The Roces Family Around the World

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Thunderbirds Are Go! --> Thundercats Ho!!!!!

I could pick a number of battle cries that would cross many generations, the title of this entry spans quite some time. I have completed my part of Phase 2 and delivered it to Kain. I've also made my first installment payment to him.

I've been carrying around a little metal notebook for the past 4 weeks. Instead of using my normal PDA, I've carried this notebook because it allows me to just write quietly and without much ado. Sometimes technology brings about it's own challenges, and having something be in analog is a nice touch. It will also allow me to keep a record my sketches and other layout designs, which had I formulated this directly onto a computer would be lost to the file system.

sitemapHere it is. Here is the site layout or sitemap. Each beveled box represnts a main page or section and the tabbed parts are subsections or functions needed for the section. There are funcitions like photogallery and movies that will be part of the Family Tree/Bio area but for the layout I left them out since I know it's a prominent component for that section.

The forum has it's own built in security as does the CMS Main Page so that I can make sure that general population information is available to the general public or casual visitor. It also will help me target the family directly and make sure that the information gets to the right people without question or difficulty. This distinguishes elements for the young generation and also is COPPA compliant. The family tree section is where the heaviest security is going to be a combination of SSL and VPN, some will just be SSL and others will be both SSL/VPN and require actual administration by a live person. I will also have to address the spiders like google and yahoo. I need to make sure that the have access to parts that are available to the general public and denied to the secured areas.

The next step of Phase 2 is for Kain to deliver to me feedback and tweaks. He then will create some mock up pages so that we can see how the items flow together. This part will help us discover if there are any difficulties with data presentation and data flow. What this means to the layperson is that the story needs to be told in a coherent manner so that it flows naturally and is easily navigated.

Lydia "Cookie" Roces Guerrero

Lydia Roces-Guerrero

Lydia Roces Guerrero is a descendant of two prominent families. On her father's side are the Guerreros who are writers with the likes of Carmen Guerrero Nakpil and Wilfredo Maria Guerrero in their lineage. On the other side is the Roces clan of publishers. Her maternal grandfather, Don Ramon Roces, is the known "Komiks King" of the Philippines.

Born on April 3, 1946, Cookie, as she is fondly called, is the daughter of artist, Elena Roces and Dr. Mario Guerrero. She is the second child with elder brother, Alfredo and younger sibling, Xavier. Alfredo or Bumbo is currently the publisher of Kislap magazine and its other affiliate publications, and is also owner of a printing company called Counterpoint. Xavier or Wahoo also has his own printing business named Sonic. Cookie is a divorcee with two sons: Julio Ortega, with her first husband, and Adam, her youngest.Cookie and  Family

She studied elementary and part of high school at St. Theresa's College in both San Marcelino and Quezon City. But she graduated secondary education at Jose Abad Santos Memorial School (JASMS), which was then an experimental institution of the Philippine Women's University. She never went to college but is currently venturing into a career in print media and according to her, "I didn't take up journalism…but I really feel that maybe it's part of my genes, because I do come from a line of writers and maybe I was born with that gift and (with) my mother who is a very creative and artistic person, I suppose I've also gotten some of the genes from her side…"

After her high school graduation, sometime in 1967, she went to Barcelona, Spain to accompany her mother for an eye operation. Cookie lived in Spain for 6 years. During those times she got married to her first husband, a Spanish, and gave birth to her eldest son. Then she came back to the Philippines for a year and was offered to handle Woman's Home Companion (one of the Roces-owned magazines). At first she refused the offer because she said, "I didn't have the exposure or the background to head this kind of publication…I gave it up because I thought I wasn't really qualified…I don't like to do something just because I'm the daughter of the owner and I'm going to take over". Right after, her family migrated to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in USA. She lived there for 6 years and was a full-time housewife. But when her son reached high school, they moved to San Francisco, California and stayed for 4 years. Cookie  R. GuerreroThen she came back home to the Philippines and took the offer with the publishing business. "Part of the reason that I'm working is because we're only three (in the family) and eventually we would have to take over the business so we had to get into (it) …", Cookie explains. Fortunately, she is now the publisher of Woman's Home Companion and president of Solid Gold Publishing Incorporated. She is also the owner of a ladies' and children's boutique called Amica and president of a children's wear export company.

As publisher, Cookie's attitude towards work is distinctly of Roces character. Stating her ethics in publishing, she explains that, "I concentrate a lot on what (I'm) offering the public. I think a publisher also has the responsibility to the reader(s). I'm not going to hand you trash because you're paying. I believe in offering the best I can at the price that they can afford". She also mentions her strength behind her hanging onto the business, saying that, "I think one of the reasons that I'm still here is because we've (company) been very conservative. (We don't) launch into one project after the other. And I also believe that I owe some kind of loyalty to my grandfather's memory".Woman's Home Companion

For aspiring journalists and publishers, Cookie emphasizes that, "if you want to put up a magazine seriously, you have to have enough capital to back it up". She believes that, "the important thing is you have to be consistent. You have to have this staying power because the life of a magazine is advertising and before you can get the advertisers' confidence you have to be in the market long enough for them to know that you're not going to disappear". Lastly, she reiterates, "it's not an easy thing getting into publication. It might look easy but it's not, so if you want to get into it do your numbers correctly and stay with it".


