Fiona Aytona, a chartered accountant, is on her way to becoming a lawyer.
Fiona Aytona grew up in the colorful walls of the country’s top broadcast studios. Her brothers, Mico and Marco Aytona, were both commercial models and TV stars and coming from a tight-knit family of five that includes dad Jun and mum Leslie, Fiona often accompanied them during filming.
“It was the best time of my life. Being the youngest and the only girl, I was deeply loved. Whenever one of us had an activity, we always went together. So with that, we have the chance to try different hobbies.We used to go to sports camps, singing, dancing and acting lessons, and even arts and crafts workshops.
“Our mum would always accompany us to these activities and she would be our biggest supporter and also our biggest critic. Our parents instilled in us that we need to continually develop ourselves in order to be the best at everything we do.”
For a time, Fiona also tried her hand at the business and appeared in TV shows, print ads and even commercials. Although she was grateful for the experience, she was more than happy to move on.
“Over time, I realized I had a different focus. That’s when I shifted my focus to other industries.”
In college, Fiona dreamed of becoming a CPA and tax attorney. “In the beginning, I saw myself as a numbers person and as someone who would always hold my own. During my teenage life, I realized that the two professions of being a chartered accountant and a lawyer would match my character. budding young woman.”
This new opportunity was also inspired by her grandfather, the late Senator Dominador Aytona, “He was always my inspiration to become a Certified Public Accountant, Masters of Public Administration and Doctor of Laws. Growing up, I would like to hear stories from my family that my grandfather was a good public servant applying his skills as a brilliant accountant and lawyer I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to be like him, to be someone useful in the community and make a difference in society.”
Today that dream is a reality, “I am happy to say that I am now a CPA. I have just graduated with a Masters in Public Administration. Currently, I am pursuing my final year at law school. .I am a student and I am happy that everything I dreamed of becoming when I was a young woman is now within my reach.”
From the outside, Fiona’s successes don’t immediately reflect the greatest loss of her life and the immense grief that comes with it.
“We lost our mother to Big C on March 24, 2020. I consider this my greatest heartbreak in life. My mother Leslie was my best friend, role model and mentor all rolled into one. I lost a pillar of my life when she left us two years ago.”
Her mother pushed her to pursue her dream career. Sadly, her number one cheerleader passed away in 2020.
In fact, it was her mother who helped chart her unique career path.
“She was there to help me decipher the road ahead. As a young woman you would be exposed to many different choices which often tend to be overwhelming. My mum was there to clear things up for me – she given the pros and cons of each option; she made me project and imagine the person I want to become in the future. I know that without them being the wind under my wings, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. They have shaped me to be the best version of myself in every opportunity or challenge that comes my way.”
When asked how she was able to move on despite the grief, Fiona thoughtfully reflected: “During this painful episode in my life, what I clung to was my faith in God and, of course, , in my family I have accepted the fact that things happen for a reason.
“As I tried to pick myself up, I reflected on the lifelong learnings that my mother shared with me. I realized that all her life she shaped me, she prepared me so well to face all the difficult challenges in my life. She prepared me for that special moment when, when she finally passed, I could then stand firmly on my feet and face life as a woman taking on greater roles in life.
And as long as the pain persists, she uses it more as motivation to keep going.
“My mother remains my inspiration and motivation in everything I do. I find joy in the special memories we shared and apply all of her life lessons by fulfilling all of my promises, one by one with La grace of God and my mother as guiding star.”
Having personally witnessed Fiona’s evolution from the young girl I met during those long hours of filming (our brothers, on occasion, starred in the same TV commercials) to who she is today, I know that tita Leslie is now proud of the woman she has become and how she has been able to transform her grief into strength.
When asked what her advice was for those going through the same loss, Fiona finally shared, “Have faith. We may not understand the challenges we’re facing right now, but we still have to believe that it makes part of God’s greater purpose. All of these challenges, whether big or small, they too will pass.”