JUAN ROCA has always immersed himself in global cultures. Born and raised in Spain, he spent his early years in Mallorca, but would often find himself moving between Mallorca and Ibiza—where his family’s resort is located. At just 16, young Roca began working in the family business, which kindled a love affair with travel and hospitality. In the next few years, he explored the tranquility of the Caribbean, the vibrancy of Dominican Republic, and in 2004, the warmth of the Philippines.
With his experience in hospitality, Roca unsurprisingly became the managing director of the Anya Hospitality Group. “We handle different properties across the Philippines. It’s not an easy task, it’s a big responsibility. It’s hard work. From morning until the evening. Even when you get home, you’re still not done. But I think, if you love your job, it’s not a problem. I love it! I grew up in the business,” he says with a grin. While adjusting to a new environment can prove a challenge for some, it was not as difficult for Roca. Reflecting on how the Philippines easily captivated him, the sophisticated Spaniard quips, “I’ve been working in different parts of the world, and I really think the Filipinos are really good when it comes to hospitality. They’re one of the best. That also helps you adapt to the country.” When he isn’t busy managing some of the trendiest getaways in the country, Roca makes it a point to give himself some much-needed rest and relaxation. Hitting the gym or spa, kicking back with a good film or thought-provoking novel—these are the ways he spends his personal time away. When given a few days or weeks off, he catches a flight to Davao to visit his two children. He lets out a little chuckle as he shares what they bond over: “eating and shopping!” It is clear that the thought of his children brings him absolute joy.
When asked why travel has become so important to him, Roca, without hesitation, shares, “I think you learn a lot of things. I’ve been lucky to be able to travel a lot. Not only because of my job, but also for leisure. I love traveling! You can go to college, read a lot of books, but I think the way you learn more things is by traveling and experiencing other cultures.” Having just arrived from Japan, he was already preparing himself for a trip to Hong Kong that following week. He explains, “If I have time, I always want to move around!” A true global citizen, Roca finds peace and genuine bliss in exploring different traditions and cultures, getting lost in the history and energy of the locals— wherever in the world that may be.