Date of Interview: February 18, 2001
Venue: During his drive to work
Beginning of interview was unrecorded
Joaquinito "Ito" Roces, III: because I wanted to go on my own and I knew wala na, tapos na.
Sassy Mae C. Sumulong: So, even before, um, the Manila Times closed wala na po kayo sa Manila Times?
A: Wala na. Kasi unang-una sa lahat what I knew what a paper should stand for wala doon. What I gathered from my grandfather indirectly, ha, kasi and later on Robina admitted it, eh, mahirap pala ang magkaroon ng diyaryo kung mayroon kang business interest.
A: Look at this, ah, (finding a reading material about his lolo Chino) this is the first. You know, ay nandito, sorry look at this, this is, this is the first book by Reuben Canoy talking about the Martial Law years, Counterfeit, that the first time I encountered my family's name without, you know ba ganito pala ito, yung ganoon, you see. I was, I was so, I was surprised, I was, yeah it made me proud, okay, pero magandang pagka-proud kasi hindi nanggagaling sa aming side na uy, ganito tayo, uy, uy, ano ah, remember this in our clan, yeah, I don't know about Katrina, whatever, but directly my grandfather, the Chino, walang ganun. Hindi pinagmamayabang ang achievements, gotting, it's something that we don't talk about. We talk about different things but it's not that one. Media (referring to the chapter of the book by Canoy mentioning about Manila Times). Parang this is the first time kaya wow, na I was really surprised and in this book lumabas na, the first top three persons that Marcos wanted right away to be ano, number one Aquino, number two Diokno, I don't know if you know Diokno and number three it happened to be my grandfather, nagulat ako, you know. Memo to Media (the title of the chapter of the book by Canoy). Tignan mo sa media na lang, you can bring that okay and makikita mo how he explains the other papers and then our Roces why they were like that, kasi kami isang business lang. You can bring it, basta return it na lang noh, para may idea ka rin, anong ginawa. My grandfather really fought Marcos because of the system but a lot of people thought because of he lost his empire. But you know my grandfather bilib ako in such a way na instead of really being depressed like, sorry na lang, yung tatay ni Teddy Boy Locsin, yung Free Press, he really became depressed, he died, he didn't last and they were together, they were not in speaking terms maybe because of their own rivalry, I don't know but he said his my own should I say apo ha, but my grandfather dinaan niya sa humor ang nangyari sa kanya biru mo at 59 years old his empire just came crumbling down just like that, he was detach, that's one of the traits na, what God wants us eh, di ba tignan mo materialistic, he is not materialistic at all, you know the Manila Times had the airplanes, had yachts, not for personal pleasure but for, it was for media, except the yacht, he had a yacht, that's the, his own thing, you know, but it was called "The Newsboy", yun lang hobby niya fishing. But the plane, helicopter, it wasn't used for whatever, di ba, sometimes yun nga abuse of power, walang ganun. Imagine that, Martial Law, Mercedes Benz ang kotse niya biglang "pak" after Martial Law, Martial Law, eh, di he lose everything he ends up with a Ford Escort but wala, bale wala. Ganun ka simple siya, eh, iyon ang hinihingi ng Diyos kaya he was able to come out with such a beautiful paper, a great newspaper because of that thing of you know you have to do it right, you know hindi mo ique-question right or wrong and then because of what he was doing he learned to love it eh. And because he learned to love it he became successful and once he became dumating ang pera, hindi katulad ngayon eh, I don't know, look, listen to people talk about anywhere, "kita", alam mo Filipino, "uy malaking kita". Puro ganoon ang salita nila, this is away from media pero more or less you have to read it, kita, kita, kita, pero walang foundation, what did it take, it takes to have kita. Ang tagal niyan ilang, kaya nga knowledge eh, for example journalism, pero kung ang lifestyle mo, gusto mo ganito, ay, forget it, wala diyan ang pera, magpapacorrupt ka so ano ka, you're just like the rest, eh sometimes ang paper trying to be righteous eh. Eh, di ba how can you be righteous and then at the same time taking bribe left and right. Even in the Manila Times' days his people were to take somewhere, kaya nga pag dating ng Martial Law kita mo where did Valencia go, ganito, ganito . Pero more or less he let it, he did not interfere. Yung sa Inquirer, tinanong ko rin si Doronilla eh, sabi ko si Doronilla, ah mga Prieto, more of it have all other business. Sabi niya, hindi na niya, hindi na nila kayang kontrolin, matapang eh. Palagay ko ngayon ang magaling ngayon talaga si Letty Jimenez eh, I mean she's, she is the one ngayon. Ayan at least babae malay mo balang araw ikaw. Pero, but if you want to go into journalism and I do know, wala, yung talagang dapat yung puso mo hindi lang matapang eh, you know you don't have strength, you cannot, you should not have the debate in right or wrong or justifying it, eh. If you are guided by the Christian world yun na yun, eh. That's as simple as that, that's as sim And I gathered from one time, my grandfather told an editor kung magsasalita tayo at makakabuti sige, pero kung makakasama rin 'wag na lang. So, you know sometimes you have to use that information, you know, and sometimes you're in a dilemma, you don't know for this is good or not or if you're really after palagi for your glory, ganito, ganun, ay patay, maniwala ka, you will never be successful. Dapat talaga selfless, eh, which my father, grandfather was really selfless to the country ha, in us maybe he didn't have the time for my affection but later on he was able to tell me na,I asked my tito Tony, why was my grandfather successful, he told me because he was able to associate himself to the people down below and up. And so he knew what the people wanted to read, or you know issues, ano ba yung gusto, kaya he had the feel, he had the pulse of the people, kaya yun ang naging successful niya. Kaya he came up with a great paper I asked him lolo, what is a role of a publisher? To come out with a good paper. Ganun, ganun kasimple, o very general di ba, very general. Do you read ba the papers?
A: It's expensive if you buy all, but if, I hope in school, and try to analyze each paper and makikita mo yung pagka-biase nila sana nila ti-tilt. Nobody taught me, I learned this, I develop it by myself eh, di ba. Anong binabasa mong diyaryo? Anong pinakapaborito mong diyaryo?
Q: Um, I don't really have a favorite pero dumating din po sa point na sa school we get to look at the different papers, we get to analyze din nga po pero right now it's Inquirer mas ano, although may, differences silang, like Philippine Star may certain field siya na
A: Anong field ng Star na okay?
Q: like, ah, kasi Star when, ang notion ko ng Philippine Star is medyo light, light weight pa siya ng konti eh, like may, may konting, medyo entertainment side pa yung gravity nila eh. With Inquirer they have good editorial atsaka medyo defined ng konti yung political aspect ng mga news nila.
A: Eh, Bulletin.
Q: Manila Bulletin is like a little apolitical, it's like um, not really a crony paper pero, ah, medyo kulang pa yung
A: Gusto mo yung ganyang klaseng paper?
Q: Manila Bulletin?
A: Oo. Maybe it's not a paper, eh. Bastos binababoy ang diyaryo. Yung ang sa akin ah, yung ganung ka-vulgar if I will say it, noh. I'm, you know I have other collections of paper all over the world. Ako lang yata, siguro I book bind it. Nobody, whenever somebody travels, oh, can you please, wala ng ibang paper. I had that, I had also the dream, like any other person na wow, when I found out who you were and wow how great it was, siyempre I had that dream na wow, I wanna put it back and everything, di ba. But later on reality struck me not besides the financial aspect but because maybe ayaw ng Diyos or something like that, so I don't know later on. I, kasi mahirap pilitin ang hindi sa iyo eh, di ba. Kagaya mo, sana if you will really push through you better be prepared not only the threats and everything but the pay, wala eh. Crusader ka diyan eh, di ba, you are going to be a crusader and this got, like for example (pointing to a cover of a brochure featuring Chino), o Don Coyote ang labas mo, okay. I'm not saying, eto, please just return this, yung iba kumbaga ikaw na ang bahala if you have some questions whatever. You know I haven't heard entirely something ha, ilagay mo Media Sphere (name of a magazine featuring Chino), mayroon diyan Media Sphere, this is pre-Martial Law eh, doon I did not read everything ha, pero nagulat ako na parang family picture sabi mo di ba, when he was awarded the ano. Media Sphere. No, it's a, I hope I brought it, naku that's the most important thing, eh.
Q: Ah, this one.
A: Tignan mo ha, nagulat ako eh, I just read it when you, when you ano so I started looking eh. How he describe, how the publisher describes my grandfather, I was so, hindi ko natapos, ah, what it stood for, what Manila Times stood for, I don't know if you know that, ha? Mayroon ka na ba? What it really, ha?
