Nov. 19, 2010



Drs. Emy and Rudy Magpantay in front of Villa Esmeralda in Old Westbury, N.Y.


“Money is like a sixth sense, and you can’t make use of the other five without it.” — W. Somerset Maugham


WELL — what do you know — Long Island has 32 of the richest zip codes, according to the recent Forbes’ List of America’s Most Expensive communities based on housing prices.

Old Westbury, with the zip code of 11568, is number 11 nationally, and on top of the list for Long Island with a median home price of $3.1 million.

Happy to note that Villa Esmeralda, the primary home of Drs. Rudy and Emy Duque Magpantay for 31 years, is located in tony Old Westbury.

Over the years, it has been the scene of social gatherings among New York, New Jersey and other out-of-state Fil-Am who’s-who in the community, the elites and the powers-that-be in the Philippine Government and private sectors.

The Magpantays have unselfishly provided the venue for the yearly picnic and reunion of the Philippine Consulate to New York and the Philippine Mission to the United Nations for more than 10 years.

It was always a happy event for the diplomatic corps and their invited friends.

Notable diplomats who graced the occasions were the late Ambassador Ernesto Pineda, the late Ambassador Sedfrey Ordonez, Ambassador to the United States Kokoy Romualdez, Ambassadors Rodolfo Arizala, Philip Mabilangan, Melody Lopez, Ruperto Dizon, Romeo Arguelles, Hermie Garcia, Fe Fuentebella and the present Ambassador to the U.S. Willy C. Gaa, and the Consul General to New York Cecille B. Rebong.

And, all the respective spouses and children, and top-ranked diplomatic officers and families of both Mission and Consulate.

Villa Esmeralda was and still is the place to be for themed parties, the gathering of physicians and the like, especially reunion of alumni from universities in the Philippines.

Emy and Rudy are always there for, as Dr. Sarie Laserna said in her letter to Emy, “I consider you as the toast of New York’s Fil-Am high society. Your expertise in making your guests feel important and treating them as ‘royalties’ is quite legendary. Clearly, your penchant to entertain friends is motivated not by a desire to ‘show off’ but by your genuine generosity to share your ‘bounties’ and happiness with friends.”

She added: “I was most impressed by the adoring look and pure love that Rudy has for you, after all these years. It’s genuine love worth emulating by all our macho friends.”

We say — Amen, Amen to it all!

Case in point was the August “Polynesian Summer Fling” of Friends Indeed USA, Inc. which the Magpantays generously and admirably hosted for FIUSA’s fund-raising effort for charity.

Tellingly, it was a success attended with close to 200 Hawaiian-clad guests headed by Ambassador and Mrs. Willy C. Gaa, Consul General Cecille Rebong and hubby Bill Rebong, Deputy Consul General Millie Sta. Maria-Thomeczek, other personalities from the “diplomati,” “literati,” “medicalati,” “businesslati” and all the “latis” one can think of. They were there, honeypies.

How can you say No to Emy, huh? Or, for the matter, to FIUSA’s chair? Hahaha!

Joke---joke only, don’t be so annoyingly serious, mga mahal ko!

Life’s too short not to guffaw once in a while. And, don’t forget, it keeps you young, ‘di va?



Rev. Fr. Erno Diaz at the steps of St. Margaret Mary Church on Staten Island, N.Y. where he is the parish administrator.


So good to hear from Fr. Erno Diaz who is now the parish administrator of St. Margaret Mary Church on Staten Island, N.Y. near the South Beach. He said the people there are very nice.

He’d like to greet friends and FR readers “A Happy Thanksgiving.”

You can visit him or contact him at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Masbate Gov. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete, center, hosted lunch during the courtesy visit of Nimfa Du-Tinana, second from left, president of the Masbate Association of America, Inc., to the Office of the Governor in Masbate, Philippines on Sept. 8. Accompanying her are (from left) Chona Holland, CEO of US Food Products Corp. of New Jersey; Hon. Bebot Condor, mayor of the town of Cawayan; and Capt. Nilo V. Du, president and chairman of the board of ADFIL Shipping and Management Corp.


Calling all Masbatenos in the United States to attend a special forum on Nov. 27, 2010 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at The Lovin’ Life Learning Center (#4 West 43rd Street) in Manhattan.

Sponsored by the Masbate Association of America, Inc. whose president is Nimfa Du-Tinana, the primary speaker, who is the guest of honor, is the newly elected governor of the province of Masbate — the Honorable Rizalina Seachon-Lanete.

Please RSVP for the number of people attending to Nimfa. Cell: 908.494.4014; home: 908.486.8690; or e-mail address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Please come in casual-elegant or business suit.


REFINING ABSENTEE VOTING LAW: Former Speaker Jose C. de Venecia, left, and his wife, Rep. Gina Perez de Venecia, center, promised to amend the Overseas Absentee Voting Law to encourage more dual citizens in the U.S. to register and vote in Philippine elections. The two were in New York this week. Also in photo are Consul General Cecille B. Rebong, second from left, Loida Nicolas Lewis and Bert Pelayo (Filipino Reporter publisher and editor-in-chief).

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