Arlene Manalus was born after the declaration of Martial Law in 1972. She is the second child of Delia Velasco and Angelito Felipe. She was raised and Educated in Malabon City. She took a summer workshop for painting in UP Diliman. She is definitely inclined in the visual arts since her late father used to work for Film productions like Oro, Plata, Mata and other foreign movie films here in the Philippines.
Although she married young, she juggled different kinds of jobs. She found her calling in painting and sketching as therapy for stress. She idolizes Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon, but her number one idol is her aunt, Lydia Velasco.