Saturday, May 2, 2009


Alejandro R. Roces

Alejandro “Anding” Roces is the brother of anti-Marcos journalist Chino Roces. Like his brother, he too used the paper and pen as a tool to defeat the giants who tried to oppress the Philippines.

He had himself enlisted as a guerilla during the Second World War. During the Martial Law years under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, he wrote several articles that pierced the thoughts of several Filipinos and fight for national democracy. His works have been published in various international magazines and received numerous national and international awards.

This short story writer and essayist is considered as the country’s best writer of comic short stories. One of his most famous comic short stories is “My Brother’s Peculiar Chicken.” Most, if not all, of his stories reflect local color. It is a style that made him known in the writing circles as the champion of Filipino cultures.

With his colorful descriptions of how the Philippines celebrates its fiestas, he has laminated the Philippines’ most extravagant and colorful tradition of the 20th century. He was instrumental in popularizing several local fiestas, notably, Moriones and Ati-atihan.

He personally led the campaign to change the country’s Independence Day from July 4 to June 12 during the Diosdado Macapagal administration. He was also the brain behind the proposal of changing the medium from English to Filipino in the country’s passports, postal stamps and currency.

Today, he has a column that is regularly published in the Philippine Star entitled “Roces and Thorns.” His topics usually focus on the neglected aspects of the Filipino culture.

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