Friday, July 29, 2005

Go Phase 2!

I've been busy at work and also at home, which leave little time for me to work on this. Phase 2 is about ready, I met with Kain for lunch on Thursday and I met with him again on Friday. I have notes and sketches that I will hand off to him electronically tomorrow. He can then begin the prototyping and layout parts of this phase. I also would like to put a deadline for me to hit and then a date for launch. While there is absolutely no reason for me to have a hard deadline, it helps me manage my time better knowing that I'm supposed to complete something by a deadline. I've been wanting to work on this thing already for 2 years and only now rolled up my sleeves and started working on it.

I'm going over and double checking some of the security aspects of my design. I find it important to let family members feel safe and secure just like they would at any other family member's house that they visit. I am going over security measures and data presentation to make sure that I don't leave a "window or side door open." I am also contemplating varing degrees of security from SSL to VPN solutions in order to make sure that the possibilty of not having too much information readily available to identity theives. One thing that I was initially concerned about was date of birth, but having access to several birth certificate nationwide database searches makes that point a bit moot. It doesn't take alot to be able to get that kind of information, just a subscription to the service. So far I have been able to corrobrate birth records for everyone born in the United States between 1905 to present. While the point of birthdates and mother's maiden name are used by some institutionsl, birth records make that point moot because they are also freely available I don't see any reason to make it easy for the theives. (Some people here in NYC don't even bother to lock their car doors so that they don't get their window broken during a "break in;" I don't subscribe to that belief.) My point is not to scare people from giving me information, quite the contrary, I want to educate family members to some of the perils that are out there and how to properly protect yourself against identity theft.

MiG has so much information out there right now it's amazing. There's his official website which is currently on hiatus. After his site,the official INXS CBS site, there is the INXS contestant blog. a fan forum, "stalker" fan sites, journal communities, and reality tv discussion boards. Various press articles of his theatrical performances and now more currently his INXS performances are showing up. Because he is in this show, I'm finding hits of his name all over the globe, Spain, Japan, Netherlands, Philippines, Australia, and the US to name a few. I'm not really all that sure how to distill it all down into something that fits here, but I will have a biography page for him just like I would for everyone.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Accomplishments and News

The Sassy Mae site has been archived and converted. There should be no more server overloads since it's now mirrored on the server. This conversion was more tedious that difficult but it wasn't as difficult as I had imagined since I put it off for such a long time. The wget program did most of the work of relabelling all the HTML pointers and images. The real challenge was making sure that it got all the html files and all the images. I checked a lot of them by hand and like Pokemon, I believe I got them all. If you find a broken link or image, please let me know.

The interview question pool has been completely assembled. I have not completed the interview process documentation which I think will be a refining process as I will sometimes interview in person, over the phone, via email, webcam, IM, etc. While the methodology should be similar, I need to make sure that I have a way of "recording" it to keep the "original."

I still have to complete Phase 2's outlines, which I have in my head but I really need to translate the vision onto paper so that it can get coded properly. I will have to make a point of making an appointment with Kain this week so that I can get past this point. As I look at my calendar I'm really hoping to unveil the actual website in September.

The next challenge here will be to actually reach out to the family elders. I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to accomplish that just yet since I only have a few phone numbers and email addresses for a handful of the Rafael Clan, let alone the rest of the lines. This is where I'm going to rely on the readers to start informing their family elders that I want to speak with them.

One department in our office has created a "grant" to give away up to US$5,000 to any MTV employee to help achieve their dream. At first I did not see this project as applying since most examples were about film makers, artists, dancers, and the normal things that you'd associate with the arts. Since I don't really consider myself an artist, but I do feel that I'm creative in different ways I figure that I should apply for this grant. It has been a dream of mine to put together this information, the mediums being the internet, book, and DVD. I'm going to apply and see what happens.

On Thursday night, Karla Delgado had a book reading at Cendrillon in SoHo, NYC. I have never been there but I have heard very good things about it. It was nice to meet Karla and her sister Bianca, especially after reading about Karla's interview and looking up what I could find on her via Google. Bianca was a complete surprise to hear that she's attending university in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The food was very tasty and quite plentiful. The back area of the restaurant has a skylight which helps give more natural light. Small little cakes, shrimp chips, taro chips were set in simple baskets for people to sample. The waitstaff brought around other things to try curried chicken on skewers, lumpia, and small little burgers.

Once mingling had settled down, Karla took a seat on the back bench just two seats from me on the back wall. I did not realize when I was mingling that I had inadvertently picked one of the best seats in the house! She read a few passages from selected entries and also commented on the her partner the photographer who took many beautiful pictures of the markets. Many people did bring their video cameras and I'm hoping to provide a stream of the reading in the future.

All in all I did find it very nice to get back in touch with my heritage. It was a good way to bring it all back comfortably. I am realizing now how much I have neglected this part of my own self since I have very much assimilated into New York City's melting pot.

I was going to post about MiG Ayesa, but I don't think that I can include him in this post since there's lots of information about this gentleman to include. I'll have to assemble it over the next few days and dedicate a post and probably a whole page to him.

