To one who has faith, no
explanation is necessary.
To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
- St. Thomas Aquinas, 1225-1274
over 20 years, I have lived in America and,
throughout these years, I have experienced the
joy and excitement of being a Filipino-American
and the pain and challenges that come with living
my life in two different worlds. For almost
half of my life, I have lived in a world quite
different from where I was born.
My full name, Imelda Roberts,
speaks of the two worlds in which I have lived,
a marriage of two cultures - a real east and
west story. A clash of faith and reality, but
no matter how deep the dilemmas got, my deep
and abiding trust in God always prevailed.
My namesake was the infamous
former First Lady of the Philippines who has
made Imelda synonymous with owning 3000 pairs
of shoes. A lot of times, my name was associated
with this image. In reality, the name Imelda
has its roots in the African and Arabic word,
Imena, which means “faith and dreams.”
In spirit, this is who I really am – Imena,
a journey of faith and dreams!
Through this book, I invite
you to take a journey with me as I take a big
leap of faith, and unveil my barefooted soul.
Once and for all, I hope the “Barefooted
Soul” will be a source of honest reflection
as I reclaimed the very part of me I lost simply
because I ignored it for so long.
From my childhood dreams to
my epiphany at 50, to my souldefining moments,
join me and peek into the highlights of my life
that have made me who I am today.
When you read the 40 soulful
stories I wrote in 40 consecutive nights, I
wonder if you will cry or laugh with me, be
amazed, be dazzled or surprised at how a lady,
less than five feet tall, has surpassed many
tests of life. But, most of all, though my world
is not a perfect world, I hope my life stories
will inspire you to find your own spirit, uniqueness
and your own perfect state of mind!
Come and take a journey with
Will you see the failures I
have made along the way, or the strength and
resilience I have gained?
Will you accept me for a life’s
decision different from yours, or will you
judge and cast a stone just because we are different?
Will you shed a tear when
I break my shoes from the long tumultuous journey
I have traveled, or will the wisdom and colorful
perspectives it has
provided me inspire your own world?
Will you laugh at me when
my shoe is on the other foot, or will you understand
we all make mistakes?
Will you discover the kindred
spirit of companionship and true friendship,
or find an enemy bitter with revenge?
Will you step into my world
just because you envy me, or will you join me
and be happy for, finally, I have reached my
Will you dance with me and
celebrate what I have become and, in the end,
will you see me as a Cinderella when my true
love has begun?
Whatever it is, I do hope
you will join me on my soulful journey that
will transcend your own hopes and faith, and
trust that a Supreme Being is with and in all
Come and take a journey with
me as I share my heart songs and the stories
of my Barefooted Soul!
Together, let’s discover
our own inner gifts, life’s lessons and
indelible footprints for a better world!