Latest Stories

Outgoing SF consul general gets a rave review


San Francisco Bay Area Filipinos are reportedly seeking to extend outgoing Consul General Marciano Paynor’s posting. PHOTO BY MANDY CHAVEZ

SAN FRANCISCO—The simple reply spoke volumes about the humility of the man who has been known to Bay Area Filipinos as simply ConGen since August 2007. Asked how he would like to be remembered, outgoing Consul General Marciano Paynor Jr. said: “That I was a good civil servant.”

Not for any epic deeds or even the mindset-enhancing changes he introduced to the consular services, even as it is widely acknowledged that the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco is now humming at a smoother and more efficient rhythm than ever before.

A different attitude on the part of the staff is also evident in the kind of response visitors to the consulate get from everyone in the office. Nobody feels ignored, or that he or she is an imposition. When a client approaches a desk or the counter, the employee looks up with a smile and an expression of willingness, even eagerness, to serve.

At one point during a one–on-one conversation with INQUIRER.net, ConGen Paynor pulled out a big yellow Smiley Button and proudly showed it off, recalling that on the day he assumed his post in San Francisco, he gave everyone in the consulate a button just like it to wear to work every day.

The Consulate building near Union Square, San Francisco. PHOTO BY MANDY CHAVEZ

That cannot be the only explanation for the easy atmosphere within the consulate general offices on Sutter Street a block above San Francisco’s famed Union Square. One would have to look long and hard to catch even a trace of a frown on the face of any of the employees.

It seems this man, who thinks his main accomplishment during his tour of duty here was that he got everyone on his staff to embrace the notion that their job is to affably serve the Filipino-American community, may have succeeded even beyond his own expectations.

It should be no surprise if the consulate seems to be operating with military-like efficiency and precision, given that Paynor started his career in the Philippine military as a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy.

From there he moved on to a stint as special assistant to the Secretary of Trade. In 1982 he was placed on detail with the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC, as special assistant to the Ambassador with oversight on embassy security. It was his exposure to the diplomatic service there that got him interested in a career in foreign service.

Paynor took the foreign-service exams and joined the department of foreign affairs in 1983, and the rest, as they say, is history. One that includes tours of duty in Libreville, Gabon, Africa, Madrid and London, Senegal, Rwanda, Angola and Los Angeles, Rome and Israel.

One of his most storied assignments was opening the Philippine Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, as charge’ d’affaires; later he acted as consul. The Cold War ended, with Hungary transitioning from a communist state to a parliamentary republic, during his tour of duty there. He has also seen the best and the worst of countries, which prepared him for the challenges in his assignment as consul general in San Francisco.

Consul General Paynor at his “despedida” party given by the SF community. With him (from left): Mrs. Tessie Paynor, Maria Banatao, Sherri Burke, Dado Banatao. PHOTO BY GERRY PANGILINAN

What would he miss the most when he leaves San Francisco? “The city of course. It is a beautiful place,” he answered with hardly a pause.

Of course, everyone leaves his heart in San Francisco, but in the case of Mr. and Mrs. Paynor, they are leaving more. Their two daughters and two grandchildren are staying behind. ‘We will be coming back regularly to visit them,” Paynor said, reassuring Filipinos that they will continue to see him and his lovely wife, Teresa Paynor, in the Bay Area.

As things stand, it appears his assignment here has been extended to January of next year. The Department of Foreign Affairs may have seen fit to time the end of his tour of duty with his retirement from the department in January of 2014.

This is good news for the Bay Area’s Filipino community, which has been blessed with a recent succession of consuls general that have performed their duties exceedingly well. But this story has not yet ended. There appears to be an earnest drive in the Bay Area Filipino community—a petition it seems–for the extension of Paynor’s term.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Civil Service , Consulate , Diplomacy , Foreign affairs , Foreign Service

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Anti-gay demo in Ethiopia cancelled
  • Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US
  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Gunmen attack Iraq military base, kill 10 soldiers
  • Sports

  • Duke freshman declares for NBA draft
  • Vietnam says it will not host Asian Games
  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • Lifestyle

  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Entertainment

  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Business

  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • DFA: 2 Filipinos survive Korean ferry disaster
  • PH asks airline passengers to check for MERS
  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • Marketplace