Who is RJ?
The RJ Group was founded by Ramon “RJ” Jacinto 50 years ago in the Philippines. Ramon Jacinto was born on June 3, 1945 in Pasay, Manila, Philippines. His grandfather, Dr. Nicanor Jacinto, founded the Philippine Bank of Commerce, which was the first Filipino-owned private bank, and RJ’s father, Don Fernando P. Jacinto founded the steel industry in the country—Jacinto Steel and Iligan Integrated Steel Mills, which are now known as National Steel.
At the age of 15, RJ Enterprises pioneered in multi-track recording in the Philippines, utilizing the first three multi-track Ampex in Southeast Asia.
RJ Graduated from the number one Jesuit Catholic University in the Philippines. He graduated with Honors in BS Economics and promptly worked with the family business, becoming Vice President for Purchasing and Marketing and eventually becoming Senior Vice President for Operations of the steel conglomerate at a very young age. While working, he also went to law school at night and had finished three years when Marshall Law was declared on September 21, 1972.
At odds with the Marcos Dictatorship, RJ’s family happened to be abroad celebrating Don Fernando’s birthday, and the family decided to remain in exile for 14 years.
After the People’s EDSA Revolution on February 25, 1986, RJ came home from exile on March 5, 1986, and the new democratic regime returned the family properties and his radio stations. Those assets were seized and operated by the military for 14.5 years.
RJ’s radio station, DZRJ, became the voice of the democratic revolution, known as Radyo Bandido, and was the recipient of freedom awards after that.
RJ immediately expanded his radio stations and started many businesses after that, making up for lost time.
Today, the RJ Group is composed of broadcasting, entertainment, and music store enterprises.
This includes a nationwide network of 11 total FM and AM radio stations and a TV station, 2nd Avenue, which is carried nationwide by the cable networks. The RJ broadcasting group is known to be the prime movers of locally produced music, discovering many talents from the 60s on, who have become name-brand entertainers in the Philippine music scene.
RJ FM 100.3, the flagship radio station of the group, plays the greatest and the latest hits from five decades, packaging it as three songs in a row. Its programming format has been popularly lauded as a groundbreaking formula and is streamed 24 hours a day via Facebook and on the web. Its primary markets are the movers and shakers, decision makers, and upwardly mobile youth. RJ FM DJs, namely Steve O’Neal and Renen de Guia, owner of Ovation Productions, have become major producers and promoters of the biggest and hottest concerts in the Philippines.
RJ, upon returning from exile, became a major factor in revolutionizing the Philippine music scene again from pioneering electric guitar and rock and roll in 1960 by bringing back live bands to the music scene in the Philippines. RJ started Bistro RJ on July 25, 1986. It became the home of rock and roll in the country, featuring live bands 7 days a week. Today, over 25 years after, RJ Bistro stands as a monument to its standing power, still drawing jam-packed crowds at the Dusit Thani Hotel, where he still performs every Friday night.
RJ has been performing for over 50 years in the show business industry and celebrated that milestone with a concert with his idols from his teenage years, The Ventures, in December of 2010. He has performed not only locally, but also abroad in Australia, Vietnam, and the USA. He also performed with America and the Beach Boys in the country’s premier venue, the Araneta Coliseum.
RJ Productions, an affiliate of the RJ group, produced the groundbreaking and historical Pinoy Woodstock as well as nationwide band competitions known as Junior Jam, parking lot concerts, and many other cutting-edge recordings and shows.
The RJ Group has also engaged in guitar manufacturing since 1988, partnering initially with the owner of Schecter, Joey Uy. RJ has designed his own brand of guitars and eventually expanded into retailing and wholesaling a wide line of musical instruments.
The RJ Guitar company, at one time or another, was the exclusive distributor of Gibson and Epiphone, Promark, Tama, Ibanez, Paiste (Pai-steh), Kaman (Kay-man), Sabian, Rickenbacker, Taylor, Alesis, D’Addario, GHS, Ernie Ball, Di Marzio, Dunlop, Soundtrack, Randall, Peavey, Crate, Orange, Takamine, and Casio Keyboards.
After the Asian crisis, RJ Guitar Center chose to concentrate on their own line and meticulously chose certain foreign lines, now exclusively distributing Taylor, Aria, Carvin, Belcat, GHS Strings, and Rocktron.
The main thrust of RJ Guitar Center is to design their own unique items and market them in their own 14 stores and 50 dealers nationwide.
The RJ Academy of music was started in 1994 as RJ Guitar Center became the licensee of the Music Institute of Los Angeles, California.