MANILA, Philippines -- One of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World for 2012 and an aspiring public servant, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV claimed on Saturday, September 15, Mary Fatima “Timi” Gomez as the first lady of his life at the Chapel on the Hill in Tagaytay City.
|Bam Aquino and Timi Gomez in this 2010 photo from the Facebook page of Bam Aquino
His first cousin President Benigno Aquino III was a special guest at the intimate wedding, while the President’s sister Aurora Corazon “Pinky” Abellada was one of the principal sponsors.
The groom, 35, is the son of Ninoy Aquino’s youngest brother Paul and his wife Melanie, while the bride, 27, is the daughter of Dr. Vince Gomez and his wife Carrie.
The groom is aspiring to be in the Liberal Party’s senatorial slate in the 2013 elections, while the bride works for Unilever Philippines.
Timi wore a gown by Veluz Reyes, while Bam was dapper in a barong made by the tailor of a friend. A select group of 250 guests were invited to the wedding Mass celebrated by Father Adolfo Dacanay, SJ.
The other principal sponsors included Ariel Aguirre, Jose Feria Jr., Jose Luis Gomez, Daniel Lichauco, Ricardo Lim, Rafael Lopa, Arlene Elaine Avelino, Ma. Cynthia Gomez, Elizabeth Mendoza, Geraldine Nakpil and Veronica Santos. The wedding reception followed at the Splendido Golf Club near Tagaytay.
A new life together
Bam graduated summa cum laude from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1999 with a degree in Management Engineering. Bam (named after the character “Bambam” in Pebbles and Bambam) graduated valedictorian of his grade school and high school classes at the Ateneo de Manila.
At 25, Bam became the chairman of the National Youth Commission, the youngest person ever to head a national government agency. In 2006, after his stint with government, Bam established a program that would help thousands of female micro-entrepreneurs secure better incomes for their families. This is what is now known as the Hapinoy Program.
In its website, US-based Junior Chamber International said that the TOYP, which Bam just received, was organized to “formally recognize young people who excel in their chosen fields and create positive change.”
The couple met when Bam was chairman of the National Youth Commission in 2004 and Timi was a delegate in the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program representing the National Capital Region.
When she volunteered the next year (2005) to help with that year’s batch, their paths crossed again and, “I seized the opportunity and courted her,” recalled Bam in an interview on the eve of his wedding.
“He was incredibly charming when he chatted me up back then,” added Timi.
Bam described his bride as “a very determined and intense individual. She is extremely loyal and loves with an intense passion.”
The equally smitten bride sees Superman in her beloved.
“Bam is Superman in his work, with his family and his love life. He never fails to be sweet and romantic even with how busy he is,” she revealed to The STAR.
Timi, an alumna of the Assumption Convent, said with certainty that if Bam’s dream of becoming an elected public servant comes true, “I am ready to be Bam’s wife and partner in life, whatever that takes.”
At this point, Bam is still waiting for the official announcement of his inclusion in the Liberal Party slate.
“I am hopeful that the Liberal Party will have space for a young person in its slate. If I will push through, I will be the youngest to run next year at 35 years of age,” he said.
But whatever the future brings, Bam and Timi are in it together.
“We hope to raise a loving family, but keep on being outward-orientated. We hope our lives will always be filled with love and laughter as we both pursue our goals and dreams for ourselves and for our countrymen.”