Karla Prieto Delgado

Karla Prieto-Delgado

"In, I think, grade 4 when our teachers asked us what we want to be, I answered journalist but in between I don't know why. I like to write (and when) I was in IS (International Studies) and they made us write stories I liked that, so I think that's why I said journalist but it actually happened, I didn't grow up wanting to be a journalist it happened by mistake", Karla narrates how her inclination in journalism started.

Karla Prieto Delgado is one of the fourth generation descendants of the Roces clan in Philippine print media. She is the daughter of Mercedes "Peachy" Roces-Prieto and Jose Roberto Delgado. She is the middle sibling to elder brother, Marco Delgado, and younger half-sister, Ma. Bianca Santos. Furthermore, she is the granddaughter of then Manila Times' director, Antonia "Chucha" Roces Prieto, who is also the sister of the well-known Chino Roces and former Manila Times' president, Benito "Bibelo" Legarda Prieto.

Karla had gone to 13 schools from elementary to post graduate studies. Remarking with jest shesays, "I was constantly moving because my mom is somewhat of a gypsy". She first enrolled at a Montessori in Pasay for first grade and later transferred to St. Theresa's College. AfterSTC, she went to Assumption College and then International School. In fifth grade, her familyPrieto Family decided to move up to Baguio where she studied at Brent. The next school year she went to a public schoolcalled Special Education Center which was a learning institution for students who are deaf, blind and mentally handicapped but they are gifted - like normal kids. It was the school which for Karla left a "life-long impression" on her. Then came secondary education, on her first year she went to the University of Baguio Science High School. After which her family moved to England, there she enrolled at Stoke Brunswick School and later went to the Convent of the Sacred Heart at Woldingham. Also at one time she applied for A School Year Abroad Program, sponsored by Phillips Exeter and Phillips Andover of Spain that enabled her to go to any high school based in New England, USA. In college, during her first year she was at an all-girl's school called Smith College at Northampton, Massachusetts. However, she later opted for a co-educational system so she transferred to Harvard in Cambridge. There she graduated cum laude on June 1988 with a degree in Bachelor of Arts major in Government. She is currently taking a Creative Writing class at the University of the Philippines, Diliman before she goes back to US to take her masters.

Her first involvement in journalism was back in college when she became one of the staffers of the Harvard Political Review. After graduation, with writing as her "only marketable experience", she applied at the Village Voice, which is an "artsy, leftist" newspaper in New York. "I started out as an intern…(then) the managing editor happened to drop by the office of the personnel's internee core, who was the senior editor. And then he said that he was interviewing for a job and if I wanted I could have an interview with him that day… So, I did and I got the job", Karla narrates. It was 1988 when she started working for the Village Voice and her beat was the Asian - American community at the lower east side of New York. She also remembers having done a story on a fiasco in the late 80s which involved the influx of wealth from Hong Kong to the city (New York). 'AntoniaLikewise, during her time with Village Voice she used to be a stringer for the Asiaweek, contributing stories happening in the city. Despite these she knew that she would never make a good reporter because for her people's privacy means a lot. So, in 1989 she left Village Voice. At about the same time, Asiaweek offered her to be a staff in Hong Kong. She accepted the job in 1990 and migrated. She worked for three years with Asiaweek, started as a staff writer then promoted to news editor, general editor and finally, issue managing editor. In 1993 she moved back to the Philippines and was employed at Philippine Daily Inquirer. Her first job at PDI was in the corporate planning department. "I thought I might be interested in the business side but then I realized I missed the writing, editorial (and) creative side(s)", Karla explains. Returning to her line of expertise, she became editor of the Sunday Inquirer Magazine in 1996. Nevertheless, she resigned last December 2000 because of her plan of taking her masters abroad.

At present, Karla is busy attending her class at UP Diliman with mentor, Butch Dalisay. Furthermore, she is involved in writing a coffee table book on Philippine Forests with the well-known photographer, Neil Oshima, to be published by Centro Escolar University. At present she is more of a freelance person and plans to devote most of her time to writing.

In her 12 years in journalism there are several people that she considers inspirational to her career. Two of these people are PDI editor-in-chief, Letty Jimenez Magsanoc, and editorial consultant, Amando Doronilla. According to her, these are the people who became not only hermentors but also friends. They shared her not just their technical skills but at the same time their values and outlook in life and work. "I think it's important to have people like (them) in your life because they reinforce what you believe in and what you stand for", expounds Karla. For her Letty is one "committed journalist", she is "the type who leads by example" and a person who "really stands up for press freedom".Philippine Daily Inquirer On the other hand, Mr. Doronilla or Doro, as she fondly calls him, is someone who has a "very strong work ethic" and of "solid values". Karla adds, "I feel lucky to be able to know people like (them)".
Karla believes that at some point her involvement into journalism has something to do with her having a Roces blood. Karla explains, "I really relate with my Roces relatives…I feel a close bond with them…I think it has to do with how (we share) the same values…(it) reinforces what kind of person you are". Referring to her sense of activism, she is also assured that, "I get that from my mom and I know she gets that from the Roceses".

