Most ambassadors fulfill their three-year posts and leave, checking the Philippines as one of their more memorable postings. Not former Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno who, in his posting in the Philippines, has become a beloved fixture not just in the diplomatic circle but in the social circuit.
Ambassador Roscigno was first assigned to the Philippines as counsellor and deputy head of mission of the Embassy of Italy in Manila in 1988. He stayed until 1992. He came back to the Philippines as ambassador in February 2014.
His first posting in 1988 would be memorable and significant. It was when the envoy met his Filipino wife Agnes when she went to the embassy to talk business, where she would meet the dashing deputy chief of mission, Massimo.
Wherever Massimo was posted, his wife was with him, whether it was in Beirut or Shanghai or Los Angeles. In LA, the Roscignos welcomed the crème de la crème of Italian Hollywood royalty, from Dino de Laurentiis, Joe Pesci, and Giancarlo Giannini to Roberto Cavalli.
In the Philippines, when he became ambassador, Massimo Roscigno tried his hardest to bring Italian goodwill to his wife’s country.
Newly installed as ambassador in the months following the Supertyphoon Yolanda tragedy, Ambassador Roscigno helped provide some P84 million worth of post-Typhoon Yolanda rehabilitation and reconstruction projects funded by the Italian government to its beneficiaries.
Ambassador Massimo Roscigno personally gave the projects to Tanauan Leyte Mayor Pel Tecson and Iloilo governor Arthur Defensor Sr.
The project improved the productivity of 1,500 small fishermen and farmers through the donation to farmers’ organizations and local cooperatives of training in their use, agricultural equipment, and training modules on crop production and marketing.
It was also under his term as ambassador that the Philippines and Italy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) providing a mechanism for bilateral consultations that would further strengthen relations between the two countries, especially in the areas of trade and investment.
In July of 2017, Amb. Roscigno paid President Duterte a farewell visit to signal the end of his tour of duty.
Ambassador Massimo Roscigno, who passed away from cancer on Aug. 11, is survived by his wife Agnes and only daughter Ursula.