Date of Interview: February 28, 2001
Venue: Café Gijon, Makati City
Sylvia Roces-Montilla: (prior part of the interview was not recorded because interviewee started narrating informally) only Sandra works with me but both of them had been involved with me in book production. That's my, parang nex , another area I, I like. Ah, we produce books but it's usually written by, that we did a Hidalgo book with Alfredo. I've done two books now with Nick Joaquin, one was FEU: The Culture Hero, of what Nicanor Reyes.
Sassy Mae C. Sumulong: Is it a coffee...book...table?
A: Uh-um, it's a coffee table book, it's, it's, ah, parang it's a prestigious book oh, on, on the life of the founder of FEU but Nick Joaquin wrote it and so you are it was very interesting, 'cause we found very interesting photographs and, ah, 'cause it's about, ah, the founder of FEU and my lola are brother and sister on the Reyes side di ba, so, it's very, ah, my two it was meaningful that my two sons, since I'm not, I wasn't, even now I'm not working but parang with the computer, okay, we produce that at home, you know that book and everything. Then, ah, even with the Hidalgo book my two chil children helped me because they studied in Xavier so, grade school pa they know already, they know about the computer. So, um, the farthest we've been together in publishing is book production but it's not in the writing, I'd still stick to my editing and book production director but the techno- part, editing-wise (unclear part) . it's a little remote but, but, at least, yeah, we still do that and parang that's a, a, a plan that we have but it has come back, it's like a side track thing, it's like what you want to do because of "kursunada" but not, money is not a driving force. We, we don't think of it as a project that we want to invest in and make you know. Parang, parang it's nicer, it may, might be nice for all of us to work into it if we, if we have the time or we wanted to raise up on something, whether it's anthology, parang with something, noh, like, ah, ah
A: yeah, interest or, ah, something that you want to spread, whether it's parang my, my eldest son used to write poetry before pero yun naman he became a lawyer so, he's no longer poetic (laughs).
Q: Naging technical na.
A: Oo. And then the other one also he writes very well and, and I find nga sayang, di ba, because but then, ah, that because I guess what they see in my case, okay, pragmatic noh, you look at it, kasi I'm pouring at my work for three hours maybe Sunday for 20 minutes the reward financially is so much more for what they did than for what I do, di ba? Kasi, well, you cannot quantify like when you, I find like, when I make book book proposal ano, I can justify the printing time, the kind of paper, the lot then when you think of your time, your editing time or your foreword time, of all of those things together plus the research that you just throw in free it's never paid for really, so, parang when you realize, this is not a good business but I like it so I do it. Like, ah, Design and Architecture, I believe in it, I kept at it, it will reach a point when, it reaches some issues when there's not enough income from the ads, so never mind you (unclear word)
Q: So, with this one (referring to the Design and Architecture magazine) do you have, um, coordination too with your son?
A: No, no, no. That I, kasi nga if I, if I will depend on my son then I won't, then he won't get paid, eh (laughs) then he won't work for me, the others I have to pay, so with him I won't pay, so it's not good, so but with this it's like they always ask me, ha, this such a miserable fight etcetera, like, for how many years is I'm on my tenth year, then you don't, ano this ah, don't, don't write it there 'cause I don't like sa I don't like to be talking about salaries but, well, I'm, I'm just saying that there is a lack of you cannot put a price tag on that, di ba? Unless, you say, okay I'm a Nick Joaquin, so I command a million for writing a book or 800,000 or whatever. But there's always, there's always that lack of unfortunately I think it's lack of professionalism, eh, because parang you, you will not make tawad on a printing quote but you make tawad on a writer's fee. So, it is very discouraging di ba, for, for, for the writers di ba and then, so, it, it's must be that you're fired up for a cause and like Joaqui (Joaquin C. Roces, Jr., her cousin), okay let's go back to Joaqui, interviewed him na di ba? Okay, Joaqui, ah, when he told me that he was gonna put up his paper, I told him very, very finely, I said, "Joaqui you know I care for you, I, I want good things to happen to you, so I don't believe that you should put up a paper". (Unclear part) it's really (unclear part) you have to have a very long "pisi", noh, string, with publishing it's something that you have to have lots of liquid capital, it's not just that you have an asset, you have to have liquid capital. Ah, the Inquirers di ba they're related to us also because they are the Prietos, but they, they stumble upon publishing only because they, the Rufinos, where into paper.
Q: Ah, so they sort of like, ah, merge?
A: No, because they were providing the paper for, um, Egi Apostol's Inquirer (unclear word) to the point that they owed a lot of money for their paper which they weren't paying, so, parang you owe me, convert it na lang into equity so, they got into publishing not because of the writing or anything, none of them really, really write except for Karla (Delgado) but, ah, Sandy is, is more on humanities, and, and Marixi is more into business di ba? So
Q: How about si, um, Alejandro po? That the rea , the one, the one with the Roces blood po talaga, eh.
A: No Well, Alex was the one buying the paper so, he was
Q: The businessman.
A: so, he was, oo. So, he was in the business side, noh. So, parang, parang, it ended up that way. With tito Ramon when you think about it, he, himself did not write but he, he had the foresight of a businessman to make his printing his business di ba? And, actually of all in the family he's the most successful. He's, he's with his comics and his magazines and that, that magazine of his, me I mean I worked on those, those, ah, local magazines, like Bisaya, Hiligaynon, Kislap, Liwayway
Q: You're, you were involved there?
A: I worked there.
Q: as a writer? um
A: Yeah. And also as a, as an editor, as an art director and I still write all kinds of things, I mean, I which, I never realize, I just oh, the writer's job is so terrible, 'cause I used to write I have a love___ column that I would invent the story (laughs) and then I would suddenly, I would get a letter, and then I would get headaches, how am I gonna answer this thing, then we have to, I have to listen to, to songs because so mayroon din siyang songhits. You know parang (breath in exasperation) ha doing all these things and then I would, I would go to AKDA, I don't know if you're familiar to
Q: Yeah, your brother mentioned.
A: oh, but, so that, that was a fantastic. If that were born now, I mean, it was way ahead of it's time but it was a Tagalog tapping into all the literature of the world and making it Tagalog with illustrations by Manansala, uncle ko, Fernando Ocampo, Arturo Luz, can you imagine and I was the, I used to be the, the assistant editor then and I translate, and I handle several sections including fashion (made a tiring remark), fashion
Q: Parang ang dami nyo ng field na
A: yeah, and then all those . na parang when you realize my exposure to publishing is, is not thus this idealistic, ah, graduate who will make a short story and then she'll be recognized and all that. Parang nasubsob ako right away to cover areas because there was this, this magazine that was coming out every week or every month, noh. So, when, when you think about it my, my exposure to journalism was - I really loved it, I was inspired by my fath my grandfather and my father who were actually the writers in the whole Roces clan, di ba? You see that the Roces-Reyes is the one that writes more than the
Q: Pardo, Pardo side.
A: oo, that's the business di ba? We, we're, we're really the writers because Titong writes, Anding writes, my dad wrote, ah, Alfredo writes di ba, Tony writes, I write di ba? So, parang it's more on our side that's the writing. So, but, parang, um, you're a, you're, I looked at the quality of writers and then the number of writers and then I see, there's not much value in, in what, what they're saying because many times everyone has an agenda. And I am, then you, so you see that, that, ah, it's not such a noble thing especially when out there, I guess like now when I look, like I um, kasi nga I, the moment I got married the first I was not allowed to work etcetera, crazy thing, o, anyway, um, as long as it's a family corporation puwede so it might, might be atleast when it's jewelry, antiques, etcetera, etcetera, so my husband's, ah, (unclear word) noon usually ganyan ang Pilipino, the husband and then the wife is the one that makes it salo di ba? So, I get involved there but, um, even in that for example, of the record din ito, I knew we had that furniture factory then at some point a known columnist would come and his wife and then they've ordered furniture na, kasi we're making high-end furniture for export noh, really nice like jade and all of that stuff, Philippine Jade, we've coral and other stuff. And then we could be build to, to some guy who he wrote about, you know. Early on, in the 60's I was already ano of envelopmental journalism which of course we never experienced but I could see that this columnist were living a .life and all because of that and I, I asked the manufacturer of the furniture who would go to his penthouse in (unclear part) high rises and then parang (unclear part) develop the bad, you know parang I wasn't so fired up, you know yung parang what do you got to say anyway, I mean when they say anything (unclear part) and in fairness, true, ah, they know naman, eh. People naman . and they know, they'll blow the whistle pa, they won't, I never received any, any (humorously remarking) gift more than 10, 20 pesos siguro, or flowers, or, or chocolates or something that you know, they, they don't, they don't try and say i don't know. Basta parang then I realized that there's a different group, then, like Tatad was my classmate, okay, in journalism, so, I'm, actually I think, Anding took up journalism, tito Anding, Alejandro, he took journalism, my father and myself.
Q: Your father, um
Q: yeah, I've heard, he, he went, originally hindi siya journalism then he took some
A: Yeah, he took, he took, ah, agriculture . because my, the family had a ranch in Bukidnon so, he, he needs to please his parents and he finished it and all of that but then he went to abroad, he, he got very good grades in, you know, he passed his agriculture so his father, parents wanted to give him a trip abroad, so he said instead of the trip I just want to take my masters in journalism, so he did it, finish in here and then so, um, parang in, seriously to go into it as, as a love, I don't know maybe I, I did it also because parang I wanted to follow my father's footsteps but then I realized that maybe also, ah, maybe I was disappointed parang what my father was exposing as a columnist, regular columnist, and my uncle same story it's not addressed di ba? It's, it's, ah, parang I don't know if you read let's say Village Voice, it's more, more on not something that has to be addressed because Pasig has to be cleaned up or something, it's more on fundamental like attitude, like unless, unless we educate voters they're always get like this, unless it's not, it's not, ah, it's not whether it's "trapo" or not, it's essentially whether we really believe in honest or integrity, it's the ro it's more on the focus, yeah, it's I don't have windmills na to fight against parang, parang hey, are we serious or do we want to be, ah, truthful then all of these impeachment and all that it's, it's just a matter of are you telling the truth and I, I think upto this point I will good to say that the Filipino still values truth. The problem is we never give them the truth, so they are kept in the dark or they would, they're so busy trying to make a living that, ah, they cannot scratch for the truth because they're so busy nga trying to just make ends meet, make igib, get the water, the squater di ba? Yung, so but, if you are serious and you will like, yung, yung impeachment for example, I asked, I asked boil it down lang to simple you ask a maid . she likes Erap, she voted for Erap and all. So, you just say tama ba yung may kuwarta ka ng ibang, ano, let's say, contribusyon sa iyo, because of whatever, hindi mo pera tapos igagastos mo sa boyfriend mo, tama ba yon? Hindi. Mali, sasabihin niya, di ba mali. Tama ba yon kung si Erap tatanggap siya ng ganito tapos ginastusin niya sa girlfriend niya? Tama ba yon? Mali. Mali. They know naman they can make their judgment they, they but you have to don't go political just issue. You want the truth here's the truth, based to the truth can you jump to the next, to the conclusion of whether you reject it or you accept it. So many, where the impeachment showed that people wanted to know, were willing to stand up for what they know but it had to be clear they don't like to make, they in other words they don't like to, to start a fi a, not naman to vote for a cause they don't even know what, di ba? And then maiiwan, sila na lang nandun lahat wala na, somebody's comfortable already with money in his pocket and you're the only one who looks like a fool, di ba? Well, I think the Filipino is like that, he's already burned, he's already, he's I guess collaboration and balimbing have taught him that, eh. I will be the champion and then wow, wala na akong kasama tapos akong nawalan ng bahay, ako ang naunang napagalitan, ako ang ganyan, so, ayaw na niya and then, um, I am so ano, now because the part of my work in writing was I became a manager for an advertising and PR (public relations) firm, pre-Martial law.
Q: Which was?
A: It was MASPROM, Mass Promotions that was Art Panganiban was with us, Bello Crisostomo, Alfredo Roces, noh, ano yan very good client's Mrs. Marcos, for the Cultural Center was our client we, we were the ones who made the logo, the plans, the programs, etcetera, etcetera. It was very nice but then afterwards you realize, especially through advertising, that if you are not by ethics then you really play around with the truth, you, you, you present something that's sugar coated, that's not true, things like that so parang, then you realize words, words, words for what. And then you see so many around you doing that and then you're also seeing that there's a big tendency to become naman so believed that you're the good, that you do like this, just like Max Soliven. You're all I, I, me, myself and then you say ha, I don't want to do that (laughs) di ba? I mean, you know, didn't I don't know it's parang, parang maybe because of the experiences of the family in it's just like so, so much glory but what is it, you know, and even, even whatever you write today, noh, there are some articles you're proud of but it's really tomorrow's pambalot ng, ng tuyo or something di ba? Then, then they ask me, do you have copies of your (unclear part) it's gone, I don't save it, I don't, nobody cuts it, even my own children don't read it (laughs). You know when other people tell me, you know I like your editorial, I think that you're a rare human being (laughs), hardly anybody, I read editorials because that's my job but I don't think normally anybody will comb every paper for the ad di ba? It's not, it's not the thing, so then you realize your own, your own, ah, what is it really worth, noh, and many are dazzled because nga there's the, ano, the hidden power, okay, that if the truth is, you want to divulge the truth, it's a very good venue, together with that also is the other side that if you want to distort the truth it's still the same venue, okay. So, back again to Joaqui, parang I feel that unless you are solid that you cannot be bugged down by financial problems then you cannot deliver the truth as you would like to because you get muffled even by own lack of money. Why go into something that is you know the, when the Roceses, in fairness, when the Roceses went to publishing that was their sole business. Ah, they have no ulterior motives so you couldn't hurt them by plunking on Meralco, PLDT or So, iyan lang yung business nila and they, they, they gave it their all and they knew that this is not a group naman na out to aggrandize yourself. We are a strange family on that, ah, unlike others who have used that as stepping stones to become this, to become that, to become
Q: There's a conflict of interest na 'pag nag-business
A: very strange family in that sense. We're, we're very strange, very individualistic here and I still trace that to Gijon. If we come from Gijon, see I studied in Spain, noh
A: for my Philosophy and Letters.
