Richard Maghanoy: A big heart that lifts others

‘My dad taught me how to be a better man.’ Photos courtesy of Richard Maghanoy

By Maricar CP Hampton

The John Laylo case may have happened  in Philadelphia thousands of miles away, but a California businessman who heard about the “mistaken identity” killing of the Filipino lawyer was so upset he had to take action.

Richard Maghanoy was reading his newsfeed when reports of the killing caught his attention. John Laylo, a government lawyer from the Philippines, was vacationing in Philadelphia with his mother when he was fatally shot on his way to the Philadelphia International Airport.

Shocked by the brazen act of violence, Richard, 55, reached out to friends in New York City to find out what is being done to find the gunman. He also asked how he could help the family.  

“When I learned that the family was needing financial assistance, I just had to do something,” he said when interviewed by The FilAm.

He contacted then-New York Consul General Elmer Cato, who was putting together a fundraiser for Laylo. Richard offered to pay for the cost of transporting the remains to the Philippines plus the airfare for the bereaved mother. While he would rather that his assistance remained  away from the spotlight, the Laylo case became an exception.

“The case was sensational that I was approached to speak about my contributions to the family’s fundraising efforts,” said Richard.

Certificate of appreciation from the Philippine Consulate General in New York

A self-described philanthropist and a devout Christian, “paying it forward” is a proverb he lives by. 

He remembered how his father, Renico Maghanoy Sr., often spoke about the value of “giving back” when he was a young boy coming of age. “It’s just money, you will earn it in your lifetime. When you have the means to help, do it, is what he would tell me.” 

While his mother, Rose Sarte Maghanoy, taught Richard and his siblings  discipline, he said, “My dad taught me how to be a better man.”  He is the eldest of nine siblings.

On June 29, 2022 Laylo’s remains arrived in Philippines. Richard was pleased knowing he was one of those who stepped forward and made the attorney’s journey home a respectful last rite. The gunman has remained at large.

Making a difference

Richard said he and his wife Imee find joy in making a difference in people’s lives. The couple, married 27 years, have contributed to several fundraising efforts and have never regretted the depth of generosity to be something others have exploited. They made sure it would go toward helping others, like friends and classmates in emergency situations or communities ravaged by calamities and disasters.

“I help in any way I can,” he said.

The couple had campaigned for Steven Raga in his bid to become a member of the New York State Assembly for the 30th district of New York.

“He is the first Filipino American to be elected in any state-level position in New York. That means something,” he said.

Richard, wife Imee (left), and daughter Shannen
Simple pleasures, like a day in the park

Street of Dreams, is a NYC foundation the Maghanoys have supported. It is led by Miguel Braganza, a celebrated stage actor and dancer who appeared in Cameron Mackintosh’s production of “Miss Saigon.” His pilot project for the arts in the Philippines, encourages the youth to be involved in the arts and to become empowered members of society.

“I am a proud supporter and one of his advisors,” said Richard.

Being selfless comes easy for  this entrepreneurial couple. They have the means. They run a thriving skin care business in Los Angeles that caters to entertainment celebrities, socialites, athletes and business elites. Among their notable clients are actors Hilda Koronel, Ruffa Gutierrez, and singers Pops Fernandez and KC Concepcion. Boxer Nonito Donaire Jr. is a regular.


“I was born in Midsayap, Cotabato,” said Richard. “I had a great childhood despite the Christian-Muslim conflict in Mindanao.”

He went to Catholic schools in Midsayap, but it was at the Cebu Institute of Technology – University (CIT-U) where he earned his bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication engineering. He was working as an investment consultant in the Queen City of the South when he met Imee.

After living  in Cebu for 20 years the young family decided to  migrate. In 2015, Richard and Imee founded iSkin Med Spa, a beauty skincare business located on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. His wife has been in the spa industry for more than 20 years. “She knows how to operate a spa well enough to run her own.” said Richard who oversees operations and the financial side of the enterprise.

The couple have one daughter, Shannen, who got married last year. She graduated with a Nursing degree at the University of California in Irvine. 

“I have been blessed with everything I have now: a beautiful wife, a kind and loving daughter, a growing business, and a trustworthy circle of friends and more,” he said. “It is through helping others that I get to share my blessings.”

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