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Resident Spotlight: Rosalinda “Linda” Y.

Rosalinda “Linda” Y. grew up in Mauban, Quezon, a little town on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Linda was the eldest child of seven… all girls! Her father was an elementary school teacher and a family farm (rice and coconut) tenant manager. Her mother took care of “the girls” as well as her husbands’ mother’s extended family’s household. Linda was surrounded by many aunts, uncles, cousins and of course, her sisters.

The household was filled with music, as there was a piano for all to play. The smaller children would practice in the morning, the older children in the afternoon. Linda played the piano through college.

Times were turbulent during WWII, and the Japanese soldiers took over the top floor of the family’s home by the sea to use as an observation station. Linda’s father didn’t feel safe and packed everyone up and moved to the family farm close to the mountains. After the war, the family moved to Manila, where Linda completed high school. The “grownups” decided that Linda should go into nursing, since nursing and teaching were the “only professions common for females” in those days.

Linda’s educational journey is impressive; beginning at St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing, Manila, Philippines, then New York University for her BS in Nursing, and she received her MA in Anthropology.

While at NYU, Linda met Robert (Bob), a native of Chicago. He was working as an educational counselor at the American Korean Foundation in Seoul, Korea when Linda returned to Manila after graduating from NYU. The two corresponded for more than a year. Linda was a faculty member at Ateneo de Manila University and research associate at The Institute of Philippine Culture when they were married in Manila. Bob had various jobs for overseas contracts with private organizations, which took the family to Korea and Mexico. The couple had two children. Andrea lives in Grand Rapids, MI, with her husband, Dan, and their son. Kristian lives in Virginia with his wife, Kathy, and their three children. Linda said, “In spite of Bob and me, they were always good children, they never gave us any trouble.”

Linda’s education led her to an interesting, unique and serendipitous career, starting with Clinical Nursing in Manila, Guam, and New York. Next was teaching Anthropology in Manila and Korea. She continued her career with health-related sociocultural research, consulting on International Health and training U.S. Census Bureau 1990 decennial census staff who reached out to traditionally undercounted populations – American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian and pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and African Americans.

Linda certainly did not slow down in “retirement.” She is a docent at the GWU Museum and Textile Museum, of which she has toured our Highlands residents. She is involved with the League of Women Voters, Asian American Forum, National Cathedral, and St. Columba Episcopal Church Flower Guild. Linda was the former president of the Organization of Pan Asian American Women and was the recipient of a one-time “Pan Asian Woman for All Seasons” award in 1986.

Shortly after her husband Bob’s passing, Linda made the difficult decision to move to Kensington Park. She loved her home and amazing garden; however, she wanted more time to do just what she wanted to do and not be bothered with maintaining a house.

Linda looks forward to getting back to pencil sketching, specifically illustrating various vignettes she wrote during the pandemic to her grandchildren about her life growing up in the Philippines. They love their “Lola” (grandma) stories, and she is more than happy to share them.