Interview Transcriptions

Anding's Interview Chit's  Interview Cookie's Interview Ding's Email Ito's Interview Joaqui's Interview Karla's Interview Sandy's Interview Sylvia's Interview Titong's Interview Tony's Interview

Date of Interview: July 5, 2000

Venue: FC Building, Tomas Morato, Quezon City


Sassy Mae C. Sumulong: Sir, ah, first of all yung brief personal background of yourself. Ah, name and birth date po, sort of biography.

Mr. Joaquin "Joaqui" C. Roces: (laughs) I was born in April 10, 1939 here in San Juan de, the old San Juan de Dios Hospital. I'm the eldest of three, my brother is Eddie Roces and my sister, Rocio who passed away… I have four sons, two are here in Manila and two are abroad.

Q: Sir, your father is mister…?

A: Joaquin P. "Chino" Roces.

Q: Sir, so, where did you, where did you have your, study your gradeschool?

A: I had my grade school in La Salle, Taft, high school in Ateneo, college in UP (University of the Philippines).

Q: You're graduate of what degree?

A: Ah, well, I took up journalism but I really learn more by practicing it in the office of the Manila Times. Then, ah, I shifted to agriculture but I still ended up being in the newspaper business.

Q: You graduated journalism or agriculture na po?

A: I did not, I did not graduate agriculture, I took it as a special subject.

Q: Ah, special subject but your degree is in journalism?

A: Well, not really 'cause I stopped. I wasn't, ah, learning anything new at that time because, ah, my, my teachers were, ah, most of them were, ah, our own people in the old Manila Times. So, I really learned more by going abroad, visiting other newspapers and…

Q: Sir, how about, ah, right after you get out of college what was your, ah, where did you first work? Manila Times na po?

A: Manila Times.

Q: So, you started as a cub reporter…?

A: I started as a messenger boy just like my father did until I be… until a couple of years later I ended up being the circulation manager and then transferred to other departments, going through with the police beat and then to the photo department until, ah, 1966 I started on my own together with my cousin, Tony Roces and Andrew Go, the old Daily Star.

Q: So, sir, um, having a flashback dun sa yung reporter days nyo, can you recall any memorable instances?

A: Well, you know I use to go home with Max Buan and ah, um, what's his name? Another… most of these police beat reporters, with Rod Reyes going to you know, same day, going to Tondo and same at the hospitals, people being hit in the head with these darts and the violence has… people don't realize that how much violence is been going on until you see it in the hospitals, in the emergency wards.

Q: Sir, hindi naman kayo parang pinanghina… pinanghinaan ng loob with your work? Kasi journalism given, di ba given na sya na dangerous field sya?

A: Ah, no, it's, ah, it's exciting you know, it's something new everyday which one, one thing that there is always something different. Same thing, I remember one time with my father we went to the Port Area because there was a tiger loose. And we followed the whole, ah, thing, this guy was hunting (unclear word) the tiger and then one day we went to Mayon because the volcano erupted and my father got lost for eight hours because the guide, one of the policemen, ah, left him and he was missing for eight hours.

Q: So, sir, is it more of, um, influence from your father that lead you to journalism or…?

A: Uh, well, I guess so because at, ah, 13 after school I would already go to the office and wait for my father until I officially started working at 18.

Q: How about, ah, have you ever thought of, ah, yung nga besides agriculture, yung mag-divert from the family profession?

A: Um, not really because that's the only thing I really know, so, that's all I know.

Q: So, sir, you've been through with the naging photographer din kayo?

A: Um, more of an amateur photographer, yeah.


Q: Ah, but do you, are you still doing it as a hobby right now?

A: No, I stopped because when, ah, it became quite expensive you know, yeah, as you know, ah, every six months there's a new model and you, the tendency is to want to have the latest and it becomes too expensive.

Q: Sir, so, um, right after Manila Times, ano na po yung mga naging kasunod nyo na, kumbaga saan na po kayo na-affiliate?

A: Ah, well, I was jobless for 17 years when, when Martial Law was declared, so, yeah, I started with my own small piggery, started with 5 piglets, I was able to get a place in Novaliches, rented a, ah, an empty piggery and I started with 5 pigs until I was able to get, ah, 30 (unclear word) producing about 300 pigs a day, until the time came when, ah, my piggery was hit with pseudo rabies and I lost the whole piggery in 20 days, so, then I have to start all over again until came 1986 when the revolution came.

Q: So, sir, ah, for 17 years you've been, ah, kumbaga agriculture, poultry…?

A: Ah, sort of… piggery just to survive noh.