Q: ah, M.A. na ho or ?
A: No, no, no, just, just college. Then I didn't finish it there, I continued Philosophy and Letters in UST finished that major in journalism, okay, so, ah, because, um, that Gijon is the only area in Spain where the Moors couldn't conquer because they were so independent-minded, they were like guerrillas they don't, they never had a foreign dominate them, they were Celtic people na parang, you know, so that's hard also because they're tigas-ulo, you know what I mean and each one to his own, if this pleases me, why are you so angry yung mga ganun di ba? So, each one to his own, like brothers, let's say Anding Roces was in education nobody was, was, was shocked by him or anything like that di ba? . nobody got a special, ano, because, award, because one brother was in insurance did any of the companies ever become insured by this guy nothing, di ba yun yung parang then you realize it because nobody wants to bother the other one, noh.
Q: Because their busy with their like yeah.
A: Individual is what and then they get together in things they like that they get tito Chino, all the cousins used to get together because they like to fish, so they would use tito Chino's boat and then fish. And then another group of uncles naman would like to hunt, so parang and then even in our meetings it's also a way of when you look at it, why they didn't, they do not become tycoons or taipans it's built-in, we, you don't, it's doesn't become important eh, as long as I can do my thing that's my happiness. I don't wanna be this Bonifacio, Pangilinan or ganyan, hindi yung taong, yuck I don't wanna to do that, what you mean to say, I can go fishing, ganyan, ganyan, and the whole day they're talking about is kind of fish and this, you know, I know that because when we have family meetings it's like that we can't get, I'm the secretary of the board I cannot get what is the motion, what is the resolution, what's the end, 'cause everybody's talking about
Q: Different thing (laughs).
A: different thing but apart from the agenda like where was this fishing or where's this nice variety of mango because they also like agriculture. In the end, most of my uncles have some tip on orchard or what, parang it shows you their, di ba, their, their nature, di ba and it's not orchard na like Conjuangco na they would import this golden coconut and you know. No, it's, it's little fascination on, on going out to, maybe even go to Bangkok to look at a nice plant and then get it and be so proud that I have it but nothing commercial about it, you know, so, in a way when you think about it, ah, it's, it's a family trait I think, ah, like in the press, people where in the press but nobody if you look, if you go back to all the Manila Times issue there is never a single, ah, medyo sabihin mo PR for Joaquin Roces who ran for congressman four terms and won, there's no clog, there's no di ba? Dapat di ba? Or, or, or some relative who's the, the senator or running for senator, why do he wasn't wala, walang ganun di ba yung, so ganun din yung relations sa family ethic iba. We run our, we don't like to ask favors.
Q: Which is good for, um, considering na you're involved in journalism.
A: Uh, um, well, yes, that's why we are an ideal family to, to go into it because we are not tentacled with other things but the way the game of journalism is now parang we had developed sort of, ah, distance at this day di ba parang, parang, it's too politically powered already, business-wise too di ba, so parang leave it already in the hands of those who can, who can deal properly and we're even joking nga because ba Roceses always been oppositionists and then Al, Alex, himself, Alex Prieto says, I don't know what sabi nya, we're, we're, ah, fighting them in one ano and then in one arm we're embracing them. 'Cause Sandy (chuckles) got married to a Romualdez.
Q: Ah, yeah.
A: And then Karla, Karla Delgado
Q: To a Yulo.
A: to a Yulo, who was the, the Mrs. Marcos' friend.
Q: Related to the Jose Yulo?
A: Oo, and, and the madrina of Mrs. Marcos or whatever, so much, so that when they said that they were going to get married and that she was gonna be the madrina, Karla objected and so did the mother, they didn't want, so canceled yung wedding, so they had to, the boy and girl eloped and went to the US and they got married there just to avoid that, that this Mrs. Yulo would be the, ah, Mrs. Marcos would be the madrina of Karla in her wedding, parang ano you know, it's to that, to that point na di gagawin, but in the end, last December I talked to Karla and Karla, "tita I want you to be the first to know that we are separating", "ha", she said, "no, no don't be, don't be . it was just that we were so different that, that gulo in the, in the, in the wedding about the Mrs. Marcos, that was what I should have seen (laughs) as a bad omen (laughs). Pero parang we're like that we're, we're, ah, like tito Chino, you know, I mean, Cory asked him what do you want after all these, he didn't want anything di ba, no I just wanna be left alone, I wanna be free to say what I want. The same with Jesus Marcos 'cause Cory knew that he was very, very, ah, .a lot influence her, her winning against Marcos but actually it was against Marcos it was not pro-Cory, right. So, were he asked, he said he didn't want anything for himself also, because parang, after awhile you realize, ah you know what it is, it's like I do my, I do my, what I like, independence nga eh, I do what, what fulfills me like this I . stop doing that already because you don't get paid for a year, yan mga ganyan, and old crazy things, then I said I'm very happy if somebody will replace, as a matter of fact I got somebody to replace me for one year and then she quit then I, they have to get me back again, you know, so parang, that's, that's the
Q: So you didn't get that 10 years yeah, it's not
A: One year.
Q: just, oh, okay you stopped then
A: Ah, one year, I got Cecil Mauricio to she, she was the one, ah, she ran Mabuhay before and then I ask, we asked her to, to be the editor, so I said you know you're a fresh blood you really, I really wanna retired, just give it to the young, and so she did but then she, she couldn't deliver some of the things so we have to ease her out then and you know she keeps coming, coming, coming and we have to, to make it "salo", so I was back again. I don't know if this will fold up but you know it's, that's, parang for me as long as the project is good I'll stand by it, di ba? And I'm actively looking for somebody who, who can get there or, so that it will just go through parang I believe in the project so let it go through, noh, but and it's not, not for your own, parang you know, it's like, it's like, um, you'll be surprised how when you are so detached from your, di ba it's opposite before wanting to, to be, to go on top, you noh, you'll climb, when you climb on top, you step over people di ba to, to go to the top. I find, it's the opposite, um, going down you know like detaching like this ano, somebody will come you didn't sur be surprised plus, well of course the pay is low so nobody likes to try (laughs) but parang, parang when you're detach from something it doesn't, and, and you, you're, what you get out of it is something that is not material they ano, parang it's, it's all yours for such a long time, when you wanna give it away they don't wanna get it because nobody has that same mindset di ba? It's not so easy to give away a dream, you know but you know this is a good project (chuckles), they stay with you for after awhile and you . So but, but for, for us as family that, that keeps up so with Joaqui naman he, he tells me this, "so, you're gonna lose your money, your, put it in another project you have, you have, ah, Il Rocio why don't you just remodel it, room by room if you don't have the money well, I'll help you", kasi nga I was in interior design before, sabi nya I can help you room by room just, just small paintings or what, paint some color and then, it makes more sense practical di ba? But he won't, because then he tells me like I'm answering, "but what's money for if I can't do what I want to do". So, a dream he wants to get over, to say that he tried to put up this, it failed okay lang. So, how can you argue that to a businessman, the businessman will say no way di ba? But that's, that's how he is that, that we make him feel good even, it, it's like even losing out is not such a defeat di ba, because you did it for your own eh, and the defeat is not, it's like, ah, of course you don't relish defeat, but when it comes the process of working that out of your system was worth it. So I think now, except for the, for Joaqui's still working that out, as I said the Prietos are, are in, in it because of the printing business and publishing is really in the hands of their people, they got Isagani Yambot and all of those people that, those are and, and, and ano, what's her name but, um, but it's strictly on that, on that level of, of course there's, they have ethics, there's parameter on there also, that they cannot, they are trying to keep as an editorial policy, noh, but that's all already guided by, by legal, by (chuckles) di ba yung mga, mga street-wise ways, if you can't go idealistic, hey, hey, you know that's all, ah, I don't, I don't think there was even a, a big drama of, of, ah, publishers, publi you know, like the, the publishers that tact of the time because they were behind the thinking of the, of the paper, noh, ah, now I think it was just mostly contemporary writers who just wanna say what they want, so, so, Marixi, and all that they have a harder time. Di bale kung Manila Times, di ba Manila Times made this big gulo-gulo but the writers themselves wanted to write and so they, the investors did back out di ba, so, I mean that's the way journalism is now, magulo na sa business, it's no longer something that, we just want to report news, we want to be the biggest, nationwide di ba, yung, ah, time and time again it's always been, even before, ah, politicians have tried to get a chunk of the paper di ba, there's always like that, it's ano, ah, and at least you would, you'd say that Inquirer has get that away yet di ba, yung ganyan though that Romualdez nga is a son-in-law (laughs) right now.
Q: They just got married or ?
A: Uh-um, I just
Q: I've heard, um, she's pregnant right now?
Q: Was it, ah, first or ?
A: First, first, first. So, not I think what is interesting is, you will, you will look at it, you read, you read the book because the book will give you a lot of insight, because a lot of it, as a matter of fact there's a controversy there, and there might
Q: In the first part with the, ah, acquisition right now
A: The Manila Times, yeah.
Q: it should be in the
A: Yeah, yeah. So there's, there's already, ah, ano there, because actually the one who founded it and who worked it was my grandfather, so parang the, the, my grandfather being the youngest sibling was under, had to, ah, had to play the game of his oldest brother and the parents of my, and my grandfather was the orphan, so there's not parents to, to guide you know, to, to decide but the other brother, so he, he called the shots di ba? And he was a good friend of Quezon, okay, he's a good friend of Quezon and Quezon wanted I think that paper, he's, he had the Herald and he wanted to buy Times. My grandfather was running it and he started it but with the money was the estate di ba, so there, so there, yeah, so, even though he ran it and all of that but they're all partici participatory di ba? And when, when, um, lolo Moy, ah, made his deal with, with, ah, Quezon supposedly, it, we don't know what happened but, ah, Quezon, the stocks were parang sold, the one who ended up owning was Alejandro di ba? So, when you think about that, there was a misrepresentation there somewhere. My grandfather who I would not hesitate to, to say that he's a saint, okay, so he never wanted to speak about it, he never, ah, even, ah, brought it to whatever, to a legal question or what, so he and his younger brother were eased out because his younger brother, Marcos, was also helping him, so, um, it was, this story comes out only loud and clear because of my grandmother, grandmother will not rest unless this story comes out, she says, I cannot and while, while my grandfather was alive and all these people, you know the children of Moy and all of their a like, she never stop saying this, you know like, like while you're alive I want you to know so, um, the funny thing about this also is, when, that's why we detach eh, kasi we see naman that after awhile we feel it's not your, it's not the glory, it's not the end all and be all because life is a way of balancing out. So, ah, after the war when they, parang the Japanese got it di ba and all that and my father refuse to work for it so, so and it was, was so strange nga because, ah, in spite all of that imagine my grandfather allowed my father to write for the . di ba? You can see what a good man he was di ba? 'Cause otherwise mag-cho-chonggo, chonggo ka roon bahala kayo diyan you don't know how to write then sige kayo, di ba? And yet, ah, but during that time the, the, um, after the war, when the war broke out it was deader than a, nobody wanted to touch it because it's tainted Japanese di ba? So, they, they changed it from Tribune to Manila Times di ba? Because wala ng taint iyon di ba? At that time it just so happen that Ramon Roces is the one that had the most money, ha, because he, while his father was with the Times he, he's the eldest son of Alejandro, so he got all the old machineries he said, he's really, ah, high school graduate lang yata siya, but he's a very good businessman, he's as he's a pioneer, he pioneers like, in his old days he was selling pandesal, I mean you know, then he was, he was making jeans and soaking the, the maong in the swimming pool to, to shrink it, yung mga ganyan, ganyan. But he just love the idea of, of how did Levi's made his money, yung ganun ano and pandesal, oh, why are you students (unclear part) make pandesal di ba? So, I don't know if you notice when you go to Capitol there's a tiny opening there that was the pandesal outlet, and his was, he's already 80 plus So, he's the business, there's, ah, angle that has a good business also. He wanted, so he had the most money and then he was able to put up the cash to put up the press again, di ba? Because siyempre everything's dead, makinarya nya siguro were antique or what. So, his comics business was looting, doing super well, so he was, then he put all of these . put it up and then, he was expecting that the money there's na di ba, Roces-Pardo na yan, noh, there's na, but they would counting in but the sisters when they realize that this is magulo you know, so what to do, he's gonna tell us all they ousted him - Ramon. But he couldn't care less because he was busy naman but of course he was hurt, they're not, because his sisters did not put him in the board or anything, so in other words, Manila Times is parang theirs. So, just think about it, very stab in the back, in money, and in morals, and in anything, that's why when Manila Times was gonna be resuscitated he got, it's amor propio only, 'cause he didn't wanna run it, he knew it was bad business and all of those stuff but then he run it di ba? Only to get it, to get back that it was his di ba? And Joaqui in a way the same, his Sunday whatever, Sunday ano yun?