Karla leaves some words of advice to budding journalists. According to her, the first step is to find a good mentor. She urges aspiring media people to, "get out there (in the field) and chase the story, get the story yourself" and "question everything, not to take what's told, not to take it as necessarily the truth". Lastly, she emphasizes that, "…journalist don't do it for the money".


Friday, July 22, 2005


48 hours of outage netted me a free month of hosting from the hosting provider.

A mistake made by a support administrator caused me to get the account inactivated, which in turn then the billing department saw that I had an outstanding balance and credited me. This made it so that I had no account at all with them, thus no ability to update for 2 days.

This was slightly problematic since I wanted to post a couple of items which I've neglected. I forgot to post that Karla P. Delgado was doing a reading of her new book, Philippine Markets in SoHO on Thursday. I also have neglected to post about Mig Alyesa who is currently on Rock Star: INXS on CBS here in the US. Both are members of the Roces family and I will make sure to document the connection. Karla is the granddaughter of Antonia "Chucha" Roces Prieto Mig is a nephew of Alfredo "Ding" Reyes Roces I will need to get the exact connection in the future but in the interim. Know that we have a Roces who is actively pursuing his dream to be a rock star.

I'll put it all together and make a couple entries over the next few days so there will be a flurry of activity.

For what it's worth, I was trying on Wednesday to finalize the biography question pool which is when I discovered that I had problems. My deadline is tomorrow so I have that to accomplish too.

UPDATE: I just realized that the geocities site has gotten hosed for about 1 hour since a number of people all visited it. I have gotten the whole site backed up on the server and I will be adjusting all the pictures and links accordingly in the next day or two.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Begin Phase 2, no really begin it already

I've not been thinking about it at all. I've been elbow deep in trying to understand just what the software applications can do so that I can implement from a resonable expectation and not be confounded by limitations of the software. While I do have a grand vision, I've tried to temper it with some limitations in mind, some because of future potential growth and others by seeing that the software can only accomplish so much out of the box and that some of the "grand vision" is going to cost money to implement" While I'd love to do "the works" money and time are finite. (I honestly don't know what "the works" would be...)

I have been looking at many other content management systems and how they are melded together into a seamless experience. There is such variety in the ability to customize these software front ends into something that looks so incredibly different from each other. I see that as a strength on one hand, but for me a weakness because too many choices can make me indecisive. I'm going to give myself a research deadline of the end of the week in order to make sure that I don't keep the process hampered in analysis paralysis.

While I'm still poking around with the technology. I did make a goal of having to gather and prepare a process for interviewing people. I'd like to make it as simple and flexible as possible. I don't want to move forward only to find that I need to backtrack to add some extra questions or re-acquire video/audio footage. The interview questions have been gathered, I now need to form them into a cohesive process which I will also complete by the end of the week.

One of the things that I want to be careful of is making sure that I document the processes so that they can be used and handed off to anyone. This way someone else can continue my work or even work in concert with me. This will ensure that everyone gets their story collected in the same manner and it be as complete and as thorough as possible each and every time.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Maria Alexandra "Sandy" Prieto Romualdez

Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez

"I've always been proud of that heritage (being a Roces) and it's something for me to remember…(and) constantly go back to…," claims fourth generation Roces progeny, Sandy Romualdez.

Maria Alexandra Prieto Romualdez or Sandy is currently the president of the
Philippine Daily Inquirer. She is the daughter of PDI chairman of the board, Marixi Rufino, and businessman, Alejandro "Alex" Prieto. Born on the 18th of March 1967, Sandy is the younger sibling of the late PDI president, Louie Prieto. She is also the granddaughter of Benito "Bibelo" Prieto, who is the former president of the Manila Times and brother-in-law of then publisher, Chino Roces.

At present, she is married to Philip Romualdez and has an 8-month old child.

She finished elementary and high school at the Assumption Colleges of Antipolo and San Lorenzo, Makati. In her first year in college, she enrolled as an AB - Sociology student at the University of Santo Tomas. Later, she transferred to the University of the Philippines and shifted to Social Work. But after some time, Sandy migrated and went to the College of Notre Dame. She continued her course in Sociology with a minor in Psychology and graduated in 1989. When she was in her third year, she applied for a Management Study Abroad Program and went to Kenya for six months. After college she came back to the Philippines. Sandy got employed at a Singaporean restaurant and at the same time became a student coordinator at Assumption. She also went into teaching at Assumption. However, she later resigned for her masters at AIM (Asian Institute of Management) where she took Development Studies and earned her degree in 1994.
Sandy P. Romualdez
Her involvement with PDI began in 1995. "My brother, Louie, who was representing the family at Inquirer, unfortunately, passed away in a motorcycle accident. That time my mom is the chairman of the board. (She) asked (me) if that (the position) is something I'm interested in. (But) more than the interest I think (she) wants someone who is capable and competent enough…so what we (did) is sort of I'll join, try and, in a year, evaluate if I could handle. So that's how I joined the company," Sandy narrates. When she started with Inquirer, her position was as executive assistant to the president. Then she became executive vice president and eventually president. Prior to this, she mentioned that, "…when I first joined the paper I spent about a month in each department…I spent time with (the) reporters, circulation managers…(just) to get a good sense of (this) and that…there's no better teacher than experience."

