The Roces Family Around the World

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!!!

A little acapella do wop ditty by Santa and the Reindeer.

Have yourself a wonderful Merry Christmas.

Christmastime in a bottle

Christmastime in a bottle
First posted 11:14pm (Mla time) Dec 24, 2005
By Linda Bolido

THE LADY'S CHOICE HAS BECOME THE people's, too, as more than a hundred communities throughout the Philippines rallied around the new squat glass jar of the popular mayonnaise brand of consumer product manufacturer Unilever.

The new Lady's Choice bottle for mayonnaise and sandwich spreads became the symbol this Christmas of bayanihan, an increasingly endangered Filipino tradition. From the northernmost province of the country, Batanes, to the heartland of Mindanao, entire towns and cities worked together for weeks to come up with their entries to Unilever's Christmasterpiece Bayanihang Pasko 2005, the first of what will be an annual competition for the best holiday season emblem that a community could produce through teamwork.

The rules were simple. Among others, participants had to form themselves into teams of at least 10, use a minimum of 100 new Lady's Choice bottles, and the resulting structure should be not less than 15 feet tall. When the dust settled, rather after thousands of bottles had been emptied, the modest town of Naawan in Misamis Oriental, halfway between the capital Cagayan de Oro and Lanao del Norte's Iligan City, emerged victorious as the "Most Creative Town or City."

The municipality of 17,000 built the Arc of Friendship over the main highway. Consisting of two towers, with a footbridge linking both parts, the Pride of Naawan, as Mayor Dennis L. Roa called it, could very well be the town's own Arc de Triomphe. Though it did not cost as much to build nor would it last as long as the Paris landmark (entries must be left intact until Jan. 15), the bamboo-palm-coconut arch won for the town at least P1 million in prize money (there were additional prizes in cash and kind). It also earned Naawan bragging rights over Tangub City in Misamis Occidental, which had been dubbed the Christmas Symbols Capital of the Philippines. In fact, almost every town and city in Mindanao that participated in the contest knew Tangub would be a formidable opponent. The city had been into the Christmas business for 13 years, hence the title conferred on it by the Department of Tourism.

Tangub did win a silver and a bronze for two of its seven entries.

Roa had the help of a former advertising man and a native son of Naawan, Bai Manginsay, in conceptualizing the award-winning arch. With the prize money, the mayor said he would set up a creativity center that would train people, particularly out of school youth, in livelihood activities.

Naawan celebrated its victory in style, courtesy of Unilever. Despite the heavy rains on the evening of Dec. 17, people from the town and neighboring municipalities came in droves to watch, among others, Jolina Magdangal and Jimmy Bondoc perform.

Iligan, which had three entries, won a special citation. The Department of Education's entry, which featured traditional symbols of the season like the Christmas tree, used the most number of bottles-2,672-beating the local government's replica of city hall by just a few jars. Mayor Lawrence Cruz said the people of the city were so into the spirit of the competition that they even brought unopened jars. Not wanting the items to go to waste, the mayor had them used for sandwiches for the volunteers' merienda.

Though only about one per cent of Iligan's population is Muslim, Cruz made it a point to make them feel part of the whole project by having a crescent beside the cross on the roof of "city hall."

In Tangub, with seven entries to fill with Lady's Choice jars, Mayor Jennifer Tan and Vice Mayor Edemar Alota, who supervised the project, said they would probably lay off the mayonnaise and sandwich spread until February. That the city has this Christmas thing down pat was obvious from the complexity and diversity of its entries. The city engineer's office's bronze-winning project even had a revolving "bottle" of Lady's Choice made of rice straw looming over a large umbrella covering the nativity scene (the umbrella was supposed to be a metaphor for faith and the encompassing protection it offers).

Judges in this year's competition were National Artist Alejandro Roces, glass sculptor Ramon Orlina, architect Ma. Cristina Turalba, Tourism Assistant Secretary Eduardo Jarque and Unilever's Alex Tacderas.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all those family members around the world!
A rememberance to those that are no longer with us in body but memory.

This particular young gentleman is Matthew the son of Mike Sioson & Marlene Roces. She was kind enough to send this early in the Christmas season and I've been hoping that other family members would also send me pictures of their children on Santa's lap. I'll have to make sure that I announce the request much earlier next year.

Take some pictures of your kids opening gifts in the morning and email me the best ones you have. It would be great to share them with the rest of the family around the globe.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

RITN: Migrant worker's daughter does her family proud

Roces in the News (RITN)

Every day I keep finding new things about the family name and it's legacy. It's nice to know that Lolo Rafael is still helping people help people.

Special Features (as of 1:40 AM)

Migrant worker’s daughter does her family proud



As a child Donna Marie Alcantara was no different from the others. In her grade school years, Donna, as her friends called her, usually spent her time playing without worrying about life. Back then she was studying in a private school in Baguio City. Her father worked as a laborer in a company and was earning enough for his family; her mother sold barbecue to augment the family income. Life seemed good.

When Donna reached Grade 6, her mother decided to work abroad as a housemaid. As with other children of OFWs, Donna found the separation difficult. She remembers enduring loneliness and the pang her mother’s absence.

"Although our financial situation improved a bit, it still could not replace having my mother around." Gifted with a maturity beyond her years, Donna decided to pour all her energies on her studies instead.

Despite the hard work of her mother and father, money was still hard to come by for the family. Classes were about to start when Donna was informed that the family could no longer shoulder some of her school expenses.

It was another storm that Donna had to weather.

"It was bad because my classmates would tease me about my ratty old uniforms and the fact that I always had to borrow school materials. I felt like I had no choice because we just didn’t have enough money to buy all those things."