A: Sunday paper is like a, parang one, one romantic ano, that he's his father's son di ba? Fortunately, kami we don't have (laughs) that kind of, we're no longer, you know parang, what?
Q: It's hard to live on your
A: Yes, and then parang stop, stop the romantic thing, do some, I honestly believe now that we are not, you know, ah, parang it's nakakasawa because there are so many columnists as a matter of fact Village Voice has not a single columnist because it's people are just sick and tired of everybody's glare opinion, glaring about this and they want, then they act so self-righteous and ganyan, ganyan, naku never mind the editorial I can be, I can be self-righteous because it's editorial di ba, parang that's your stand di ba? It's not, it's not a columnist talking about this or he can hirit that or what. It's, this is a stand and usually on my, my stand is more on, on day 6 di ba yung what's, what's making a stick, it's what's happening to us as a country, as a nation, as a community but, um, when that thing happened then my brother got a, also the same bulk because he went into the Star, it was with Joaqui, the Daily, the Daily Star with Joaqui so parang it's, it's a, in a way it's like, yeah, you're right the way it's legacy but how do you wake up now in the third millennium di ba? (SIDE B)
A: maybe you see the ideals are not by themselves that they did with all the crafts, the crafts of a political connection, the crafts of (unclear part), that crafts of this ngayon, ngayon ganyan na. Ah, it's not so, it's not, parang it's a different ball game, the rules have changed di ba? Um, plus I guess with internet coming in you really see everybody's opinion is welcome di ba? What are these columnists talking about, everybody who can text is a columnist (laughs).
Q: Yeah, yeah their own opinion, their own language
A: Di ba, di ba and all, and here you are compared to the rest. So, parang, but I would say that, ah, like, like you know yung parang, parang when I look at Tatad, kasi nga maybe when, because I've lived long enough, I'm 60 plus, 63, if, Tatad was my class he was super leftist, super like this, super like that, he's stuck to the Lenin type na, na, na self-righteous, ganyan, look down on us, we're classmates and it is, this time in, in UST you have to boys to the right, girls to the left, then you can't, you talk yung ganyan. So he used to send poems to the girls and poems to me like that and mga poems, mga, mga ano, then, but I must say in spite of that none of the boys became presko, brutal or, or, or yun na yun, like coņio in your world, you know, there was that, maybe those stairs helped, they never made you ano, noh, yung, you know, harassed, you are fortunate and I know that Tatad was ., arrogant, . but on the left di ba, arrogant but being left and I know that he would have a pick on me because at that time I live in Forbes Park, I, I like to, this car would bring me to school (unclear part) of parang ganyan and just wait for me and . get out of the school and go to the car, I really don't social, so, so parang yung kanyang mga . parang it's your fault, things like these, parang I don't know, and he's not naman you wanna talk to him because he's like this or whatever, wala di ba, nothing, then, okay, so parang he had a grudge against you or, or something's wrong with me, you know okay ka sana pero ganyan ang nanay mo, whatever, okay but, then afterwards, di ba he works for the Bulletin and then he became the . parang until he went to the Romualdez clan di ba, Kokoy Romualdez din, so he was brought to Malacaņang and he became this guy and you know naman the story. So he dropped all these leftist thing because he's the super capitalist and like that. Then, you know it was, you know, and then I hate to say it but most of those who, off the record na naman 'to, all those who became somebody, kasi marami akong classmate dun, Julie Yap-Daza is my classmate, ah, Willie Narciso, all of these mga columnist, Valen Crispin, all of those mga ganyan, ganyan, even, even, ah, Joe Burgos was my classmate, Joe Burgos is exception, many of them parang, parang .. classmate, um, how do I say it, journalism did not become so ideal, it became
Q: It changed.
A: it became, they became so (unclear part) parang, hay, we would have reunions and everybody would come and then they .fancy gifts from JDV, from, yeah, and then you realize they're glorying on their term before look at these, these, these gifts and we have boxes of white wine, yung mga ganyan na, parang they were so proud that JDV would know them or whoever or who was the flavor of the month and yet, I mean they don't become note worthy or, and then also even myself let's say when I started Village Voice I was very proud that, that many people who, who has the paper and all that but, tapos mga social, socially you know so for example, ah, and so that they would call up and say and ask them to, to, to what, to ano, your paper because it's quality, it's good, it's like this and that parang you're touch, noh, because I never approach them, I never did anything, parang, and that's what I want to be, I want to be apart from them, I don't want to be going to every part, I'm invited to go I don't go, I'm like, I preferred like that to be, so now it's not, it's, that I know that if you are today's editor you're expected to be networking and visible in all, if possible have many body because that's what they want, they wanted you're gonna, oh, like how many don't know Sari Yap or, or, ah, di ba parang, parang you ano yourself eh, and is it yourself or, or the paper that you're, that you're putting up that, that parang I always say that, you can never accuse of not putting two sides, I don't have the I'm not against ano, if ever I say, um, I don't like this thing because, say Erap does not tell the truth, I'm not against Erap, I don't know about whatever but I'm after the truth, you can't give me the truth I don't care if you're Guingona or whoever but give me the truth di ba yung parang but, and I am not saying this because I'm a friend of Pimentel or whoever parang, and the less I am indebted to them the better, so I don't want to be anybody's friend but then this is not the way journalism is today so why will I bother to inflict this on myself, I'm not, not more so to my children. My mom (laughs), let them have their way, they will have their own battles but let's not go into these things parang, parang at this point, Ding has a very interesting, towards the end na yan. In the book, he says, because we were nga in the public relations company, and I never realized it that we were very successful because media, we have the Roces name that was connected to a big media which was Mirror and, and, ah, Times at that time but we were in the public relations of media, so if you ask let's say Bibsy Calbaryo or whoever at that time or to be ano, to attend the presscon for our client they would go because kilala namin, relative namin yung boss di ba and then we even realize that but now I realized that's why and then when Martial law came and iba na yung mga powers that be wala na rin yung Times, when there was a presscon, and Ding called a presscon for them, you know it wasn't even, somebody just asked him to, to please call up some media people to attend him, who did, because normally they would be there flocking, sabi niya, you could count them, he was so embarrassed now and that they all said, "Oo, Ding punta kami", but they didn't come, then we realized already talagang iba na 'to, iba na, it really depends on, on, ah, how, how mabango you are di ba? And then you feel if, if that's the gigs then I don't wanna play the game and, and maybe yun nga yung pagka-independent eh, parang
Q: It does not reflect your
A: I don't want to play that game and I, I would rather do what I do, my own way to, to feel good because I did what I wanted to do, the best that I could do in this particular field, um, my, in a way it's like, of course you have professional standard but it's my not own standard and if I meet up to that I don't mind the aftermath whether it's like, not like, it's viable or nobody's cannot try the thing. It's, it's like, if it's, if it's becomes honorable like, finally one cousin of mine called me up and say hey you know I saw one issue you're so good and I got this ten years old, it's only now, you know, you, but even I myself won't push it to all my relatives you know you buy naman like this, but that's what everybody does, and so I always say you know, you wanted this one to take off you have to get a, a, a, an editor who's social everyday and then makes himself like that and then oy, bilin naman, o, like, like Jullie Yap, I mean Jullie will, will pick a topic because it's, it's hot, it's, whether she feels it's really a, a message to give for some, you know, good cause, not so, it's, it's really the, the flavor of the month. If it, if this is hot now
A: yeah, yeah because it clicks like her book, ah, Mistresses, it's already second edition or third edition, yung etiquette for mistresses, so I wouldn't waste my time writing about that di ba? But that's, that's it eh, di ba?
Q: So yung first involvement nyo po into journalism was with, ah
A: Okay, I just graduated, I just graduated from Santo Tomas
Q: Ah, high this was high school?
A: No, no, no. Ah, at journalism, I finished journalism, so right away, I, I remember pa very well, Tita Bebeng wanted me to write Society, to write Society because she's, what happened she know all these princesses and all these rrrr . Princess Beatriz I remember was coming, I don't know what, we were flavor of the month for royalty at that time and me I do not want to, you know that, and so, ah, this cousin of mine Morita, Elena Guerrero, just told me, help me I'm putting out a magazine that's been my, parang my . help me in putting out a magazine I don't have a staff, I don't have this, I don't have that so our work was talagang parang 24-hours because we even go to the makina, we check the makina, we check the colors, we go hunt for the artist, we bring them
Q: This was what year po?
A: this is sixty, sixty three siguro, maybe sixty one I don't remember
Q: So, um, your
A: basta right after graduation okay, let's say I graduated March and that year I went to ano, anyway in the 60.
Q: So, you did, um, ano po yung pangalan bale nung magazine?
Q: Ah, so
Q: I thought, ah, it was recently lang po, o
A: No, no, no. Akda was
Q: like a book?
A: No, Akda is a magazine, okay, but it was a literary Tagalog magazine. So we had Hemmingway, we had, all of those translated, okay, and we, we had sections on all, all of these things and, so when, when that, ah, began, parang I couldn't get off, okay, Tito Ramon was so envious of his daughter, who is now my, my very good cousin and friend, ah, 'cause we've worked together for so long, so that he got envious of her doing such a medyo lofty di ba, medyo lofty kasi nga imagine you have Enteng Manansala as your cover designer and ganyan and ah, we're translating gian literary giants in Pilipino, so he had a meeting after our 11th, I think we just completed a year or a one, mga 13th issue siguro, we had a meeting and then he told everybody there, I, sinabi ba ninyo maganda ito o maganda ito, guess there what's the next question, pero sino ang boss, and then everybody around the, the conference table then say "you sir", di ba, then it was done that means stop the publication, okay, so the poor daughter was so broken-hearted kasi they have a, parang love-hate relationship it's okay fine, after that he asked her, parang he really didn't want her independence, asked her to work for her, for him in his four magazines which were the bernaculars the Hiligaynon, the Bisaya, Liwayway, and Kislap, that's four plus the song hits pa. So, we have to tackle all of these, we used to work in Calero, noh.
Q: So, parang mga nya kayo?
A: No, no we, we, we're supposed to upgrade his magazine, his, his local magazine which were the (unclear word) , the talaga, oh, where we work the .di ba? And so, I, I wanted to quit, and I remember Bishop Escaler who use to talk to me, no you have to stay because you can do something there by, by screening the stories, kasi stories iyan eh, I remember how so many stories you have, four magazines every week, then to read all the stories and if possible change the story or make your own story, yay, you know, so, iyan, then of course, so, anyway, ah, father and daughter would be in constant conflict I used to go between, between their war. So, I say after awhile I think I cannot take this anymore di ba yung ganun, ah, she'll, ah, fortunate, fortunately or unfortunately she had to have an eye operation in the States, that's when I chose to, to go abroad and went to the States and that's where I took, ah, advertising ads because at that time one of the departments I had to handle was the covers, I had to make sure the each cover was done
Q: So, it was your second visit in Spain?
A: No, no, no, this time I went to San Francisco
Q: Ah, okay, sumabay lang po ng departure with
A: ah, Academy of San Francis oo, she went to Spain for her eye and I went to, I went to San Francisco for this advertising course, I took one year at two years I stayed there, so parang that's why when I came back I went to public relations and advertising di ba because parang, parang I was burned out with the writing that was non-stop and, and no, I think my salary was 750 pesos or 250, I don't know, .(laughs), you know yung ganyan, yung, yung little sobre like that and yun ang walang tulugan so, anyway, after, after all of that and then going into public relations, then I . we were doing already brochures and I remember I did one very, very significant, attracted me to book publishing, because we did a book for, for, um, Mrs. Zobel, the wife of, ah, wife of Enrique, which was, um, a mix, noh, folklore Anding, illustrated it and I went to press and I put it together and I was the director and I edited it, parang it was nice, nice job and I enjoy doing brochures for the Bayanihan and all of that, so parang it was more, more, ah, gives you space to work and then you see the finish product it's, it's, it packs, it challenges you and yet it doesn't want, make you like crazy thinking up of a story line, tapping it up maski na hindi na maganda basta it's, you know parang pop publication di ba, because that's what it was those four magazines were pop publication, so, ah, when that came about, um, after that yun, I got married na, so when I got married no work, no, no like that because I got married to somebody from Negros, so Negros given the, so, husbands are supposed to ano (unclear part) so the only thing I did was when my children were ready to go to school I, I, kasi parang one thing I think about the Roces family is we have many interest, so yun na nga yung they get hooked into agriculture, ., a little bit fishing, I like, I like antiques, I like art, tito Anding likes you know, I like books, I like cooking, ganyan, so parang your, your busy, so I put up an art gallery in Bacolod, the first art gallery in Negros, in Bacolod, Silayder is the Negros, in Bacolod is the first, so there I, I, ah, then we had, maraming mga businesses na iba, noh, jewelry, furniture making nga, antiques and then I even went into fashion, garments, parang it's a job na di ba? Eh, nakakaaliw because it's a scope of interest but, um, when I came back here mature and more bigger and all of that parang then I, Tony put this, this Village Voice into place but this required a very sensitive thing because nga it needed, parang with Village Voice I'm a perfect match, if I say so myself, it's because one, I'm there but not there, I'm a villager but I'm not, nag, nag, nag-chochokaran, you know I mean, I'm not this mare or like this or like that
Q: At least you can be objective and all.
