By Alice Hernandez Reyes
On December 13, 2018, Carlito “Pocholo” Malilin will be honoured with Aliw Awards Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award at Manila Hotel’s Fiesta Pavilion,.
Looking much younger than his chronological age, Pocholo credits regular exercise, walking, climbing stairs, eating in moderation, rest and no stress for his youthful appearance.
The 7th of ten children,a native of Pangasinan, he learned early to fend for himself after his father abandoned the family. He left the province for Manila to live in his aunt’s place in Makati.
Life there was not easy. He was treated miserably, as country relatives usually are. He performed the meanest chores and was not considered part of the family.
Fortunately, he was able to pursue his studies and he finished his studies at the San Sebastian College, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in English.
For a time , he worked under the late Tourism Secretary Jose D. Aspiras, promoting tourism in his province , Pangasinan.
Things changed , after he met his partner Cris Nicolas, 2016 Aliw Lifetime Achievement Awardee, 35 years ago. Together they went to Japan , where they worked for twenty years.
In 2002, upon returning to Manila, Pocholo and Cris started Club Mwah. The establishment has been going strong, thanks
to the marketing efforts of Pocholo.
Cris handles the artistic side of Club Mwah while Pocholo takes care of the supervision and management of the club.
“ WE work really hard to have a good life,” Pocholo declares.
Indeed, both of them have devoted time, energy, effort towards building a world-class establishment like Club Mwah.
Today, Pocholo looks back on a life fraught with challenges and hardships, which are all in the past now.
Admirably, he holds no grudges against that aunt who
looked down on him in his youth. In fact, when he was already on Easy Street, he was invited to this aunt’s wedding anniversary celebration. He attended the party, did not partake of the feast, and handed his aunt an envelope with P50,000—sweet revenge from a nephew who acknowledged a debt of gratitude to his aunt, despite the humiliations of the past.
Certainly,such experiences in Makati served to strengthen his resolve to succeed.
A former seminarian, Pocholo remains humble despite his success, which he admits may be here, gone tomorrow. He firmly believes that there is no excuse for failure.
“ One should strive to succeed, because nobody loves a loser. Everybody loves a winner!”
Carlito Pocholo Malilin surely knows whereof he speaks.