Born in Manila. Raised in L.A.
Roel lived the first five years of his life inside the Sampaloc district of Manila. In the mid-’80s, he left with his mother for L.A., a voyage charged with hope and possibility with a new sense of realization at the helm.
They moved all around Southern California before settling in the city of Long Beach, where they were immediately exposed to the perils of inner city life.
Living in the Eastside of Long Beach, they endured the daily theater of gang and racial warfare. They witnessed levels of despair that showcased — in plain sight — the disparity between the black and brown peoples of America and their counterpart, them.
With Long Beach forever seared into the inner walls of his heart and mind, Roel uses those experiences to drive his art today. The words he writes often hearken back to that corner and those streets and those people.
Roel is now a husband, a father of two children, and an advocate for all arts, media, and otherwise produced by peoples of color. He dreams of a new catalog of cinema and new shelves of literature that feature prominently faces that are similar to those he grew up with in both Manila and Long Beach.
“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”— Toni Morrison
Work and Education
Roel received his A.A. degree in Liberal Arts from Long Beach City College and his B.A. degree in English from the University of California, Riverside.
Roel is also a social media and content marketing professional, who has worked as a creative director, content chief, and content producer for companies like Under Armour, Red Bull, CBS Television, and Yahoo.