A: yeah, and, ah, they know me, I know them but I am not, I don't attend them so sharp, it really once in a while pag napilitan but not na, so they can never, you know, influence you in that sense, noh, and then I have the criteria that I never realize that (unclear words) have to appear in, in the newspaper so you never, when I didn't even have a reporter I would go myself, I would go to wherever I have to be and I would photograph them and then when I would photograph I would, I would parang apologize and say I'm gonna take a picture ganyan, ganyan, instead of dalawa, tatlo, zooom (making a sound), the whole crowd goes there yun pala, yun pala ganyan sila, you know, so then I, you know parang I realize that see if, I have to be very careful so I have a policy that those who come that we photograph, 'cause sometimes they say, you have so many things to do, only because they are doing something, civic, civic-oriented or cause-oriented or what so even if you appear twenty times basta you're doing something okay lang, if you're for the parish or the, or the outreach or what but you cannot be because birthday or kasal or wedding parang you can have that in the dailies, so parang, so even, even it happened let's say that we cover critical issues, noh, and sometimes just a three-corner fight baranggay captain is my relative, village association is another relative, the other party involve is a classmate, you know, so, ah, parang because I am not, yun na nga, I am quite detached, I can just instruct my, my, now I don't have to cover all the stories myself, noh, so I just tell na, na sa stand that, this, this, this, bear this in mind, this one has this kind of personality, this is, that, and then after she puts anything so, so personal na I, I quote out pa, you know like, ah, she will say ganyan, ganyan, ganyan, ah, allegedly, yung mga ganyan, I always put, I always tell her it's for your protection too because you know how, how toyo they can get for a little thing like that parang, so, so far for ten years I can just say that we have established a, a proof of our integrity as a non-political, non-partisan, no agenda kind of paper, all we want is the community to be better informed and to act, to, to have a consensus so they can act which ever way but based on truth di ba, so no truth is suppressed, so, um, they're really happening, the least I am aware that, that nobody wants to be talked about in a negative way di ba, so let's say the, ah, Ayalas, so they said you know expect us but we have to put what the residents complain about or the people who work in the community complain about and it is also because sometimes just a small group of, okay, I'll give you one concrete example, um, this, you know this fly over, this first one, ah, the fly over in, in over Ayala, the initial design of that was supposed to be very high and no sound proofing, everything, Vicky Quirino, ah, was alarmed but nobody would listen to her because Vicky lives in, ah, apartment Ridge so, you know, if that thing goes on she, they will see her, she would hear the noise and it's an ugly design and all. So, she was complaining but everybody because it didn't touch them, kuno, said what can you do that's progress, yung typical, what can you do that's progress, nobody wants to move because they're busy nga with their own affair whether it's their business, their parties or what so finally we, Vicky talked to me and said you it's the least I can do, so we, we dug up, we went to DPWH plus the DT ..the transportation
A: yeah the DOTC, yeah, no L, no, no, no
A: the LTC, Transportation and Communication that na, and pala this, this design was gonna go all the way and reach all the way to the foot of Forbes Park, to the point also of Dasmariņas' entrance here, so when they saw the design, wa! more people joined di ba, because they didn't know, what they're saying was progress okay lang if you're affected but not when they got affected, so dumami ng, want the more, the clearer the design were and all of that so, ah, Ayala was quiet about it but, but, ah, when more and more community like, how can you, you Ayala who enticed us to buy here just wash your hands you know and, so, because these are prominent citizens and their friends, mean they meet in parties, kakahiya naman for Jaime, so I think Jaime also got out of flaunting for Ayala because better na lang his children because these are not your co-peers di ba yung peers mo because, there I experience you talk to my fan di ba? And then if you talk to the Ayala, the executives, they're paid by Ayala so they would just wanna get the monies first of Ayala, di ba they'll get the lawyers, they'll get the ano, they think they are legally correcting what they're gonna do or protected they run it down this road, bahala na, ah, you know, the, the enticement that's coming into a well coordinated community that, sabi mo yun na nga because progress but it doesn't have to be di ba? So, you are able to achieve one that, there was a meeting, that's, that's for me I'm very proud of, parang little thing but there's action, and there's, they don't own, there, nobody's behold onto me, nobody you know thinks, basta it's a community movement that we initiated, we supported and it's a, it's a, it's a known pact now that they gonna have recourse to answer and there is a question of a community problem like the high-rise, I don't know, mayroon na naman, mayroon na naman daw but the high-rise in Magallanes was also stopped because of that, because the villagers were complaining saying that you, we, we, all the time this was envisioned as an open space now you're going to have a high-rise what was gonna happen to our flooding, what's gonna to happen to our parking, you know there's so many problems yet they don't have a venue, the moment it comes out in the paper nobody likes to have a bad PR image di ba, na what kind of developer is this they forgot na, di ba and they're greedy then lumalabas na nga, the Ayalas are greedy and they wanna put that down because talagang there are examples wherein open space was eaten up di ba, so that's not quite good and so they have to go through the two, so their brothers came met with the residents they asked us to be witnesses so that they talk about it so, parang, parang it's a coming to dialogue di ba, understanding the issue, coming to a dialogue, getting into the win-win kind of situation di ba, so parang and this has been duplicated all over in Wack-wack, in San Juan di ba, in Pasig, all these communities because communities now are, urban communities are being threaten by over development and lack of planning in development, so it's
Q: Parang they just keep on building infrastructures na walang
A: yeah, so this is going timely but you can only be a legitimate venue if you really are seen to be non-partisan, without, I'm not plugging for to be mayor or to be what, so parang I find that in a way, in a very tiny micros myopic kind of thing what I would be comfortable in as a journalist is happening, eh, so it's not great guns though I'm happy to say that if we're printing 50 plus thousand a week, ah, we, we print more than some national dailies (laughs) they are known na and are read by more, di ba
Q: They have um, selected ano
A: they are read by more because it delivered to your household and usually at least one or two will read it not just one . So, anyway parang I feel like this is a concrete, small thing that you do, you do to the best of your professional integrity, you know, you have a standard you keep up to it, you don't sell yourself short, you don't sell anybody, you know, and like just recently San Lorenzo, we covered it, it was, it was accusations from the associate, one association and one baranggay head and the, the village association are at lava heads over some financial deal, so, unfortunately or fortunately kilala ko yung dalawa, so I cannot side with anyone di ba? I mean, so, ah, then my, I asked my associate to cover it I gave her pointers, I felt she covered it quite well, medyo ma-detalye nga pero, okay, and then I got another response like, this would be, di ba if you are onion-skinned, you always think there a malicious thing and that's precisely what I want to say, that we write without malice we're not out to disrobe you of anything, we're just saying that this is, this is ano, you can give me a counter thing that very willingly, noh, so, okay you wrote a very lengthy, ah, letter saying that readers might, might misinterpret that this interpretive as this, this, this, this, so, I told my associate, you stick to your guns and just say that when we said, ah, San Lorenzo echoes transparency we'd meant it that it's doing something positive, it's doing something that we wish, we're not saying that due to you we're not transparent, meaning echoes, echoes meaning the national cry for transparency you're echoing it but he didn't get it, you know, so anyway I put in after he covered his entire thing, insinuating that we were, we were, we've been trying to put out but he didn't have the transparency that's why now it's being echo, so we put na lang the explanation again that the Village Voice ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, you know, ah, has always stood for the transparency in all, you know like government, especially in government, since community is the start of the government in the end so, the, the, banner had the Echoes Transparency did not impugn that there was no but that it's being echoed eh, hindi namin iyan makuha but, but still we put what he said right so, just last week I got a letter like thank you very much for putting out my response which I did not expect, you know, parang sanay sila na you condense it and then you, I put it in toto, eh, so I even told my girl, sorry we have to scrap some news but put this out because I don't want nga even the taint of suspicion that I'm bending towards the other guy, noh, but, um, parang thank goodness that in spite of all of this which it sounds like so idealistic, we're in the block so at least I can rest na, ah, I mean all, tomorrow we have to close down na kasi there's no more money, undeveloped, parang, ah, actually what I, I think is where it's lacking is in the push for the ads because I know that people want to advertise and it's just that they end up saturating the contacts or the willingness of the people because, ah, it's so, I mean I've been into advertising, it's so diff , it's so advantageous for the advertisers because it reaches nga your market which is the A market, um, parang if say, if you think 51 places, it's not even people but places that's already a big market of your target niche, this is the villagers all over Metro Manila so you got, you have a product that's available in Metro Manila you can get your target, more particularly so if it's within your community, like if you're selling a certain kind of, like I know one, ay, several na eh, like people like, there's one person that's repair and ano of furniture, she, I told her na nga you better stop advertising already because you cannot meet the demand and they're getting inis at us because they cannot, you know, you don't appear kasi masyadong mahaba yung kanyang backlog, so I mean, so it's a, it's a proven thing I know, like even, um, MCO Foundation when we put, we put their press release let's say of a show we are, I mean I'm, I'm for plugging cultural affairs happening in Makati because ba, I'm from Makati, I want to know what's going on, I don't wanna go all the way to Quezon City, noh, so if there's something here why, we not so, when I see that they have to go, then they always say that you know, when you put it out and it comes out, let's say last week it came out in Inquirer, sabi nga, they got more, more attendance when it comes out on the Village Voice on that week that it came out with us because nga it's a direct hit, eh, you put it out in Inquirer but Inquirer goes all the way to Mindanao, so wala rin then it's mahal pa di ba? Parang it, it is a valid, it's a valid thing, um, but, parang business-wise then, parang for it to, to, to grow I'd rather that we keep this going well professionally, so far we are so lucky 'cause we have, um, very good reporters, they have, you know, yung integrity-wise and, and caliber in news writing very good so, it's ano, it's actually it's, it's a fun thing, you know it's not . it's really, I look forward to it, so, no regrets that, no regrets siya but the others I'm sure (laughs) no regrets, even this, this is one though, it's, it's not, it's not financially you block but since I'm not, I also refuse to get involve more in, in the business but because, ah, kasi nga I want to be free to do my other things di ba I told you I, I
Q: So, um, Village Voice opened in 1991
A: It's going to be 10 years na sa, this December it will be 10 years.
Q: Ah December, ah, so, from Negros, was it Negros actually?
A: Yeah, oo, Bol, Bacolod.
Q: Ah, Bacolod, um, what year did you move back to Manila?
A: 1980. So, I had 13 years there in Negros.
Q: You got married, ah
A: I got married, I raised my children there, I, ah
Q: Ah, for 13 years.
A: Yeah, I moved here so my children would go to school here because, ah, I felt there was, it was so insular di ba, parang if you enter into a school in a provincial city, um, pretty soon you've, you happen to be in the, in the top ten you're always in the top ten wala ng, nobody will dislodge you di ba, noh? And then, so I wanted my children to have a bigger challenge, a bigger world, so I put them here in Chinese school, in Xavier.
Q: So, so from 1980 you never went back to
A: No, no, I lived here na. After that because my children were going to school here, we lived here already and that was the time when I had a furniture factory here in Pasay, I have a furniture factory and, um, it was what kept me busy because we were into exports and my husband was in Germany minding the shop there, the store and I would manufacture and send to him there.
Q: So, you're also part of this, um, the EXPO thing in Roxas was it?
A: Uh, um, uh, um, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Q: You also participated.
A: We were exporting a lot of goods and they're pretty good, pretty, parang somehow I guess, um, tsk, that's, that's the thing eh, that it doesn't make you so gung ho on anything, I think that's, the good is to have various interest, like now with my son has this café and, ah, there are days when I'm, you know like .dinner here, 'cause this is just café, café so they have snacks and what we make, ah, you like dulong we have dulong, are you hungry?
Q: It's the
A: Tiny fish. You want to try (instructing bar person to prepare snack) bigyan mo nga kaming konting dulong So, that, that I make, this I make and then
Q: Oh, everything's home-made?
A: it fascinates me, ah, it fascinates me to, to do these things so sometimes we have, let's say there are girls or old, sometimes old, young like that they want to reserve this place, kasi nga it's a very quiet di ba I love it, eh. Kasi, I have my own music, I can, like those two waiters there are just you know, yung parang all for the people here, it's better so you don't have to
Q: So are you open morning or afternoon or
A: No, my son nga has this crazy schedule, he opens on Wednesday, like 5:30 the guys are in here and then usually the crowd comes on the evening na, you know, mga 9, 10, 11, 1 which is the ganyang crowd, the young crowd but there are days when it's reserve for parties. So when it's parties on it's dinner I cook, I cook for them, so I have the and, and then they would say mom the budget is 300 pesos, okay, so I'd give them this menu, pili sila, or the, the budget is 450 or ganyan, or only, only pica-pica, so I made that, so, so that's it, and then it's just like that, I, I enjoy it, parang it takes me out of the computer, I like it and then morning I go to market, I shop, I shop for the ingredients and then I, and then here we don't cook see, so I have to cook it all in the house, luckily I live only about 10 minutes drive, so I cook it's hot, they just heat it here, 'cause they only have micro and, and, ah, toaster, so parang many, many have had birthday parties, or showers, or meetings, I have meetings here also, I like to have meetings, may mga board, maraming member of the board . 'cause it's quiet, noh.
