Jose Blanco Carlos
April 18, 1935 – August 31, 2020
The CARLOS Family Announces the MEMORIAL SERVICE AND INURMENT of our Beloved Father, JOSE BLANCO CARLOS as follows:
Saturday, SEPTEMBER 19, 2020 10:00 am - noon VALLEY OF THE SUN MORTUARY CHAPEL 10940 E. Chandler Heights Rd Chandler, AZ 85248
OUTDOOR Luncheon Reception to follow at: 2799 E. Balsam Drive Chandler, AZ 85286
*Please wear adequate face cover, social distancing strongly encouraged. The services will be live streamed via Facebook live
Obituary Jose Blanco Carlos b. April 18, 1935. Manila, Philippines d. August 31, 2020. Tempe, AZ, USA
Rest In Peace
Jose “Joe” Blanco Carlos was born in Manila Philippines on April 18, 1935. As a child, “Pepito” as he was known then, witnessed the glamor of pre-war American Commonwealth era Manila, going about town in the “tranvia” or the street car, riding the wooden horse-drawn carriages known as the calesa and watching Hollywood blockbusters in the huge American-built cinemas where he fell in love with movies, Westerns and modern technology. He enjoyed wandering the streets of his beloved city with one of his favorite pastimes taking sunset swims with his friends in Manila Bay. He also witnessed the atrocities of WW2 and the Japanese Occupation and survived the bombing of Manila by the Americans. Growing up on the streets of the Singalong District in Manila, he learned to be street-smart even learning how to play dice at the age of 8, a skill he would later take with him to Las Vegas in his adult life. His mother, Maria Blanco died when he was just 9 years old. His father Nemesio Carlos had a law degree however after his mother passed, he was largely left on his own and was charged with taking care of and supporting his younger brothers Ernesto and Eduardo.
Later, he moved in with his beloved aunt and uncle whom he fondly called Tiong and Tiang. Little Peping helped Tiang at the sari-sari store that she ran and Tiong was an accountant for the Compañia La Tabacalera in Manila and taught Spanish to the American soldiers who were stationed in the Philippines at the time. At Tiong and Tiang’s home, Pepito was responsible for waking up early and going to the market to procure food for the family and at an early age developed a love and passion for cooking. If anyone has ever had the privilege of tasting Joe’s cooking, they would know that his talent especially for preparing Filipino dishes at lightning speed is unrivaled. Joe finished high school at Araullo high school in Manila and despite his modest upbringing, due to his keen intelligence, was able to attend and graduate from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1958.
Upon graduation, he started his career as a Certified Public Accountant for the prestigious J.S. Zulueta Accounting Firm in Manila. It was there that he met his life partner and wife of 57 years, Cielo de Joya Arceo, a much younger CPA from Batangas, Philippines. After two years of traditional courtship involving following Cielo to church every day and making treks to Batangas to woo her parents, the two married at the Santa Cruz Church in Manila on November 10, 1962. They enjoyed a joyous reception with hundreds of guests at the iconic Streamline Moderne but now sadly demolished Manila Jai Alai Building.
Joe and Cielo began their married life moving into an apartment in the rapidly developing town of Makati, Rizal. After practicing great discipline in saving, they built a modest home in Mandaluyong, Rizal, where they immediately began the creation of what would become the Carlos Clan. Ariel was born in 1963 and Rogel came the following year. Lemuel was born in 1967. Orlene the only girl was born later in Los Angeles in 1973. The Mandaluyong years were magical. Ariel and Rogel enjoyed their joint birthday celebrations that Daddy and Mommy always made sure were special. In 1970, when Manila was inundated by a catastrophic flood, the family survived by relocating to the second floor of the house awaiting the eventual receding of the flood waters. It was in that year 1970, that Jose, the intrepid adventurer that he was, decided to move to the United States. Unlike today, back then, the US actually encouraged immigration from other parts of the world including the Philippines due to a shortage of professionals in the US. Jose quit his accounting job and in July 1970, with just a few hundred dollars in his pocket and huge dreams for his family boarded the plane in Manila and set off for a new life in America.
The America of 1970 was a very different world. America had just experienced the tumultuous Civil Rights Movement and discrimination particularly in the professional world was still quite rampant. Joe had a difficult time finding a job and his money was rapidly depleting. In emotional and often tearful letters to Cielo, he talked of giving up and just going home. As far as housing, he even experienced living with old “manongs” – Filipino field workers, mostly single males who had emigrated to the US in the 1920s and 30s who by then were already old men. Cielo begged him to stay just until she could get there just so that she could see Disneyland and then they would go home together.
Cielo followed in September and almost immediately found employment. The three boys followed and arrived in Los Angeles on December 27, 1970. During the early years in California, the family moved around frequently, settling first in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles and later moving to Eagle Rock. Orlene was born in February 1973 to the great joy of Cielo and Joe who were thrilled to finally have a girl. Later that same year, Joe contracted Valley Fever that at the time was a rare disease. He survived; however the treatment at the time required medication that one day would later damage his kidneys.
In 1975, the Carlos family moved to Northridge, CA in the San Fernando Valley and it was there that the Carlos clan first established its roots. For the most part the 4 kids all grew up and experienced their formative years in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Northridge. During those years, the family became active members of St. Euphrasia parish in Granada Hills. All four children graduated from there and eventually finished high school in Southern California. Several of the older grandchildren also attended St. Euphrasia and many of the family’s major events – anniversaries, graduations, baptisms and first holy communions took place at St. Euphrasia.