Q: Not particularly this one.
A: Ayun, yun at least. You should, you should ano that one come out because nobody can tell you and me, it so happen, look that the good Lord talagang nakakatuwa kasi how he describes my grandfather, na talagang extraordinaire. And he wasn't you know, yung nasa kalsada na nakilala mo siya and look how he, ayan o (pointing to a photo of Chino), can you imagine o, ha nandito lahat o. Ayan yung para sa akin, ayan yung hawak eh, ayan and look o, during the volcano he's there. You know yan nga eh. If you saw him in the street before he was in the street, he was already doing it on his own. He was there nga o, with Max Buan. Yung Mayon volcano puputok nandoon ang publisher, o. You know there was a Ruby Tower earthquake daw, well, there were lolo nandoon sa ilalim, and then there brothers and sisters, "uy anong ginagawa", eh siyempre ano nila yun eh, the golden boy nila iyon nandoon eh, kung ano mag-crumble, that's how he was, see, not for publicity. Wala, nothing, just like I was trying to say, I'm not, it so happens that I'm the grandson pero without being a Roces ganun din ako, I don't need that papel, pero because of that thing the Lord will be I don't know if you know, humble yourself and you will be exalted, eh. Mayabang ka ibabagsak ka Niya, eh. Eh, eto hindi ganun siya talaga and he is the youngest among the brothers pero tignan mo naman ang ginawa niya. Tapos doon sa bulkan will you take the risk. People laugh at who's that ano, yung sa Abu Sayyaf, yung Christian, but he is the only one who had visited. Ah, si, sabihin nating laughing stock or whatever but he was, who had the guts to go there, you know a driver of ours, he's driver when I was small, I told him, going home from work may nasagasaan, the body was pulled over ..you know what my grandfather did, he made him, the car stop, he went down, he covered the body with the newspaper and called up the ano, that he was not for anything because that's the right thing to do, eh, even you or me but we don't it, then you see that's what God is asking us to do and he was doing it, kaya he was for me, but saan niya nakuha iyon, palagay ko yung kay Moy, you know even though di ba sinasabi nila mga, I don't know if naririnig mo mga Mestizos parang matapobre o whatever, stereotype, this family was like that but for example, there's a glass of water beside you hindi inuutos sa katulong, no, you, ang lapit lang niyan, so that was their training, so they grew up that way, you know hindi yung, oho, I almighty, wala silang ganung dating kaya yung lolo kuba siya, eh, kasi, but he has his own faults, he has his own shortcomings pero overall, the simplicity, what God is asking you do is the thing, I found that out when he died and I reflected on his life parehas, you know he would take the jeep when he had cancer and then at the same time when I, he died, naku ang yaman pala namin, o, ganun, you know, but wala, eh, that's nothing, eh, all of that is nothing, eh, dapat ganun, eh, di ba parang, no, ganun, ganun, kagaya niyang politicians how they just, look at it now, they're, they're, look what, look what they're doing people want these prosecuted pero ayun, o, kino-contemplate ni Gloria, why, takot siya, eh, she's dealing with the, takot siya how it would react, eh, at least deliberate if everything pero, they have, for me, he was takot because of his, pagkatao niya, hindi nothing, you know, you can all learn that all in school but if it's in your heart, hindi ka nawawala, you will not be, yung ang tandaan mo atsaka please if ever you do become let's say somebody remember this, it will come to you, yung utak 'wag yung mayabang maniwala ka, hindi mo maiiwasan iyan pero remember try to pull it back kung hindi naku, maniwala ka pababa ka, maybe my grandfather in some ways mayabang hindi ko alam, kaya he was crushed also but he had to look, but look instead of muni-muni siya, he took up another career which is a street parliamentarian, sabi ko bakit ka lumalaban kay Marcos, ano ba, I will ask him questions like that dalawa lang kami, then he explained to me, he would explain to me the reasons, it wasn't for the para maibalik ang Manila Times, wala yun, ang ano for the country mali kasi, eh, the system, the system, you know, human rights, your rights have been deprived not only the press but yung pagkatao natin tinanggal yan people don't know (interruption) .. He was a listener, eh, ay, kaya sabi lolo ko masyado kong madaldal, kaya I learn to choose it also, eh, pero siya naku, hindi binibi, hindi dine-debate yon, ah, walang debate yung right or wrong, wala, pero pipiliin mo talaga, I don't know if this is the one or .wait, wait, ha (interruption) .his brother which is happen, happens to be Chino is like his father, kaya nga my grandfather Moy and Quezon had clashed, they were friend but they clashed because of the principle nga, eh, of publishing, you know, stories, eh, nung, you, you know, ah, we're friends pero since we disagree, yung ganun, eh, to the point na sabi they will not talk to each other because he believe what was right, eh, this Moy, eh, and it so happened that I think my grandfather really got it, eh, you see, yung hindi, yung talagang hindi kasi, you , you cannot copy, eh, you cannot copy, it really comes from the heart yan, eh, that's how, that's how I look at it, eh, you cannot pretend that you are somebody but you are not, eh, di ba and my lolo is, what I'm trying to tell you is the human side, of what you don't read, ang galing ng humor niya, tatawa, you know, hindi niya, hindi niya dinaan sa sama ng loob, eh, yung, ang nangyari, eh, can you imagine you, you lose something, I mean to say, don't tell me you're not gonna cry or you know, eh, it will take time, I'm sure he had, you know, he, he went through it but for me with flying colors, eh, kasi hindi niya pinag-usapan sa akin yun, eh, yung bitterness, yung, wala, eh .
Q: It's more on
A: nothing, nothing, uy, we discuss things, I was 10 years old, 11 years old, he was how old 59, 60, but he would talk to me as if I was
Q: An older person
A: or the same level that's how, kaya treat people with respect, kaya nga even though, kaya nga 'wag mo ko ho-ho, we're the same, you see, with respect but, noh, I know Filipino, I know you're being, ah, but a lot of people talk that way but they don't respect naman so 'wag na n'yo na akong ganunin, just I'm Ito, I'm not Roces, I'm Ito, di ba, I don't wanna say I'm Ito ROCES, no, eh, before I become a Roces I have to prove I'm Roces, so Ito has to do something, ganun, eh, nobody taught me that, that's how my heart, yun ang dapat, eh, hindi yung, ah, akala ni Ralph, Ralph Recto's my classmate but he used Vilma kasi wala na yung pangalan mo, he used Vilma, I cannot, eh, hindi dapat ganun mali yun, eh, kailangan may na-achieve ka na something, eh, to present yourself, eh, sometimes I think me, I underestimate too much myself, eh, or I'm so, you know, I'll be the judge when I can really face and do something, di ba, my, do I care? I really care, I really want to do something about not only the upliftment of the standard of living but, ito kulang ang tao natin, eh, pero madaling maloko, ah, yung diyaryo inform, inform, inform, inform pero hindi educate kasi hindi rin n'yo alam, eh, kung you, you come from middle class, hindi ninyo alam yung sa baba, eh, so how can you educate if you don't really know how it feels na, oh, my gosh, my children, my son is sick, I don't know where to get the money to buy medicine, no, nobody in government is, or feels that or if ever they forgot already about it, they ignored their past, kaya tignan mo society, grand, my grandfather hin, hindi, eh, talagang uubusin niya yung pera niya, bibigay niya hindi para sikat siya kasi ganun, eh, yung ang, yung ang tama, eh, kaya nga he came up with a paper like that, hindi yung business after but pla, eto ang akin, because of that pala a higher Being reward him for that, eh, hindi kasi inuuna yung will it do good, will it make profit, wala, wala yun, eh, yun, yun ang dapat, eh, hindi, eh, it is not, it is not happening, I, I don't know if they've, they were without, ang, the, from what I've gathered, ha, this one from somebody that the money that Moy, but I don't know and I think you don't have to say that anymore kaya why is this Legarda and Prieto around, they were the ones who thought of add the financial thing, so, and the intermarriages sila nag-fund yata. I have to return this, if you want you go down .(interruption) .me, when I came out with, you know, my own business with no capital, ha, no capital, no nothing, no knowledge, only determination and drive, no ev, you have to know, yung dinidiin palagi sa akin knowledge, eh, hindi pera, knowledge, knowledge, knowledge, knowledge, knowledge, kasi for example you di ba, you'll graduate, are you graduating ba?