In her almost seven years with PDI there have been people who became part of her career in the newspaper industry. These people include Ben Pangilinan, former PDI president during her executive assistant days, Letty Jimenez - Magsanoc, PDI editor-in-chief, and Marixi Rufino - Prieto, PDI chairman of the board and her mother. For Sandy, these people are the reasons she continuously believes in the company. With Ben, she learned the mindset that one is "never too big or high to look at smaller details". Furthermore, she acquired from him the attitude of looking at things in all angles and being rigid with them. On the other hand, she describes Letty as someone with "unquestionable credibility". Also she admires her ability to maintain a strong integrity in work. With her mother, Sandy recounts an instance when Marixi guided her to "reaffirm (the) values" that the paper and its people stand for. With admiration she narrates, "…when we went through that difficult time (during the) boycott, last 1999, (it) really affected not only our revenue but also our profit. For her
to say, 'we will still Philippine Daily Inquirercontinue and…print…even if it means coming up with a 12-page paper, we just have to do it'…very few businessmen can say it's 'more than just business'…"

Aside from experience and people she deals with, her family also plays a part in her positive outlook on life and career in the print media. She acknowledges her grandfather's ways in handling the business and his philosophies during his days in the old Manila Times. According to her, "…I know my grandfather was always an open person…he would always walk in the printing press and listen to people. He was really approachable." She further describes him as a kind-hearted person and the one who taught her how to balance work and family. Likewise, she recognizes her being a Roces as another aspect in her good career in the newspaper. She remarks, "…as far as independence is concerned in being able to print what…needed to be printed, that is a Roces trait. I know from a fact that Manila Times was like that so they closed down. In a way I can relate to that…it's probably in my genes and I'm glad that its there and…(also being) able to Sandy P. Romualdez and familystand for what you believe in is definitely something (Roces)…"

For her words of advice to young journalists, Sandy explains, "…the print medium is, as far as media is concerned, (is) the best medium to be in….it's only in print where you have the time to be able to really gather enough information and digest it…print is the least fragmented (media)…" She also adds, "I think print is where you can hone your skills and be able to really experience what it is to gather news and be able to inform people." Moreover, she stresses, "…pursue your dreams because that's really where you have passion for…of course when you come to our job there are certain things that you don't expect…but there are certain things and values th
at would last, and practice, it pays off if you practice your writing…"


Saturday, July 16, 2005

Family Tree transferred and "House" foundation laid

I finished transferring all the names from the Sassy Mae created family tree. I need to make some corrections since there are some errors where people like Marlene Roces is cited as being married to her father instead of being her daughter. I also have to fill in the holes of cousins and people at my generation and beyond that were not included which will take some time.

At work I'm currently working on a logging and transcribing system for collecting all the field tapes they use for reality TV creating. I found a neat tool (read: gadget) the Sony Visual Voice Recorder ICD-CX50 which I'd love to get since it would make for some easy digitizing interviews and also take some simple 1.2mp pictures to annotate the conversation. What makes this neat besides the fact it looks like I can shave while I'm interviewing and taking snapshots, is that I can use technology to transcribe the interview. Voice regonition software is quite accurate nowadays that one can pretty much let computers do automatic transcription. This brings to bear a whole new way of collecting oral tradition from the elders of the family.

I purchased a vbulletin forum software this past week and have been tinkering with it. It's quite powerful. I'm going to learn how to code php a little more just so that I can understand what mods are going to do to the system before I apply them. No need to kill the system before it's even launched.

I'm working on a content management system now which will help organize and present the material so that it stays somewhat fresh and you don't keep coming to a static page day after day. There's going to be a lot of material in biographies, pictures, videos, and stories.

I need to make sure that I sit with Kain the website designer this coming week. He's done some very impressive websites most notably a fan site for a cult movie and the special f/x makeup artist of that movie. I really would like to determine just what day I can make an official launch and announcement to the whole family. In order to get that, I'll need to know just what work is left to be done and just what kind of time he's going to need to do the layouts and graphics. We're also going to have to make sure that there is a simple front end to allow family member to upload their pictures, video, and audio easily. This week I will make sure to test the streaming server so that I can start collecting movies from family members even if they are done via email or FTP server.

If there's any family members out there reading this that has any ideas or graphics to submit from family stationary, old business letter heads, family art, seals, marks, etc. I would love to incorporate them into the mix.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

An Amazing Find!

As I've stated before I'm really working on the technical side of putting this thing together. But every once in a while I get tempted and I just poke around and see what comes up. It's currently hit and run looking but I'm amazed at what I've been able to find so far.

My friends all think that I'm a google-master. I've learned how to find things quickly and efficiently without a lot of effort and I get the right results over 90% of the time on the first try. I'm only as good as the tools I have, and for this project it is no different. I was looking around passenger lists and found this interesting tidbit of Lolo Rafael and Lola Enchay taking a trip across the Pacific from Manila to San Francisco in 1952 aboard the S.S. President Cleveland. They were heading to South Bend, Indiana ultimate destination Notre Dame University I'm assuming to visit Tito Ding.

