Let the memory of Rica be with us always.
  • 64 years old
  • Born on June 13, 1946 in Makati, Manila, Philippines.
  • Passed away on February 7, 2011 in Hayward, California, United States.

This memorial was created in memory of our loved one, Dr. Soledad Rica Llorente, 64 years old, born on June 13, 1946, in Makati, Philippines. The daughter of Manuel (Papyling) Reyes and Guadalupe (Mommyba) Zurbito Reyes of San Miguel, Makati, Rica passed away in the Bay Area on February 7, 2011 after a struggle with colon cancer. Her husband of 39 years, Pastor Augustus Rod Llorente, died of a heart attack in their home in Eden Shores, Hayward twelve hours upon hearing of her death. They left behind their son Andrew, daughter Joanna, and grandchildren Marius, Anastasia and Marina.

Rica grew up in San Miguel, Makati, with her brothers Manuel Toton Reyes and Jose Pipo Reyes. Toton immigrated to Silicon Valley, where his family still resides. As a naturalized American, Toton petitioned Rica and her family to immigrate to the United States, which they eventually did after a twelve year wait. Pipo Reyes was a Filipino patriot and an activist with progressive NGOs. 

Rica graduated cum laude from the College of the Holy Spirit. She first worked at Channel 5, where she met her future husband Rod. The station was shut down for its opposition views in 1972, upon the imposition of Martial Law by President Ferdinand Marcos. Rica then worked for the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Rica and Rod raised their family in Pilar Village, Paranaque, an area with intermittent running water, occasional flooding, and some undeveloped areas. They believed that the best thing they could do for their children was to endow them with the best available education, so they sent Andrew and Joanna to the exclusive De La Salle Santiago Zobel School despite their lower middle-class resources. In 1992, Rica immigrated to the United States with her family, settling in the Bay Area. 

In the Bay Area, Rica furthered her education by obtaining her master's and doctoral degrees. She worked for the City of Hayward for 16 years, supporting its city managers, and part-time as a professor with Phoenix University and Cal State East Bay. She became active in her local community and led a group of Filipino academics. She also found time to help run the business her husband Rod had named after her, Plaza Soledad Independent Living Room and Board, and baby-sat her wonderful grandchildren.  

Rica's family, friends, co-workers, fellow academics, and students remember her for her intelligence, warmth, empathy, and her desire to shed light on the plight of the men and women of the Philippine diaspora, who risk all to do well for their families. She loved Barack Obama and was proud to be an American. Her son Andrew works for Microsoft in Redmond. Her daughter Joanna is the author of Light from the Ancients: A Novel. The novel is dedicated to her parents. 

Rica is the author of Diaspora of Dreams: Understanding Filipino Labor Migration.

Posted by Joanna Llorente on June 14, 2019
Happy 73rd Birthday, Mom! I love you!

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