Q: Hindi naman po yung Inquirer yung
A: Hindi, hindi, hindi well, ano was telling me, um, Peachy, she called me up, why don't we have this something for Teddy Boy Locsin, meet in your café, ha? I don't like, like that mga pulitika (laughs), so sabi ko sa kanya I will just promise you that I will get 10 people who will vote for, for him and I will promise those 10 to please get me 10 more from each of them
A: rather than you know, have this pakulos and they have speechifying and introducing ganyan, ganyan and then I said well, then she's go, oh, maybe you can help also in, in fund raising, oh, I will tap rich friends but I will not, ah, you know parang I don't like the, parang yung, parang then you'll say na in na in ka kay Teddy, oh, forget it, I mean, I'm and I tell you don't you want you know he'll, he'll appreciate your help yeah, I'll just give it to him. It was no strings attached.
Q: Plus, um, you, you had your elementary at what school?
Q: Maryknoll, ah, now Miriam was it?
A: Yeah, yeah, yeah Maryknoll then
Q: Then high school?
Q: Ah, the same then, um, college for two years was it?
A: Ah, nag-college, two years in Spain, yeah and then, ah
Q: It was your first visit then when
A: Yeah, yeah, yeah, my first visit. I stayed there with the Theresianas, with the Theresianas, I live with the Theresianas when we used to go to the university, so, this link with Makabata for the street children, that's my link with the Theresianas, di ba there's ang kanila is Poveda Learning Center. So the Theresianas there, ah, are into now the, one of the Theresianas I've met in Spain is, has been here and now she's tapping the alumnas here, not alumnas there but alumnas from Spain so, ah, she's tapped us to, to run this Makabata Foundation which is for the street children in that area and very happy, you know, parang I'm, I'm really happy with this availability to work like just last week we've paid 3.3 million, we were able to buy, this is with, with the help from outside ha, not, not local money, um, we were able to buy a house and lot to be converted into school for the street children and Poveda will provide the, the classrooms and the teachers di ba ang galing, yeah, and it's, it's all of a sudden you like how .can you find a house like that now at 3, come on tell, di ba, I mean in within Metro Manila parang it was almost impossible, I would say what kind of a house are you gonna get it, it was a, you know na na-remate that kind of a house na na-remate and then it just so happened we knew the person in the bank and then, while we didn't get the, the amount he would make a loan knowing that sure fire naman 'tong matatanggap naming mga donations from abroad so parang . when you go and you attend these meetings sa, ah, I have create a brochure or the text of it parang for me that's, journalism there is good enough, you know yung parang, parang I don't have to do these great things, I don't have to be attending these workshops and be cited as you know whatever parang it doesn't satis, it's, it's, it's empty di ba that, that recognition or that ano, like to, last week they called me up, you know Maryknoll is asking kasi ganto, they're looking out for the alumni la, la, la, la, la, tapos sabi ni ano, apparently I know the story of my class . (TAPE 2, SIDE A)
A: you can live into looking up, outstanding in the way not just of pure perfection but, but of, of some difference you made in your own family or, so parang then you realize it's more, more not catering to vanities parang, but to the need of society at this point whether it's informal or professional but it doesn't have to be because he was the TOYM awardee last year or something like that, it didn't have to be big di ba? Parang, parang and live life according to what your school really wanted to teach you di ba, it, it's like Gloria Macapagal says she's simplicity and ano yun, fidelity to duty, maybe (laughs), sige okay siya (laughs).
Q: Um, atsaka the distinction between the Pardo-Roces and the Reyes-Roces is your, sa inyo yung more artist eh
A: Yes, yes, yes, uh, I think also it's because, um, tsk, (thinking) I don't know but, what's the contribution, I think it's the Reyes, the, my grandmother's contribution is sizable, if you read the book you will see why, you will see, she's really, she was really a wise woman, she was, ah, my grandfather was a saint, noh, really saint, he's really, rea , real it's so funny nga once I remember we went on a retreat my cousins, Regina Paterno, one of the daughter of Tuting, Marc Jesus, okay Regina Paterno and I went on a retreat and we, we went to this priest, sabay kami, this is supposed to be a really good Jesuit na, so when we went, ba mahirap to get it, to get to him and all so finally we, we got, and then, then you know parang reminiscing, then what's our common background, oh we have a grandfather, he's so cool ganyan, ganyan (laughs) then we started crying and then I told, I told my cousin, all I know is this father will think we're two cuckoo birds here crying over a grand, dead grandfather (laughs), hay, oo, but he was really such a, such a nice guy and if ever I think his legacy both, both lola and lolo put together, if ever there's a legacy, it's their legacy, but, um, he was very, very kasi my lolo was like has a wonderful reputation di ba, yung, yung, like you'd go to the bank and they would even ask him, what collateral, took his signature, you know that kind and then he would, so he would say with us, he had many chances to be so glorious and you know what he always say, I never want to be, ah, so high that people cannot reach me, I don't want to be so low either that they will step on me, nor would I like anyone to be in that position, noh, so parang you can see his, his outlook, his, he's very buo and in fact he doesn't, he doesn't see this as, as, I think both of them have a wonderful sense of self, they were, they were proud of who they were, they were happy in who they were, so they didn't, they didn't have to strike back at anyone in grief, or anger, or jealousy or what, it's, it's, ah, certain kind of .in that sense that they treasure the important things done yung, yung, ah, they have lots of joy in their life, simple joys but joy, in the house it's always joyful, it wasn't they, hay, kawawa naman kami kasi ganto yung bastos, dinaya tayo, ganyan, di ba, I mean they can't, many people, you know, fooled them and all that but if my grandfather never brought it up, never, ah, stop relations with his brothers because of that, di ba yung, so maybe their legacy is, is to find, ah, the, parang the secret of contentment, he's very content, take my brother, di ba Tony, he's very content. He could be zooming to all to these, di ba, ang dami niyang, but no he's very content with where he is and who he is, di ba, maybe I, maybe his wife would like him to be somewhere else but, you know, if he left up to himself because he's happy as he is and kami ganyan din eh, my, my, and, ah, parang as much as possible you don't like to harm others or, or be, ah, now na it's not peace worth sa atin, noh, not even in, in our own family for example, ah, we have a property in Mindoro, okay, and the one managing it was Jesus, who, who was not a manager, you know, I mean he doesn't, he, his priorities are mali, like priority is to build, to fix up, eh, the building, he will put it in 10,000 trees or what else, yung ganyan, but then it was the last years of his life and we knew, so we just played along with, let him have it na lang, saka na, you know, that takes some doing di ba, instead of arguing, quarreling yan ganyan, and then we just say that it's not worth it, it's not worth to cause his, we all don't wanna feel guilty that we vetoed this thing and then he, kasi we knew that he's going, he had already cancer, he had , his going there was a booing of spirits, if it, if you . this gusto at that point then it's pababa. So, that's parang their legacy is, is simple joys, simple pleasures, ah, and I guess, I read look at yourself and knowing that, that as you are is fine, it's not like, pero sayang di ba, hindi ganun, eh. It's, it's, it's, ah, what I'm doing is, it's so worthwhile, I am happy, quite content di ba laging content, like Joaqui he's so always, he's so content, even though he's losing his money (laughs).
Q: Parang wala lang. Material thing is nothing di ba?
A: Wala lang di ba, wala, ewan ko ba, but certainly the legacy is also how, how not, how not to be if you want to be a tycoon or a taipan (chuckles), 'cause you have to be more ruthless, more, ah
Q: The more higher maraming problema pa yung, eh, di ba?
A: more, you'll be more ruthless, you have to, to, ah, tsk, gage where you want to go and eliminate all those who block you, I mean you have to, eh, with us, noh, we, we, it's half way there, then you don't wanna go there anyway (laughs).
Q: So it never crossed your mind like with the Manila Times, um, during the buyout, the sellout with the Gokongweis, it never crossed your mind and your brother to get the paper just so to regain, you know the Roces ?
A: No, besides, besides for us parang nag-full cycle na yun eh, from the Roces-Reyes side, from our side di ba, nag-full cycle it went to the Pardo, from Pardo it was left out, tito Ramon was left out, tito Ramon got it back then that's it, di ba and then my brother, I don't know what Katrina got, he move stories to me, kasi Katri, Katrina is his pinsan di ba, so I don't know what . So what do they, what's your full name?
Q: Ah, Sassy Mae Sumulong po.
Q: Yeah, opo. Sassy Mae - Sumulong.
A: Are you Sumulong of, of
Q: The Antipolos
Q: What I do know it is pero parang medyo malayo na po yata kami, I haven't traced yet.
A: Kasi yung Sumulong, we have, we have some, some ano there eh, some relation.
Q: Ah, with the Sumulong din. Kasi what I din know lang po yung like mother po ni Cory.
A: Is a
Q: with the Sumulong blood din po and then si Komong nga po, Komong Sumulong from Antipolo.
A: Do you live in Antipolo? No. Used to, used to? Never?
Q: No po, never. Talagang tubo pong, um, Pateros.
A: This one I bought last week the but if you want maanghang, my uses this one.
Q: Pero, um, with your taking of journalism na, as your nung nasa UST na po kayo what triggered you? Is it like being a Roces or personal decision po ninyo?
A: Um, I think I'll, ever since before even in grade school, my grade school na pictures sixth grade, the caption under my picture is "clever, talented writer" maybe that encouraged me na sixth grade they write that and I really love reading, writing, I hate math, so sort of andiyan na di ba, if you hate math. So I, I, I went into this because it was, it was fascinating di ba and I love it, except that I'm from Spain and then journalism and all, I like more literature more, then I realize also maybe I was very influenced with journalism because of the family background but maybe I would have been just as good or just as happy if I had taken, um, psychology or something like that counseling, counseling maybe, in the sense na now that I'm reading a lot of this, this books, books by this guru, guru, then I think, oh how easy to write this thing because it's case studies lang naman eh, but it's also an affinity and ability to record and to write them, na parang, parang it's relevant because it affects people lives, people's lives and I see, I see it more direct effect, like, ah, when you go to parang, parang video therapy di ba, it's so in now di ba, parang, so if I have, let's say considered myself in career like that it would still end up in writing di ba, because writing is not necessarily journalism di ba, so, um, when I was in school Joe, Joe Bautista like me very much, noh, I think, I don't think naman it was because of the Times, 'cause he knew naman I was not the Roces of the Time, di ba? But because maybe I was, I was an avid reader so I would never just confine in local news but I love to, to read already all the Newsweek, Time, etcetera, etcetera, parang it was ano with him. Then when I realize naman, I don't wanna be this probing journalist, interviewing people, going to the police, yuck, it's not my nature I'm very private.
Q: Pero you've, you've been through those things din po?
A: Uh, um, but I'm
Q: As training in college or as work?
