Paying tribute to the one and only Nedy Tantoco

Tantoco family members, friends, Rustan’s executives and employees gathered at the Lakehall of Sta. Elena in Sta. Rosa to pay tribute to the late Zenaida “Nedy” R. Tantoco or “ZRT”, on 18 March, the 40th day commemoration of her demise.

It was a very memorable and heartwarming affair that started with a Mass celebrated by close relative Fr. Tito Caluag. In his homily, he spoke of “Nedy being in heaven where she was given her ultimate reward for the good works that she had done while living her earthly life. Furthermore, he enjoined the faithful to emulate “Nedy in helping others, which she did quietly and without fanfare.”

During the dinner, Michael T. Huang, the second son of Nedy, spoke of “how the last few weeks had been sad for us, especially her children and grandchildren, her partner, her siblings and her office and home staff, but in all of those 40 days, we have been consoled and gratified by all the good words that had been said and written about our mother.”

Furthermore, he enjoined everyone “to thank the Lord for all she was to us in her most exemplary and steadfast way.”

Throughout the dinner, in between courses that included beef bulalo shot, bone-marrow raviolini, chives, beef broth, seabass fillet “in cartoccio” fennel-capers sagada orange and haricot vert and grilled guanciale wrapped angus short rib Barolo wine, jus, porcini cream, palm heart shavings broccolini & native cord, whipped potato mash, Mike called on various speakers who represented the various organizations in which his mom, Nedy, occupied key roles. These were Cultural Center of the Philippines chairman Jaime Laya, international fashion tycoon Josie Cruz Natori, former CCP president Nestor Jardin and Philippine-Italian Association executive vice president Conrad Calalang.

To cap the sumptuous sit-down dinner, the guests were treated to churros, pannacota, yema, pastillas de leche and chocolate mallows. Indeed, it was a wonderful night of reminiscing.

ZRT, the inimitable and hardworking lady whom everyone praised for her great accomplishments and humility, was present in spirit, as the guests enjoyed the night and exclaimed their praises for Nedy Tantoco’s legendary life in philanthropy, art patronage and international entrepreneurship, all the while that she proved herself equally adept and caring as a model daughter, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, boss and partner to her beloved Patrick.

Nedy R. Tantoco was one of a kind and, as we all say, God broke the mold when He made her.