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Roberto Balajadia was born in Sta. Ana Manila in 1945. He earned a BFA from UP in 1967. His father Cornelio, who was from Malolos Bulacan, dabbled in art. As a child, he often went to the racetracks with his grandmother and saw racehorses bred and trained at close range. Following his parents separation when he was in the third grade, artist Gabriel Custodio became his stepfather. Custodio gave him art lessons during weekend mornings. Balajadia learned how to stretch canvas, mix paints and do initial sketches. By 1957, when he was in the sixth grade, he sold his first pastel for Php 50 to jeweler Ding Velayo, who was a friend of Custodio’s.
He had his first one-man show of landscapes, still lifes, and horse racing at Kilusang Sining gallery in 1975. He began his lotus series in 1976 at his second solo at the Metro Gallery.
He won 1st prizes at the CMLI sport contests of 1966 and 1967, 3rd prize in the Phil Airlines Annual of 1967, and 2nd prize at the PWU invitational spot contest. He submitted an adobe sculpture of a pregnant woman to the 17th SNSAC, and won first prize for it.