- Co-founder of Mercato Centrale Philippines, the largest and most popular weekend food market and food business incubator in the Philippines. Mercato has several locations around Metro Manila including its flagship market in Bonifacio Global City and markets in Ayala Malls’ Circuit Lane, Fairview Terraces, Glorietta, Greenbelt and UP Technohub among others.
- Sought after speaker on entrepreneurship and marketing, serves as an ‘angelpreneur’ and entrepreneur mentor with the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE)Go Negosyo, is a business ‘ambassador’ for GlobeMyBusiness solutions and is a member of the Association of Filipino Franchisers, Inc (AFFI).
- As part of Mercato Centrale, RJ was cited in Go Negosyo’s ‘Mentor Me’ program as an enabler for Micro, Small and Medium scale enterprises for the food industry.
- RJ is part of the Board of Advisers of the De La Salle University Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business
Columnist, writer, editor and book author
- Writes a weekly lifestyle column for the Philippine Star ‘Pogi from a Parallel Universe’ (2006-2015) and was one of the winners of the Philippine Star 2006 Lifestyle Journalism Awards
- Produced six best-selling creative nonfiction books from Anvil Publishing. Three of his books (Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Me? (2010), It Only Hurts When I Pee (2011) and Blue Babble, Gang Green: The Ateneo-La Salle Rivalry (2014)) were Na tional Book Awards finalists. His other books are Lies My Yaya Shoud Have Told Me (2008), I Do or I Die (2009) and Playing With Pink Parts (2013).
- Former editor-in-chief of Mega Publication’s Manual Magazine (2005-2009) and Five Leaf Publishing’s UNO Magazine. Former columnist for Manila Times (2004-05).
- A writing fellow of the 53rd University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop (2014) and of the 1994 Silliman University National Writers Workshop.
- Honorary Vice Consul of Monaco to the Philippine (2010-present) and is a member of the Consular Corps of the Philippines.
Eighties Philippine Pop Culture icon
- He was also known more popularly as ‘Joey’ of the Royal Tru-Orange series of commercials that ran from 1988-1991. The commercials were directed by the late Lino Brocka, the late Ishmael Bernal, Peque Gallaga and Jun Urbano.
- The first Royal commercial ranked forth in the Pilipino Advertising Klasiks (Pilak) Awards.
Versatile host with experience in tv, business forums, events and wedding receptions (and some acting on the side)
- Awarded Best Male Emcee by the 25th Aliw Awards.
- Currently one of the hosts of ANC’s Philippine Realty TV. He previously hosted TV5’s Tahanang Pinoy (2003-2007) where was nominated as Best Talk Show host in the Star Awards (2004, 2005, 2006).
- Hosted GMA News TV show’s Best Men (2011-2013) and produced and co-hosted his own late night tv show The Men’s Room (2004-2006) that aired over Studio 23.
- Former host of ABS-CBN’s morning shows Alas Singko Y Medya Weekends and Magandang Umaga Bayan Weekends (2000, 2002-2003).
- Hosted ABS-CBN Educational Foundation’s Math tinik (2009-2010, re-aired 2014-2015)
- Played supporting and guest roles in several ABS-CBN teleseryes (Habang May Buhay (2009), Magkaribal (2010)), Star Cinemas, Viva Films and independent films.
- Sought-after host for business forums, lifestyle and corporate events. He is also a top host for wedding receptions, anniversaries and debuts.
- Inspirational and motivational speaker on goal/vision-setting and multi-tasking for schools, companies, and NGOs.
- Former college lecturer at Public Speaking and Debate (English Language Department) under the Languages Department and Introductory Micro economics (Economics Department) under the Economics Department at De La Salle University.
Real estate development and brand management background
- Board governor of the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA).
- Former Senior Assistant Brand Manager at Procter and Gamble Philippines.
- Holds a Masters Degree in Real Estate Development (2001) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he delivered the commencement speech for this graduating batch.
- Graduated with a double degree in Applied Economics and Business Management (1995). He is a Student Leadership Awardee and a University Outstanding Young Men Awardee (1995). President of the DLSU Debate Society.
- Took audit classes in the Graduate School of Business audit courses for Masters of Science in Business Administration/Computational Finance at De La Salle University.
- Sits on the Board of Advisers of the De La Salle University Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business.
- Certified Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series instructor from Yoga Thailand.
- Graduate grade school and high school from La Salle Greenhills.
MERCATO CENTRALE PHILIPPINES, INC.
