Dr. Emilio Quines: Alone again

‘She’s a dreamer, I’m the practical guy.’ Photo by Rolan Gutierrez

By Cristina DC Pastor

The Summer of 2019 was a time of a profound grief for Dr. Emilio Quines.  He lost his wife, Felicisima, to deadly pancreatic cancer on June 26. Through years of treatments and a determination to hold fast, she passed away at the age of 75. Emilio lost his best friend of 43 years, a fellow physician, a nurturer, and a dreamer.

Last Christmas was especially aching, almost unbearable. It was Emilio’s first holiday alone. Their three children together with their families kept him company — a concert at Madison Square Garden, a stroll by the Rockefeller Center, and dinners — all of which he thoroughly enjoyed. Yet he missed Fely’s presence, her gentleness, her affectionate way with words, her quick wit.

“She’s a dreamer,” he reminisced while trying to cope with the emptiness he felt in his heart. “She enjoyed her dreams very much and implemented the doable dreams. I’m the practical guy.”

While it has not exactly been a mourning of closed doors and windows, so to speak, it has been a reflective several months. Emilio has stayed in touch with friends and relatives. Someone wrote to say hello, and his reply was a laconic, “Accepting the WOG (ways of God).Alone again.”

Fely was born in Cabanatuan City when it was still the capital of the rice-producing province of Nueva Ecija. She finished her Doctor of Medicine at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay (UERM) in 1968 and migrated to the United States the same year. Emilio was born in Baguio City and grew up in the town of Tagudin, Ilocos Sur. He too finished his Doctor of Medicine at UERM but two years ahead of Fely.  

College chums, aspiring medics

They met in medical school. So did Conchita Patricio, Emilio’s first wife.  They were all college chums and aspiring medics. Emilio and Conchita, a pediatrician from Batan, Aklan, wed in 1969.  She passed away five years later from a crippling connective tissue disease.

Holiday dinner with son Alan and daughter-in-law Lorraine Glorig.

“Fely, our long-time friend with my first wife, was always there, helping my first wife who was very sick,” he said. “We fell in love after the passing away of my first wife.”

That was in 1974. Emily, his first-born with Conchita, passed away too in utero from Placenta Prévia.

Emilio and Fely have three children, all accomplished professionals:  Emilio III is an executive director of Asset Management at JP Morgan. Alan is an Information Technology manager and consultant at Allscripts Co. Lisa Hulse was a vice president at Goldman Sachs. They are blessed with three grandchildren.


After training at Brooklyn Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Emilio passed the board exams in the 1970s. He specialized in Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, and the couple opened their private practice.

“We treated practically everyone, parents, grandparents, and children, also performed gynecological exams and minor surgery in the office,” he said.

They found running a private clinic to be “stressful and demanding,” he said. “We had limited family time.”

They decided to take on salaried jobs where time was more structured and manageable. Fely worked for the Veterans Affairs Hospital, while Emilio became an Attending Physician at the Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center at West Islip, where the Quineses ultimately established residence. He became a Medical Director at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Health Center in Wyandanch, New York for five years, and an HIV Specialist until his retirement in 2011.

Meanwhile, Fely cut her own career path in the field of Adult and Geriatric Psychiatry working as a physician at Downstate SUNY and Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. She retired in 2016.

Emilio and Fely with President Rodrigo Duterte during a Knights of Rizal event in the Philippines.

Despite their productive medical careers, the couple found time for the community. He founded the UERM Medical Foundation, Inc. and is currently its advisor. He joined the Knights of Rizal and established a chapter on Long Island. They have participated in annual medical missions to the Philippines since 1992.

“The last medical mission we did was in 2018. It was in Tondo, Manila. It most probably will also be the last,” he said.

The couple are charter members of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, as well as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Foundation and Museum.

Emilio fills his time joining friends for small get-togethers. Lately, he finds himself getting involved with stocks and the financial markets.

“I used to have it done by a financial analyst.  I decided to do it on my own. It’s a challenge, but so far, doing ok. Allows me to support charities and groups that do community services,” he said.

Emilio is on Facebook where he sometimes writes of his life’s “ups and downs.” The radiant good humor is still there, so is the robust health. Memories of Fely are never far behind.

“Our life together was an immense one,” he said. “We complemented each other.”

© The FilAm 2020

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: