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Joaquin "Titong" Reyes Roces

Joaquin "Titong" R. Roces

Unfortunately, I was not able to conduct an interview with Mr. Joaquin "Titong" Roces. However, his daughter, Teresita "Chit" Roces, gave me some information about his inclination in journalism.

Joaquin "Titong" Reyes Roces, a third generation progeny, was born on September 28, 1919. He is one of the nine children of couple Rafael Filomeno Roces and Inocencia Reyes. He married Lita Bautista and had two children, Teresita "Chit" and Danilo.

He studied elementary and high school at Ateneo de Manila University. In college he went to law school at the University of Manila.

Lita Bautista and Titong Roces
During high school, Titong used to write for the Ateneo's basketball team. Later, he became a contributor to his brother, Liling's Sports magazine. Her daughter also mentioned that at one time he won a short story contest with his brother's publication. Furthermore, he became the columnist of My Daily Bread, which was a column he wrote during the early 50's with the Manila Times. It was in that column where he gave life to the character of "Maneng the Barber". Likewise, he made a counterpart of Maneng who was "Mameng the Manicurist", which he once wrote for the Women's magazine. Moreover, he had another column he called, "This my own", which he once wrote for the Manila Times and Malaya. It was a column that dealt with congress issues. In 1995, Manila Bulletin had him as a publisher of magazine, Liwaway; and newspaper, Balita.

Joaquin "Titong" R. Roces and FamilyAside from writing, Titong was also a professor of English and Law at the Far Eastern University. At one point, he became an adviser of the university's school paper, Advocate. He had been a spokesperson with "Laban" during his brother, Anding's candidacy. Furthermore, in Cory Aquino's incumbency as president, he was appointed as ambassador to Taipei.

According to his daughter, Titong once uttered, "it meant much more to write now", when he was then referring to the Martial Law era. This simply expressed Titong's view on writing as a catalyst for change in those times. He also wrote a poem for Benigno "Ninoy "Aquino with the words, "…the only freeman is in prison," which expressed his admiration for the senator during his imprisonment.