But like gardeners everywhere, he somehow summons the energy of those half his age when he's among the eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and beans in his just-under-a-quarter-acre garden in Southampton.
"I come from a hardworking family," he explains, as if that's all it takes.
Soriano, a retired Thomas Jefferson University pathologist of Filipino descent, first came to the United States in 1959. He became a citizen in 1972, but his American identity is still so enmeshed in Southeast Asia that he converses in Tagalog with his Filipina wife, Edith, 73, a retired registered nurse.
Soriano also grows a number of Asian or Filipino vegetables and tropical flowers in his garden, which he's eager to talk about and share.
Batao, for example, which American gardeners generally know as purple hyacinth bean and grow for its beauty. A twining vine, its airy blossoms, three-inch, rosy-purple seed pods, and red-veined foliage make a bright statement in a green garden.
Batao is indigenous to the Philippines, where it's grown as an edible, too. Soriano tosses the beans or pods into stew in true Philippine fashion - with pork, chicken or fish and spices.
You'll also find long beans in the garden and in containers on the deck, though you might know them as Asian or yard long beans. They can hang down three feet, and are chopped up and cooked as ordinary green beans are - or in another one of those Soriano stews.
And he's cultivating ampalaya, otherwise known as bitter melon, a warty, weird fruit with a taste that grows on you (or not). In the Philippines, the leaves and fruit are often stir-fried with ground beef and oyster sauce.
The ampalaya vines are just beginning to flower on a fence in Soriano's garden and in a large pot on the deck that will move inside - and even produce fruit - over the winter.
But he seems especially pleased with the Ipomoea batatas, the ornamental sweet potato vines that are so popular in American gardens - and so beautiful. Soriano's drawn to them not just because sweet potatoes are a common root crop in the Philippines or because, as a physician, he knows they're a nutritional powerhouse.
They're a sentimental draw for Soriano because his father, erstwhile principal of an agricultural school in the Philippines, did research on the sweet potato.
So he learned about growing things from his dad, as well as his mother, but also, he says with a pat to the chest, "Gardening is part of my art. It's instinct."
It turns out that in addition to medicine and gardening, Soriano is a musician, poet, and dramatic reader of works such as the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain in 1898 - with a pile of scrapbooks to document his performances in all three areas.
(See photo of Soriano at the piano, dressed like Mozart right down to powdered wig and lace cuffs, with the notation "à la Liberace in styling.")
Sometimes, the lines that separate those arts are indistinct. For example, when explaining how he cooks the sweet potatoes, as well as their leaves, stems and young tops, Soriano's voice booms across the garden, as if he's performing.
"I don't need a microphone. I have a big voice," he acknowledges.
And, while he's pulling those weeds - "my enemy," he calls them - Soriano often listens to his beloved Mozart and Chopin recordings.
"I could stay out here the whole day as long as I have my music," he says.
Most gardeners would need more than Mozart for motivation to rake up 300 bags of leaves every fall - there are 75 oak trees on this 1.2-acre property - which Soriano and his wife do to stoke the compost pile.
Or to hand water with hose and bucket all the vegetables and flowers, which include a slew of geraniums and orchids and 15 pots of amaryllis bulbs on the deck, and a hillside of lilies.
Still, Soriano says, "Gardening is very peaceful. It's complete serenity."
He and his wife of 52 years plan to move to the Tampa area; they're house-hunting now. One of their three children (a fourth died in 1989) lives there and, as Soriano says, "I like the weather there. You can grow everything year-round."
As he explains the decision to trade a large property in New Jersey for what undoubtedly will be a smaller one, Edith is cooking up some Filipino favorites in the kitchen - pork, beef and veal eggrolls, known as lumpia, that are thin and fried, served with a homemade mix of vinegar and hot peppers; salmon with lemon juice, soy sauce, sauteed garlic and onion; and jasmine rice.
Dessert is fried plantain fritters, warm and sweet, with sugar on top. Drink of the day: iced coconut juice.
"It's the Filipino way," Edith says, "very easy."
Raymond Soriano talks about the Asian vegetables that he grows in his garden in Southampton, N.J. www.philly.com/ginny
Contact Virginia A. Smith at 215-854-5720 or email@example.com.