Carlito writes---and paints: A self-intro blog

Hi! I am Carlos Moncada Jr. from Cebu City. I know there are some people here with the same name, so let me add some details.

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"Summer Moon," abstract acrylic painting on sketchbook, 7 in x 10 in (September 2021)

I was named after my father because I was born on his twenty-third birthday. Carlos Moncada, Junior, of course. My late mother called me Jay-are, but sometimes, she'd call me Dodong. When I was in grade school, I sometimes heard older people calling me Dodong Lito. My late Tiya Nitay called me Dodong Lito. It didn't quite surprise me because I somehow knew that a little Carlos was a Carlito. Not until I was prepared to go to college that I learned that my name on my birth certificate was Carlito Moncada, given by my Tiya Nitay who was the one asked by the nurse on what's the name of the child.

In high school, my nickname was Monks or Monk. Depends on who called. The Monks stuck until now that I am almost sixty years old. Young officemates become friends and call me Sir Monks, and I think it's cool.

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Taking an early morning walk at the beach of San Francisco, Camotes (2019)

I was born in Cebu City; but as far as I can remember, when I was about four years old, I was living in an island called Camotes. I was with my mother, my older sister Noemi, and my younger sister Stella. My mother is a native of this island, and we were renting a house in Barrio San Juan where she was teaching. Of course, I was still too young to go to school, but that did not mean I got nothing interesting to do. I was about five years old when I learned to gather firewood. I picked ukban citrus fruits that dropped from the branches. I also learned to pick ripe guavas that grew wild near our home. I didn't see my father quite often because he was working and staying in the city, but I was the only kid in our barrio with a kiddie tricycle. And the sight and sound of of a pump boat approaching the shore excited me because I knew there would be chorizos, cheese, and other goodies from Papa.

Radio was a major entertainment in the island. There were radio dramas on weekdays and music on weekends. I heard The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and many other artists played on the radio. And in the evening, my Tatay Kasyong would be playing his guitar and singing Visayan love songs till I fell asleep.

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#uncleswhorock CJ Architects Christmas Party at Fort San Pedro (2014)

Music is certainly part of our family. My father plays the guitar and harmonica. Most members of our family, from my grandfather to my kids, know how to sing and play a musical instrument. It has even become a kind of family tradition to have a jam session whenever there are gatherings like birthdays and weddings.

So music became my hobby. Not just music but drawing and painting as well. My grandmother Nanay Tiyaning planted the seed of love for drawing while I was still in grade school. I don't know how well I nurtured the love for drawing. I only know I still love it until now. Whether I'm good at it or not is not for me to say. I know I've made countless crappy drawings, but I don't care, and I'm not counting either. I just do it for the joy of doing it.

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Livening up a cousin's birthday party in Maya, Daan Bantayan, Cebu (L-R: April [eldest daughter] and me on vocals, Thadz [nephew] on beatbox, Carl [son] on rhythm guitar, and Dominic [brother] on lead guitar; 2013)

There is one more hobby I have that's quite challenging, and that is writing song lyrics. I collaborate with my brothers, daughters, and my son. I write the words; they make the music. Sometimes, it's the other way around. They write the music first, then I add the lyrics.

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In Dumaguete City with my wife on our 34th wedding anniversary (2019)

All my life, I've been an architectural draftsman. That is my bread and butter. I've done manual drafting before there were computers, and now I'm drafting with AutoCAD and SketchUp. I would love to have the chance to study more design software, but I don't see myself doing freelance after retirement. It just doesn't sound good to me.

If I have my way, I would focus on the arts. But like Mick Jagger says, "You can't always get what you want." I can't help it, but sometimes, I recall the times when I was like a boss. I was the number one student from grade one to grade six. I'm proud of that. I heard my songs played on the radio. I felt like a star. I got my paintings in exhibit with some of the best artists in Cebu, not once but three times. How could I ever forget the feeling? And self-sabotage creeping in and making me feel I'm not worthy.

Lately, there have been so many changes in our society in the way we do our work and the kind of work we do. The COVID-19 pandemic took away my job. Then I learned about Hive from my daughter April and @sassycebuana through @jongcl. I said to myself, well, I can do this. Write well, get compensated, and survive. Not my comfort zone--but who knows! I too can write.

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If you want to know more about me, you can follow me on Instagram, @carlos.moncada.9638, and Facebook at Carlos Zosa Moncada.

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"Fisherman," fountain pen on sketchbook, 7 in x 10 in (2021)

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