When she was about to enter high school, she transferred from a private school to a public one.

Fearful for her future but determined to succeed, Donna worked hard until she found herself part of the Pathways to Higher Education Program in Saint Louis University in Baguio City.

Pathways to Higher Education is an innovative education program of Ateneo de Manila University, having regional offices in Baguio Marbel and Bulacan, that aims to help send academically gifted but marginalized public high-school students to college. Instead of giving doles and scholarships, Pathways offers impoverished high-school students academic enrichment classes, supplementary learning activities, and learning resource centers to enable them to study well and earn scholarships to the schools and courses of their choice. It opened a lot of doors for Donna and finally the Rafael Roces Memorial Scholarship Program provided her with a full scholarship.

Now a sophomore at Saint Louis University, Donna is well on her way toward fulfilling her dreams of providing a better future for her and her family.

"Someday I want to build up my own school, a school that can help marginalized students develop and enhance their talents, skills and abilities. I also dream of becoming a teacher who will serve the country and help bring out the best in students, a teacher who deals with people, touching life and letting them realize that everything happens for a reason."

Donna’s family is her source of inspiration. "My family is my source of happiness. In the end, I just want to give them a more comfortable life. It is true that I am going through a lot of trials in life; I still find myself praying to God asking for help, guidance and support. I cannot allow one difficulty to defeat me, to crush the dreams that years of hard work and dedication have built. I must hold on to my dreams and believe that I can do it."

Pathways to Higher Education has been helping young students like Donna chart their own courses for the future. With your help, more high-school and college students will have access to new experiences and opportunities that will make them better individuals and leaders. Get to know more about Pathways’ groundbreaking programs by calling 426-6001 local 4044-4049, by sending an e-mail to, or by logging on to or by texting 0920-950-8171.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Pilar Roces Felgueroso

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GIJÓN 15 de Diciembre de 2005

Aunque haya muerto vivirá

Querido Carlos: Quiero estar unido a ti y a toda tu familia en la muerte de tu hermana Pili. Ciertamente ese agujero tan hondo y oscuro que siempre aparece en nuestra vida como es la muerte nos deja sin palabras. Los humanos tenemos palabras para casi todo, pero para la muerte no tenemos ninguna, lo único que se nos ocurre es decir a quien padece este acontecimiento «te acompaño en el sentimiento» o «estoy contigo». Yo hoy quiero decirte otra cosa muy diferente, en la que tú crees profundamente.

Los que creemos hemos recibido una palabra de quien es más que nosotros, que vivió la muerte en su propia existencia y que resucitó y alcanzó la resurrección para nosotros. Él nos dijo: «Yo soy la resurrección y la vida, el que cree en mí, aunque haya muerto, vivirá y todo el que vive y cree en mí no morirá para siempre».

¿Crees esto? Sé que tú lo crees. Y sé también que la inseguridad que viene de nosotros desaparece cuando asumimos la seguridad que Jesucristo mismo nos da. Pido al Señor por tu hermana. Mañana la misa la ofreceré por ella y la recordaré junto a todos vosotros, su familia. Con gran afecto.

Carta remitida por el Sr. Arzobispo, D.Carlos Osoro a Carlos Roces Felgueroso

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Director: Isidoro Nicieza

GIJÓN 15 de Diciembre de 2005

Funeral en La Asunción por Pilar Roces Felgueroso

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Pilar Roces Felgueroso.

María del Pilar Roces Felgueroso falleció el pasado lunes y recibió cristiana sepultura en Villalón de Campos (Valladolid).

Pili será despedida mañana, viernes, día 16 de diciembre, a las 19.45 de la tarde, en La Asunción, donde se celebrará un funeral por su eterno descanso. En el Colegio de La Asunción estudiaron las tres hermanas Roces Felgueroso y allí sus familiares rezarán por ella, muy cerca del hogar que compartieron en la niñez y juventud.

Era la mayor de nueve hermanos, de los que ahora sólo viven seis. Ella fue también madre de familia numerosa; casada, hace más de medio siglo, con Manuel Herrero Monje, fue madre de ocho hijos. Profunda creyente, Pilar vivió al servicio de su familia. Entregada a todos ellos, sin desmayar, desde la muerte de su hija Mercedes, en un accidente de automóvil, vivió con su pena y fue perdiendo la fuerza y la salud hasta su reciente muerte.

«Ante su muerte no debemos estar tristes ni lamentarnos. Su vida ha de servirnos de ejemplo a todos, para desterrar el egoísmo y servir a los demás con amor, como ella hizo durante tantos años», dice su hermano Carlos Roces

Monday, December 05, 2005

Nisena Ortiz Roces

The call came on Saturday morning. I wasn't home so I got a message from my sister on my cellphone when Mamasing passed on. I was travelling to visit a friend for the weekend and didn't have access to a computer until today.

If anyone would like to share stories or pictures for me to post please contact me

Information on services and news as I hear about it.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The holidays are upon us

I've been quite busy with work since I've returned from the Philippines. There are several business deals that I'm working on and it's kept me from working on this project. I've literally had not spare time as I've been jet setting for the past 2 months with a trip to Carlsbad to visit my parents, London to visit my mother in law, and this weekend will be a surprise trip my wife as put together.

The holidays will bring some lighter workloads at the office so I'll be able to write up some elements I've been meaning to. If anything I don't think I'll get to the conversion to this new format until after the new year, but I can at least continue to update this blog on a weekly basis like when I first started.

Two different family members have been connected by other long lost people because of this website. One connection spans decades and is within the oldest generation, and the other is from my generation. It's great to know that even if I've not had time to update this site with stories that it still is something that can help connect the family over time and distance.