Jose enjoyed a long career in CA as a Certified Public Accountant with the Los Angeles Unified School District where he was an auditor. For more than 20 years, he would get up at the crack of dawn to brave the LA traffic and commute from the Valley to LA and back. Together with Cielo, Joe created a very comfortable life for his kids allowing all to attend the best schools and affording them every opportunity to travel and experience the world. After more than 20 years with the LA Unified School District, he retired his position and he and Mom established their first Assisted Living Home in Northridge. They quickly grew this business and eventually operated 4 very successful Assisted Living Homes in Northridge and Granada Hills, CA.
Their “retirement years” were far from docile. Besides operating their successful Board and Care businesses, Joe and Cielo used this time to travel the world, embarking on a whirlwind tour of Europe with the Fil-Am Family Cultural Group, cruises to Alaska, Mexico and the Caribbean, trips to China and of course to their native Philippines. Most of their vacations always involved their family as family was the most important thing to both Joe and Cielo. The values they instilled in their children, their grandchildren and now great-grandchildren are forever imbued in the very fabric of what it means to be a CARLOS.
Joe experienced many beautiful and memorable milestones in his long and amazing life. Joe and Cielo celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary with hundreds of their friends and family at the Odyssey in Northridge. They celebrated their only daughter Orlene’s debut there as well. They enjoyed their 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary and were even able to celebrate their 55th Emerald Anniversary in Chandler, Arizona. They watched proudly as all four of their children graduated from prestigious universities and achieved various graduate degrees giving them the opportunities that were only a dream when he first boarded that plane in Manila in 1970. They watched proudly as year after year their clan increased with more and more children being born that for Joe and Cielo was the most valuable metric of wealth – worth more than gold.
In 1993, spearheaded by eldest son Ariel, the Carlos clan began relocating their businesses and their lives to Arizona. Joe and Cielo continued to operate their board and care homes in California however they began to spend more and more time in Arizona since the three boys had by then relocated there. They also established their own Assisted Living homes in the Phoenix, AZ area and were valuable mentors with regard to this business not only to their children but to other friends who were interested in getting into this business. Joe provided all the mentorship, wisdom knowledge and support to newcomers in the business always free of charge. This was the beginning of almost 2 decades of going back and forth between AZ and California for Daddy Joey and Mommy Cielo. Most of the family lived in Arizona with Orlene and her kids often visiting in between the tours they had while performing with the circus. So Dad and Mom began to spend more and more time in AZ however their main social network including their involvement with various Filipino Associations including the Batangas Association of Southern California remained in the Los Angeles area.
In 2017 all of that changed when Daddy Joey’s kidney began to fail and he was required to undergo dialysis 3 times a week. As had been predicted when Daddy Joey contracted Valley Fever in the 70s, his kidneys were destined to fail and thus he underwent kidney transplant surgery in 1995. His loving younger sister Elvira who survives him, generously donated her own kidney since they were such a great match genetically. This loving act prolonged his life for more than 2 decades and for that our family is truly grateful.
Despite the difficulties presented, Daddy Joey’s final years were equally punctuated by beauty, laughter, fun and so much love. Dad was able to accompany one of the grandchildren Sabrina, to a memorable trip to Spain where she studied abroad. In 2017, Daddy Joey went to China for stem cell treatment that likewise helped prolong his life and helped improve his quality of life during his final years. All four of his children took turns being there with him and Mommy Cielo during his more than one-month long treatment. Daddy Joey was able to celebrate Auntie Lita’s 80th birthday as well as go on an epic family cruise in 2018. He was able to go to Minnesota, Texas, Tombstone, AZ and celebrated one final memorable fishing expedition to Patagonia, AZ for Father’s Day in June 2020 with the whole family in attendance. In September 2019, fulfilling one of his last wishes, he visited his beloved Philippines for one last time. On that memorable trip, he visited his old childhood neighborhoods, visited with old friends and classmates and even made a trek up to Baguio where he and Mommy Cielo relived their honeymoon from 1962.
During 2020, Daddy Joey was able to joyously celebrate with Mommy Cielo on her 80th birthday in January. The pandemic certainly slowed down things for him as it did for everybody but that only meant more family time as days were spent with his children and grandchildren playing mahjong and poker, exercising, cooking epic meals at home and watching old family videos. On April 18, 2020, Dad was able to spend his 85th birthday pandemic-style with numerous friends and family doing a “drive by” to greet Daddy Joey on his special day. It was a happy and joyous day for him and for the whole Carlos clan.
In August 2020, Dad succumbed to pneumonia one last time. His family begged him to fight and stay just a little bit longer but he knew that it was his time to go and so we all reluctantly and with sadness in our hearts gave him our blessing. His final message to us (via text – remember Dad always was up to date with technology) was:
“I know you’ll miss me as much as I’ll miss you but try to remember the happy times we’ve been together all the time. Cielo my ever-loving wife, I’m sorry I have to leave you too. Aren’t you happy we’re so blessed to have four very good children who are doing their best for their families and for themselves? I have to go because I really can no longer bear the pain of trying so hard to catch my breath ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️”
Dad’s favorite songs were “America the Beautiful” that demonstrated his love for his adopted country and “Bayan Ko” that showed that he never forgot the cherished land of his birth. Although Dad is no longer physically with us, his spirit and memory will live on forever in all of our hearts and in all of the hearts of those whose lives he touched.
Jose Blanco Carlos is survived by his wife of 57 years, Cielo Arceo Carlos, his children: Ariel married to May and their children: Chelsea (married to Jmarr Ramelb), CJ, Catrina, Clay, Tyler, Trisha, Carson and Carleigh and great-grandchildren: Sophia and Scarlet; Rogel married to Marissa and children: Chanelle, Cheyne, Sabrina and Genny; Lemuel and Orlene whose children are: Gianluca, Giulia, Gioia and Giuseppina. He is also survived by his sisters, Rosita Martinez and Elvira Blanco Carlos.
Celebration of Life
10:00 am - 12:00 pm