OFFICIAL SITE OF BERNARDO S. ROJAS

INTRODUCTION

He first saw the light of day on April 9, 1913. Bernardo Sipriaso Rojas was born in Cavite City to Maria Sipriaso of Kawit ,Cavite and Honorio Rojas of Cavite City. He was the 5th of 6 children and the youngest male child . Fondly called "Nanding" by friends and relatives (and later "Desnard" by his wife Virginia Salcedo), he took his elementary and high school courses in the City of Cavite. College life was in the University of Sto.Tomas where he took 2 courses, Pre-Medicine (which was then a separate 4 year course) and Commerce.
In the early part of the 20th century,the Rojas family became wealthy and popular in Cavite City as well as in Silang, Dasmarinas and Imus where Bernardo's parents bought and owned several parcels of land. Other than that, his family also went into the cinema business. It was in a movie house that he met his wife, Virginia. She was the ticket lady at Perla Theater, owned by his family. The young Bernardo was smitten with the lovely Virginia or "Vi" for short. They got married in 1940 and had 8 children , 2 boys and 6 girls(Marita, Olivia, Basilia, Augusto, Jean Eulogia, Marcos Virgilio, Ma.Elizabeth and Ma.Bernardita). Two of their children,Olivia and Marita were later adopted by his 2 sisters Felisa and Soledad , who didn't have any of their own. However, before his marriage to Virginia, he had 3 sons from previous liasons  namely Armando, Gilbert and Bernardo Jr.(all of which he also acknowledged and cared for).
Bernardo Rojas had a brief political career.In 1963, he was appointed vice-mayor of Cavite City.Later, when then Mayor Dones left for abroad, he took over the mayorship for 2 months. In this short span of time as a public servant, he was able to help many poor people ,thereby proving that he was also a philanthropist.
He had a good sense for business and together with his industrious wife ,he ventured into the restaurant and furniture business (Alaska Soda Fountain and Rojas Home Arts). As a team, they were unbeatable and all their business endeavors were very successful (specially the Rojas Home Arts). Unfortunately, the union between Bernardo and Virginia ended in the mid 60s and they parted ways.
Aside from being a businessman, Bernardo Rojas was also artistically talented .He wrote poetry and prose with a clear, concise style that is easy to understand by readers of all ages. He ,likewise, had a flair for sketching.
Sadly, his life was cut short when he died on August 5, 1968 at the age of 55 due to a stroke or Cerebro Vascular Accident. He is still greatly missed by relatives and friends.

(Please note that all the poems, essays and sketches you will see in this website were created by Bernardo S.Rojas , taken from his unpublished book "Webs of Fragile Fancies", 1940.)


Bernardo Sipriaso Rojas in 1934 at age 21.Taken from the University of Sto.Tomas (UST)  annual of the same year when he graduated from Pre-Medicine course.

IN THE EYES OF HIS DAUGHTER

Quiet and unassuming....that's how I remember my father,Bernardo S.Rojas. He was a short and stocky man who, despite being heavyset, moved quickly and walked lightly. He didn't indulge in idle gossips. I never heard him say anything derogatory against anyone. He had a passion for good food (and good women!). He was a gourmand and he made no excuses for it.
When he and my mother split up, I was sent to my Auntie Felisa's house in Quezon City to live and study there between the ages of 5 to 13. I didn't get to spend more time with my father but ,at that time, I didn't think much of it. I looked forward to his visits because he readily gave me money for toys or paper dolls.
On summer vacations, I'd go back to Cavite City and stayed with him. I still recall his jokes.He said them very seriously and I had to think first before I laughed. He would take me and my siblings to eat at restaurants in Manila and then watched movies. I remember while watching "Wait Until Dark", a suspense film starring Audrey Hepburn, he would shout out his reactions loudly. Then he would go to sleep near the end of the film and he snored!!!!!! Now I wonder why he wasn't thrown out of the theater because of his shenanigans.
I never saw him get angry though my mother and older siblings (I am the 5th among 8 children) would tell me that he wasn't above losing his cool.They said he could have a very foul temper when pushed to the limit.
He loved gardening. He had a green thumb which, much to my dismay, I didn't inherit. His roses were breathtaking! He could grow grapes even in a very hot climate like Cavite City. Other plants and trees he grew in his yard were jasmins, Ilang-Ilang, Champaca, Guava trees and Starapple trees.
He had 2 houses, both situated in Cavite City. One is the big house located in San Roque which he inherited from his auntie, Dominga S. Picache, sister of his mom, Maria.This was our family home and today, his grandchild and great granchild live here.The other is the small house situated in Manila Boulevard facing the Rojas family cemetery. The houses of his 2 sisters were also located there in a compound called "Patio Maria". Today, "Patio Maria" is no longer owned by the Rojases.  Before my father suffered a stroke in 1968, he left the  San Roque house and lived nearer his sisters in "Patio Maria".He could not bear the emptiness and loneliness of that big house because my mother no longer lived there. It was too much for him. I think, his first afflication was not the stroke, but a sad broken heart. He died in St.Lukes Hospital in Quezon City after lingering in a coma for three weeks. His death was my first sorrowful experience. I shed a lot of tears for my father.But ,to me, only his physical body died. His spirit still lives on in my heart and in my mind. He left a part of him in me. His legacy will live on, not only in me or my siblings, but also in his granchildren and great grandchildren thriving in different parts of the world today.Had he lived longer, I am sure he would be very happy just playing and intereacting with them since he had a great affection for children. I am also very sure that wherever he is now, he is watching them with a big smile on his face. I am so proud and lucky to be your daughter. I LOVE YOU, PAPA!

- Jean Eulogia S. Rojas


 

His Signature Specimen

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