Q: Opo, (chuckles) hopefully by next term.
A: Okay, now when you are looking for a job don't anymore bother to find out how much, kasi kung unang tanong mo yon, like me, if, ah, somebody is asking, iha, magkano ba, umalis ka na, you're not looking for a job, you're looking for money and I don't have money, who like you I want money also, we have to work for that, mga ganun ba, kasi minsan, kasi money will only arri, ah ..dito, banda na lang dun somewhere, I'll just go and ., hind pero I'm hungry na, eh, okay lang ba sa iyo, maghanap tayo puwede, okay lang sa iyo mag-fastfood, ha, parang walang hassle, I'll just check on something
A: okay sige, sige, go ahead
Q: ano po, um, bale kailan po ba kayo nag-start with the Item Trade?
A: Ten years ago, after I left with Manila Times, kasi I've nothing naman against Robina, Robina's, ay, no, sila naging, Robina's my friend, she became a friend talaga, okay, and I learn a lot of things from them on the business side of things. Ramon Roces is a businessman, my grandfather is a publisher, okay, the clan of tito Tony are more the politicians, I even ask that, eh, why is it that your family even though their family, they're the one writing, eh, eh, us publishing walang, wala, eh, Rocio, I think could have had I think the talent of writing, even my lolo, he wouldn't write, eh, I don't know nga all of that what he stood for, I think his idea is somebody would do the writing for him, okay, but his vision, ah, talagang nandiyan yan intact yan sa kanya, I wish, me I'm telling, I, I want to emphasize din because I want people to know that, eh, you know, people know, okay, his love of country pero, okay, that's so general, eh, pero why paano mo naging, nag-mold na ganun and this is my own conclusion, ha, ang palagay ko kasi nga from the beginning of his roots the right and wrong was not, ganun, eh, and so he has a good parents na molded it into them even with his sisters, the last one remaining of that era that I really admire talagang ganun, eh, straight, eh, hindi, walang hanky panky, hindi puwede yung ganun kaya nga yung, for example I do business, I don't do business in government, eh, eh, wala, eh, malas ko, eh, yung ang what, what we are know for, eh, di ba yung, sorry, eh, ganun, eh, ako, for me ako na lang, kagaya ni Kris, you know Kris Aquino, she might be kikay or whatever pero when she writes, wow, for me ang, ibang tao yun, ah, talagang Aqui, lumalabas ang pagka-Aquino niya, something to respect to, eh, that's how I look at it, ah, she might be too talkative or what but the traits she has it, you know, it is something not all of the siblings have, eh, and sa amin it skips generations nga, eh, and sa akin my two, my, lolo ko, okay, pero hindi niya na-develop sa dalawa niyang anak, hindi talaga, don't anymore that, noh, pero hindi talaga, eh, wala, eh, maybe I don't know why, maybe it was meant to be, hindi ko naman sinasabing sa akin, because like I told you, I have to come out with my own thing, it doesn't necessarily be a newspaper but just has to go out something like extraordinaire, yung iniisip, wow, that's how he described that guy, galing, hindi ko pa nabasa yung detail what it stood for, kaya, kaya please, ha don't lose those things, because I want something na para ano, ah, ganun pala, like I tell you, eh, when you talk to me and maybe we became, we become friends in the future, you know, we have, you have to learn to be detached para maganda ang ka, how you will make a comment, kasi Pinoy very wala, eh, very personal, eh, kaya hindi huma, we don't progress because of those things, eh, like for example yung bomb, wala, nobody's talking about the bombing that saddens me
Q: Yeah, it's like one, one last
A: why, kasi dun ordinary tao, nobody cares, I have an idea who did those things nobody told me pero the same replica of pre-Martial law days when they're too afraid, you cannot just point a finger pero you know, ah, when my grandfather died and I saw how great he was because Marcos, sila, you know all of these people, all .send some flowers, so talagang they respected him in spite of their, their difference, oh, maybe they could not question his motives, wala, eh, my grandfather was able to prove that when Cory took over and he didn't get, he didn't ask for anything, he was asked what do you want, nothing, so nagalit yung mga ibang kasamahan niya, see, kasi yung mga kasama niya maybe yung level ng income nila hindi ganun, eh, so nagsama ang loob, iniwan siya, so these people who went with him nagsa, they had other motives, eh, my lolo pure, eh, okay, pure ang objective nila, eh, so me naman, you know, I'll try to mold it in a such a way na maybe he was born in a silver spoon, even he was born in a silver spoon he had to start there, hindi puwedeng ganun, no cannot, no cannot be, me I started with, hindi puwede, no, cannot be, not because you're my apo you're, no you have to earn the strife, hindi puwede yun, you know and then same time you were allowed to think, to decide for your own, hindi puwede, walang dictation, wala, walang ganun, in 1984 he was for boycott I participated so that is how, you know, the given respect that each, each of .was given, you might not agree pero dapat ganun, eh, so kagaya mo bata ka pa magcru-crusade-crusade ka siyempre minsan sobrang idealist, eh, eh, ako, Red Ribbon na lang tayo if you don't mind (asking where to eat for snack), ha, 'wag ka ng opo ng opo, ha, baka, yung parents mo what do they say, anong sinabi .. A: dito ka, even though they believe that inside your heart you'll not be happy kasi you know you're kidding yourself or kidding you. Di ba? Uy, may boyfriend ka na ba?
Q: Wala. (laughs) magtatapos po muna.
A: Meaning to say may nanliligaw ganyan, o wala, wala sa mind mo yan? You're really.. What?
Q: Ah, concentrated on....
A: Mabigat ba? Mabigat it's a challenge on my part eh. kasi as much as my father would like to, or my uncle would like to, pero you're in that level na wala na eh. ako, I'm not that old, pero, kumbaga not pero you know, it's not because of that eh. It's really eh. I want to help the people, eh. Kaya sana, if you go into journalism, kasi journalism educating lang, ah, informing, kulang sa education eh. Atsaka gusto ng lolo ko, naalala ko may nagsabi sakin, yung grade 7, during that time grade 7 siya he understand that English. ngayon wala na eh. So you have to go lower than that so they'll be able to appreciate your writing. Eh, kung kasi the Chronicle when they started, sila Amado Doronilla, mga intelektwal. Which is what, it wasn't mass media. He wanted mass media, during his ha, dapat grade 7 daw makakaintindi. Eh, ngayon English level natin, not even grade whatever... you see? Atleast ikaw, kagaya mo. Your background, high school, where, where did you go...?
Q: Sa Pasig Catholic ho.
A: Imagine that. Tapos ngayon La Salle ka. Eh, di nag-aral ka talaga. Studious ka talaga noh? Nag-aral ka talaga noh?
Q: Ah, (laughs) medyo naano pa nga po ko sa La Salle e, parang na waitlist pa ako bago ko talaga nakapasok.
A: Are you enjoying? Enjoy ka ba?
Q: Sa course ko po? Okay naman. I've been learning a lot of things po. Lalo na po dun sa, sa adviser ko right now. Kasi talagang pukpok po yung... like yung, marami po siyang tinuturo na just, yun, kung ano yung technicals ng journalism and everything. Kasi naging reporter din po siya one time sa Manila Bulletin.