A: Um, both, noh, but parang then you realize it's, I don't really like this thing, you, after you write a few di ba you interview somebody and then you write about it then you realize, yeah, I captured her, yeah, like this, like that and when you read, let's say Marj Enriquez, uy, how can you, how many adjectives can you give about the same old house and then di ba yung, di ba yung mga, okay so parang, but it's a bread and butter and it makes money or it's for them, I hate to say that, some naman like is babaw, oh I cannot say naman na it's parang, parang it's, tsk, mean, okay let's put it this way parang, um, parang many, many people can do it di ba, you don't have to be so special to do like that. So parang, um, like example Julie Yap, Julie is a very good, I am magna cum laude, she's suma cum laude, I think, but Julie was, was, ah, student-student, ako hindi ako student-student because you must remember that when I went back to UP I was already two years in Spain and so from that, that time I was supposed to be the, the marriage, but except that I ha , I wanted to finish a career so parang my, my concentration was not there but just finish a career, parang in truth I can say that if I got magna cum laude it was only because, it was really that, only because I didn't want to take the final test, I want kasi if you, if you get a certain grade you don't take the final test, you don't have these, these exams, test, natapos na yung test, test, test, orals tapos then you've, have one week break 'cause all the time they're testing you're out, parang that was my challenge, I don't want like no test please (laughs) di ba yung ganyan so parang if ever I studied the rest was during that term because like, 'di I was older so I could see yung, see the differences, I could spot right away why this news is wrong, yung ganyan, ganyan because I was older, because I was reading siguro, ah, other, other country's di ba yung, yung, I was exposed to that maybe and because you know basta ganun. So parang, so in a way some of my classmates would make inis like parang, parang, um, I didn't na naman how come Joe would say that yung, for example his, his, his annoying the class and then what was, usually what he ask is what's wrong with the news eh, what's wrong in today's paper, what was wrong ganyan so, eh pano second na exam I can see di ba so and then he'll ask everybody then nobody gets the answer, okay Ms. Roces then I give the answer but see it's not study it's not di ba, self-study so parang it's an affinity but it's not that I, I consider myself a top reporter or a .. or a sneaker of whatever hindi it's parang basics lang eh, noh, yung basics .so it's not like I'm very good in, in, ah, parang nose for news di ba, yun yung 'cause sometimes me I, I'm not pakialamera so I should no more but I bother, I don't wanna push the, ah, issue, he just wants to give me this so I'll give but that's not good for a reporter, you have to push all the way so I, I don't got like, I know I'm not gonna be good in police beat, noh, no political thing di ba, so parang I know, para bang maybe what's good is that early on you know what you're comfortable with, not so much what you're good at maybe but what I'm comfortable with, I'm not comfortable with the society or, yung parang, so I am saying that Village Voice is like a walk in the park because it's, I'm comfortable with it, I don't have to do the . in the Alabang. I can, I'm more concern on, on it's quality and it's consistency and that, you know, we deliver the same message all the time steady, consistent and it's not to be manipulated by anyone no matter how strongly related or indebted I am to him or her, ganyan, I can still ano that, noh, and to the point that they know that already so they don't even ask you di ba, it's gets to the point where the message is very clear di ba. And parang, then if, if, um, that thing happens the love of it is actually in, ah, few times, few times that, that you write something, kasi look ha, it's parang the eh, writing the editorial has made me, I guess discipline because that's the problem di ba, when you have many interest then writing, once in a blue moon or when you feel mood though it's parang and that's not true because hardly will you be inspired unless you sit down, blank in front of the computer di ba, it won't turn up by itself unless you're, you're this Lord Byron thing, when I was younger I used to get that but then when I think about it, it was so full of angst and so full of like grief, and leave that na lang to somebody else, ano yung parang more young, younger or like that and then, and then you realize it's only from a distance everything is not as witchful or that gory, gory (laughs) can you ride there? Then you say that that person who is right there has the message to say that but me I'm already away from that, I will say it in another way and more than anything I think I would say it in my life not so much in my words, parang words, literary word, moral word it's, it's, ah, you can be what you call that, skilled ..but doesn't, doesn't necessarily have to be the real thing so better pa (laughs) not commit yourself to so many things but do, do in, in your, in your sp I think it's, it's tama yung sinasabi nila in a small way but done with love is all that's expected of you, how we will add done with love in, in, in, ah, in with regards to your profession or your work this relate to an excellent standard and that standard is, is commanded to stay by, by you with, with, eh, parang, you, ah, you, you have to, to seek, seek those high standards and once you identify na below this cannot be then, ah, it's also doing it and imparting it to others so you, so, so parang when they see that you yourself double check yourself so you don't make, ah, a failure in that di ba you don't for, for the low, others follow also they, they become strict to themselves, that's, that's more like what I want to do, I want to impart that measure na hindi puwedeng maski papaano or basta-basta na lang but if you, if they know that then they parang na she realize na what such a big fuzz about this thing but if, um, it's worth, you, you, you have to show that you, you, you're not, you yourself are not happy if it's not to a certain standard, and maybe that's also parang another, another thing parang, parang you want to get things done 'cause, 'cause it, the deadline keeps you discipline di ba you have to get to choose when to have a headache, when to have a .. so it's good in life to have that, so journalism in that sense has rained in, it's like an anchor, it's rained in also on my other interest that everybody knows already I go to press on Thursday so I have no affairs on Thursday, never on Thursday 'cause I can never make my editorial early because it gets passe, otherwise I'll just be writing a generic thing di ba, parang discipline din .. so for that I'm thankful also, um, I'm very happy when I can truly, I give credit to something or someone that's done either, I'd rather do that than, than knock down on something kasi that's, everybody's doing it, but if there are some, di ba some, especially not publicly more picturesque and it's easy to do in a community 'cause people in the community sometimes are unknown, you do something that they're not credited also, somebody that dies that had a worthwhile life but she's, she's not dama of mosique and parang nobody knows her, if you knew her enough or you have enough data on her you can write something. Before nga I wanted area of, noh, just ordinary people that you meet in the, say the, in the . or something, yung ganyan, ganyan, ganyan, trouble is like to do it myself.
Q: It's more on the certain view, papaano kung hindi nya
A: Uh, um, hindi nya naman ano, baka that's other one is making her bola (laughs) di ba yung mga ganyan that wants to appear naman good and ganyan, hay, instead of creating sana it's becomes a (laughs)
Q: Pero, um, being a Roces, ah, nung nag-take ka po, did it have a push on you like take up journalism?
A: I think yes.
Q: If you weren't a Roces would have still taken for the discipline?
A: Um, no, I probably would have gone more to literature 'cause I love, I love parang probably also that's why, ah, I like my course because I had tambak of literature, noh, the whole thing from, from the Greek, to the ganyan, to the normal, to that national and then because of my two years in Spain I already have the surplus of Spanish literature, so that was nice and fun di ba yung parang, parang it touched me a lot but maybe also it gave me a right sense of appreciation for all good literature and then not deceiving myself that I'm gonna be this Lord Byron of the 21st century or something, yun nga yung parang, parang I enjoy reading it but it's, it's, it's like, ah, I am affected ..are real that touch my life that I cannot paint bigger than life for posterity parang my touch I think in, in coming to terms is, is so much more into life, um, okay I mean this is junk but something like that when I was younger I thought I wanted to be like somebody else would take care of TALA Leprosarium children okay, I would go there every weekend we will visit and we will take care of them.
Q: Not really a nun or a missionary?
A: Nun, parang, parang lay, they were forming like, like a families where you would stay and you would but this one community I'm with is like that but, but I don't live there, anyway so it's parang leprosarium but then, so parang let's put it in the context that that was my wanting to write, yun na nga, ganun na nga yun, to do something like that for the, wow, wide number of people but through the many times of going lap, TALA Leprosarium, ahem, I sense an emptiness in me when I, when, let's say the child that I visited is no longer there but then I have this another child then, the child gets attached to me then I cannot come but next week yung parang there was this lack of continuity, so in a way it was intimacy di ba, that, that was, that was missing di ba, person to person thing and parang, so then I, I realize that I couldn't be this religious mother or community parang so it needed, ah, either single na, na then I would just go home to family di ba for my own family di ba parang in a sense the sense of mission or ambition or whatever to be a writer is shrunk to, to something more meaningful, tangible by parang so what are you gonna raise to be this poet di ba, di ba yun nga like, like I know Nick Joaquin and Nick is such a nice person but di ba parang, um, when I call him, hello Nick how are you, hello darling . Ha (laughs) di ba but his life is, is, is, yeah he's a national monument, who wants to be a national monument di ba yun yung everybody idolizes you and then at the expense, parang, parang I could see na pipigain yung buhay mo and then you can't get out, there are some people, I don't have the material to be cut out . di ba yung I'll go to this angst and then write and then or, or, or happy being siya or whatever di ba? It takes a certain kind of personality maybe not a so contented soul (laughs) as I am (laughs) or you look for contentment in every nook and corner of my life di ba parang, like even the, the Philets noh, Philosophy and Letters 'cause that's our, our department, Philets was disbanded and now it's Communication whatever but Philets was our, I think after us wala ng Philets kasi before it was nice, because were really a tiny, a tiny college that was Philosophy and Letters majoring in Journalism that's it. So, ah, so now they're reviving the Philets foundation, we're having a,it's all this old, old writers in it's circle who become whatever may, mayroon ngang gustong maging sectoral representative and all of that, then so they asked me to go sometimes . and then I realize ano, eh, if I were to network and to talk with them how I could get so much mileage out of their, make interactive, connecting with them 'cause they're all over the papers, they're all in almost every paper, there, there, there, one there, you know, so you just go, oh, you noh, magkaroon tayo then they, they always want you to join them at forums and .breakfast forum and hah, I'm so tired of so, you know, yung mga then, you go, somebody's gonna express his opinion ang tagal-tagal ganyan, ganyan na you know and then, ah, then once I sat down in a table . lunch I feel that's at 19-forgotten because this is from way, way back, noh, and some, some had gone, some of our teachers are just Alfredo Dimalanta was supposed to be the guru in poetry and ganyan yung, Jingjing Pantojas is also with us yung ganun, ganun, so they're, they're into that .but I marvel that you know they can so tired I mean dedicate their whole life, their whole being to this and camaraderie and among themselves go on workshops, you know, of course it feels them, it makes them ano, noh, thick, but para sa akin it's, it's not eh, di ba yung so parang when I go, go with them it's like they will, like what I'm telling you I will never tell anybody na I'm just really hoping that your thesis will make super good but I wouldn't bother to tell somebody kasi ganto yung Village Voice, kasi ganto yung ganun, like sa, when we're out in a group then they, Rach Gallardo nga, when she was in Hong Kong, she was handling, ah, Home magazine and mga, when she cook, wrote me once to try to link up the two and then, ah, she's stuck here because I think Hong Kong when it turn over, that collapse, noh, those, those English papers there but I can see she's busy trying to get herself a job and all of that, yung parang, ah, how tiring, I mean and she's, she's trying to ano na, what she was doing in Hong Kong and hoping that the next one would rehire her, oh my God, yung parang, parang then I look at it and then I said you know God really knows because if I have to market myself I would never be able to market myself basta I don't like to talk about, one thing I don't like to sit down beside somebody because I wanna ask a favor because, because parang I treasure our relationship or our friendship much more than to cross something where she can't deny me when I know that's not the way now, the more you have more people who owe you one, the more it's better for you di ba, because then when you ask them debts, so, oh, sure (laughs) ..oh, my God sometimes nga my friends get angry with me because they, they, they have something and they gave to somebody and then they learned from somebody that I was looking for something and but you meet me everyday, you never told me anything about it, and I would say, I didn't even think of asking, parang that's a draw back so God compensated it by the other things that I'm ano, parang and I realize that, ah, it's, it's, it, I don't even miss it you know like parang, let's say like, like Jullie I think one time she wanted, she wanted some, ah, because of the school she wanted to cover this ..with this school hand, school for handicapped children she wanted okay, she assigned somebody and then somebody said that to contact me so I never thought that it was about, about that then Jullie, ah, called me up and then she told, ah, noh, I told her this is, this is the, this is the name of that reporter and ganyan this is, these are my numbers ganyan, ganyan and, ah, when I think about it, ah, Jullie would say, oh let's have lunch, mga ganyan, ganyan, because parang, parang, e di they are favor di ba but I don't, ah, pano ba to, parang I would rather that we get reunion kaming close noon and then just, just get together because na somebody's back or something like that rather than that parang, she'd treat for that, oo. Parang it's, it's a different thing but, um, maybe it's, it's strange na parang you, you get comfortable, too comfortable siguro, maybe that's the ano. Can I give you another one (offering the snack)?
Q: I remember, um, my mom used to like cook, parang tinorta po siya.
A: Ah, oo, oo, mostly, mostly nakatorta. Pero ito it's just ano, eh, it's just with olive oil and garlic.
Q: And then you get to steam? Or fry?
A: Ah, first steam. Who's your ah, teacher?
Q: Ah, Gary Mariano po. Ah, he used to write with the Philippine Star pero full time teacher po siya
A: Are you planning to be a journalist? I hope I haven't discourage you.
Q: Um, medyo, um
A: Broadcast journalist na lang (laughs)
Q: Than the print one.
A: One thing it's more pay.
Q: Pero ang, ang gusto ko lang din po kasi with print is like once you get the training of a print journalist parang mas may substance na po
A: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. But it's kasi to become a good broadcast journalist talagang you have to have a meat, you cannot be
Q: Just talent.
A: basa lang ng ano, teleprompter. That will make the difference di ba, 'cause like in fairness to Loren that's what I would say is really born and ano in journalism. Because of her lolo, her lolo really love journalism, si Joe Bautista, he'd go to school, he teaches news writing, go to rugged siya, look a bit harassed tapos pag nagagalit siya sabi niya sa amin, What's the most important thing in journalism?, kami naman, accurac, accuracy, accuracy, accuracy (laughs).
Q: Loren Legarda nothing to do with the Legarda in your clan?
A: No, no. Their Legarda is a Chinese Legarda. The Chinese blood yung Legarda. But Loren, see she's already the modern journalist. I would say the journalist I can be is my father's time. There's already a time . then I've for the life of me I cannot be the Loren Legarda type na ., bug you till you get the ano, you know what I mean, na parang, parang, because there's a lot more ano on cover-ups .now than in my father's time, parang in my father's time there was a certain kind of decorum .we, we, we don't, it's, well let's put it this way, in his time resignation is worth a thing, we're embarrassed you resign and now patigasan na ng, ng kapit like that so then you really have to pry the ano of di ba, there's no pagkaano so
Q: How old were you when your father died?
A: I was siguro seven, six or seven.
Q: But you have like glinches of memories?
A: I have, I have so credit my father for being a modern father 'cause I have memories of him taking me out when he interviewed people. So he would bring me, kasi nga at that time Manila society was small, so he had interviewed judge so and so he would bring me, go to Baguio .he bring me, he didn't ya, he didn't bring a yaya along, so parang my father for me is, is a caretaker di ba yung not, not just father na don't do this, don't do that, no he, he was a companion, so I feel so bad nga that Tony doesn't have that
Q: He was too young.
A: yeah he was too young, but with me daddy's so clear even, even when they picked him up from the house, ano, I was in my, ah, it so funny, I heard the footsteps of the, of the Japanese, that big door banging kasi it's a big big door, I hear their coming and when they're bringing my father, me standing up in my little bed yung may railing ganyan, naka, naka ganyan ako (demonstrating how she as a child holds the railings of her little bed) watching everything but not crying na daddy, I don't remember hugging him .watching and when I, this memory, when I asked my mom because, because how would I know, ah, I suspect maybe I'm just imagining because how can I at six have a bed like that na mayroong ganyan di ba parang that's the kiddie cook that you make it yun na yun but this was metal, noh, .. your bed was really like that, you really had a, a bed that you put in and then you would bring up, so you, you would, you know, you would stand but you wouldn't get off, you would have to call us to, to get out because, and so, so for me, um, dad's parang intimacy is, is clear and his dedication to love his work, yeah, and comfortable enough to bring me along hindi ba, he would bring me so parang, parang that was ano for him na, also, ah, lucky that he was like that otherwise I wouldn't have any memories either di ba.
