In the latest issue of Lifestyle Asia Magazine, award-winning broadcast journalist Ces Drilon is basking in the glow of Antipolo’s natural light. In photographs shot at Pinto Art Museum’s Santorini-inspired environs, she is also, as the article that accompanies the cover states, radiating positive energy.
It’s been a tough year for the veteran media personality. She was one of many employees ABS-CBN was forced to let go—this after Congress denied the network the renewal of its franchise. For someone used to having a lot on her plate, the loss proved to be more than unsettling. Ces built a storied career in the network for more than three decades. She was this website’s executive editor. “I lost not just the income, but also my purpose,” she tells Lifestyle Asia. “I had to ask myself, ‘What will I do now?’”
For those who follow Drilon on social media, they would be familiar with how the hardworking woman busied herself post-ABSCBN shutdown. She continues to host a weekly show over Kumu (every Mondays at 8PM), talking to the hottest stars in the streaming platform and celebs of the hour. She distributes cash donations, PPEs and other medical supplies in different hospitals as part of her duties for the TOWNS Foundation of which she is now President. She was making soap, learning how to create a scent, and tending to a farm.
And then sometime in May, she posted a photo of herself with a new hairstyle. Just a bit shorter than what we’re used to seeing her sport but the change was quite remarkable. “It’s just the perfect hairstyle to write the next chapter of my life,” she wrote in the caption. “Ready to take on anything.”
Followers surely asked in their minds what chapter it was this formidable lady just ended.
It’s hard not to connect that social media post with the breakup Ces talks about for the first time in her interview with Lifestyle Asia. According to the article, “she and her partner of 13 years have parted ways.” Ces and the cover story doesn’t name him but, as those in the media, arts and society circles know, “partner” refers to Ricky Carandang, former ANC anchor and correspondent, head of the Palace communications group during President Noynoy Aquino’s term.
Ces tells the magazine the universe was telling her to let go in order for her to move forward. “It was painful but I had to listen,” she says.
The separation is quite a surprising turn in the couple’s story. Eleven months ago, Ces told the Inquirer’s Dolly Ann Carvajal in an interview why she thought the relationship with Ricky worked. “We aren’t married—that’s why it works (laughs)! Seriously, I think it comes from a deep respect for each other and knowing when to give in.” Just last April, they were talking about their “dream organic farm” and “secondary residence” in Tanauan, Batangas to Philippine Star.
“I think in the relationship, we were no longer nurturing each other. I’m talking about both parties, not just him,” Ces tells Lifestyle Asia on why the relationship has to come to an end. Despite it all, she says she remains optimistic about what’s ahead. “I’m still very positive that I will be able to pursue what I want, even without him beside me.”
In her recent Instagram post about the cover story, Ces looks back at her challenging year and sounds nothing short of inspiring. “From my professional to my personal life, the past year has been anything but easy,” she says. “I faced these challenges head on, stopped and just watched the sunrise or the sunset, focused on gains instead of losses, tried to lend a helping hand, took care of myself more, and am now facing better days.”
[The new issue of Lifestyle Asia is now available for download via Readly, Zinio, Magzter and PressReader. Print copies are available via email@example.com.]