Money and insurance

Ces Drilon: Life outside the newsroom and why the road to success is never a straight line

The loss of a job that was not just a source of income but a passion was jarring, but it gave me time to study, research, and learn new skills. It led me to become an entrepreneur.

September 27, 2022
Ces Oreña-Drilon

The past two and a half years have been very challenging for all mankind. Not a single person was spared the trials brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. Millions lost beloved family members, lost their jobs and livelihood, became homeless or orphans.

 As of Sept. 27, 2022, Covid-19 has killed 6.54 million people and infected 620 million around the world. In the Philippines, the deaths total 62,790 and the cases 3.9 million.

For me, it meant looking for new pursuits outside the newsroom where I spent more than three decades of my professional life. I have always ventured outside my comfort zone, leaving the news anchor’s chair way back in 2017 to oversee content creation for digital platforms of the country’s top communications network. 

The upheaval of 2020 led me to pursue another interest: creating a self-care brand using natural, homegrown ingredients. The loss of a job that was not just a source of income but a passion was jarring, but the change of pace gave me time to study, research and learn new skills to develop another facet of myself. It led me to become an entrepreneur. 

It was back to the classroom for me. I enrolled in soap-making classes, a natural perfumery course, balm making and so many other sessions to educate myself. It was also a time when I explored other platforms such as livestreaming where I communicated with an entirely new audience, mostly millennials (and younger!) who hang out in streaming sites. I even do live selling for an eyewear brand of which I am a partner. 

A new world opened up to me and it was thrilling and stimulating. But it entailed a plan that led me to the journey of becoming an entrepreneur.  With a little capital and the e-commerce know-how of my son Gian and the creative juices of my youngest, Rei, I came up with Provenciana, a wellness brand that aims to tap the healing and nurturing powers of our endemic plants. 

I always had an abiding interest in farming and entrepreneurship, and the trials of the pandemic opened up an opportunity which I seized! Starting a new endeavor entails commitment and tenacity. Just like I did as a journalist following a complicated issue and uncovering the truth, I had to stay the course for Provenciana. It meant coming up with formulas for my creations, constant testing of products, dealing with third-party shippers, branding and marketing. 

It was a whole world. It didn’t happen overnight, and it is still a work in progress. But from a one-woman show, Provenciana now has 6 workers. We sell online from our own online site and a popular selling platform. From using herbs grown in my small rooftop garden, we now source our herbs from various farmers and are on our way to growing them from our very own farm. I am now in the process of planning the layout of this future little piece of heaven. 

Having a farm and living in it is a dream that is about to come true. Indeed, success doesn’t happen overnight but over time. 

(Just like Ces, make sure to stay on track and stay committed to your goals and dreams no matter what. And to help you grow whatever you’ve started, check out FWD Manifest—it is an insurance with investment component that helps you invest and manifest your dreams. And because challenges are a part of success, FWD Manifest protects you and your investment and helps you grow your wealth with less worries and more confidence. It’s savings, protection, and investment in one! Schedule a meeting with an FWD financial advisor to know more.)