History of the Rojas Family of Cavite

Roman Super Cinerama Theater (now Isetann Cinerama Recto) at Quezon Boulevard in Recto, Manila and Nation Cinerama Theater in Araneta Center, Quezon City were the only Cinerama theaters built in the Philippines in the 1960s. Both theaters are now defunct as Roman Super Cinerama burned down in the late 1970s and became Isetann Cinerama Recto in 1988 while Nation Cinerama closed down in the early 1970s it is now Manhattan Parkview Residences built by Megaworld Corporation.


“When the doors of the new ROMAN SUPER CINERAMA theater are opened, says the ad, the Philippines’ proudest theatre will be revealed. From the ultra modern plush seats to the thick carpeting, from the utmost in beauty and comfort to the most advanced designs in the screen, sound and projection equipment, the new ROMAN SUPER CINERAMA theatre has no peer. No expense has been spared to make this opening an exciting and memorable experience in theatre going.”

 “And it is only fitting that the beautiful new ROMAN SUPER CINERAMA theatre should have as its first attraction the wonder that revolutionized the entertainment world --- “How the West was Won.” This was in 1964! The Roman Super Cinerama was built in the 1960's at the heart of Manila at Claro M. Recto Street corner Quezon Blvd., owned by the Roman's and Rojas family, specifically Jose A. Rojas son of Victor S. Rojas. Edgardo Rojas Cruz [Victor's grandson and Jose's nephew] was the first theater manager for four years. It was at that time the most luxurious mall, it was the first building in the Philippines to have an escalator and the first cinema to have carpet. During its time it was the biggest wide screen theatre in the world, it had the capacity of having 1,500 seats. Sadly in the late 1970's it burned down due to faulty electric wirings, but nonetheless Jose A. Rojas and his wife Emiliana M. Rojas were born entrepreneurs and shifted to real estate in Bataan.”

Article by: Leandro Zerrudo Cruz a.k.a. "Ding Rojas Cruz, LeeYan Zerrudo"

(Standing L-R: Hector Chua, Justin Rojas,Irving Rojas, Kenneth Rojas, Ian Rojas, Vicci Rojas, Bianca Rojas Balatbat, Paloma Rojas, Kassandra Rojas, Giancarlo Luigi Rojas, Jenny Rojas, Nikki Rojas, Joel Rojas, Jun Jun Rojas, Jammy Rojas-Honrado, Beegee Gonzalez. Seated L-R: Mike Rojas Erika Echiverri-Rojas, Pinky Gallardo-Rojas Elaine Rojas-Chua, Jacob Rojas Chua, Jaye Rojas-Gonzalez, Tita Castillo-Rojas. Kneeling L-R: Althea Rojas, Moira Rojas Chua, Adrian Rojas Balatbat, Ridge Rojas Gonzalez, Jiggy Rojas, and Judd Rojas) - Picture above 3rd and 4th generation direct descendants of Jose A. Rojas

Picture Above: Emiliana "Mely" Mendoza Rojas wife of Jose A. Rojas and Grandchildren on her 80th birthday
(Standing L-R: Ian Rojas, Kenneth Rojas, Irving Rojas, Kendee Rojas, Elaine Rojas-Chua, Jandy Rojas, Carmely Rojas, Bianca Rojas Balatbat, Mike Rojas, Tita Castillo-Rojas, Joel Rojas, Nikki Rojas and Ryan Rojas. Seated L-R: Matriarch Emiliana "Mely" Mendoza Rojas, Giancarlo Luigi Rojas, Adrian Rojas Balatbat, Ridge Rojas Gonzalez and Jiggy Rojas.)

Victor Mendoza Rojas

                             Victor M. Rojas with wife Myrna Estanislao Rojas

Tito Vic, Tita Myrna with her sister Prescy
and Jun-Jun

               Tito Vic: Dinner at Romulus
with Tita Myrna, Tita Jing, Tita Babette, Tita Tammy
Kassie, Jun-Jun, Irving and Kenneth Edward

Tita Jing with President Noynoy

Tito Joy, Tita Jing, Paloma, Bianca with President Noynoy

Carlo with President Noynoy

Tito Rolly, Ryan, Miguel Rey Garcia, Precy R. Raquel, Tita May ...

Tito Rolly-Tita May's Sons: Ryan and Nikki

Nikki, Paloma and Ryan

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.