Ces Oreňa-Drilon has never met a story she wasn’t passionate about pursuing or a challenge she didn’t face head-on with a positive spirit.
When the former reporter and Bandila anchor lost her job when ABS-CBN’s franchise was not renewed at the height of the pandemic in 2020, Ces turned to farming and entrepreneurship to sustain her. Out of the newsroom, she also explored digital platforms to reach her audiences.
Ces, who was also former Content Acquisition Head of ABS-CBN Lifestyle Ecosystem Group, says, “Leaving the anchor’s chair was my own decision because I wanted to leave my comfort zone and try new things like digital. So, I took the plunge and tried my hand at livestreaming. I was very nervous at first because I was communicating to a younger audience, which I was not used to. But to my surprise it became one of the best things I did during the pandemic. I was so happy, and my fear of having dead air and talking to 20-year-olds was unfounded. It was also a new way of generating income during the pandemic.”
The award-winning broadcast journalist who, for over 30 years, was on our TV sets chasing hard news and feature stories found that there was a whole new world away from the newsroom. It may be a cliché but it’s true that when a door closes, a window opens.
For Ces, it was becoming an entrepreneur, content creator, and a farmer. She founded and launched Provenciana, which produces smudge sticks or bundles of dried herbs that you burn to produce a cleansing cloud of smoke for positive energy; soaps; and other natural home products.
“I learned to adapt and try new things because the road to success is never a straight line. For me the secret to success is enjoying what you do, and also to savor life’s little pleasures. Don’t forget to celebrate living.”
How Ces Drilon manifested her dreams
Ces began her journalism career in 1984. As a rookie reporter, she had to work long hours and be very diligent about the stories she was assigned to do to build credibility.
“I love the craft. I love the challenge of being able to combine words and video, and being able to distil a very complicated issue into two minutes.”
In the end, she says, all this paid off. “It’s really the passion that moves you forward because the job of being a field reporter is very demanding. If you begin early, you reap the benefits of what you sow. Your commitment, your dedication will bear fruit as a reporter, and consistency is key. In the beginning, I was open to a lot of opportunities and challenges without being so conscious about the pay knowing that payback would come later. Alam niyo, success doesn’t come overnight but over time.”
She took new challenges and explored new ground as she worked her way up the newsroom. “Learning new things and new skills is so fulfilling. And it’s good to leave one’s comfort zone.”
Like many women, she successfully balanced a demanding career with her other role as a single parent to four young boys. This pushed her to think long and hard about her financial wellbeing.
“I started investing when I was a reporter. I bought insurance for myself and for my kids because I wanted to protect my family. When you have protection, you can take calculated risks with the hope of earning bigger returns. You know, after I lost my job of over 30 years, pivoting to a new venture like Provenciana was easier because I was financially prepared and had a back-up plan. Sound financial planning will grow and protect what you’ve built.”
For that she believes FWD Life Insurance’s Manifest, an investment-linked insurance, is a wise plan to have. “FWD Manifest gives you strong life protection and smart wealth investment. And because it has protection and investment components, you can manifest your dreams with more confidence and less worries,” she says.
Knowing that she’s protected and her family is secure also gives her the courage to venture and expand her new life as an entrepreneur.
“I will be giving greater focus to farming this second half of 2022 aside from growing all the things that Provenciana needs. I want to eventually live there (in the farm). The aim is really to be able to go back to basics and to tap the healing and nurturing properties of Philippine endemic plants.”
To Ces, success is being able to build something that will outlast her. “Success also means leaving the world a better place than when you found it. So, I dedicate this to my children.”
“I manifested my dreams and I know you can, too. Invest and manifest your future with FWD Manifest.”
To know more about FWD Manifest, schedule a free consultation with an FWD financial advisor.