Rj and Romelee Angeles share how giving back to the community fuels their drive to pursue success. Guided by compassion, selflessness, and community, the Angeles family is leading the way to a more sustainable future for Filipino society.
For the Angeles family, a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. Helping Filipino youth access higher education not only continues their late father’s legacy but also keeps them inspired and motivated to build relationships with existing partners and future innovators.
Now the country’s leading soft commodity brokerage team, ROMARCOM International Marketing Corporation sprouted from humble beginnings. ROMARCOM was built from the ground up by Mr. Romeo S. Angeles—a simple yet ambitious man from the barrios who became a successful entrepreneur in the 90s. He unlocked his potential and cultivated his skills with determination, hard work, and access to higher education. After graduating from the Philippine School of Business Administration, he worked at Cargill—an international animal nutrition supplier—where he met the people who encouraged him to open up his own enterprise. Supported by his family and colleagues, Romeo and his wife, Mrs. Maria Dolores “Dolly” Angeles, started a trucking and animal feeds distribution business, which blossomed into the ROMARCOM of today. The name ROMARCOM stems from the first syllable of Romeo’s and Maria’s names, to signify their strong bond. Since the beginning, the company is rooted in the shared values they have as a couple and even more so as business partners.
“My father used to think that he had a long shot at building a life for himself because he lived in the barrios where everything was simple. This perspective changed when he got into UP Diliman and met all these people who made it feel that anything is doable as long as you get the right support,” Rj shares. With the family and business growing, Romeo and Dolly made sure that their children could have access to learning opportunities and reach their own enlightened perspectives about success and life. As such, the couple supported their children’s pursuit of their own dreams and interests. “He gave us a free hand to run our own things and let us realize at our own pace that we could go back and help the family, ” Rj highlights. “They did not pressure us to take agriculture courses in college,” Romelee adds. Now, the Angeles siblings bring into the company their wealth of experiences from the disciplines they studied—Rj and his knowledge of Business and Economics, Romelee with her expertise in Business Administration, Riccia with her proficiency in Marketing and Sales, and Ron with his Sales and Digital Marketing background. Now, the siblings are continuously growing the ROMARCOM Group together and cultivating a culture of support that would allow the organization to withstand and overcome the challenges they will face moving forward.
“Businesses will come and go—you will earn, you will not earn—but the impact that you have in your employees’, customers’, or business partners’ lives is imprinted for life,” Romelee shares as she talks about one of his late father’s guiding principles which later translated to ROMARCOM’s 6 Cs: Commitment to excellence, Camaraderie, Compassion, Cost-consciousness, Critical thinking, and Community involvement. She adds that with a thriving business, a sense of duty to fulfill social responsibilities comes naturally to the Angeles family as a way of paying it forward to the people who supported them. Romelee and Rj recount how their father, as a great believer in education, made it his mission to give back to the community by aligning his social work and family responsibilities closer to education. “He would build bathrooms, classrooms, libraries. I remember that before he passed away, he built a library in his hometown where he graduated elementary,” Romelee adds. “Since we were the blessed guys in the family, he would also send some of our cousins to school, pay for their tuition,” Rj recalls. Branching out to people within and beyond ROMARCOM is Romeo's commitment to building better communities through access to education.
While Romelee had already been supporting other educational organizations on her own, the rest of the family took this as an inspiration to find an initiative that they could support and work on together as one, big Angeles unit. “We have the economics to put up a foundation for students, but we were short on manpower to manage it, so we decided to do it with InvestEd,” Romelee explains. The family discovered and quickly supported InvestEd and their student loan program that builds the financial knowledge and financial management skills of unbanked Filipino youth—important capabilities for the late Romeo Angeles who believed entrepreneurship is a way for Filipinos to achieve financial independence. Rj is also excited to share that the Angeles family has been planning with InvestEd to provide seed capital to support aspiring student-entrepreneurs while they are still in school.
The Angeles family’s commitment to making higher education accessible through InvestEd is their way of replicating their father’s success for more Filipino students. This endeavor is also the family’s way of living their father’s maxim that profit alone is not enough to sustain one’s drive to keep moving forward. “With InvestEd, we now have this extra motivation to do better in our business, so we can invest more and help more students transform their dreams into reality. That gives us a different perspective and mindset in running the business,” Rj shares. The Angeles siblings hope that more companies and corporations follow their lead and join InvestEd’s Education for All (Educ4All) movement to help build a better future for students and their families and communities.