Co-Founder, November 2011 – Present
Conceptualized, organized and excecuted the premier night weekend food market in the Philippines. Led the development and implementation of the marketing strategy across traditional and social media platforms. Led the business development for the new locations of the market working with the country’s top commercial developers (Ayala Malls, Robinsons, SM and Megaworld).
Opened the first ever food truck market in the Philippines. Developed regional weekend food markets in key regional cities around the Philippines (i.e. Subic, Pampanga and Cagayan de Oro) . Developed the pioneering ‘Next Big Food Entrepreneur’ contest to encourage incubation of food start-up companies.
GMA NEWS TV
Host, Best Men, 2011 – Present
Host of Male Oriented Television Show
Editor-in-Chief, 2009 - 2015
Provide overall vision and strategic direction of a male-oriented magazine.
PHILIPPINE STAR, Manila
Lifestyle Columnist, March 2006-Present
Write a regular Wednesday humor column for the M Section called “Pogi from a Parallel Universe”
Winner, Philippine Star Lifestyle Journalism Awards 2006
YOGA MANILA, Makati City,
Co-founder, director and teacher of the Yoga Manila Studio.
Received certification to teach Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga from the Centered Yoga Institute in Koh Samui, Thailand April 2006.
MEGA MAGAZINE PUBLICATIONS INC.
Pasig, Metro Manila
Editor-in-Chief, Manual Magazine, October 2005-December 2008.
Provide overall vision and strategic direction of MMPI’s male-oriented magazine. Led the reconceptualiztion of the magazine.
ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORPORATION,
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Co-anchor, Magandang Umaga Bayan Weekends, September 2002-August 2003; Alas Singko Y Medya Weekends, July-August 2002. Remote news anchor, Alas Singko Y Media Weekends, March-August 2000 (left to pursue Masters in the United Stated).
Hosted the remote live segments of Alas Singko Y Medya Weekends.
Cast member, Lastikman Teleserye (2007-08)
Host, Mathtinik educational show by ABS-CBN Foundation (2009 airing)
Cast member, Habang May Buhay Teleserye (2009 airing)
PROCTER and GAMBLE PHILIPPINES,
Makati City, Metro Manila
Senior Assistant Board Manager for Ivory Soap, Shampoo and conditioner, December 1996-June 1999
Developed strategies for all three brands through exhaustive business reviews – analyses of brand shipments, market shares, brand image, usage and awareness levels, distribution levels and media spending. Developed and implemented tri-media marketing plans for Ivory Soap, shampoo and Conditioner. Managed a cumulative budget of P150 MM ($4MM) for all three brands. Led the monthly sales and marketing forecasts with Sales for all brands. Led the television, radio and print commercial production for several Ivory Soap and Shampoo commercials.
- Headed a multi-brand, multi-organizational team to run a nationwide, educational school-to-school program that educates adolescents on the importance of self-esteem and good hygiene. Led the development of educational materials for the school program in cooperation with the Education Department, the Foundation for Adolescent Development, Ace Saatchi and Saatchi, and Hemisphere Leo-Burnett. Negotiated exclusive contract with partner-organizations and secured their cooperation to run the program over the next five years.
HONORARY VICE CONSUL OF MONACO TO THE PHILIPPINES
2009 to Present
BRAINFIT STUDIO PHILIPPINES
Co-owner of Makati and Taguig studios, 2013-Present
BrainFit Studio is a cognitive enrichment program for children that improves learning capabilities, boosts performance, shapes behaviours and increases intelligence through high-quality evidence-based neuroscientific cognitive training programmes.
PHILIPPINE REALTY TV
The country's first real estate and construction lifestyle TV show for local and global Filipinos.
(Anvil is the eleven-time beset publisher of the year as cited by the Manila Critics Circle)
Book Author, 2008 – Present
Books Published (All Best Sellers as certified by National Bookstore):
Lies My Yaya Should Have Told Me, RJ Ledesma’s Imaginary Guide to Whine and Women © 2007
I Do or I Die, RJ Ledesma’s Imaginary Guide to Getting Married and other Man-Made Disasters © 2009
Is It Hot Here or It Is Me? RJ Ledesma’s Imaginary Guide to Fliring, Body Language and Pick-Up Artists © 2010 (National Book Awards Finalist)
It Only Hurts When I Pee, RJ Ledesma’s Guide to Bodily Gases, Hair Loss and Pink Parts © 2011 (National Book Awards Finalist)
Playing With My Pink Parts, RJ Ledesma’s Guide to Aphrodisiacs, Gayumans and Love Spells © 2013
Blue Babble, Gang Green: The Ateneo-La Salle Rivalry @ 2014 (National Book Awards Finalist)
MANILA TIMES, Manila
Columnist, February 2005-February 2006
Wrote regular Sunday humor column for the Weekender called “Playing with my tools”
SCRIBBLEWORKS INC. Mandaluyong,
former Executive Producer Host, The Men’s Room (Studio 23), May 2004-May 2006
Conceptualized, marketed, and hosted a late night comedy show.