Image hosted by
click on the picture for a full size picture of the manifest page.

Image hosted by
S.S. President Cleveland

I'm looking forward to doing this searching stuff, it's going to be a great challenge. First I really do need to finish up the technology and then get the biographies done.

Falling into place

I got a phone call this afternoon from regarding my recent membership. Apparently they have merged with recently and was asking me if I wanted to transfer my account from Genealogy to Ancestry. Since the Family Tree Maker 2005 hooks directly into it was a no brainer to move over to a site that has a larger database tightly integrated into the software.

Family Tree Maker 2005 is very interesting. I've been adding names into it and what's amazing is that it will automatically search databases to corroborate names and locations. With myself, it picked up all the locations that I had listed phone numbers in the past 10 years.

I have installed vbulletin software onto the server last night. I spent today setting it up and I'm testing the different sections now to make sure that what I'm envisioning is actually possible out of the box. I am a moderator on a very large vbulletin community of about 52,000 members from all over the world. I've seen some of the back end pieces, but I was completely floored to see the whole backend. It's quite intricate and is going to be more than capable of doing what is needed.

I won't have time to meet up with the web designer this week which I was hoping to do. We need to work on the flowchart of how all these components are going to work together. As I get the software components it really is helping me see how they will connect together.

One of the next things that I need to do is settle on a standardized set of interview questions so that I can start talking to people and getting their biographies done. Again, I have a template in mind and how it's going to flow on the webpage. This information doesn't need to wait for the technology pieces so I should stop wasting time and just get that part done already.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Alejandro "Anding" Reyes Roces

Alejandro Reyes-Roces

"When I wrote the Fiesta everybody was against fiestas. Everybody wanted to eradicate it, they felt it was the greatest bond against progress…but I saw the fiesta as our highest community expression…that was the impression it made on me so I wanted to preserve it," explained Dr. Anding Roces when asked to talk about his motivation for writing one of his famous books that came out back in 1980.

Alejandro "Anding" is one of the notable Roceses in the fields of journalism and literature. Last year in an article by the Philippine Star dated May 21, 2000 he was included in the World's Who's Who, which is a biographical directory of the highest achievers and contributors from around the globe. He was also given a citation by the Cultural Center of the Philippines Centennial Honors for the Arts last February 2, 1999 "for his invaluable contributions to the field of cultural dissemination" thus granting him the "Parangal Sentenyal sa Sining at Kultura".
News CAPsules
Chairman and president of the College Assurance Plan Foundation at the present, Dr. Anding recalls that his affiliation with the company started with his "great interest in education". Bearing another chairmanship position, last March 22, 2001 he was appointed to handle the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) under Pres. Arroyo's term. Also he is currently a columnist for The Philippine Star with his Roses and Thorns, which he once wrote for the Daily Mirror and Manila Times. Originally, the column was derived from his brother Liling who wrote before the war. It was then called Thorns and Roses. Aside from these present involvements he was president of the Bulletin Publishing Corporation and had been Secretary of Education during Macapagal's administration. He was also Dean of the Institute of Arts and Science at the Far Eastern University, which was a university, founded by his uncle, Nicanor Reyes.

Born on the 13th of July 1924, Alejandro "Anding" is one of the nine children of couple Rafael Roces and Inocencia Reyes. Likewise, he is one of the Reyes-Roces cousins of the late Joaquin "Chino" Roces.

He attended elementary and high school at the Ateneo de Manila. During World War II, in his teenage years he mentioned signing up for the guerrillas. "I joined the guerrilla because College Assurance Plan Chairmanlater on I was told, 'Mayroon ng lumalaban', 'Sino?' 'Sa Pampanga', 'Anong pangalan?' It was the communist group, 'hukbo ng bayan laban sa Hapon'. So, I joined the guerrilla under Marking and that's how I got involved," narrates Anding. Even in his youth he had been promising, "I was a teenager but…still I ended up with the rank of captain…"

After the war, he migrated to US where studied at the University of Arizona and earned a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. While at the university he realized that, "…I was not in the influence of any school, any teacher or even my own family and that was when I discovered that I was a writer," here is where his career started. Dr. Anding made his way through great achievements in journalism, literature and arts. He attained several doctorate degrees: Literature at Toyo University, Japan; Arts and Letters at Polytechnic University of the Philippines; Humane Letters at Ateneo de Manila University; and Humanities at St. Louis University in Baguio City.

Later on he got married to Irene Yorston Viola and had a daughter named Elizabeth.Columnist, Roses and Thorns

When he was asked if being a Roces has something to do with everything he had achieved, he replied, "…genetically yes, but as far as that is concern I have to discover it on my very own, individually, not as a Roces".

With everything that Dr. Alejandro "Anding" Reyes Roces experienced, his view on writing and life is simply that, "…it [writing] made me a better person. You cannot be a great writer, first you have to be a good person".


The process of fleshing out the design

I've been meeting with the web designer for most of the weekend. We've talked about how all the components and parts will meet together into one cohesive document. The process we are following in creating is an established design process by a well known desing firm in Chelsea. We are focused on Phase 2.