Q: How does it affect you to be, um, a daughter of a Liling Roces? Considering what your father
A: You know, ah, this book was like a catharsis for me. For the longest time, I, ah, it was very painful the longest time because of all the sins of our government di ba, parang you're a hero and then (unclear part) plus the reality that my father was the rising star of the family, he was, even to the other members of the family na, he was, he, he would debate already with Quezon who was the formidable mind and he was just this, this professor di ba, yung parang, so dad, dad was ah, hanging around with guys like Taņada, who, who he was, look like in Civil Liberties Union, he was the head, si Taņada was just parang, so parang he's was a man who, who as, even for the family . (SIDE B)
A: very intimate picture of him, it was like he was their, he was a born leader, so let's say, using in the book like they'll pick up a fight he will, he will back up his brother, you know yung ganyan he'll be there and, ah, my, my tito Tuting my, the, the one who became the eldest because daddy died will always tell me that, your father would tell me do this, I'll do it blindly because I know he would always have the best things for all of us and, ah, I'm very sorry that I, up to now, I regret that he had died because then our family collapsed, because he became the next and he said, I was too traumatized by the war to become a good leader for them now, kasi ganyan yan hierarchy di ba, di ba. So, ah, they needed somebody to run it to, but then I would, I was very hurt okay because good of course our loving grandfather, grandmother, I lived with them my mother as a widow also lived with my grandparents and it was a wonderful time especially so I got close, parang nana nababad ako sa Roces because I'm surrounded by the Roces uncles my fa, my father's brothers and I'm the eldest granddaughter, after ng boys, first girl, so medyo I feel confident di ba because, hah, I'm very welcome but, um, I felt my father was part of our nation and, ah, and, ah, parang society that I was ousted from, I lost him because he became a national hero parang ganun so, everytime there would be the, the, the Civil Liberties, Liberty Union, ah, celebration of National Heroes' Day we would have to go sa mass and breakfast, Pinaglabanan and then some breakfast in . Filipino ganyan, always felt like not honoring my father but having to go because he died yung ganyan you gonna do these thing because they're honoring na naman these guys that died in the war. I never could come to full terms of my own grief or celebration that you're a hero, it was minus, I would think minus, parang don't you say, you know I would rather you be alive and we have, especially because I have very good relation with him di ba, so when 50 years, imagine, 50 years when they had this memoraire, you know where they remembered all the civilians that died in Manila and so my dad in a way was considered a civilian because he was not an army man, he was a guerrilla, so he was a guerrilla and they marked up and Fr. Reuter put up a book on the civilians that die in the war, he asked that the children speaks, noh, not the wives but the children so, ha, I have to come to terms with my grief, you know, so, ah, I have to speak and parang it was that first time that I was able to laid to pres , parang yes daddy died ganyan and then but when we were in the reception this Austin Bower, it's there in the book, sat beside me and said, oh I'm, I'm so happy to meet you, Liling's daughter and all of that, Tony wasn't there, I don't know, so parang, because you might not know it but your father was brought to Chinese General Hospital and then I said, ah, he said, you know that he was buried in Chine I said yes, then tapos parang I want, you know that what I discovered is when you have a big hurt, big, big, you don't wanna talk about it, you don't wanna know anything more about it, whatever you know that's good enough, I don't wanna know more kasi it's malaki na eh, noh, you don't wanna add, so, then he told me, I said yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, then he said did you know that he was brought to the hospital, so parang you must have your facts wrong parang ganun ano, I, come again and then he said, yeah, before he was brought to, to be decapitated he was brought to the Chinese Hospital because all the prisoners, the ones who were going to be put to death were forced to give their blood to the Japanese soldiers that were there and all. Hah, oh God, so then he's sorry, siguro he saw my face, sabi ko, aaaahhhh, I don't know this anymore and then he said but he said when before they were brought to, kasi they, there was a trench dug already then they were made to kneel and then they'll be decapitated, they were given a pack of cigarette, told them to smoke and then he told me that they were given a pack of cigarette because nicotine on a person who has almost no blood gets a shock, so they would be a little dazed, so when you're dazed, they, when they put at you, you cannot struggle kasi siguro what if somebody goes berserk and starts fighting with the guy with a samurai and all that so they, they had all, it all planned. So with the nicotine parang nada-dazed ka even if you wanna pack parang ano
Q: Manhid ka na.
A: oo, yung, yung, yung parang you're in a oo, yeah you're like, ah, yeah. So, oh God, I said God, 'wag tapos na 'to bakit pa, and all, and all of that, so parang, another thing I have to digest di ba then when I, when I, the following year after 50 yun, noh, 51 so I decided to really buried my father, so I, I had a mass 'di na yung Civil Liberties, our own mass, our own mass, invited my brother, all my uncles, their wives, my cousins and we had a party so that was, that was that but look that's 51 years before I could lay, I lay it rest and also the book because I edited it, na it helped me see the good things and even in, during the book launch I said, um, 'cause I really feel very pained at the fact that 28 death, died with my, including my father, I hardly remembered, noh, I hardly remembered and, and, ah, the tomb is, our tomb there's no honors from
Q: Mass, like mass
A: or a, a, a parang every year there's would stand some candle, some corsage from the . or what ..plus the fact that when, it's in the book also, when I made kubra, you know, my daddy's backpay, there was a backpay, kulang, 2,500 something, 'cause the rest I think my mommy was able to get which was really not much but that the one-fourth seven or ten thousand for me, ah, was not taken because I was in Spain, I think, and far out so when my mother told me, by this time I had my third boy who is now 20 years old and I, he was 1980 but ano, my mother told me, you want to get this, and I said, ay, that's nice, I said, I'll make it the first deposit in Miguel's savings account di ba, parang how, what a nice touch that the first is from his lolo, so I tried then I, you know I already know Brig. Gen. Villareal etcetera, etcetera and he facilitated everything, ah, to raise the money, there was money and all the papers and orders of I should go it took me 2 years. I think even with that na, finally I have reached ..branch of Veterans' Bank, when I got there, I wait and wait and wait, it was so pathetic, all the women waiting, the mothers, grandmothers, sisters, wives waiting for their backpay, their whatever, so we became friends we would chat, kamusta kayo, anong nangyari, ganto ay nanggaling pa kami sa Vigayen, tapos nakikitira, 'tas the gastos that they would do just to get and look these clerks and all of these people treating them like dirt, like they're gonna rob us of these money, you might be racketeers and blah, blah, blah, you know, awful, awful parang slap pa on the face di ba because you're, making look like you're disreputable creature so we would be talking and awang-awa na ako sa kanila and I felt so sorry for them because when I come, I have already all these papers, sila they have to make lakad pa all the , these girls are eating, typing, eating their siopao, whatever making you wait and maupo kayo diyan then finally I said, ah, dito na ko sa stage na 'to, then she looks at it and said, alam ninyo 'pag madami ngayong nag, nag, ah, palsipika ng gantong papeles kailangan pakita n'yo na, one yung birth certificate na kayo'y legitimate daughter blah, blah, blah, which we already had, you will, we will not get the, the first installment of it and we would not, he, he would not be given the ho , medal of freedom if he's still alive di ba, kailangan death certificate you know but my mother so, I went to go to my mother, so, so mother I heard that, then we check eto, eto, eto my mother, mom you know I need this, never mind iha I have all of that, okay fine, so, . puwede na kayong pumunta sa bangko tanong ninyo sa Veterans Bank there in Port Area kung may check, may check, so I go to the bank, then the Veterans Bank there, there's no fund, two thousand five there's no fund, can you imagine, so I go back again to . see all these women again waiting, I already, I'm a very calm person but when this happened, I could see again the treatment, wala pang pera and all of that, I told the lady there, sino yung manager? Dun sa loob, busy ho siya. Anong busy, where inside that, I went to the manager and I said look, look you already have my father's blood and all these other people's blood here, what more do you want, our blood? This is already the height you know, yung ganyan, let it be on your hands, tapos I walked out, got all my papers and walked out, all the ladies said, "misis 'wag nyo kaming iwan" (laughs). I couldn't anymore, I couldn't, I really couldn't, I'm so angry, I'm so angry, so I walked, walked, walked, I walked down the car was coming in to pick me up, the driver, got inside, got inside I couldn't, I couldn't stay inside closed quarter, so I left all my things, my bag, everything I said umuwi ka na sa bahay bahala na ko umuwi, from there I walked, I walked to the house because I have to get out the physically, get the bad feeling out of me, then that's when you realize, my grandmother was still alive, so I told her everything that happened, then she said yeah, yan, ganyan talaga yung gobyerno natin, ah, kunin mo yung, yung certificate at i-frame mo para malaman mo, maalala mo anong klaseng gobyerno 'to, ay, lola I can't do that, because if I do it I really feel so bad and you know it will just provoke, I want to put this at rest, so when I told my mother, my mother said, the lawyer says you're just gonna get the high blood pressure (laughs), so here's the money deposit it in Miguel's account and forget about it but, but how will you, if you have lost your father for, ah, for love of country and for thinking that it's a better future for what the next generation, for myself, and then you see, it's, you have a government like this of course in fairness that was Marcos' time but still and then you, you really feel for the country we need men like him but su, su, sure we have to remember them naman otherwise that's the point di ba and all men like him not because he's my father, no, every single man who has done his part including EDSA people should be remembered for what they did but personally, of course it's a personal law so I mean no amount of hero, hero can but again I guess the legacy of what he believed in, his idealism has affected me, so I cannot short-change him for that, parang, I am, I cannot eh, I ca, I cannot because I cannot say that is just works because my grandfather and grandmother lived a life in testimony to what they believed in which is truth, justice, love, you know, it's love of country, love of, of one another, it's palpable, eh, so you cannot say na, uh, madali yan sabihin pero mahirap gawin, eh ginawa nila eh, so hindi ka (laughs) .my, my, my, my son said, huh, kasi you're sick because somebody has a sad story and you're there already so affected, you're sick, you're so compassionate, you're so deceived but I said I'd rather be compassionate than indifferent, so I don't know maybe my children will be a little different, I don't know but, though they tell that to me but then when they talk to others I can see naman that they bother to, to, like, like what I do, parang it's a joke, that, uy yung mama mo, (chuckles) like, um, in the house, like, yesterday my board had a meeting in the house, it's always in the house, sa gabi, meet the foundation, my attorney gonna have the money so, we, I just cooked for them, then my son said, I knew it, I knew it, she, she will not cook these nice things if it's not some, some foundation (laughs), with us she's bahala na yung cook (laughs), but you see it's, it's also again a characteristics where I want it personal, the cook could have done it or I could just order the food di ba but then I feel that, that comes across to these people who working in the foundation with me, we value what we're doing, I appreciate what they're doing and we're all helping one another, this is one way I can, you know, I can make . full time, usually it's, know I mean, parang if we can't afford, kung Jollibee lang what we can afford at least it's in the house I can give them something better (laughs).