A: You know, me naman, Ateneo ko nung grade school. but, but, I didn't have a happy childhood it wasn't normal. Siguro it affected me, so no drive for studies. So I end up in UE, and I end up in college UE na. Di nako nagta-try though I regret. There are moments I did regret these things. But at the same time, look at, I always look at things. It will come to you, but you have to learn na to accept there must be a reason. If I stayed all the way to Ateneo, and if ever I went all the way to Ateneo, I would not have been in touch with reality eh. Because I thought every summer time, all people in the Philippines would go on vacation. Kasi mga classmates ko was the who's and who of the country. And I happen to be a who's and who also. So I hung out with sila Ralph Recto, mga ganun ganun ba. Hindi namin alam who we were. But my parents would always ask me who are your classmates, their family, ganun. ganun eh, check ang background eh. Yun nga, who you are eh. Eh, pagdating sa UE, you know I would be shocked at when they say ma'am wala kong matrikula pang-exam, you know? Talagang trauma, shocking for me and everything. So sana magawan ko ng paraan. Kagaya nung EDSA part 2, I didn't participate. Why? May kaya pa rin eh. It's the upper class pa rin eh. Gusto ko nga magduguan na nga eh. Parang, balang araw, manhid eh. Manhid. Talk about Christianity but this country, how they flaunt. And we have nothing to show. And we flaunt what, Expedition. I'm sure your school... pero pano yung lalim? And that's my lolo. And it so happens na hindi porke't lolo gagaya nga ako, ganun din ang puso ko. You see? Eh, yung journalism ganun eh, crusade ka dyan eh. Pati ako na-pressure. Ayun, kaya nga you better pray and everything eh. Tignan mo sila Malou, sila Malou, Shiela Coronel, magaling nga sila pero I think they're sort of high, na rin, brow eh. Are they able to attain, what? They're not. Kasi what? They come up with these publications sino nagbabasa? Sino nakakaintindi? Ganun din sakin yun eh. Siyempre I cannot say that. But that's why our observation, bakit sino ka ba? I'm just an ordinary person. But that's, di ba you want a crusade against corruption and everything, but how about people below? Walang ganun eh. Di ba? Are you able to achieve what is supposed to be? Kasi we're going to develop a people of mangmangs eh.... A: Sarap ng edad mo. Sana ganyan ang edad ko, ganyan na rin ako. Nagbulakbol din ako eh, you know. I started 21 years old high school, ay, college, you know, maybe because of my family problems, and you know, when I was studying, hindi pumapasok eh. Why? Problems eh. Which is, so that I would ask questions they could not answer me eh. I hope your family's intact, ganyan, your family's supportive. So your mind is there. But believe me, later on, you will have problems. I, my wife now is undergoing, she's a Maryknoller, she graduated, right after that she got a job and then you know, at the Far East Bank, enough to be the second highest paid secretary in the bank. And you know, top of the world and then, pang! And she's having a hard time coping with it now. And I don't know how to handle it. Kasi ako, umpisa ko bugbog na eh. Yung problems, physical, emotional, even the Roces ako, the more. Parang wow, sarap ng buhay mo, ganun eh. But it wasn't true, it was false. It was false. They really thought I was this, I was... but I came out with a good front. We just smile but crying in the inside. You know, eh ikaw, makikita ko ideally is okay. I'm sharing you, the realities that the teachers will never tell you. Okay, wala yan. Di manggagaling yan. And you know, mahirap eh, yung okay, flying colors, everything. Biglang one day when you least expect, kaya nga i'm asking you about God eh. So that you, sometimes because of your achievements di mo maiwasan mabilib sa sarili mo eh. I'm not telling you you are like this ha? But you cannot help it eh. You cannot help, it's human eh. Later on, you'll be so confused, and then so what's going on? Bakit hindi, it's not going to what I would like to? You know, so sometimes the potentials, (garble of words) my grandfather, gumanon eventhough he wasn't really very, pero bilib ako. Hindi, walang init ng ulo, wala. Imagine that you're a taipan, you're an empire, and then someone told me... please go ahead. I talk a lot eh. Dapat ikaw nga magsalita. Pero mabuti yun kasi gusto ko nga malaman mo ito and side na wala sa journalism side eh. Para makita mo may konting dapat i-ganun eh. That's what I believe in also. Hindi puro... manhid eh. Okay, anyway, like my grandfather, Ms. Albina, told me this. Ms. Albina used to be the secretary of my the treasurer of the bank, but she started as clerk, and my grandfather trained her. Umabot siya na when she was the administrator. Can you imagine? Talagang ganun. She told me, the first time he came into the Manila Times, after the release ano? tamang-tama, they were bringing down the furniture to be sold. Ang sakit nun. First time aapak ka sa ganyan. You know how he reacted? I don't know, I don't know his memory eh and that many people would tell me. Instead of wow, bad trip, sakit. "O naku, tatabi ako. Yan ang ilalabas ah. Baka masama ko ni Ms. Albina sa benta." can you imagine? O see, natawa ka. Pero sa loob niya ang sakit nun. Look how he does it. Di ba?
Q: This was during nung Manila Times na....
A: Manila Times, Manila Times was closed down.
A: So, September 19 he was in jail already. December 1st, which happens to be my birthday, he was released from jail, ok? because of pressure from outside. I don't know how many months, how long did it take him to finally be able to have the courage to go back to his old empire, which is the Manila Times building.
Q: Ok, so that time...
A: Habang paakyat siya, tamang tama binababa yung mga furniture. Di ba, and sakit nun di ba?
Q: Total shutdown yun no? Like...
Q: ... you can't operate...
A: Ah, oo. They took over. The military took over. Walang sequester. Walang yung style, wala. Military. Stop the press! Ganun. Even for the stop the press. No nothing. Martial law na. No questions asked if you question they'll beat you, just like that. You were not born then and everything? How old I was then? 9 and a half o 9 and three-fourths. That was the awakening. From that moment on...
Q: So December 1st, ah... your birthday, it happened...
A: He, he was released. I don't know what month or how long he went to visit... 4 months ago he was the king, the king. Tamang tama while going up, nasalubong niya yung mga...
Q: mga furniture...
A: ...to be sold. Tatabi ako, sabi nya nun, baka masama ko sa benta. Isipin mo ganyan ang daan niya. Di ba? Ang sakit.
Q: Hindi siya nostalgic?
A: Ganyan eh. That's how he does it. Ah, cancer, while he was dying of cancer, Dr. Campos, sige go ahead please, Dr. Campos, eto nire-raise sa, I was there pala, 'ok Chino, ah, we have to conduct further tests.' Siyempre he was Chino, and daming mga doktor yan, hindi lang, diba? Nobody would dare touch him. Mamatay yan kawawa sila, ganun eh. 'You have to... ano yun, go on to a lot of blood tests.' you know how he does it? 'Any volunteers?' 'Any volunteers?' mismong doktor tinanong siya. Ganun ang humor ng lolo ko. Not, you know, wala yan. Wala yan sa mga that was scared. Kaya now I know inspite of his other shortcomings, he was a great man talaga. He was a hero and it so happened, he was my grandfather, and it so happened that I had a chance to be with him. His father, ay my father and my uncle Jim kept ties but later on na but not like, you and me, ganito. Friday evenings he would eat alone. My father would call me up, o you're lolo's alone. I would eat with him and we would talk. Ang talk namin parang ikaw, ganyan. Hindi yung 'lo' and how old I was? 10, 11, 12? ganyan na. So, naging father figure ko. Kasi namatay ang father ko, ay naghiwalay at a very young age. So sometimes parang youth ko di ko na-enjoy. Masyado akong na-obssess sa future. Kasi nga of the pains eh. Nag-drive ako. Pero it didn't happen that way. Puro ganyan. Until I, you know, my spiritual life dati
Q: Pero sir, what's your religion right now?
Q: Like you're attending...
A: Struggling. I'm a struggling charismatic guy. You know when you say struggling, open on, I'm still tempted. I still indulge on something I'm not supposed to be doing. Kaya if I do it I'm so guilty. I'm so ashamed. I cry to the Lord, mga ganyan. Just like, my grandfather was a perfectionist in his paper. Anything he does. Kasi ang natutunan ko, when you do it, you should do it right, not full heart. Eh, nakikita ko sayo full heart ka eh. Yun ang, you know. Eh, dapat makukuha mo medyo ganun, pero kung wala, wala, tanggapin mo. It's, I don't know if you have a crush na or if somebody is interested in you, o talagang nakaganyan ka, focused ka dyan, diba? Sometimes a guy can be a burden. Like right now, my wife and I, before we got married, nine years. 9 years before I got married with her. Now we're on our 18th year and this is the worst period of time. She's been depressed for a year and may sakit pa. So, our relationship now, kung baga madali akong dumapo sa ibang babae na who will be ganito, ganito. Parang ganun ba? But you know, I love my wife. Inspite of everything. Pero mahirap. You know, I have my own, maraming ano, pero I got it from my mom eh, tumawa eh. But crying in the inside. Eh, lalo kung leader ka dapat pakita mo eh. Hindi pwede eh. Eh, lolo ko wala, wala eh. Walang kaha wala eh. yun nga 3 months before he died, 3 months before he died I had the opportunity to work for him. In the morning I was assigned in another company. In the afternoon I was with him. You know, maybe it's really in the blood of mine or whatever. I did some things, I would do some, marketing ako, eh. Market research, without anybody telling me to do so. Nobody told me how to do it basta I took my own initiative.
Q: So yung course mo sa UE naa-apply mo?