The technology parts are falling into place rather easily once I identified the needs to address multimedia aspects. I still have to settle on a couple other software pieces, but the delay in selecting those pieces is more about upgradability, easy of maintenance, and security.

I will have to settle on them soon because that's a portion of the architecture. There's a few items that I'd like to leave as "future upgrades" because the whole project at once seems a little overwhelming to implement all at once, which is where Phase 5 comes into play.

One of the parts that I know I have to start doing immediately is contacting each and every living family member currently from the Alejandro Roman Domingo Roces line that I can find and contact. It is quite a daunting task since just the in my own line of Rafael Filomeno Roces, he had 11 children of which 8 are still going strong and are spread out all over the world.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A find at Ellis Island

I took off Friday to stay home to have some furniture delivered. As I waited for it all to arrive, I threw myself into the project.

I signed up for database subscriptions to different genealogical sites. I registered host names. I made screen layouts. I compared various software packages from freeware to off the shelf. It was all in all quite an advancement for this project.

Our family portrait is in Ellis Island. If you go there and walk about the grounds you'll find a Kodak kiosk and it has stories of immigrant families along with photos of various immigrants to America. If you get the chance to visit it, you'll see a photo of me when I was in high school c. 1984. The way we got our pictures into it is a story in and of itself since when they created the project they approached Kodak employees to help fill the database and mom was fortunate to submit her picture and get it accepted.

Saturday night just as a goof I decided to see if that photo was online anywhere. Imagine my surprise to find Roces that crossed the Atlantic as far back a little over 100 years ago.

Ellis Island

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Alfredo "Ding" Reyes Roces

Alfredo R. Roces

Alfredo Reyes-Roces is a gifted artist-writer from the known Roces clan in Philippine print media. He is the author of the latest book on the Roces family, "Looking for Liling" and the National Book Award-winning title, "Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo and the Generation of 1972".

Currently a freelance artist and writer, Alfredo or Ding, as he is fondly called, has been living in Australia since 1977. He married Irene Pineda on May 24, 1958 and has three daughters, Grace,
Mina and Mia.

The youngest among nine brothers, Ding was born on April 29, 1932 at Sta. Cruz, Manila. His parents are
Rafael Filomeno Roces and Inocencia Reyes.

He finished elementary at St. Mary's College in 1946. He transferred at the Far Eastern University for his high school and graduated in 1950. For college he went to the University of Notre Dame and completed a degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1954. He also attended the Arts Students' League of New York in the years 1955 - 1956 with the well-known German Dadaist, George Grosz, as his mentor. Finally, for a year (however not mentioned when) he trained at an advertising firm in New York called Donahue and Coe.

His early years in the journalism profession were for him "a crash learning process". He started off as a ghostwriter and later acquired a column in 1958 with the Daily Mirror. "I chose to write about subjects I was familiar with and close to my interest, mostly art and culture…I did not start as a copy boy or as a reporter…which makes my journalistic background and approach different from most journalists. (But) in later years I expanded my topics to Looking for Lilingcover politics and current events", explains Ding. His column was titled
"Light and Shadow", which he continuously wrote for the Manila Times until 1959. Reminiscing his experiences, he realizes that, "…living off journalism in the 50s to the 70s was extremely difficult. I was paid 20 pesos a column, and I had to write everyday, seven days a week including Christmas and all holidays, whether I was sick or not or I did not get paid for that day. Until the last day I wrote for the Times my fee was still 20 pesos a day. I never got an increase for over 10 years"! Despite this he feels privileged that in his years of working he always had a very "free hand in writing and doing" what he wanted which he believes was "not (a) typical journalistic experience".

In 1972,
Manila Times closed down upon the declaration of Martial Law. "I lost my job. It was even harder because I could not write freely and although I was offered jobs in the Marcos' papers, I begged off", narrates Alfredo. Notwithstanding his unemployment he became editor-in-chief of the Filipino Heritage, which was a ten-volume study on Philippine History and Culture. It was a position he handled until 1978. A year before Filipino Heritage was published he migrated to Australia where he became editor of the Austral Asia's quarterly Geographical magazine called "Geo" after two years. His work with the magazine lasted until 1990.

In his years of being in the career of journalism and arts, there are several unforgettable people he had worked with. "The person I most associate with was my brother Alejandro…we shared interests in Philippine culture", Ding first mentions. He also adds, "my cousin Chino (who) was publisher (of the Manila Times)…and while I kept an arm's distance from him to avoid his telling me what to write, I developed a rapport with him". He also enumerates Frankie Sionil Jose, who was then the editor of the Sunday Times Magazine, Joe Luna Castro, Sunday Times' editor-in-chief, Mirror's editor Abe Cruz, whom he used to ghost write editorials for, cartoonist Nonoy Marcelo, Chronicle cartoonist Liborio Gatbonton and brothers, Bencab and Badong, who used to work with Manila Times. These people became Ding's close friends, who still share memorable experiences with him even until now.
Ding and Family
Aside from journalism, column writing and editing, he was also into advertising. He once managed a public relations and advertising agency. Yet, he lost interest because he "discovered (that) buttering up to clients was the only thing that mattered not professional merit". Ding then focused on his real inclination, arts and writing. By training, Alfredo is actually an artist. He does pottery, sculpture, photography and painting, which was his major back in college. Moreover, according to him his minor of philosophy has equipped him in his writing. This is clearly manifested through several selections he already came up with. Examples of his works are "Legaspi: The Making of a National Artist",
"Medals and Shoes: Political Cartoons of the Times of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, 1965 - 1992" and others which he personally produced and co-authored. In addition to book production he also does book cover designing. At present, he is doing another career-related interest, which is digital art, and writing over the Internet.