Q: Um, how about your husband po, he's, um
A: My husband is a sugar, he's a sugar planter, so, but he is very artistic, he is an, he is an architect, he designs, so part of the, ano on the arts, were parang fermented because of him di ba and that's why the furniture was his, that's his design, and everything but he's, he's he's more like, ah, in a way he, he's already, he likes to live, ah, ah mayroon siyang own sense of mission vision because of his ano for beauty .(unclear part) . in my, my make-up okay, I'm so, ah, sagrado for me is liberty, you want that I don't want to stand on your way so he wants to pursue it, he went to Germany, he went to, okay lang, I just don't want that I will be a jailer, like I can't pursue this because of my wife, she's like this, she's old fashion, tsa, tsa, tsa, tsa, you know, I like to disco and she hates to disco whatever, parang, parang for us now, I see that, he lives in Negros, he, he develops a resort there ganyan and their friends and parang, like especially with the handicap child parang he fought ngayon to come to terms kasi I think men have some, something about they want perfect sons, never mind if it's an imperfect girl, daughter but son must be reflecting it's hard pa rin to take and parang for me if it's truth, okay lang, I know it's difficult, so I guess, um, others would have said that no you should have insisted that it's like this because contract, marriage ganyan, ganyan, what's with me now even if he's happy that way, I'm glad that I can make this, I don't, ah, and when he comes, he wants help or ask for you fine, you know like if, he ask me to go to Bacolod because there's a, if I can I will but if I can't, I also have the, the sense of responsibility also that since I am now a single parent di ba, I have to prioritize this well, I can't be irresponsible in a way he is because he's more . and parang he really is following his star or whatever but I'm not, I mean I know, parang my world is already naka . I, there's not another bag that I want to open (laughs), parang pretty much I know, of course nothing is path di ba but I'm, and I'm not the, in a way it's very, I don't know kung dangerous or what but I'm so content that I'm not even looking for let's say affirmation for, the person, man, woman or, no, I mean you know like whatever . No, it's .sure, pero I'm a, I'm so happy the way things are balance now that I don't wanna rock the boat, I don't want to add another, in, in a way, let's put it this way, as much as I want to give him freedom, in the way I have earned, also earned the freedom di ba because I am quite, legacy din siguro ng lola, to be res, responsible, I'm the eldest grandchild so I was the model, noh, everybody said, hey you are still small you were already old lady, maybe that's true and so, um, if my husband were around we don't have, we haven't have a separation on paper, so I think basta we're, he just does what he wants in my, my situation now parang because if he were around duty bound again I would have to make his priorities, my priorities, like he will say, I think I want to go into this kind and he's like that, he's a dreamer and .and ano, I think I want to have a jewelry shop, I'll already research into jewelry shop, I got the contacts, I'll be like that, and then nawawala din yung freedom ko di ba because I'm in to his, parang follow him, boost him then, then he would say ayoko na pala nito, hay another path again, and then I realize I have a tendency to, I'm a very good backup person, I am not a front ah, I don't wanna get the glory, you are gonna be (unclear part) I'll be your promoter, taga-masahista, ganyan, ganyan but I don't wanna be Sharon, so, so parang I'm very effective there, I am very good, I'm comfortable but then I realize my own goals would not be . So he has in a way, he had gifted me with the freedom too, to explore little goals naman, not naman out of this world that I'll desert my children and all the time na, I'm still providing the net, that I think, they're comfortable in, I am ganyan and you know, I, I have never, like even they always say, dami-dami mong boyfriend bakit ganyan, siya pa ang napili mo etcetera and the others are so like this, I've no regrets because I really find, basta I'm so content, so I find na every path we take has a, has something to be learned, has something that you can profit from, as long as it's a plot and a plot for your wholeness whether it's so unpleasant it's worth the, it's there for something and you won't get out of that lesson unless you learn it and if you learn it then another challenge will be given to you, another dimension all those, I think all these hassle and difficult like, you know when I was in Bacolod, I lived in a house wherein we provided like a suite, an apartment for my mother-in-law, who was a very dominant lady, noh, she and I got along very well and I realize that, um, part of it was, was that, that I was then on mother and son getting along and they love each other but love-hate na naman. You remember my uncle also and .parang that's my goal then I realize me, me, I'm a useful ingredient, you know, when there are two, two wars I am the bridge, I, I don't get anything out of it, I don't get anything out of it except that I'm misuse as a back and forth, back and forth, parang, um, it's a, it's a consoling thing when you, ah, are able to bring out the good nature of each one, their real affection for one another which they have covered up with so many, I think it's pakialaman too much, you know, so the other one doesn't want to admit that, you know, little thing like my, my husband will go to my mother's flat lang and said, say, mom ang pangit naman, so I'll be and then their . this stupid thing like you know, hah, I don't know what was my husband's mo, motives for saying that it's ugly but, ah, mama got so mad you know then, it's so stupid but then, so parang you realize that, that's something, I don't know why but superficial but deep down inside they care for each other, they really care for each other to the point of ano parang blindness na ano, if, if somebody attack somebody they will really defend but then you realize that, ah, tsk, when they, na they're the best of friends I'm happy, when they are in a problem I, I don't, you know, I, I try to make it so that there'll be occasions when they would talk and they'll resume again and they become friends and I just, there's this something that somebody was telling me nga na, a, a priest was telling, ah, last Saturday he was talking about, ah, St. Ignatius daw was saying that you must develop a love for, for being, the love of being ignored, the love of being ignored and then, ah, we, we giv, afterwards we had lunch together with another group of friends who know me then and know me now, so, and then he said, my sermon today was not meant for Sylvia because she's already a suma cum laude (laughs). Because I am comfortable, in that fact that, you know, like, like my husband, you'll never say that, thanks to you, you, you patch my mind, never and my mother-in-law will, will never, you know, never admit to that, noh, but enough that she loves me like her own daughter for me to know that she appreciates, she, she doesn't say it but I know di ba, in my knowing it's good enough, that's, ah, I don't have to be said na, kundi lang kay Sylvia hindi na kami nag-usap or whatever, parang, then it's, it's, ah, parang, parang it's funny nga, eh, when, when, when they .or something, you mean to say you've, you've even that AKDA magazine copies anymore, eh ..summer, somebody .. aren't you upset that, no (laughs) tapos na, yung ganyan, and you know but of course I will think of it as a happy time .(instructing the waiter) bigyan mo kaming tubig . So that's parang basically, ah, tsk, that kulang sa pansin there's not, eh, di ba that's, di ba everybody say hayaan mo na yan kulang sa pansin, I never know what . I think kulang sa pansin basically is, is not quite, is not that others aren't minding you, is, is you unhappy about something about yourself di ba, if you're hoping that others will write it by saying na hoy, you're so good but if you feel you're okay whether they say it or not di ba it's okay naman.
Q: So right now, um, your involvement is like Village Voice and then this one
A: Freedom, yeah that one but, but then the book publishing which, I, I like so that's more on that line of professional work di ba but the rest are more on, on I guess part of it will, like for example with Makabata, I do their brochures, I do some reports, so it's still there but it's in the board level of ano, then with the handicapped children in Cainta there we have two homes there that's when we have meetings on, on, ah, formation of assistance on community counsel and, and, ah, what's the, how to assist the parents, so that was to all , to be written down, so it's, it's part of it also di ba, if you sense that, ah, it's, it's using siguro, um, how to put together all these things to help the people running it to be in a more clari, you I, I, I, ah, bullets like this, like that and that ano, parang what's missing here and then I have a particular, I'm helping that particularly because, ah, the head of that community in Cainta is a Japanese lady, who doesn't know to, ano English, so her English is, is, ah, so she, she has to present a paper before we understood kasi iba yung Japanese to, to English, oo, iba, eh. And you know one thing maybe I can say, um, what's, what is the Roces legacy also for the Pardo we have a sense of humor and we don't take ourselves seriously, not so seriously, you know not too, too ..ballistic about something parang, parang we get ballistic, enthusiastic about something but not this, this parang you've, you've hurt me so much that I want to hit a hole, parang Star wars na.
Q: I've read some articles na, ah more on sir Chino and this certain book, ah, I think Six, um, Six Modern Filipino Heroes and it discusses more on the humor
A: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Q: funny anecdotes that he
A: Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's more like you, you can look at yourself tongue in cheek that kind of thing, you don't have to be so, so, ah, we, we really, ah, laugh at ourselves and . I remember my husband doesn't have that, I remember when he was in Bacolod, we were in Bacolod and he was wearing a shirt like that yung, yung parang gantilyo, knit like that and then I said, oh, holier na daw na naman, tell it was the craziest thing for me to say, how could I say such a thing you know like that kasi ..so seriously, there's a, nothing can be wrong with our days or whatever and with us, noh, I, we even have a standing joke that if it's, I'm going to a Roces reunion I can go as is, where is, then I go to the Montilla reunion I'm put together (laughs) . everybody's like that, even when they play mahjong they're all so ayos but with us you know nobody, they just joke about it. You know these ones (referring to the table mats) are made by Morit Elena Roces.
Q: Balita ko po mayroon siyang shop?
A: Uh, um, uh, um. Have you seen her place?
Q: Hindi pa nga po eh, kasi I'm trying to get an interview nga po with, ah, Cookie Guerrero
A: Ah, Cookie. Cookie's in publishing, yeah, she's, she's with a Woman Journal. She's in publishing. But again publishing as, as business because she inherited that business. She's not writing, she was trying to get me there as, as editor, I said no, it doesn't appeal to me, .wala, no, it's all these mga articles na how to win your husband back, how to like .it doesn't interest me, parang, then it's no matter what you say di ba if you get yourself into something better give it your best shot and that means long hours (unclear part) .that's what I, I find about journalism, it take time, it really is, you can write in one hour or 40 minutes, 20 minutes, whatever let's say but to get the info or the topic man lang if it's, you know, if there's free range of topics, you know, sometimes you have all the info but it doesn't move you so you don't wanna write about it di ba, so, eh it's, it's time, it's time pressure yan, eh. My children nga can't, can't understand 'cause sometimes I, I go on trips, noh, and then I'm so busy, so busy, so busy, that I have, I'm in Hong Kong I have to email or fax ganyan na parang, ha, it's harassing. I remember once, once in a hotel I have to wake up at 3 o'clock because we're gonna leave at 4 o'clock and to ano, then go to the fax office and hay naku, it's not joke. But discipline yun .responsibility also, I mean, you can't even, ay, kasi tinamad ako or, ah, walang ganyan di ba.
Q: So mayroon pag may, ah, clarifications po ako, okay lang po na
A: Yeah, yeah, you give me kung ano, kung ano yung then if you have mi, missing somethings that the, you want for the family I can, I can give, you know, ah, what would be nice is for you to, not only Cookie but her mom, Morita, that's my cousin and my, my boss at that time, she's, she's something, she's something, she's, I would say in their side of the family, she probably, Peachy and Karla are more, Karla she, she was journalism background and she, she's gonna pursue it di ba? Of course ..so, maybe it won't be so, so ano.
Q: I think she just res, resigned kasi
A: Yeah, because she wants to take her M.A. and she's looking for, I think she's choosing between was it MIT or some University of Massachussettes, Northwestern or something, she wants to pursue, ah, because she was already, Asiaweek di ba? In Hong Kong, she's based in Hong Kong (unclear part) . right away she, she moved as board member and, and editor of, of the, the weekly magazine
Q: The Sunday Inquirer.
A: so she would do her articles every once in a blue.
Q: And Peachy po were, the last that I, um, I've, I've read about her was with the, with Inquirer I think, or Inquirer na po or nag-Manila Times din ho siya?
A: No, no, Peachy's Inquirer.
Q: Ah, Inquirer.
A: She's a stockholder, because she's on the Prieto, that side, Prieto side that owns, that, that, that, um, that, kasi ano yan eh, it's also a business Rufinos made the paper and Alex I think is a marketing firm, Alex is the husband of .. Marixi, so Alex and, so the Prieto side that's the company, the company they have the marketing of the paper. So, financially, we're also involved in the transactions with the paper di ba, so if may utang sa kina Marixi siguro, na, na course yan through the, the magazine firm, so whatever tax belong to the Prieto side would be, would be also time co-owned by the siblings ano . Pixie is, ah, Peachy's quite, ah, she's also disciplined, problem is she has many interest, many, now, that's why now, right now she's in Paris all the time because her daughter is studying there and she fallen in love with Paris and you know, but she's happy, she's she comes here, she goes to, she wants to develop a property in Boracay parang yun na nga eh, our, our, what trips us also, is the many interest nagsa-side track di ba.
Q: But have you been back to Spain lately?
Ah, no only in '94 but, but very nice because I made it on a trip with 7 girls
we had a, we rented a car, ah, two were from Spain so we, we would never go
to regular restaurants na yung talagang only the natives know, where they have
good cheese, good wine, chips, etcetera it was very nice, it was, it was, ah,
very nice experience but see even that experience I never found ano to even
write about, you know what I mean? Yung parang it's just there I'm not even
the type that wants to make
what I'm, I have in mind, ah, maybe has a, has
a mission thing so I would like to put out a book of written by parents of this
special school, 'cause this special school, I've been a president for that for
a, seven years and we just completed our 25th year and I would like a book to
come out na to, to mark the experiences of the parents with the handicapped
children. Parang for me that's, it's not only, ah, our, an inside view of something
that you don't know, it's also serves the need to introduce the reality of handicapped
children, ah, and make, and the family how it's affect the family plus it, the
need for acceptance in the, in society because I believe most of us not all
of us are handicapped dealing with the handicapped we don't know eh, we don't
know what to say, hi, how are you, that's cra
.'tas you does, you get
out na kasi baka magalit, baka then and I can see it na there's and I go with
my son, eh, my son is non-verbal eh, so last time he go, ooooohhhhh, everybody's
their eyes like of course takot (coughs), then embarrassed, then ay kawawa naman,
you know that different reactions go to them, and also because I have been helped
by the journalist who wrote, ah, it's a getting with me, but he's a Time Life
correspondent and, ah, he wrote three books about his son, the first book was
called, "A Boy Called Noah", the second was, "School for Noah", I think, and
the third was, "A Place for Noah", where the third, this is a family journey
and the last book was how he came to terms with the painful reality that dealing
with his son was making it so hard, as much as he love his son it was hellish
living with him kasi dahil dyan sa ano, he would eat his clothes, would, would
defecate, you know yung ganyan and so, ah, he had, he bought a house near their
house and he had to relocate from New York to, to Los Angeles, so he could,
you know, be in a place like a beach, so more on calm di ba hindi yung mga
and all of those mga metro, so he, he went there and then he, his wife was a
Japanese girl and this girl wrote about his son and won an equivalent of a Novel
Prize in Japan, so parang the message kasi is, is valid that's, that's why I'm
in this book. It's a valid research, it's not one of those
na, it's a valid message because it's core is a gut, gut reaction, gut feel,
really, noh, you can devastate a life but it can enrich a life, into this, this
man, um, decided to buy a house because he said, his marriage got so affected
like in my case affected ako, that it was a point making down but since he decided
to stick it out then the house was like he had to produce the money he said
because if had divorced my wife I would have had to buy, you know that the cost
of my alimony, it's the house, so anyway so that house, he put it there beside
his house in the beach and then he would through the Japanese contact, with
his wife's contacts and her fame, noh, her, his wife actually became more famous
than him kasi yung kanya it's a well-read book but I don't think it's a bestseller,
noh, but, um, they would tap the universities there of special education, they
would go to L.A. learn, ah, you know be scholars have a house to stay, pay maybe
cheap and all that, then they have the hands-on maybe one or two or three awards
including his son, then every night he would go out have a walk in the beach
with his son, love him as much as he could love him, sabi niya because loving
him I can't express
(END OF TAPE)