The Woman Behind CDO Is A Mom, And Here's Her Advice For Home-Based Businesses

Corazon Dayro Ong was not only a mother to her children, but also to her employees and the communities she helped.

No matter how busy moms get, keeping their kids healthy and nourished remains a top priority. One of the ways they do this is by providing filling home-cooked meals, often with a hearty silog breakfast to jumpstart the day.

Perhaps it may come as no surprise to know, then, that the person behind CDO, a beloved local food brand and silog and other ulam favorites maker, is a mother herself who genuinely loves to cook.

In fact, before starting CDO, Corazon Dayro Ong was a nutritionist-dietician who learned how to make popular food items like skinless longganisa and siopao. She was making nutritious meals, so her children would eat right. When her three kids were all in school, Corazon found time to turn her passion for food into a small business.

In 1975, in addition to skinless longganisa and siopao, Corazon started making longganisa-filled siopao and tocino with her own recipes right in their home in Valenzuela under the name CDO Food Products.

Eventually, her husband, Jose “Pepe” Ong, who was then an aquaculture specialist, joined his wife in the kitchen, kneading the dough and even doing the deliveries to hospitals, schools, and offices where their friends and acquaintances worked.

Even as Corazon became busier managing their business, which grew more popular through word-of-mouth marketing, she still managed to be a hands-on mom. It wasn’t easy, but she made it happen.

On one occasion, Corazon took the time to host a yearend party for her son, Jason, and his classmates at their home. Jason recalled, “It was amazing to see her act so motherly to over 30 kids all at the same time.”

By 1981, Corazon, with Pepe and her children’s full support, expanded their small business into Foodsphere Inc., offering new products like cheese dogs, bacon, chorizo, ham, and sausages under the flagship brand CDO.

Over four decades later, CDO Foodsphere, Inc., used to be a mom-and-pop business operating in a humble home, has fully transformed into a household name beloved by Filipinos. And it was all thanks to Corazon’s ingenuity, perseverance, and dedication to sharing good food.

As CDO marks its 45th anniversary in June 2020, Corazon continues to inspire not just her loved ones and employees, but also other moms who wish to start and grow their own home-based business. She reminds them that “big dreams start from somewhere,” and that they are achievable no matter how simple or crazy.

“Now is the right time to start. Young age should never be a hindrance. You should even take advantage of your youth and your rich ideas,” Corazon says. “Our ideas and successes are not the only great ideas and success out there. However, be sure to put your heart in whatever endeavor you would like to undertake.”

Corazon’s final piece of advice: “Begin by loving what you do. Give value to real quality. Don’t compromise. Don’t take shortcuts. Believe in your business.”

In celebration of its 45th anniversary, CDO, maker of home-style products including Funtastyk Tocino, Karne Norte, Highlands, San Marino, and Danes among many others, unveils a brand-new identity to welcome a new audience.

This refreshed identity captures the brand's genuine narrative of championing mealtimes through modernized forms and elements that represent the brand's warm, motherly personality and the importance of mealtimes.

It also carries the tagline "Food That Brings You Home," which is a testament to CDO's mission of bringing families home with the authentic taste of their home-style products.

Visit CDO’s official website and follow the brand on Facebook for more information. You may also check out CDO Home Delivery on Facebook to find out how you can have your favorite CDO products delivered to your doorstep.

This article was created by Summit Storylabs in partnership with CDO.