Q: Any other freelancing jobs that you entered journalism-wise?

A: No.

Q: You were home-based?

A: Yes, home-based, yeah.

Q: Sir then in '86, ah, yeah with the revolution…

A: After a while, ah, Mr. Geny… Lopez asked my father to join him to put up the Manila Chronicle again. So, I joined them to handle circulation and advertising for a while. Then, ah, my father, after a year, my father was asked by his elder brother to help him, which, with the Manila Times, the Manila Times, unfortunately 3 months after my father passed away.

Q: So, sir mas naunang, um, na-involved siya with Manila Chronicle bago niya hinandle yung Manila Times?

A: Ah, after the, after the revolution, yes.

Q: Sir, then, ah, you, you… with your father sa Manila Times you worked instead sa Manila Chronicle?

A: Ah, not at, not at the last Manila Times noh? It was already more of my brother and my son, my son.

Q: So, sir, ah, ano, saan kayo na-involved journalism-wise?

A: I was still in the Chronicle for awhile.

Q: Chronicle na.

A: For awhile.

Q: Like reporter or, ah, ano po yung position nyo?

A: No, sa circulation and advertising.

Q: Then after Chronicle?

A: And then after Chronicle, ah, we decided, I talked to my cousin Tony and, ah, we started the Village Voice.


Q: Sir, um, when, ah, what exact year, you, ah, Village Voice was founded?

A: I think about, ah, nine years ago. We started with the Makati Village Voice and then after a couple of years we went to Alabang Village Voice (unclear word) and then EDSA-Ortigas Village Voice.

Q: Sir, so, ano pong parang concept ng Village Voice?

A: Well, it's a tabloid size paper that we catered to the A market so we decided to distribute it to the villages of Makati, Alabang and Greenhills. It's a…

Q: So, pa… community paper.

A: …it's a… sort of a community but with more, ah, it's a… yeah, community.

Q: Is it, ah, some sort of a newsletter…?

A: No, no. I'll give you a copy.

Q: So, sir parang ano, yung mga ano, more or less parang ano yung focus nung Village Voice? What does it really…?

A: It's more of like, light news and, ah, well, actually, community, community and then most of our, I think I would say 90% of our readers are women, 'cause we have, ah, things pertaining to the house, we have, as a matter of fact the ads are you don't, you don't even find them in the, in the big dailies, noh, like carpentry or anything wrong with your plumbing.

Q: Sir, aside from Village Voice you still have other ventures like?

A: Well, I hope I can come up with a broad sheet paper by October, ah, this is the other way around, this is by subscription unlike the Village Voice it's given free. So, ah, I intend to start only in Metro Manila only by subscription, more of, ah, in-depth news, more of investigative reporting. I cannot compete with the dailies now, so, it's too much money involved.

Q: Sir, mind telling yung name nung newspaper?

A: Well, I hope to call it the Sunday Paper.

Q: Ah, so, it was…be a weekly?

A: Weekly initially. More of ah, investigative reporting.

Q: So, sir, how about with the Sanggunian? That's… you also own this company?

A: Well, I'm part owner, my associate is Mr. Albert…(unclear words)…and other partners.

Q: Sir, pano naman yung concept ng Sanggunian?

A: Ah, it's more of, ah, local government. Ah, perhaps, ah, Albert here (referring to his partner present at the office) can explain it further, Albert… oh, later on.

Q: And then sir, I've heard na you have also an establishment in Baguio?

A: Well, that was our, ah, it's called Il Rocio, our family summer house. When Martial law was declared and, ah, the family had no income, my brother who brought up the idea to turn the house into an inn so that, we did that and that's how the family survived during Martial law years.

Q: Sir, with your plan of, um, building the Sunday Times…

A: Sunday, Sunday Paper.


Q: …Sunday Paper, sorry. How come you didn't handle the chance to avail, ah, acquire Manila Times before?

A: Well, ah, simple, ah, money. It needs a lot of money to go on daily, you need something like 1.2 to 1.5 billion for the, to be a far number four. If I had that kind of money I don't think I will…

Q: Um, other memorable experiences with your father?

A: Oh, yes, ah, we used to go fishing every Friday afternoon, come back Monday morning straight to the office. We go to, ah, Bataan, or Corregidor or a part of Batangas.

Q: So far how, how can you describe yung na-impart ng father nyo being the defender of press freedom?

A: Oh, yeah. Well, ah, I guess he got it from his father where he always said always be just, noh, to everything. Ah, yeah, maybe the way he was brought up and that's the way I experienced, that was the influence of that.

