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Just Call Them Dr. Tricia and Aika, Leni Robredo's Daughters Say

They refuse to be defined by the achievements of their parents.
by Ara Eugenio
Mar 16, 2022
Photo/s: Youtube/The Boy Abunda Talk Channel

However thankful she is to have been born a daughter of Jesse and Leni Robredo, the second child of the late interior secretary and the second highest official of the country would purposely leave out her last name when introducing herself to patients. 

Now a medical doctor by profession, "Dr. Tricia" said that for the longest time, this is what she and her sisters have been fighting for growing up — to be recognized for what they do as individual persons, and not just as the child of influential parents.

"'Di ako nagpapakilala bilang doktor Robredo sa ospital. Nagpapakilala po ako bilang Dr. Tricia, so [that] whatever they say about my work, it's because of the kind of work I put out. Not because of my name," she told host Boy Abunda.

Robredo recognizes how her upbringing inevitably has something to do with what she turned out to be but said that at the end of the day, her choices are her own.

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Aside from being a doctor, Tricia said she likes to write about the people around her in the hopes that whatever she puts out would somehow make difference in the lives of others. 

"'Yun po yung gusto ko maintindihan ng mga tao -- na masaya ako na anak ako ni Jesse and ni Leni, pero higit pa ako 'dun. May sarili akong paniniwala. Whatever I say, galing po yun sa place na ako yung nag iisip for myself. Siyempre nainfluence ako ng pagpapalaki sakin pero ultimately, at the end of the day, sakin pa din 'yun. May ownership po ako sa ginagawa ko," she said. 

Agreeing with her sister, Aika, the eldest Robredo child who earned her master's degree from Harvard University, admits to growing up with the pressure of always being excellent in what they do.

"... Kasi kung pumalpak ka, sasabihin na ano ba naman to, anak niya tapos palpak pero pag nag excel ka naman, ah kaya yan magaling kasi.. So kami, paghusayan nalang natin para wala kang talo either way," she said.

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"Second, kahit 'yung magulang namin encouraged kami parati na 'go after 'yung gusto niyong gawin, just make sure na maging productive 'yun and make sure you give something back 'pag naabot mo na yung dapat mong abutin, and just continue to really self improve along the way'," she added. 

In her work as Executive Director of Restart Micro-Enterprise, a non-government organization that provides quick response livelihood funds to microentrepreneurs affected by disasters, Aika said she usually assumes the people she works with don't know her, and that if it's unrelated to the work, prefers not to talk about being the Vice President's daughter.

"I think, 'yung point of view kasi namin, the positions our parents have held over the past years, we see them as temporary. In our head, parating 'okay pagkatapos ng term na 'to, tapos na. Balik tayo sa kung anuman," Aika said, explaining how she and her sisters don't dwell too much on having parents who hold positions of power. 

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"Sabihin po natin, kailangan lumipat lang ng bahay, or lumipat lang ng office. Siguro yung pananaw namin, para lang narelocate or kailangan namin lumipat kasi nag iba yung assignment o trabaho ng mama namin," she said.

"Every campaign season, all hands on deck kaming magkakapatid pero 'yung usapan din namin, after we vote, balik na kami sa kanya-kanyang ginagawa namin and then, disappear na ulit kami," she added.

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