la vida roca

One of the closest and should-be-trusted people in an artist's circle is the manager.

It would be a nightmare for an artist to work with someone who doesn't share the same creative and directional vision — vice versa. More than schedule and time management, a manager's work entails coordinating with producers, making business decisions, and negotiating contracts.

Missionary and traveler-at-heart Roca Cruz recall how it was to manage bands and artists — one no less than Kitchie Nadal.

behind the scenes | roca cruz: livin' la vida roca84
roca-cruz-portrait roca-cruz-with-kitchie

who is rocs? 
tell us a bit about yourself.

Who am I? It is a tough question to answer. I believe that I am a child of God, and I reflect His image on earth. Other than that, I am a lover of arts and beauty. I am a person who works hard and loves people.

how did you get in to
being a manager?

I started a Bible study with a group of artists; most of them needed financial guidance and contract advice. Then they asked me to manage them.

I did most of my work for free because I had a full-time job as a school principal back then.

who were your first
artists to manage?

I started with Barbie Almalbis and Kitchie Nadal.

how was it like to
manage Kitchie Nadal?

Kitchie was really cool, and she was very young when I managed her. Her main goal was to finish her college degree and do songwriting/performance on the side. Kitchie is easy to get along with, to be honest with you. 

what was the biggest challenge
you had in being kitchie's manager?

I would say, managing her schedule! Her priority back then was school, so everything worked around it. 

behind the scenes | roca cruz: livin' la vida roca85


most memorable moment?

Winning the Kids' Choice Award and Nickelodeon Best Artist/Most Influential Artist. The award made me feel validated that we can be a positive influence on the youth, as in all ages from two-year-olds to lolas (grandmas) — the demographic was huge.

what aspects of artist
management were you fond of?

Being a positive influence. Minor perks are the free salon and music equipment. 

what would you advise
those who want to get
into this kind of profession?

(1) Integrity in money and influence. (2) A manager should be truthful in everything. They are the extension of the artists. (3) Patience with the quirks of the artist and patience with the people around them — fans and producers alike.(4) People skills. Everything is an opportunity; one must have the discernment to choose what is the right fit. (5) [Develop] administrative and leadership skills. (6) Stay HUMBLE - biggest advice. Popularity is fleeting.

all-time favorite artists?

Grabe naman hirap (wow, very tough [to answer]) I super love the Bee Gees, Aimee Mann, Fleetwood Mac, TING TINGS, David Bowie and Prince.

what do you think
of music nowadays?

Music is still a powerful medium. It speaks about the past, present and the future.

any embarrassing moment in your career as a manager?

When I mixed up our schedule, until now, I think I'm paying for it — shame. [It] Never happened again.


Everything is an opportunity. One must have the discernment to choose what is the right fit.

behind the scenes | roca cruz: livin' la vida roca86

music is still a powerful medium. it speaks about the past, present and the future."

they say that the
music industry is dying,
do you share the
same view?

NOPE, I think local Philippine music is booming.

you're in the lift
with your music idol.
how would that go?

I will know when that happens. I have so many things in my head. I might not even remember who it is.

did your parents approve of being a manager?

NO, they wanted me to run our college.

favorite song?

Only You by YAZOO.

tea or coffee?


Roca is currenlty the Chief Executive Officer in Trimex Colleges in Biñan, Laguna. She remains friends with the artists she worked with.

Follow Roca Cruz at

behind the scenes | roca cruz: livin' la vida roca87