Q: Sir, how about with your children right now?

A: Well, ah, we're a different generation but, ah, they have their ways, I don't want to tell them what to do because…

Q: Joaqui, Joaquin the third is also in…media?

A: Well, he's more of into printing.

Q: Ah, printing.

A: Yes, he's got his own…

Q: How about the others?

A: Tony is in the States, he's an automechanic. Eddie is into, I don't know if he's into insurance or stock market and Martin is a kagawad here in Quezon City. I just told him until kagawad no politics…

Q: …conflicting kasi…

A: …conflicting.

Q: Sir, besides dun sa Sunday Paper any other plans na gusto nyong i-venture or…?

A: No, because the…you have to really concentrate on that, actually, I'm not there for the money 'cause it's, it's like, I don't know I guess it's a mission that I have to go to. Because if it's money I'll go into other businesses where it's more profitable, there's very little money in journalism I can tell you that.

Q: So far, sir how do you view, ano yung parang in one sentence how can you state your mission talaga in the medium?

A: I know many people who think I'm crazy or I'm dreaming but, ah, I want to bring back journalism to pre-war times, when I see this envelopmental journalism that is going on for the past 20, 25 years, it, ah, breaks my heart, you know, because it's, it should be an honorable profession. Unfortunately, people are not being paid well enough so the temptation is there.

Q: Sir, I just like to ask your opinion regarding yung difference ng broad sheet sa tabloid.

A: Well…

Q: Kasi, basically, basically it's just the size and all.

A: Yes. Ah, the connotation of tabloid is this sensationalism and the… and the tabloid is half of the regular paper size, while a broad sheet can also be a tabloid if it depends…


Q: Content.

A: …on the contents.

Q: Pero sir if you are to conceptualize one tabloid, how can you like put so much content on it?

A: What do you mean?

Q: It's like, if you are to make, in your mind, if you are to make, ah, a newspaper na irregardless of broad sheet sya or tabloid sya what do you think would appear to be a, a good, a very good newspaper that people would like be enlighten in reading it?

A: Well, in the first place I don't think it should have…(interruption phone call)

Q: Sir, going back dun sa if you are to conceptualize a tabloid what do you think would be the quality of a good newspaper?

A: Ah, well, you know this thing of these nudity should be out of the newspaper. Unfortunately, people use that to get to the…(unclear word)…to attract buyers, noh. Okay you attract buyers but you don't attract readership.

Q:…sabi nila kapag… minsan they expose certain kumbaga discrepancies in the government, um, when do you think na sumusobra na yung pag-eexpose on a certain thing?

A: Hinde kung…

Q: Yung sensational na yung dating?

A: …kung totoo naman iyon…(unclear word)…pero just be sure that it's correct, that it will, ah, be sure it's not liable, ah, libel, noh. So, that's why, ah, this broad sheet that we are trying to come out with I'm telling my people, "even if the story takes 6 months to develop it's okay as long as you get your facts right". That's the reason why I'm giving, it's going to be a weekly, so that you have time, a story comes out on Monday you have one whole week to check and verify and give the other party the chance to refute. But you have to have the complain evidence before you do that.

Q: Sir kasi with the case of like Pres. Estrada and the Inquirer wherein they go to kahit na yung mga personal details na nagko-comment siya on a certain woman…

A: Oh, well, that's you know, when you're in the government you're exposed just like these actresses, actors and actresses they all want to be in the public.

Q: So, you think it's just justifiable journalism or is it sensational?

A: Oh, well, sensational it's a, personally I wouldn't go to it, noh, but ah, as long as it does not, ah…I don't know what to say there…

Q: Let's say destroy someone's reputation…

A: Yeah, but it is… reputation is everybody, like you said in the case of Mr., Pres. Estrada he said his life is an open book so, it shouldn't bother him. He should continue doing if he says for the country, continue doing that, don't stop. Anyway, history will judge him in the end.

Q: Ah, sir, diverting, dun sa, about po dun, can you…tell…more about the Chino Roces' Foundation?

A: Well, ah, when that started, it was a way of, ah, trying to help people into doing, ah the foundation has been giving awards to people who have been doing things for their country, for the, for…(interruption)

Q: …more about the Chino Roces… is it some sort of like Pulitzer?

A: No, not all… eventually it should be something like that but now it's, ah, there's not enough funds that's our main problem, ah, some… before somebody donated two, ah, mobile clinics, dental mobile clinics. Unfortunately, we were not able to maintain it, so, one is I think being used by Malacaņang to do dental, and then the other one is by another group, ah, to, going around the provinces to do dental work but it's really deviate from the corporate property of the foundation.