A: Oo, pero before pa, wala yun. talagang sarili ko. I would see that Manila Chronicle was put out in the streets. Nobody told me what to do, I just, yung initiative ko. I would go in the streets and I would, I didn't have that confidence right now, siyempre I was also nervous how to approach these things, these people and get information from them. Get information about the paper. Ilan ang kinokopya ninyong ganito, ganito ganito. So I would write it down. And one time, I don't know how many months na, I would present it to my grandfather. Where did you get this? Yun yung tanong niya. Who told you to do this? Did your father tell you to do...? And I was, I was sort of ano, ah yung, hurt, like that. Sabi ko, 'no lolo, I did it on my own.' That was in '86 and you know, he used that. He used that, what I gathered information that nobody told me if I was right. Basta ginawa ko. That was in '86. Two years later, I joined the Chronicle and he called me, Ito, do what you used to do for me. But this time I was being paid for it. See, but before I was, I did things for free. Eh, from the beginning pa lang I would do things, inutusan ako. Wala, wala yun. Hindi ko iniisip ang pera. I need money, okay, lalo na I have a family. But wala sa akin yun eh. But you know, I love luxury things. I like, I like to travel. I've been to the States. I've been to, I love to travel, it takes money and everything and every time. I used to tell my lolo Chino, 'lolo, every time naman I mention my name e, people.......... [END OF SIDE A]
A: ....know a lot of things na, at complete stranger eh, telling you all of these things so, i-edit mo na lang mga hindi dapat. Tapos yung mga dapat, para sayo. Kaya I'm telling you all of these things for you too, noh? Because, wala. Rare yun, eh. I don't wanna brag, but that's rare eh. People telling you, you know, about values, and everything. in my business, I try. I try and I'm learning. Workers sila but I want to develop them as managers (garble of words) mahina utak and everything pero tiyaga. You know what, why? Through time, because of love. Because of love. That's the one that will make you go up, eh. Not money. If you love your work, you learn to love people that you're dealing with inspite of kakainis yan, kakaasar yan, gusto kong...which you will be meeting and i'm going to meet you pa rin. Yun talaga. Love. Believe me. Ay naku. Nobody taught me that, not even lolo. I saw in the person who did it for us out of love, not of money. She wasn't compensated to what she was doing. and she didn't complain. And she was rewarded years later without her knowing. 10 times more than whatever. Like for example, you are lucky enough to get into the paper, believe me, your idealism will be shattered. Yung expectations mo will not come to be. Talaga. Akala mo when I joined akala ko organized na, akala ko ayos na, eh, nangyari initial reaction ko kala ko marunong ako pipintasan ko eh. And I'm expecting these people are great people. You know, they'll be able to help you out.
Q: Paano nag-start yung involvement nyo with journalism?
Q: Chronicle that was in '86, ahhhh
A: Actually '80, tatlong buwan lang ako doon.
Q: As a ?
A: Before? I got into that I was 21 years old. College ako, I had my first my first girlfriend. She's graduating Maryknoll, then I told myself, 'paano 'to whenever I have a date, I can't keep asking my mom money,' di ba, ganoon ako eh. So what do I do, I asked a friend of mine who is older. My friends are much older than me, some are younger but also um, yet we started from there. What business can we get into? Then he told me, we were in Quezon provice where the boondocks and the communists are, kundi ganoon kalakas ng loob mo, so only in charcoal-ipil-ipil. So do we bring it to the market? I said yes. Oh, how much do we need? Wala akong capital I had only $150 dollars left I go to my aunt kapatid (uncle) ni Chino, I asked money, she gave me without that collateral. I became close to her also at eighty year. Another part of my life now na that person in Chino yung pagkatao ko, yung wisdom, education sila
Q: Which one is that ?
A: Mercedes Roces. I don't know if I get a picture of silang magkakapatid, I don't know kung meron.
Q: I have kasi yung family tree ninyo
A: Oh, I've got to show you the picture. You know isa sa mga hinahangan ko sa kanila, I told this auntie of mine, I'm closer to her, she is 95 ngayon eh. At 80, I began my relationship with her at 80. I had a good luck with her, she gave me the luck talaga not because of anything but kasi yung company enjoy ako talaga and yun natuto ako ng maraming bagay sa kanya. Sila atsaka yung lolo ko, malaki ang naging impact sa pagkatao ko. Both of them more or less, I think, knew who I was eh. They were able to tell me, you cannot have a boss. Yun, ginanoon ako nitong dalawang ito without me telling them who I was. See, how my grandfather is, he can see. And I think sometimes I can see also to other people. My father does not know, hmm tapos biglang sasabihan ka you can't have a boss. Kita nila ang karakter ko eh. Very strong eh, but, kasi I have to learn I have to respect you eh, kasi kung hindi kita nirespeto wala akong ganang magdrive eh, ganyan ako eh. Maybe you, I don't know if your family kung anong business whatsoever. If you go into journalism, you might lose respect to a person but you might not have a choice, you have to stick it out for awhile maybe I don't know, me, sabihin natin that after this, I'm medyo mayabang or whatever I could have approach you, ayoko dito diba? Pero hindi dapat yun yung basis eh pero anyway, that's part of me na nakita ko yung about nakita ko yung si Toby, cause he is much older than my lolo, eh. Lolo was the baby.
Q: The youngest.
A: Lolo was the baby. But they were close. Even if they were at the upper-middle-class that is one aspect that I admire, kasi karamihan ng mga mayayaman kanya-kanya yan eh, katulad nila, eto hindi eh and not because you're family automatic ang tulong, hindi eh, kanya-kanya yan. If you want to work, improve it eh, hamon eh, nag-eexpect sila sayo eh like my grandfather, Ramon, di I worked for them sabi ng uncle ko, well, they asked question, if you do not know the answer, huwag mo sila pupunahin. Ang sasabihin mo 'I do not know the answer but I will check or find out.' Hindi puwedeng 'I do not know' dati ginanoon ko lolo ko sabi nya 'Ano ka tanga, tamad?,' before he died ha. I had a report, May, June, I submitted it to him and he said 'ah good!' what a first time that lolo Chino say good to me, 'very good' o pinakita pa nya sa anak nya o ha, see? So ay! August, akala ko continue yung high, yung mga pinagawa sa akin, I took it for granted, na sermonan ako ng katakot-takot so I came crashing down. Because of those two experiences hindi ko na
Q: So you were a reporter?
A: I wasn't in report. I was in circulation talaga eh
Q: So you are more in the business
A: Pinaikot-ikot talaga nila, I never had a chance. I don't know if I have an inclination to write but since I'm in marketing, I would talk to people eh and I would study on my own. So more or less I would know, I had all, not know exactly but I had an idea also. Just like my grandfather he never got involve in the paper making, how would it came out, the deadline. But he would talk to the readers the editor detach themselves. Iba din breed nyo, artist mga utak nyan eh, mahirap sabihan mo ito ang marketing service, they would not listen also. Yun ang problema. Minsan ang problema, may-ari mismo, kung hindi ayaw pang ilabas, eh di patay. So combination ng lahat yan eh. So yung trainer 'saan ba ako.' So if you are full of idealism it will be shattered 'pag hindi, you should never be compromised with some other aspects. For example, me and my business, I tell them, 'look, I've done my own research in successful companies.' One there are things that will never change but system, they keep on being flexible, forever keep on changing to the times but yung vision, what it takes, never, never, which is what? Nakita ko 300-yr-old companies - hard-work, sincerity, you know, lahat yan qualities na Kristianong Kristiano. Hindi yan nako-compromise, to the extent even of your life, your livelyhood Some say, can afford to. May be we can afford to, but to the rest cannot afford to. Maybe, I don't know. I don't think so, me, I think, kasi they rely too much on their money eh, why don't you rely on some higher being and trust Him. So what happened? People end up compromising. Para lang sabihin nilang papakainin ko ang pamilya ko. It's happening. I hope, I hope, hindi ako umabot sa ganoon. Siguro in some other aspect, I have compromise my things. I tried drugs. Why did I take drugs? I don't know why, I don't have good reason for that. I did it. Am I happy? No. But I have no regrets. It crashed me. It made me humble that I don't know nothing in life. Kasi I used to look down, just like society about addicts. I have so many friends who became addict and I was able to pull them out there. So I look at them as umamin ka, gusto mo ng tulong okay na na tulungan tayo, wala ng judge o judging. Pedophile ako, maniac ako but mali yon tama sige na tulungan nyo ko. Okay, hindi katulad na nyeee kadiri. Layo kaagad eh out of ignorance eh what happens? It gets worse because of my drug taking, doon ko na realize na God made me see na you don't know nothing but you thought you knew everything. Ang journalism because of your idealism, puro idealism, pagdating sa realism ay naku ma-te-turn off ka. Either you quit or you face it and sometimes you don't know you enjoy the system. Yun ang mga thinking na you have to confront eh di ba? Gaganonin ka tanga ka pa. You knew the right thing tanga ka pa. Can you imagine that? So you'd be crying at home, or your friends hanggang dun lang yun but in the end ikaw pa rin. Kaya nga my advice eh, kumapit ka sa Diyos. Kasi everybody will have a good intention but they will make you confuse and then you don't know what to do. So sometimes, you back off na lang tapos yan wala na. Who win? The devil kasi yan. Korina Sanchez dati bilib na bilib ako eh, ang tapang. Tapos pagdating kay Erap eh, halatang-halata mo eh kasi yumabang once that happen, that's the beginning of your end. I read history eh, love history eh.
