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Albano Risso among Women of Distinction
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Rose Albano Risso is being honored as one of 10 Women of Distinction for her accomplishments as a journalist, photographer, and soloist. - photo by GLENN KAHL


• The Manteca Visitors Center will be holding their 10th annual Women’s Connection sponsored by Doctors Hospital of Manteca on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Calvary Community Church, 815 W. Lathrop Road, featuring keynote speaker Donna Hartley. She is a gifted motivational speaker who addresses audiences across the country and inspires audiences with humor, straight talk and motivation on how to change their attitudes and “Fire Up Their Life!”  The $50 ticket includes the key speaker, lunch, tradeshow, 10 breakout sessions, a special 10th year celebration honoring influential women of Manteca and networking opportunities. Tickets are at the Manteca Visitors Center at 1422 Grove Avenue or by calling the Manteca CVB at 823-7229.

A rendition of “Ave Maria” sung by Rose Albano Risso is an unforgettable memory to any who has heard her reach toward the heavens with her high notes at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.

Albano Risso has made her mark in the Manteca community not only with her singing but also with her photography of rare bird species in the nearby grasslands of the Stanislaus and San Joaquin rivers and her work as a journalist. She is city editor of the Manteca Bulletin.

She is among a group of 10 Women of Distinction who will be honored at the Tenth Annual Women’s Connection to be held Friday, Feb. 17, at the Calvary Community Church on Lathrop Road. The others are Linda Abeldt, Bea Bowlsby, Evelyn Prouty, Karen McLaughlin, Lucille Harris, Patty Reece, Dorothy Indelicato, Sister Ann Venita Britto, and Toni Raymus

Albano Risso has seen her photographs published in several magazines including American Photographer, Popular Photography and the National Garden Club magazine.

Her photography can be seen soon as part of the San Joaquin Valley Solutions – a book of poetic and photographic ode to the great San Joaquin Valley that is set to go to press this spring authored by Michael C. Ford – a Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award poet, recording artist, critic and playwright.

She and her husband provide musical background to early Sunday morning mass at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Manteca – she sings and Anthony plays the guitar in their joint music ministry.

The Manteca Garden Club also takes up a good portion of her free time as does her hobby of photographing birds in the wild.  Some of her photographic collection of various winged species can be seen online at  the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Albano Risso is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Press Photographers Association.  Her history in Manteca and the South County has included past associations with the Manteca Soroptimist Club, Manteca Camera Club, the Manteca Mayor’s Committee on the Arts where she edited the group’s newsletter along with the late Bulletin columnist Bob Cambden. 

She also served on the board of directors for the San Joaquin County Arts Council and the San Joaquin County Respect for Life Board of Directors appointed by former Stockton Diocese Bishop Roger Mahony.

Her awards include a first place honor from the National Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest for coverage of performing arts in the area.  She won second place in the Spot News Photography category from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and was cited in the Best of Manteca contest in 2007 and 2008 as the outstanding local columnist.

Albano Risso has also been the recipient of more than a dozen ribbons over the last decade in the Lathrop Mayor’s Art Purchase Show and Sale.

She is the youngest of four girls in a family of six children.  Sisters Gloria Castro, Mindy Galang and Belle Asis all hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing practicing in the Bay Area.  Her older brother, Cesar, is an attorney and had previously practiced in Manila as a corporate lawyer.  Younger brother Jose, Jr., is a choir director at Guadalupe Church in Fremont where he also works in music ministry at St. Joseph Parish Mission San Jose.

Albano Risso holds a bachelor’s degree in English and served as editor of the college newspaper during her junior and senior years being an honor student at the all-girls La Consolacion College run by the Augustinian Sisters in Manila, Philippines.

She had put herself on a pre-med track at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila after graduating as valedictorian from St. Andrew Academy in Bacarra – the sister city of nearby Lathrop.

To the “despair” of her parents, she decided not to follow a medical vocation, she said.  “I heard and followed a different drummer, a drummer I first encountered when I was a little girl dreaming of becoming a writer, a poet and a photographer.”

Writing poetry – especially haiku – is one of her loves along with nature photography, reading, gardening, singing, guitar playing and spending time with her family.

She and her husband, Anthony, have two sons: Kristopher of Rosa’s Welding in Lathrop and Anthony, studying at Sacramento State University.

On the top of her list of those who served her well as mentors are her parents Jose and Simeona Albano, Sr., of Fremont.  Both are retired educators from the Philippines.  Her dad was also an elementary school principal.

Her two favorite quotes: “Service is the price you pay for the space you occupy.”  The second is “Find a need and fill it,” that she has heard from various ministers including Father Richard Morse,  former pastor of St. Anthony’s and now in Oakdale.