Q: Sir, ah, how can you describe yung business ng news publishing, was it, what is it like for you?

A: Well, ah, things are getting harder nowadays because like with the cost of newsprint it's something like 42,500 pesos for a ton of newsprint now, while before Martial Law used to cost only 850 pesos a ton. So, so, I don't know why people still insist on charging 12 pesos for a newsprint, for a paper when in fact…(DUBBED AUDIO CUT)

A: …but don't expect to make millions. As long as you, all I can tell you, as long as you got your health, I think that's, ah, and you do your part it's a good, ah, profession.


Date of Interview: January 30, 2001

Venue: FC Building, Tomas Morato, Quezon City

Sassy Mae Sumulong: The purpose of the interview is more on follow-up po with the things that, yung nga po, yung mga napag-usapan na natin before…

Mr. Joaquin "Joaqui" C. Roces, Jr.: I don't think I still remember.

Q: According po doon sa… I didn't really transcribe the whole thing pero yung… so far po yung… with regards to…biography nyo po is April 10, 1939…so ilang months na lang po, you're, you'll be…

A: 62

Q: …turning 62. Then, am, you were born in San Juan de Dios Hospital, the old one?

A: The old one.

Q: Tapos, ah, you're the eldest of three? That would be…

A: No. Actually we are four, no. I have a brother named Arturo, two years younger…

Q: Ah, two years younger.

A: …but he, he died when it was 19…forty…six…I think…46, 47.

Q: So yun po yung sumunod sa inyo before sir Eddie…?

A: Yeah.

Q: …then Rocio po?

A: Rocio.

Q: Bale, ah, you mentioned na with four sons po kayo, two are here in Manila.

A: Two are here and two are in the States.

Q: Bale, where particularly in Manila po ba nag-iistay sila?

A: Just here. In, ah… (pointing to a place near the FC Building in Tomas Morato)

Q: Both po. So, naano ko po is Martin is the Kagawad?

A: Ye…ah.

Q: He, does he have any plans of…

A: No, I told him hanggang Kagawad lang no politics.

Q: But next am, this coming election, would he be running again for same position?

A: I don't know. I'm discouraging him, so that he can concentrate on the business.

Q: Ah, so right now po siya po bale yung…

A: Circulation.

Q: Um, sa circulation po. Then, how about po yung the other one is…

A: Is into printing.

Q: Joaquinito po.

A: Joaquin the third, yeah. Ito.

Q: Same paper, or…

A: No. On his own.

Q: Ano po bale yung name nya?

A: It's ah, Item Trade.

Q: Item Trade po. Ah, what is…, where…?

A: It has calling cards, brochures, receipts, ano pa…?

Q: Ah, nothing media related po.

A: No. No, media related.


Q: More on business and… yeah, calling cards… And then sir yung wife nyo po is am, am, Ms. Cristina Torrella?

A: Uhum.

Q: Sir, is it okay if you short of like… sort of like, um, tell, ah your love story? …like how you met and something… (express giggles)

A: Well, I don't know if she'll still agree to be… we've been separated for more than 30 years now, eh. But we're ah, we're better friends now, actually, noh.

Q: Is it okay to put on record your separation, or…?

A: I don't know.

Q: Yeah, so, approximately 30 years?

A: Yeah, I think so, like my son is… should it be in the record?

Q: Ah.

A: It might not look nice for her.

Q: Oh, okay.

A: I mean it doesn't bother me, I'm a man, but for her…

Q: But she is still here…?

A: Oh yeah, just here… (pointing again to some place near the interview place). Just here, I just came from them.

Q: Sir, talagang tubo po ba kayo ng Quezon City, like you were…?

A: Yeah, since 1946 we've been here.

Q: No province or…

A: No province.

Q: …kasi there are, there were Roceses in Ilocos po, ah… you're not…

A: Ilocos? I know.

Q: Yeah, I think…

A: I know… or Iloilo.

Q: Iloilo, Iloilo Dwellers.

A: Correct.

Q: So, is it like you're related…

A: I think we're related

Q: …or ma… or long relation na po?

A: Yes. Very.

Q: No. no, contemporary Roces in the publishing na nandoon po.

A: No, no. I think they are about third, third cousins of my father already.

Q: So, plus um…

A: As a matter of fact this ah, Imelda Roces, the mayor of somewhere in Bicol, the husband is a Roces but I don't know. I don't think he's ah, directly related or what.