Q: So did you take any further studies after your, yung course mo sa UE ?
A: Marketing lang.
Q: Marketing lang.
A: I wish I could have done more. I want to study more but I did not have that
Q: But you finish the marketing course?
A: Practicum ko? Honestly kulang pa ko ng ilang units. Why? Why did I do those things? I find the school system, UE - I don't know yung school nyo siguro maganda na sana nga eh bumalik na lang ako sa Ateneo, boring. So how come I talk this way? 50% or 60% of my education come from people and from reading. I love reading, I read a lot. Yun doon ko napupulot and I have all myself. Sinasabi ko bobo ako eh, kaya kanina pa ko tanong nang tanong ako. Ngayon nakakapagsalita na ko sayo eh dati tanong ako nang tanong. Nung bata ako tanong ako nang tanong kaya nauubusan na ng sagot ang tatay ko kaya sa lolo na lang ako. With lolo, I had full of questions. And in school they would teach algebra or whatever, they did not, will I use that? Ganoon ako. But there are things that I did not like to do but now because of my business I had to do the paper work thing, no choice, so I told my teacher bobo siguro ako sa klase mo pero magiging summa cum laude ako sa labas. Ganoon ako eh. Kagaya mo, you're so nice eh, natutuwa ako, natutuwa ako talaga. Sana, you're not interviewing me because I'm a Roces. Sana we keep in touch you know like we become Sassy and Ito. Tignan ko. Well, kasi ganoon ako eh. Hindi ako yung taong credit. You know why? Probably because of the early beginning of my life, recognition eh I got it na eh. Just my name, automatic na eh, I don't have to eh. Unlike others kailangan ko pa magpapansin. Ako, hindi nagtatago ako, nahihiya ako.
Q: Kasi ever since you've been out already
A: I don't know, kasi for me so what I come from lolo it's not enough. See, I have to come something to show, ah, Roces talaga. You know when I talk that way kasi that's how I got to know, wow, so when I say that I am not a Roces. Wow, ang galing pala nila, yung ganoon, so when I saw my lolo working, and he was dying na, in the morning, I would drive him to PGH for cobbalt treatment and we would fall in line, just like the ordinary poor people.
Q: Was yung sakit nya at that time is talagang terminal na?
A: Oo, partly because of his health. May he was taking nasal something. June birthday nya operated, July confirmed, August mga first week, I think he was the only one who told me 'I think the end is near' and of September he goes, and I asked why? Ganoon ako eh, why? He told me his reasons. First it was bad news then good news then now it's bad news so he gave up. He surrendered na. Hindi na nya kinontra so gumaan ang dating, which is the God's will you know, Holy be your name, Thy will be done. So para magaang. Ang tao pininilit yung gusto niya eh kaya bumibigat ang dating ng buhay natin. You are pursuing something which, but you're getting more than what you're researching, is not related sa subject mo, eh. Why? kasi I don't care, who the hell are you. Di ba kaya nga, I want to know that, okay I'm proud that I'm a Roces there's a challenge in whatever things I do. Kaya at the same time I went to parang add on to what the legacy came out kumbaga another model ako so, hindi puro crusade sa dyaryo kundi yung, hindi lang care for the country kundi, care personally. My lolo care for the country as a whole. Ako gusto ko deeper na, more specific nga. Will I be able to attend to that? Well, I am trying in my own little way in my business kung magiging successful at maa-achieve ko yung plano ko dun sana ma-communicate ko yung recognition. And if ever I get that recognition I would put it up that it's not me, kung baga my credit does not go to me. Kung baga, coach lang ako.
Q: Sir, you mentioned na meron kayong dalawang anak?
A: Yeah, 2 girls: 7 and 4 years old.
Q: Tapos meron pong nasa states?
A: Sa brother ko yon, boy. Siyempre my father wants Joaquin IV. Honestly speaking hindi ako bilib sa Filipinong lalaki eh lalo nako. Kaya siguro babae anak ko gaya mo, babae na lang siguro magdadala sa bayan natin. I respect women eh, my mom brought us up not my dad. Kaya bow ako sa mom ko. My mom was 28 years old when they got separated yet they already have four children.
Q: How old?
A: 28 years old.
A: She was that young.
Q: How old were you when they got separated?
A: Six, so I became sort of the head of the family in my own little way, took care of them, tried to
Q: So gaano kalaki gap nyo like, apat kayo di ba?
A: 2, 2, 2, and 3. Pero wala eh, wala sa kanila eh. You get me? Yung ganito? Hindi pwede eh, hindi pwede silang lahat eh. Nagkataon nga sabi ng uncle Eddie ko, he would like to be interviewed also. Maybe you can get some info from him also. Lalo na ko, kasi pangalan ko, siya Edgardo ako Joaquin III and it so happens he had time with me more than his two sons. Ganoon eh so wow! And you know what happens in the wedding, my wife is a De Venecia, uncle niya De Venecia, Joe De Venecia
Q: Yung wife mo? Ano pong name nya?
Q: Yung real name name nya?
A: Elena, yun na yon. She comes from banker family, she comes from the say, yung para sa iyo lahat tapos eh. Eh ako, contra, sobrang different, di niya ma-understand, I'm an entrepreneur, I cannot say I'm just a businessman, basta iba eh, freelow ako eh. Siya talagang dedication, focus. We are completely the oppossite. I talk a lot, she does not. Iba. Father niya a successful banker, mother niya De Venecia. So iba. Magkalaban pa that time ang De Venecia sa Roces. When I met her, ha ano uncle mo ba yon? Look at how blunt I am, 1983. Kalaban namin. Uncle mo crony ni Marcos. Kasi I will tell you at that young age, open na yung mind ko, bata pa lang ako nakakakita na ako. My grandfather would tell me things but it's not for me to believe in what he says. I'd go out and decide for myself just like I'm telling you, you go out and you'll find out for yourself what I'm telling you. I, you would re-adjust the things that I have said. Because I have memory for that, you will remember the things I say. It's not original. It's something that came from beyond our time but wisdom? Panahon pa ni ewan ko yan so you should never twist that. People tried to twist that kagaya ng sabi ni Enrile the truth daw awww, jina-justify pa niya puro kalokohan you know.
Q: Yung complete name niya, Elena..
A: Elena De Venecia Santos. Look at this oh, Ninong ko uncle nya, si De Venecia. Come voting time? You know who I voted for? Erap. Imagine that Chino Roces was for Lim, and wife is De Venecia, you see, not because you are my brother I will vote for you. I got that from my grandfather but he did not tell me that ah. Pagmali ka mali ka, it's not because mahirap yon sa Pilipinas. Sa Filipino, kaibigan, kamag-anak si Satanas, they'll vote for Satanas. It does not do good. That is the Western in us. He got educated in Asia eh. This is very un-Filipino. Barkada ko yan eh, sige okay lang takpan yan. Mahirap di ba? Ganoon ako. Ganoon ang lolo ko. I'll think about it hindi, wow okay my grandson will join, hindi ganoon. So ganoon din ako. And if I get angry, sometimes, my shortcomings is I tend to raise my voice. Like when I raise voice on my guys, but how come they still around me? Because they know my heart. My heart talaga is for their welfare. Talagang hindi lang pera but to be a better person. Sabi ko nga dito sa ayaw ko ng work gusto ko adventure tayo dito. I wanna go up here while we're all young pero duguan 'to, iyakan blues, are you willing to take it? And none of them act magkano ba sir? Kayong bahala. I started by myself a little by little now I have four guys, five guys. We started and we are praying ang praying and it's hard. Some nga I give money, I love them I love the guys.
Q: Ten years na po sir?