Host, Tahanang Pinoy (ABC-5), June 2003 - September 2007
Main host of a real estate lifestyle show
(Nominated for best talk show host in Star Awards 2004, 2005, 2006)
LEDESCO DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION,
Makati City, Metro Manila
Executive Vice-President, November 2001 – Present
Spearheading the sales and marketing team of a resort development (i.e. Buena Vista Nature Park and Country Club) and a residential farm lot subdivision (i.e. Taal View Heights Nature Country Homes) in Tagaytay/Talisay, Batangas.
DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY,
Part-Time College Lecturer
Taught Public Speaking and Debate to the Colleges of Business and Economics and Liberal Arts under the English Languages Department, and Introduction to Microeconomics to the College of Business and Economics under the Economics Department.
Professional / Other
- Professional events and wedding host
- Winner as Best Male Host in the 25th Aliw Awards
- Writing fellow, 53rd UP National Writers Work shop and the 1994 Silliman University National Writers Workshop
- Recognized by Go Negosyo as part of their ‘Mentor Me’ initiative in enabling micro, small and medium scale businesses in the Philippines
- Members, Council of Advisers of the De La Salle University Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business
- Parenting Advisory Board, The Asian Parent Magazine Philippines
- Co-founder, HORECA (Hotel, Restaurant, Café and Catering) Philippines
Board Governor, Subdivision and Housing Developers Association
Mentor, Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) or Go Negosyo
Member, Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (2015-Present)
Rotary Club of Makati West (2014-Present)
Member, Consular Corps of the Philippines (2010-Present)
Couples for Christ (2010-Present)
Lay Ministers of San Antonio (2012-Present)
Single Young Adults of San Antonio (2005-Present)
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Masters of Science in Real Estate Development
Pursued masters in the top 5th ranked school in the United States (according to US News). Chosen as first Asian to deliver the graduation speech. Received an A for thesis on the Feasibility of Establishing a Secondary Mortgage Market in the Philippines.
DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY
Completed several units of Masters of Fine Arts major in Creative Writing Chosen as one among fifteen delegates nationwide to attend the National Writers Workshop, the oldest and most well respected writing workshop in the Philippines, in Dumaguete City (1994). Won first place (1994) and third place (1993) in a straight news writing competition sponsored by the Student Publications Office. University news staffer (1991-1995). Literary fiction contributor (1994-1995).
LA SALLE GREENHILLS
Graduated top 5 percentile of the batch. Part of the Academic Honors Class. Received gold medal in Journalism. Received silver medal in English. Editor-in-Chief of the High School Newspaper. Winner of several extemporaneous speaking awards in interschool tournaments.
LA SALLE GREENHILLS
Received highest honor among elementary school graduates – the Antonio Montemayor Anievas Foundation Award, for excellence in leadership, rhetorics, athletics, music, art and achievement. Winner of several awards in extemporaneous public speaking and rhetorics.
DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY
Graduate School of Business audit courses for Masters of Science in Business Administration/Computational Finance
Pursued graduate school finance and management science classes at one of the top Asian business schools (as ranked by Asiaweek Magazine) (1999-2000). Received a cumulative GPA of 3.83 out of possible 4.0
DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics and Business Management Academic awards include Candidate for Best Thesis in Economics and Dean’s Lister. Campus awards include Student Leadership Awardee recipient (1995), from a graduating batch of 1,000, as President of the Debate Society, Outstanding Young Men of Campus (1995) and University Achievement Award for Debate (1993-1994). President of the DLSU Debate Society (1994-1995), Varsity Debater (1991-1995). Competed, lectured in and organized international varsity debate competitions and ranked twice as top Asian debater (1993-1995). Organized the first international debating competition in the Philippines (All-Asian Debating Championships). Debated in several international tournaments including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Ireland, Australia and the United States. Voted Student Congressman (1991) and organized a university-wide indignation rally to the Senate to seek justice for the death of a fellow student leader.