Q: So if am, sir if, if you're gonna character…ah, identify kung sinu-sino po yung mga Roces currently in publishing, involving yourself, si…like who followed the footsteps of your, ah…

A: Well… I'm the only one together with my cousin, Tony Roces noh. I think we're the only ones involved now.

Q: How about the one of ah…

A: Because the Roces-Davila are already out. Oh, then my other nephew, ah, Bumbo Guerrero, the mother is a Roces, noh. They're into comics and magazines.

Q: How about sir, the Ramon Roces of Liwayway?

A: Yeah, that's the grandfather of this, of this Bumbo Guerrero.


Q: Ah, so cousin, cousin nyo po.

A: My nephews. The Guerreros are now my nephews. The mother is my cousin…

Q: Ah, the mother.

A: …that's the daughter of Ramon Roces. He had two daughters eh.

Q: Sir, plus um, going back po doon sa…`cause you mentioned here nga po yung sa slight educational background. So, you spent grade school at La Salle…

A: La Salle.

Q: …up to grade five?

A: Yes.

Q: Then saan na po kayo nagtuloy ng grade, grade six.

A: Then I moved to…where did I go? But high school I went to Ateneo. Then college UP, both Los Baņos and, and here…(points finger, referring to non other than Diliman). (garble of words)…as a special student in Los Baņos without anything to it. Then AB-Journalism here at UP.

Q: UP Diliman po is AB- Journalism?

A: Yeah.

Q: Then mga ilang years po kayo nag…nag, ah, nagstay doon sa course po na Journalism?

A: Siguro mga dalawa lang…

Q: Cause you shifted po…

A: …dalawa dahil I was not learning anything that ah, I didn't know through experience while… cause I was working in, in the office noh. I wanted really more of ah, newspaper management than, than actual writing.

Q: Um, basically yun po yung reason nyo, is that you want more into news…into, into…

A: …running the business noh, than…

Q: …yeah, running the business…

A: …than, than writing.

Q: … ah, not because na nag-shift po kasi kayo sa agriculture, it's not that you wanted to venture to another…

A: No, actually my dream was to be a rancher since I was a kid but ah, because of the exposure of journalism since I was kid.

Q: Then you grad, you didn't graduate din po ng agriculture?

A: No more, I get it as a special student. I would go everyday to Los Baņos, go classes and then go back to Manila.

Q: Bale, that's, that agriculture class is good for like one term or…

A: Ah, for about one year.

Q: Ah, one year din po.

A: Yes.

Q: Then sir, you mentioned din po na you became a messenger sa Manila Times?

A: Well, messenger boy in the circulation department.

Q: Ah, so internal lang po…

A: Internal.

Q: …you didn't get to sa field…?

A: No, later on, you know um, you go to meet agents, newspaper agents, dealers, ganyan.

Q: How long did you stay being a messenger?

A: Oh, about two years.

Q: Two years. Then after being a messenger, you…

A: Through you know, all the other sections of the circulation department.


Q: Mostly on the circulation like…

A: Yes…

Q: …advertising…

A: ...then later on yung, I went to advertising and then I joined ah, Rod Reyes, the police beat, Joe Burgos…

Q: …like um, actual…

A: …going with them on their beat.

Q: Opo, you get to also write the…

A: No, not writing. I guess I've just ah…

Q: …or like cover, cover lang po the story.

A: …coverage, just go with them not, not actually writing myself but experiencing what they're doing, following the leads.

Q: So, bale sir, ah, Rod Reyes and…

A: Joe Burgos…

Q: Joe Burgos.

A: …of Malaya ano, of ah, Week Forum before, Joe Burgos, Mack Vicencio, the old man Mack Vicencio, these are all the police beat veterans.

Q: How about sir Max Buan?

A: Also.

Q: From what newspaper was he?

A: From also with us, the Manila Times also.

Q: Bale sila Joe Burgos po kasi recently lang sila napunta sa Malaya? Was it?

A: Ah, Joe Burgos after Martial Law, we started yung Week Forum and Malaya.

Q: Sir doon sa ah, ex, ah, sa two years ng being a messenger then you've been to circulation department and you've, ah, backed up some police beat reporters and also you worked at the photo department?

A: Photo production.

Q: Bale, um, any memorable instance po na…

A: Well, my most memorable is really the police beat because yung everyday there's something new at different coverage.

Q: Is there a certain incident po na kumbaga hanggang ngayon po pag naiisip nyo eh, you, you wouldn't think na you've been through that…parang…?

