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Farewell, Dear Ambassador

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By TINA HIDALGO-JACINTO

Manila society’s savviest hostess Nedy Tantoco’s private dinners have become an affair no one would want to miss. This time around it was held at Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco’s residence. We have frequently attended cocktails and dinners there, yet it still gives one a tingle of posh and grandeur. The original artworks, from sculptures to paintings, are of museum-quality and create a truly elegant party ambience.

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Seated center: Ping Valencia, Amb. Rolando Alvarado Guevarra, Imelda Marcos, and Nedy Tantoco. Standing: Rupert Jacinto, Marilen Tantoco, the author, Glen Gale, Joy Fong, Amb. Jose Miguel Capdevila, Mayor Chavit Singson, Mme. Veronica Foxley, Jazz Carreon, Raul Sunico, and Patrick Jacinto

The dinner was in honor of Ambassador Rolando Guevara Alvarado who ended his tour of duty in the Philippines in August. As we entered, seated in the living room were former First Lady Imelda Marcos regaling Nedy and Jaz Carreon with her interesting stories during the Marcos era.

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The portrait of Amb. Bienvenido Tantoco (far left) and  a painting of him and Glecy Tantoco (right) grace the elegant living room

Ambassador Rolando gave Nedy a “mola,” a traditional textile made by the indigenous peoples of Panama. After cocktails of wine and bubbly with jambon de jabugo and manchego cheese, we were ushered into the elegant dinner table. After the toasts, Ambassador Jose Miguel Capdevila praised Ambassador Rolando as ambassador par excellence for his diplomatic skills. His wife, Veronica Foxley, shared her views on the current problems in Chile. Ambassador Rolando said the friendliness of the Filipino people is their greatest asset and went on to say that the crew members on their ships in Panama Canal were Filipinos. He proposed to establish a cultural exchange program. Mrs. Marcos candidly mentioned in her speech how she was surprised that he accompanied her and her group twice to Baclaran church.

Entertainment was provided by a special number from world-renowned pianist Raul Sunico. Ping Valencia started the singing and, to everyone’s delight, the former first lady rendered several songs, and a duet with Ambassador Rolando.

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Raul Sunico

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TESS PAMINTUAN’S SHINING MOMENT

The outstanding facets of Tess Pamintuan marked the celebration of her 70 years. This mother of seven is a successful and dedicated businesswoman, owner of Punta de Fabian resort in Bara, Rizal but what is most inspiring is her spirit of family solidarity. Tess celebrated her 70th birthday at the grand ballroom of New World Makati Hotel. Family comes first was shone with the presence of her children who flew in from Los Angeles, especially for her birthday, Joseph, Armida, Abelardo John, Vanessam Theresa Joy, Jayson, and her son Robel and his wife Annie. Her grandchildren as well gathered on stage made it more special. Tess feels confident in her own skin having survived the big C.

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Tess Pamintuan’s family, Rico Araneta, Jason Araneta, Robel Pamintuan, and John Pamintuan

After the speeches, dancing ensued with the music of the ’70s. The invitees were packed with big names, such as presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo, former house speaker Joe de Venecia, former Supreme Court chief justice Art Panganiban, Rep. Fidel Nograles, Rep. Camille Villar; and former House speaker Sonny Belmonte.

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