Carmelita's family comes from Batangas, southern Luzon, in the Republic of the
Philippines - they moved to Quezon City, Metro Manila, where Carmelita was born.
In her early years she attended kindergarten at Our Lady of Grace Academy, Caloocan,
and then moved to Marulas Elementary School for grades 1 to VI. Her secondary education
was at Manuel L. Quezon High School (taking a break to do modelling work with Mike
Guerrero Models when she was 14) and Novaliches Academy (becoming in the process
“Miss Novaliches Academy”). From there she went on to study Commerce at the University
of the East. Later on she took executive secretarial, modelling and personality development
courses at Cora Doloroso Career Center - the latter course with tutor Chona Casten
- and a six-month course at the Slim School of Dressmaking, which marked the beginning
of her move towards art.
n In 1987 she met John, who became her husband the same year, and in 1988 they moved
to Singapore, where John worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation. They stayed
there for over five years, and during that time Carmelita followed up her dressmaking
by taking a course in Fashion Design. This awakened an interest in drawing and painting
which she was to pursue after their move to the UK in 1993 when John took early retirement.
They settled in Ludlow, Shropshire, where Carmelita took up painting in earnest -
this included taking a Further Education Painting Course at a local college.
In 1998, whilst looking for another house (the pressure on space in the Ludlow
house having become intense, with Carmelita needing a proper studio), they came across
a large property in Knighton (a small market town across the Welsh border) which
included a double fronted shop. They decided to buy it, and turn the shop into an
art gallery - which they duly did, opening the gallery showing work of established
artists from the Welsh Borders and further afield, together with an art shop, in
January 1999. It was hard work, but a stimulating experience, bringing Carmelita
into contact with many artists, both amateur and professional, and resulting in
many friendships along the way. While they were there Carmelita exhibited successfully
in several local exhibitions, and John and Carmelita were instrumental (along with
others) in setting up a local annual arts festival called ”take Part”.
John decided to retire (for the second time) in 2005, the gallery was sold as
a going concern, and John and Carmelita moved to Oxfordshire, where Carmelita continued
to paint, and where she exhibited with the Banbury & District Arts Society. The couple
have recently purchased a second home in Cittadella, Las Piñas, Metro Manila where
they hope to spend several months of each year.