A: Well, I remember, ah, one night, together with my father we went to Port Area because we were, chasing a tiger that got loose from the zoo and, and then there was this guy, so called white hunter, he called himself the white hunter who would try to catch this particular tiger in the pier.

Q: How old were you?

A: Ah, we were quite ah, I was in my past 20s yata yun.

Q: Oh, so nag, kinover nyo po bale yung story na iyon?

A: Yeah. Even with my father, we, they're following the, the whole event. In that case some reporting at the same time recording it to the radio station that we had DZMT.

Q: How about sir, um, I remember one incident that you mentioned with the Mayon, the Mt. Mayon?

A: Oh, yeah.


Q: What happened?

A: When one of the, one of the times that Mayon volcano blew its top my father went there, I was accompanied by one of the chief of police at the certain town. But ah, as my father was approaching practically on the 6th mile, 6 kilometer distance, it blew up and then my father was missing for about 8 hours.

Q: So, you were within the vicinity looking for…

A: No, no I wasn't there I was in ah, right in, in town… and then, I wish I could show you the picture, he really looked funny in that hat of his on and all covered with ash.

Q: Oh, he was stuck somewhere…

A: Yeah.

Q: Sir, is it okay if I take a look at the picture one time.

A: What?

Q: Yung mga pictures po ni…

A: Pictures. I wish I could find that I don't know where they are.

Q: How about some family pictures of you with ah, your father while growing up?

A: My father? Yeah, I will see if I can get some, noh, it's actually with my brother. We'll see if I can get some.

Q: Sir, then, um, you've mentioned that ah, you've been influenced by your father being inclined to the business of newspapering…

A: Well, the exposure is there ano, since, since I was thirteen so…it has to get into the blood somewhere.

Q: Yeah, cause the Roces are like known for… Pero nung nag-shift po kayo into agriculture is there any reaction that your father had…like…

A: No, no. No, as a matter of fact ah, my father was telling me that ah, my father, my grandfather, ah, were planning to move to Mindanao, to Bukidnon because there, there was a ranch that ah, that they were trying to get and ah, they was, he was planning to move the family there but then the war came, so that was…gone.

Q: So, um, with ah, with your father din ba there, may part din po nya na parang gusto na lang iwan din po yung newspapering and move into…

A: Ah, no, not my father that's in his blood, you couldn't do anything… his life, that was his life - newspaper, his life.

Q: How about your mom po? Um, any influence that she has on you, with, with what you are right now?

A: Um… tsk, maybe yeah, some, but ah, my character I suppose the… well, the sermons I used to get from her and… on behavior and you know, you know, somehow it's there.

Q: Your mother is, ah, Pacita Carvajal, the singer?

A: Carvajal. No…

Q: Was she…

A: Ah, well, when she was young, when she was about 17, 18, she used to sing over this radio KCFM ah, which was managed by then Mr. Koko Trinidad, who just passed away a couple of days ago. He's the father of Noel Trinidad with… you know…

Q: So, nung nag-asawa po yung mom nyo she stopped singing?

A: Oh, yes, yes, it was not really professional I think, more of an amateur… she would sing and her sister would play the piano.

Q: Yeah, but once in a while she, does she have a piano back in her home?

A: Oh, yes we have a piano and all, all the brothers and sisters of my parents would be musically inclined. My other uncle, Carvajal, the father of that basketball player, used to sing and play the guitar. And another aunt of mine used to come out on stage.


Q: Kumbaga Roces, there are some on the Roceses nga po na, not really Carvajal pero parang nalahian na po ng artistically inclined…

A: Yeah. Well, there's on, on the Roces side, there's one a cousin of mine, si… sino ba yun, she just got married. She's on the Roces-Reyes side. She's ah, Subtana I think or…

Q: Sir, then you mentioned na you started working at 18 years old…?

A: More or less. Well, thirteen I was already going to the office, noh, after school, attend there observing.

Q: So, yung naging messenger po kayo around 18?

A: Mga 18.

Q: So, mostly yung environment nyo po is Manila Times talaga, or you get to…

A: Almost. Manila Times and then later on…I, well, I would also visit when we had already channel 5 and, and the radio stations, I would go there to look, noh, to look at the other kind of media.

Q: Before, even before po ba, um, do you have any idea kailan po na-acquire, cause a Roces also handles ABC-5?

A: Yes, ah, my cousin, ah, Marquitos Roces.

Q: Was it recently or…before…?

A: No, that was in the… when did we start? I think…in the… 60s I think, that's when we started channel 5. And then radio DZMT, DZWS, DZTM and other provincial stations.

Q: Sir and then, um, also you mentioned that you were 17 years jobless?

