ATTY. JOSE FERDINAND M. ROJAS II: HE LOVES TO READ REAL LIFE STORIES OF PEOPLE
By Rogelio Constantino Medina
If he has sufficient time, during a weekend he reads fictions as well as enjoys reading real life stories of people.
"I love to read autobiographies and history books because there is something from the past that can be learned and applied at the present and future," Atty. Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II, fondly called Atty. Joy, says with alacrity.
On Friday and Saturday nights, he devotes his time with his wife, he adds.
During the 7 - 8 a.m., Saturday, Atty. Joy Rojas is at DWIZ radio station for his radio show, Pusong Pinoy, a program, that attends to medical and health needs of the listeners.
On Sundays, he usually interacts with his in-laws and family members during lunch or dinner. He is also a lay minister at St. Peter and Paul Parish Church in Makati City.
At times, he is invited as a guest in a Sunday radio program, Pari Ko, aired on DWIZ from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m., with Fathers Jojo Buenafe and Jason Laguerta as hosts.
If he brings his work at home, it is not a problem with his wife because "my wife is also doing work even during weekends, so we complement each other."
His wife, Atty. Patricia Bunye-Rojas, is the first woman president of LES (Licensing Executives Society) Philippines, the local society of LES International, a worldwide federation of professionals involved in the transfer of technology, industrial and intellectual property rights.
In his early age, he was very active in playing tennis and badminton. Later on, he got involved in horse-back riding and equestrian.
"But I am now involved in horse-breeding and horse-racing as a hobby," says Atty. Joy who used to be the director and corporate secretary from 1997 to 2006 of the PHILTOBO (Philippine Thoroughbred Owners and Breeder Organization, Inc.).
His Global Perspective
During his teen years at La Salle Greenhills, he used to do buy-and-sell of different kinds of goods.
He would sell them to the parents of his classmates and to the offices where his father and mother would go during summer time.
Later, he was exposed to real estate business after graduating at the University of Massachusetts where he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree, majors in economics and political science, cum laude, in 1988.
"We're into real estate buy-and-sell development. I was also exposed to the meat business, delivering fresh meat to the different markets, groceries and establishments in Metro Manila," reminisces Atty. Joy Rojas.
His father, Jose Agreda Rojas, hails from Cavite City. He was director of Republic Bank and was engaged in real estate and trading businesses. He had focused his real estate venture in Bataan.
"My father was also the co-owner, with the Roman family, of the Cinerama movie house in Metro Manila," he says.
His mother, Emiliana "Mely" Silverio Mendoza of Bigaa, Bulacan, on the other hand, had been with the meat business even before she got married to Atty. Joy's father.
Interestingly, his maternal grandfather, Francisco Mendoza, was the first Filipino general manager of historic Manila Hotel, the oldest and one of the finest hotels in the country.
When Jose Ferdinand returned home after graduating with honors at an American university where he interacted with diverse cultures of other countries, he had gained a global business outlook in life and learned to do multi-tasking works.
While he was studying in a law school at Ateneo de Manila University Law School, he worked during the day in their family's business for two years. Later on, he concentrated on his law studies and graduated in 1994 with Juris Doctor of Law. In that same year, he passed the grueling bar exams.
After that, he tried working in a private law firm, the De Borja Medialdea Ata Bello Guevarra & Serapio Law Office as an associate from 1994 to 1995. Then he became a partner at Rojas Sales De Leon Tecson & Desiderio Law Office.
In 2000, he put up his own law office, the Jose M. Rojas II Law Office, which is engaged in the general practice of law.
The Challenge: How to Give More
In 1998, he was hired by the late senator and speaker of the House of Representatives, Ramon "Monching" Villarosa Mitra Jr., who was then president of the Philippine National Oil Company. Atty. Joy became PNOC's assistant corporate secretary.
In 2006, he became commissioner of the Philippine Racing Commission and later, its chairman in 2008.
During his Philippine Racing Commission stint, he was able to accomplish stability and harmony in the horse-racing industry and steady growth in its revenues.
Moreover, he was able to increase the interest and awareness in the horse-racing industry, and at the same time, he was able to improve the lives of the different sectors of the horse-racing industry.
At the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, where he is now its general manager, he was able to implement cost-saving measures, streamline the said agency, enhance its present programs, increase its revenue sales and expand charity programs.
This was achieved, he says, through the painstaking efforts of the PCSO employees, staff, management, board of directors and Chairperson Margie P. Juico.
Moreover, he takes it as a positive outlook any problems or challenges he has faced in his work, with so many assistances being requested.
"The challenge is that how you can give more to our less fortunate kababayans, to fellow Filipinos na may sakit (who are sick)," he says.
Leadership by Example
He says he leads by example and he does not micromanage, which means that a manager closely observes or controls the work of his or her subordinates or employees. It has a negative connotation by paying too much attention to minor details.
"I want to empower different managers and departments," says he who believes in developing potentials of the individuals. He is thus a firm believer in a democratic type of leadership.
As the current PCSO general manager, he intends to increase its revenues by enhancing its existing activities and introducing new programs. In the long-term plan, the PCSO, he says, wants to have a sub-office or branch office in all the provinces nationwide so that "our services will be within reach of every Filipino who may be in need."
In the near future, the PCSO, he says, will have its permanent office in San Marcelino, Manila.
Basically, from Monday to Friday, he focuses his time and energy to work.
Youngest among the brood of 7, Atty. Joy, a member of the Manila Jaycees from 1988 to 2006, has this philosophy: "Make the most of your life by sharing what you have and serving others' needs, and you will find happiness in your heart."
It is certainly a truism after all that happiness is an elusive transitory thing but if you bring happiness to someone else then it comes to you with contentment and peace.