Henry's proud parents, Quirino and Rebecca are Filipino immigrants from Ilocos Sur who arrived in Hawaii in 1970, seeking work and a better life for their future family. Life was not easy at first for the young Aquino family during those early years. Both of Henry’s parents worked very hard in a multitude of jobs in order to care and provide for their family. Together with his older sisters, Leilani and Danette, Henry learned at an early age the timeless values that we all cherish – hard work, perseverance and commitment. Unfortunately, in early 2019, Quirino passed away after a short and fierce battle with lung cancer. This loss continues to spur Henry to carry on these enduring standards set by his parents.
Born in Honolulu and raised in Waipahu, Henry is a product of the Hawaii public school system. After attending Waipahu Elementary, Waipahu Intermediate and graduating from Waipahu High School in 1995, Henry earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Administration of Justice from Honolulu Community College. Shortly thereafter, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration from the University of Hawaii-West Oahu, and later went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in Communication from Hawaii Pacific University. Henry is married to Cyndi Baetiong Aquino and they have three children: Ethan, Quincy and Katie.
While earning his college degrees, Henry worked to help pay for his education and to help with the family finances. He held a number of jobs, first in the family’s retail business, then as a stock person and delivery driver for a Waipahu warehouse, then in the private security sector where he learned the importance that trust, determination and public safety has on everyone’s quality of life. Henry’s life changed when he ventured into community and non-profit work, first with Catholic Charities Hawaii and then with the Waipahu Community Association where he found out his true calling in life -- making a true and positive difference in others’ lives. While working in this sector and through the encouragement and support of many community people and family, Henry decided that public service would be where he could have the biggest impact with people.
Trusted Leadership and
Elected to the Hawaii State House in 2008, Henry currently serves as the chair of the House Committee on Transportation which has the general scope of policy and budgetary responsibilities over Hawaii’s highways/freeways, airport and harbor facilities and related infrastructure. He is also a member of the Housing and Consumer Protection & Commerce committees. In addition, Henry sits on the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization policy board and is a co-convener of the Filipino Legislative Caucus. Throughout his legislative career, Henry served as the former chair of the House Committee on Public Safety and Military Affairs, former House Majority Policy Leader, former House Majority Whip and sat on the committees on Finance, Labor and Public Employment, Education and Higher Education.