A: During Martial Law.

Q: … when Martial Law was declared. So, primarily with those 17 years, what have you been…

A: What I did?

Q: …yeah, keeping yourself busy with?

A: Well, I said I started with small five piglets, in the backyard. Ah, picking up slop, kitchen slop everyday in restaurants, mixing it with, with commercial feeds until… well, that was what I was doing, providing.

Q: Then your piggery was attacked with pseudo rabies?

A: Aha, the same time that Lucio Tan got hit.

Q: Ah, the same time…?

A: The same time that Lucio Tan's, ah, piggery.

Q: Oh, so that was around what year?

A: Oh, this was I think, 80s I think.


Q: Early or lately…?

A: No, early 80s I think, pseudo rabies hit. I got wiped out in 20 days. I lost 300 pigs and Lucio Tan lost 70,000 pigs, in one month and a half.

Q: Is the piggery still existing?

A: No more, no more. No, I was just leasing the, the farm, the piggery and then I left it. I was just leasing the place in Novaliches.

Q: So, wala na po kayo… about right now, you didn't…?

A: Now, I'm busy with here. When the day I retire I'll probably going to agriculture again.

Q: Sir, 1986, yung revolution po, Lop…ah… Lopez and your father put up the Manila Chronicle…

A: Yes.

Q: You…Did you handle any position with the Manila Chronicle?

A: I was in ah, Circulation and Advertising for a time.

Q: It was like manager, Circulation manager.

A: Yes.

Q: So, almost the same position you had with Manila Times?

A: Yes.

Q: Then, um, 1987, ah, your father was asked by, by his brother, your tito Ramon to handle Times, so what happened with that um…? Was it pushed through or…?

A: Yes. But then ah, 3 months later my, my dad passed away.

Q: So, he gets to handle the paper for 3 months?

A: Yes.

Q: And then 1991, you started with ah, the Village Voice?

A: I think so.

Q: Or was it… do you have the exact date?

A: I don't, I can find out, noh.

Q: Sir, is it am, like you're tied up with your cousin Tony…

A: Yes, with Tony.

Q: …or how would the corporate ladder go?

A: Well, I'm the publisher there.

Q: And sir Tony?

A: Tony's the president.

Q: Any other Roceses that you kinda like put up, ah, put in, in the paper?

A: There? Well, the sister is there. Ah, she is Mrs. Montilla, she's the editor of the Village Voice.

Q: Sylvia?

A: Sylvia.


Q: And then sir um, can you describe Village Voice, how was it as a paper?

A: Oh, it's a tabloid size paper catering to the ah, local means of the community, like ah, we started with ah, Makati Village Voice which covers villages, A B villages in Makati. Then we started the Greenhills, Edsa-Ortigas Village Voice. And then we have the Alabang Village Voice.

Q: The Alabang is the…

A: Last one.

Q: …the last one. Sir, how, how is the paper going right now?

A: Oh, it's doing very well.

Q: It works by subscription or…?

A: No, we give that free.

Q: So, how, how do you get to finance the paper?

A: By advertising.

Q: Mostly, advertisement.

A: This is the Village Voice?

Q: Uhum. Then, sir on October 15, your latest, the one that you've been busy with right now.

A: Oh no, yeah, this is the harder one.

Q: So, how was it again sir? Ah, like how thus Sunday Paper…?

A: It comes out every week, ah, I wanted it to be strictly subscription but ah, I don't think I can make it strictly subscription. So, I decided to start ah, spreading it to the agents noh, newspaper agents again. I only discovered when I approached my old agents to find out that 99% are all dead and it's all the, the children handling the, the they left it now.

Q: So, sir parang ano rin siya, it's like um, Philippine Star or Inquirer…

A: Yes.

Q: …but it comes out only on Sunday.

A: On Sunday, because it, it's too expensive to go daily.

Q: So, the paper cost, like…?

A: Oh, well, we're selling it at 12 pesos a copy, ano. Yeah, well, it's a cleaner paper, it's whiter than the other papers. It is more of ah, in-depth stories?

Q: So, ah, do you kinda like put ah run, ah, weekly review of all the news that occurred from Monday to Saturday or do you focus on a certain issue that's been..?

A: Yes, more of that. But eventually things will, as this thing of ah, the election, this thing of Erap dies down, there would be more ah, you know other stories besides that.

Q: So, sir sino yung mga tao na kinuha nyo with the paper… did you get ah…?

A: Oh, as you can see they're younger generation. The editor here is only about 34 years old. They are all young, I'm the lolo here.