Alfredo's multi-faceted persona in the fields of arts and journalism cannot but be attributed partly to his being a Roces. He declares, "you are a Roces by accident of birth, but I suppose there are family values and culture imbibed through the years". He adds, "My parents also cautioned us against using our family name for personal advantage stressing that we should get ahead on merit". And despite the demands and pressure of bearing a family name that's well-reputed, Ding feels that, " I have always been extremely proud of my family roots, especially my parents who were living examples of humility and responsibility; and also of my eldest brother Liling who gave his life for his beliefs during World War II. With three other brothers preceding as columnists for the Manila Times, I was conscious I had to live up to their Medals and Shoesreputation. But having said that, I have also sensed resentment on the part of other writers and editors who think I have established myself through my family connections. So I felt I had to prove myself as a writer and a journalist".

For his final words of advice to starting journalists, he reiterates, "it's (journalism) a hard slog, a difficult career. I believe more so now than in my time, because the quality of journalism in the Philippines has declined and journalists of integrity have a harder time getting established. There's very little financial reward. There is also now a language problem to confront in the coming years. But the satisfaction of self-expression and of communicating with others is fulfilling. So my prime advice is that you must keep your integrity no matter what for that is the only true measure of a good journalist. To strive to be professional requires much work and discipline. Without study, diligence and discipline you will always remain mediocre. If you try to get away with just pure talent and 'bola', your printed words come back and haunt you. Keep an open mind. You have to be objective and not let your personal feelings obscure your insights and your reportage. Cross check and double check. Read. Read. Read. Write. Write. Write.
And please do not transform journalistic success into political career".


Saturday, July 02, 2005

The Wheel: The Technology

I have commited to a 2 year hosting contract with It is a very robust hosting service that provides the most storage and bandwidth along with many tools to get one started on just about any project quickly and easily.

One feature that I found to be very interesting is a Donate Directly to Host system where one can donate directly to the host service provider elimating the wonder of if donations are actually going to fixed costs or enhancing the lifestyle of the website creator. As you can see on the side and below there is a donate button. A funny message is given when you actually click the button and are taken to the Paypal donation link.

Donate towards my web hosting bill!

Donate to!

Your donation will go toward's web hosting bill here at DreamHost Web Hosting! Because you're donating directly through DreamHost, rest assured that your donation will only be used to pay for this site's hosting fees. The site owner won't be able to run off and spend your donation on DVDs, fine steak dinners, or anything else completely unrelated to their web hosting bill! Please select the amount you'd like to donate now!

The host provides a number of free tools and open source software such as blogger, email, forum, merchant carts, and security tools.

The domains have been registered, and When they go on sale again, I'll register some others like and The other week I had a handful or registrations that should have only cost me $40 but because I delayed and didn't do it right away, in the 2 weeks the price soared from $40 to over $150.

The blog will be moved to the family server as soon as I can figure out how to point the existing URL to the new blog page. This will ensure that anyone who stumbles upon the page gets funneled to the right direction. Since is a google product it will also be good for me to keep it there and allow it to get ranked and cataloged into google. This will help when someone types in ROCES at they won't just get pages on where to buy rollerblades.

I can host email for anyone who would like to have or, had this been the mid-90's it would have much more cachet, but like telephone numbers we all have way too many of them. I think I have about 4 different email addresses between work and personal activities. The rocesfamily@gmail will still be a collecting point since again, google does a better job at preserving information than any one else on the planet. I will just configure it so that it eventually goes to a mailbox.

Another tool provided is a phpbb forum. Forums are the modern equivalent of the old 300 baud bulletin boards of the 80's. While I know vbulletin much better from an administration point of view, I have seen some pretty impressive phpbb boards that have user photo galleries which is a key element to this project. I'm hoping that I can allow people to create video galleries as well.

The family tree is morphing from a simple organizational chart into the multimedia family tree. The ability to annotate each family member with photos, audio, video, will help preserve their memories over time. I can recall one conversation with Lola Enchay but only remember that I did not understand her since I did not speak Spanish very well.

I do also want to respect people's privacy to collect some of this information without revealing themselves to other family members. This is a tricky concept because of course we all think that family is family and why would they care? Some people just like the anonymity of the internet and I need to strike a balance of being an adminstrator first and a family member second in some cases. So as I stated before there will be a public area for the general public, but I also need to figure out a way to validate family members as family members. The actress Susan Roces has no affiliation with the family but has the moniker. I know that it's going to be tricky especially as I encounter people whom I have not been able to attach to the family tree.

There are a few items that I have to pass over with some legal friends, such as COPPA compliance here in the US, privacy policy, copyrights, and of course one has to be concerned with legal liabilities.