A: In ten years I started with nothing, no capital no nothing just determination. Saan ko pinapagawa yung printer, punta ka sa isang stranger and talagang God gave me that so for five years I run to them, until now. So pangmahabaang kaibigan ako hindi ako pangngayon lang, ay naku, you can call me up anytime and hope i'll remember and 'hello kumusta ka na?' Kasi I would like to learn from you too eh, intrisado ako eh, ah ganoon pala sa history book kami yung parang, I will have to know that eh why? So that, sayang eh, not all people have good name eh. Hindi ba? Alot of people have names eh, it so happens that we have a name eh and people used to tell me that. Pero iba yung sa sinsabi sa pinag-aaralan eh so flattering ang proud ako but at the same time hamon sa akin eh. You know my wife would never understand things like that pero in us it was given eh. Will I be able to ano ? We'll see. I hope but not for my ego.
Q: Bale, you've spent some years na wala ka pa ring job?
A: I have to keep on doing something. Even though, sabi ko nga sa'yo, I started late, at 21 years old I was earning na sa uling ko hindi nga ako umaasa sa parents ko.
Q: Mainly you just sell mga
A: Charcoal from the boondocks sometimes we bring it here and talk to the palengke people and they see me and they followed my name eh oh how? Would they believe that I don't have money tapos tamang-tama, my mom just bought me new car. I have a date Sunday so I dress up eh maniningil ako eh, para may pang-date ako, anong gagawin ko will I hide my car or but in the end I was able to make them see, look this is who I am kasi Roces Avenue katabi lang eh, tapos itsura ko pa tapos I'm with the uling. What the hell I'm doing here see? Sassy, you see, yun yung upbringing ko wala yung ganoon. May kaning baboy pa ko, nagbubuhat ako ng kaning baboy. Kaning baboy hugasan mo kamay mo ng tatlong araw na ngangamoy kaning baboy pa rin.
Q: Was it with the piggery?
A: Oo, with father ko sa Novaliches. For free. Walang bayad yun, kuripot yun. The thing is, he made us, ahh I did it. I was in Ateneo, paano kung makita ako ng mga classmates ko, di binati nila ko, what are you doing there?
Q: Ateneo is grade school?
A: Grade school, high school, lahat na nine years ako. Kasi they say, once you're an Atenean always an Atenean. My basic foundation is there.
Q: Bale, college
A: UE nako na trauma na ako, trauma na ko but at the same time I learned so many things. Maybe like you, aww you're from a Catholic school more baba more, Sa La Salle you meet some, ba ibang tao to ah. That was my group yung nakikita mo na iba yung dating, that was me, that was my crowd. Beautiful crowd? Out ka dyan, di ka nila papapasukin, that's how it goes, you see? I did not have money but I have, I am Roces, I gain whether I like it or not. Do you understand and that is my way? Until now I choose, sa mga nasa taas mayabang ako pero I'm taking that out also na. Look oh, I can approach Ralph and ask for a painting job but because mayabang, but I might do it for whatever. You see. Hindi katulad sa ibaba sige pasok kain okay lang eh, walang ganoon sa taas. You are on your own nobody's gonna help you out, you think, they will help you if they can get something from you so you should know how it works, because nga God gave me, even if I wasn't exposed to UE hindi ko maintindihan yun. My father does not understand that even though he went to the piggery business he's really molded. He is, up-class talaga yan even if he is eating in the karinderia, my father?, naka-Amerikana, kasi masarap ang tapa doon. See that's the Roces inside of us. Even my uncle Eddie ganoon, hindi nakakahiya kasi, we know who we are eh, wala sa'min. Look at my car it's not painted, I don't care. Basta ang importante yung pagkatao namin eh. So yun yung konting, I don't know ego or unlike others they have to make pa-impress kasi kailangan because they are nobody, kami hindi na eh. Pero at the same time, he does not relate people below kasi talagang wala, me I wasn't exposed to. My dad would talk to the drivers would want chit-chat with them, kung sinu-sino parang carpool, gusto yang maka-relate pero hindi niya maintindihan but you know people was not that intimidated with him. Ako naman, talagang ini-internalize ko sila, I was trying to be more sensitive kaya sana yun yung drive ko na sana makatulong ako lahat, financially, alone. But you know financial is not enough. Let's say sabi ni Roco, free ang education sa province but bakit hindi sila pumapasok, kasi ang layo ng lalakarin, walang libro, that is all true but one thing he was not able to say that I found out when I was in Quezon, sabihin natin, katabi mo eskwelahan mo, libre lahat eh wala kang makakain papasok ka sa eskwelahan, gutom ka, o how can you think o see? He did not even say about it, senator Roco, how come I know because me, I saw it. Maski ilibre mo lahat how can you, me, my stomach is full but my mind is wondering about kasi my family problems and see. Kaya nga education system natin is nako, very idealistic but not realistic to the situation kaya we are coming out with mangmangs not all. Like you, 'thank you Lord for making me like this so I have to use these things that I learned pala,' now I have to be more sensitive ganoon pala not judgemental right away like addict pala, very so simplistic eh because of ignorance eh does it help? It's getting worse. They say right after the war, the Japanese war, they say, iba na raw ang mga Filipino because they have survived and this thing. I think one week, after Marcos left, lapit ako sa lolo ko, 'Lo, against all odds, we may live.' Ganoon, kasi yung struggle, that you started by a light eh nobody joined. It took 14 years before everybody joined. And I tried to tell him eh it wasn't 3 days, it started in day 1 that you didn't know because of 14-year-struggle. My granpa, they would make rally, lima lang sila, bente, and no coverage no nothing. Okay? And I knew it so from that, against all odds we made it, against the empire. Rational? Imposible, hindi na ito a lived faith, you are a hero and he said no, ganoon siya eh ma-humble siya pero siyempre tuwang-tuwa sya noon. And then ito ha? How do you feel? Well, I am not bitter, it is just a game, and he can never step in this soil again. While me, I can walk in the streets with my head high. That was a very beautiful thing I heard from my grandfather and I hope I will never forget it, ganoon lang. One week after he left, the struggle,noong araw aalis papuntang Amerika, ano? Roces? Titignan ako kung puwede akong makalabas ng bayan natin sa immigration and then one time I had a friend brought me into his uncle's place in Paranaque see if Judge Pasay, appointee ni Marcos we were in the table eating lunch and the wife says 'what's your family name Roces?' I get a you know, eh lasing pa. Pero wala lang. Classmate ko sa Ateneo, I could not forget his name, 'gagong lolo mo eh,' ganoon. Tapos after EDSA, wow, mga tao nga naman! Pero I think I did not change. Because that was how we were brought up the same. But I saw, that if you stand in the right, you take a lot of pity but in the end, not here, maybe here it's very dificult, but it pays off and no expectation of whatsoever because you just did what is right. Not for comfort. Mahirap eh pag sinabi mong if you have your family later on, you're a mother, how can you justify na to keep your principle if eh gutom ang mga anak mo. Mahirap din na question na yun di ba? I read that in Poland, during the communist year, eh ganyan sinabi 'how can I what, I keep my principle and let my family starve or I'll eat my principle and feed my family?' Ninoy Aquino could afford, a Cojuangco, sabi ko ang prinsipyo pangmayayaman lang. Ganoon din ako eh. So ito, mahirap di ba? Pero some no eh, no eh walang pera, pero siguro sarili lang nila. If ever you have a family, if ever you need something, you have to tell the guy na from the beginning para wala ng away. 'Sorry eh, mahal kita pero parang mas mahal ko ito eh,' Yung upper, like God said, love me most. Like I called my wife when we got married, and I said 'hindi mo lang ako mapupunta, you know you cannot have me by myself because people go to me eh, my friends, and other people asking advice, ask a lot of things.' I took it as a challenge. I took it. Maybe I had that gift, I have the gift of words, dati hindi eh. Ngayon, alam ko, kagaya ngayon look, you want lang the picture and I come up with a lot of things more than whatever you learn from the paper and it suppose to be that way eh. I don't know if my uncle told you that, maybe he just NO OKAY ganyan-gayan, I'm not like that kasi I feel it's an obligation. Tayo na mga nag-aral, may obligasyon tayo sa baba, eh ang nangyari ang tanga-tanga niyan eh, how do you, you have to go down their level and try to understand them. I have a friend, here lang who owns a building by himself, he is an only child. He does not relay, sometimes I tell him, kumbaga going against the class, hirap tanggapin yun. I have a friend naman who owns inn in Quezon, hundreds of the thousand of hectares, agrarian reform ako eh. So di ba , I will go against my class eh. Kasi yun ang dapat eh. Hindi yung exploitation, kaya ganoon walang peace. Hindi ba nila masikmura na 60% ng kanilang kababayan walang makain whatever tapos sila naka-Jaguar. Paano naman yun? Okay nag-aral ka, natutuhan mo pati anomalies, papaano naman yung nasa baba, nakalimutan din yun eh, wala nga sa diyaryo yun eh. Even the Inquirer does not cover the farmers eh. Why? Hindi feel ng journalism yun eh, pero sila yung mahirap hindi yung urban dito eh paano they never go outside the walls eh. Tapos yung mga community paper sa probinsya, bibili naman. Ayan nga eh ignorance on the part of the people in the government din, hindi lang sa baba. Hindi lang sa, all! In school o ano pa yan, hindi sinasabi paano nagtuturo, hindi mo naman nakukuha sa probinsya naman yan eh, talagang depressed, neglected area, I've been there, hindi makakain ng kanin. And then my friend says, nagpapasalamat sila sayo eh, kako bakit? Kasi dahil sa uling mo, eh hindi naman talaga ako, may pera na sila pambili ng bigas, can you imagine that? And my friend owns that land and he thanks me, why should he?, I mean why, I did not do anything. Kaya Diyos ang huhusga eh. Remember I have my own sins, I have my own shortcomings. Maybe I'm an idealistic as you or even more, pero, I'm not dreaming anymore in my own little struggle, I'm doing it. I don't know if it will come, with God's help because after here, I wanna go out there and do something there because it's there. Manila is a yucky place. But the Philippines is a beautiful place. But nobody bothers to go there, not even mean people, wala, fieldtrip lang nang fieldtrip, facade pero hindi yun ang root cause. Generalized kaya typing right away, in the papers wala eh. Yun mga rally sa EDSA, di kino-cover, di na ko nagugulat how come Inquirer does not cover that eh. Inquirer is my paper, it's the best paper but pagdating sa aspect na yan why? Ignorante rin si Letty, ignorante rin mga reporters dyan eh, hindi nila maintindihan eh, leftist writer, does your journ teacher teach you about that, how can he teach that, he does not know what he is talking about, he has never been there. Charcoal business.
