headed by his cousin, President Aquino.
“Since pogi naman siya, payag na rin ako,” Bam said in jest Thursday during the launch of Project Pagsulong, a P1-million social entrepreneurship challenge of which Aquino is one of the ambassadors.
The 35-year-old Bam, the son of Ninoy’s youngest brother Paul, told the Inquirer that his resemblance to his uncle started to emerge during his teenage years and it stuck.
“Tito Ninoy passed away when I was 6, so he never commented on it. I portrayed him in the documentary ‘Last Journey of Ninoy’ and the director didn’t even put prosthetics anymore in the scenes I was in,” Bam said.
“But more than looking like him, it is when people say that I remind them of him that I am truly flattered,” said Bam, former chairman of the National Youth Commission of the Philippines and now president of MicroVentures Inc., which owns and operates Hapinoy, a social enterprise that aims to increase the income of sari-sari store owners nationwide.
Bam, named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and an Asia 21 Fellow of Asia Society, graduated valedictorian and summa cum laude with a degree in Management Engineering from Ateneo de Manila University.
He is also the president of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations Awards Foundation, which recognizes the country’s top organizations involved in youth welfare.
He said he would run on the platform of youth empowerment and social entrepreneurship if chosen to be among the 12 candidates to be fielded by the Liberal Party in next year’s senatorial elections.
Bam said that he spoke with President Aquino on his plans to run for the Senate two weeks ago but he did not get an instant assurance that he would be among the administration candidates.
“We had a heart-to-heart conversation and he just asked if I was really decided on running because it is not going to be easy. I was also made to understand that there is a process that we will have to undergo because I believe there are about 18 to 20 names being considered,” Bam said.
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