Q: Sir, did you get other personas from, like are there…

A: Are there investors? I wish there were.

Q: …like other people from the newspaper na who approached you if would want to work with your paper, as correspondent or…

A: Ahhh… not, not yet, that will come when I'm bigger. It's always that way, when you're up there…

Q: Do you accept like sir correspondents, like they get to submit stories?

A: Yeah, yes.

Q: More on the focus is on politics or…?

A: Uh, well, right now it's politics but, ah, I'm interested on other things. Like population. I personally think that that is one of the odd reasons why we're in this mess, we are over populated. We cannot educate our children properly, feed them and yet, and all reports that the government publishes for a family of six do you need so much (garble of words). Why in heaven's name do we always have to say for a family of six, why not a family of four ano, a replacement. Why do we have to have more than three? I mean it's easy to have children, that's the fastest thing we can do but to give them a proper education, feeding them especially for the past ten years our country's down.

Q: Sir, with the Village Voice, does the Village Voice have a web site right now, like are they going on line, going with the technology?

A: I…No, I think they want to.

Q: How about with the Sunday Paper, the Sunday Paper?

A: Yes we are, but ah, we are, but ah, we're not concentrating on it too much. But we will be there.

Q: Sir, how about the Sanggunian what happened cause you used to be…? A: Finances. Finances, you know.

Q: So, the paper…?

A: We have to close it, we have to close it.

Q: But still existing right now?

A: No.

Q: No more?

A: No.


Q: Sir, who was the other guy, the one that was from La Salle I think?

A: Albert.

Q: Albert. He's working right now with you again?

A: No.

Q: Sir, one last question. So if, um, you're gonna, you're gonna relate Joaquin Roces, Jr. with journalism how would it be like? Is journalism, how would you define journalism being a part of your blood as a Roces?

A: Well, you know it's hard because people expect me to be like my dad and ah, it's hard to look under that shadow. So, I just go on day to day. When I was young, I could…tsk…you know, I can do better than my dad, so let's see how this go, as you get old then you melt, you are not as mayabang as you think you are. Ah, well, it's, it's a long way we have to do our part in, our share on developing our country.

Q: But how was it like being a Roces?

A: Ah, terrible… you have to behave all the time.

Q: Are there not really regrets but like which…

A: Well, there are advantages and disadvantages in like… advantage, opens doors to many people…disadvantage is you have to be at your very best, especially if you got a father like my father, you know, you don't want to destroy what he did to our society.

Q: But if you were given the chance to choose your career, like, not being branded as a Roces would you have chosen still to venture into publishing or…?

A: I'll be in the, in the farm quiet, peaceful life. Ah, so much competition here, noh. The only reason why I'm sticking to it is I don't know, somehow I, I feel I have a role to play…it is not financing definitely.

Q: Sir currently being a publisher of the Sunday Paper what are your visions for your proposed new paper?

A: A plan…well, the idea is to first to survive the first year. My vision is to print at least 50,000 copies within three years, noh. And I'll be very, very happy if we can do that.

Q: How about, um, here thinking of idealism how would you think this paper would mold or shape our society right now, despite all the chaos and…?

A: That is it. I keep talking to Johnny Mercado, the Press Foundation of Asia, and Ermin Garcia, Joe Burgos, that's it we are trying to see what we can do, little by little. It's a long process which I can't answer right now.

Q: Sir, your message again to budding journalist who would like to venture in the same field that your are in right now?

A: Think many times before you invest your money. Think many times.

Q: Is it easier to be a publisher than to be a journalist, I mean full-time journalist, like covering the beat…?

A: No, it's, as a journalist, writer, you know, you got your, you can always move from one newspaper to the other, there's no problem… But ah, then the publisher putting the money out, that's a…it is like a bottomless pit.

Q: So, sir right now your, your, the company you are holding is primarily this one.

A: Yes.

Q: Um, It's a different thing with the printing press…

A: Oh, yeah.

Q: …or same…

A: With the printing press it's money coming in, while in the newspaper business it's still everything is going out first.

Q: Sir, pero do you have your own printing press?

A: No. I have a printer who prints for me.

Q: Ah, ano po yung… is it okay to mention the name, sino po yung printer?

A: Um, Book Media is the one printing for me now.

Q: Are they the same…

A: Boni Avenue

Q: …who makes Christian…

A: No, no, no. This is the Mr. Burs, Benny Burswela. They, he also used to published the Philippine Post but they closed already. Like I said very difficult.

Q: Especially right now.

A: Yes, they closed a couple of months ago.