Q: So sir, yun talaga yung first business nahinawakan nyo?
A: Gago ko dati eh, wala akong alam eh. I don't know anything. But I needed money, so
Q: It was in um, in college kayo?
A: Yeah, up to natapos noon so that I have money for my dates
Q: Like how you, um how you
A: '84 during the peak of um NGG land grabbing to '87, I wanted to, um, I shift , noong nagkasakit ako ng hepatitis. I just stopped pero I think, you know malalaman nila, kasi you know, what am I doing here baka na-kidnap ako. Kasi the militaries eh were telling me kasi nakakainuman kami, sometime my friends, siya yan yung lolo mo si Chino, kumonista ang lolo mo, mga militar would say that, sa LA CIA lolo mo, hazard o Pilipino ang lolo ko. Alam ko, if I take over, they would know kasi my root ano eh. Sunday evening I live Pasay, I go there in the morning by bus and then eve Saturday. This pace, Mulay Quezon is boondock peninsula. It is just 274 km away but if you go there, it is like, 30 years ago or 30 40 years behind, you'll never realize. It has an electricity. It has cable ha, daw they said. Well, it's wow. Sabi ko nga sa friend ko, and my friend you know ha, La Salle graduate.
Q: Sino sya?
A: Ay, matanda na, older than me. Instead of him trying to, um, he is eaten by the system. Isa pa San Beda, may Canada pa, what happen? They are eaten by the system. I would say na, they were educated here, their name is like a Roces, ganoon ka respected and father. Hindi corrupt, umm, good name, good name, is the next generation pinaaral na dito. Sana they do something for the nation for the upliftment of the people. Not only in money ha, in other aspect. Wala. Ang ginagawa, gumagaya rin sa tao, naka-antay lang sa puno ng niyog para mag-ano, hanggang mamunga tapos inom lang while waiting, yung ganoon, inom, you're drinking na. Quezon, Samar, Bicol, NPA yan eh, partly why, katamaran ng tao. My motherside is Bicol eh. We have a house in front of Mayon volcano. We saw that on top. Laguna, Batangas, Rizal no NPA too much, why? They are more hardworking. Nobody told me that. I love to travel eh, I can see. Sa Visayas naman Cebu, sa Davao, fantastic. Cebu, no resource and income, pero marumi lang nga. Pero Quezon ang tamad, kaya may NPA, and who are these NPA, mga taga-Manila, mga activist. Kasi their Tagalog is different eh. Now what happen? Cross-fire. They are still there. They take advantage of the lack, absence of the government. This DENR describe it perfectly the place, depressed, neglected unpaved road. This time, in memoriam. Attitude ng tao iba, ano ba, Sumague nga I went to the town on that level, to the poor, who am I? Parang I'm an insect inside that place but they know me na right away.
Q: So sir, '84 - '87 you were in the charcoal ?
A: Yes, but I was studying
Q: Uhm, uhm.
A: '87 when I finished, I went full-time. Kasi my friend umaasa rin sa akin kahit nasan ako.
Q: '84 you were like a first year college?
Q: So how did you really get into the business?
A: I have a partner, you know
Q: Pano nyo na spot-an ?
A: They only, only, I'm only swimming. Anong business? Sabi ng kapatid, you know charcoal, ipil-ipil. Ganoon lang. So pumayag ako, I invested. Nagtayo kami ng mga ano.
Q: Meron na talaga sir na
A: wala pa, kami lang nag-start. May puno na, pero walang oven, walang method of charcoal. But then you know how to do it, but nobody was doing it, nobody was, they were not doing it until I came along. See? Nandyan ang resources but nobody move?
Q: So may lupa sila sa Quezon ?
A: Daan-daang hektarya, yun nga and this is the course of my job, charcoal yan, ipil-ipil.
Q: What's in the ipil-ipil, kasi ?
A: The best tree for charcoal.
A: Niluluto yan eh, and then, at the same time, I plant a tree right away. I'm mainly, environmentalist din ako eh. The livelihood the rest know, copra.
Q: Sino, sir ka-partner nyo that time?
A: My friend ko Nania Jago
A: Nania Jago. He's uncle was judge of Marcos, yung nagpakulong sa lolo ko nakakatawa.
Q: What's the, what's the ?
A: Jago parang, Jago was the chief justice in the military. He was the one who ordered all the arrest. Funny no?
Q: Ironic. But ano, hindi naman kayo nagkaroon ng dispute noong
A: No, wala.
Q: Atsaka separate yung isyu noong.
A: At saka hindi, kasi they were professional, yun nga eh. My lolo, professional na lolo eh. Wala. Even with Marcos, cordial. Yun mga nasa taas ganoon eh. Sa baba lang naman yung patayan blues eh. Pero they will stab you at the back in the very clean way. That's how it's done up there.
Q: So '87.
A: Finally, panahon ng no more school. I wanted to be fulltime, para full blast din. I wanted to be there. I'm like that nga eh. When my grandfather would say, ano bang klase kang manager? Di utos. Aba, lolo no, I was the one doing it, aha, gumanon sya. Kasi lolo cannot, 'o you' eh you don't want, eh, yung boss?! Ah
Q: So yung ginagawa mo from '84 - '87, is like nagde-deliver kayo from there
A: My friend would deliver it here, the market, palengke. And from there, I would try to sell it, you know. One time we deliver it, he was the one, my friend, talking, ako, hindi ko, wala pa kong alam eh. I told myself, now that I have given the money and the charcoal is here, what would be my role, I told this to myself. Di ako marunong maningil, the girl was there, 30 minutes nakatayo ako. Hindi ako marunong magsalita eh. Sabi noong babae, pogi, nag-iintay ka ng bayad? She broke the ice. I did not know how to do it. See, ikaw bilib ako, you know you call up ganyan so, you have that, I wish did not have that age. You, you're about 21, nakatayo ako. 10 years um, that was in '84. Six years later, printing ko na. Siyempre yung gamit, my puhunan is my name. So I will always go on the top, and the top breaks me down. Sulo hotel, kilala namin may-ari niyan, Bigoy's the owner, to the secretary 'oh, you go down to purchasing kay Ms. Sarah Michael.' This is an Amerikano, I remember, nakatayo ako. And the girl is so busy, 'o anong ginagawa mo dyan, anong hinahantay mo dyan?' ganoon
A: '87 from May up to '88 (Informal talk afterwards)