Celebs pursue business ventures amid pandemic | Inquirer Entertainment

Celebs pursue business ventures amid pandemic

/ 12:01 AM June 22, 2020

In my previous column, I wrote about how celebrity restaurateurs are coping with the new normal. This time around, I’m featuring celebs who suddenly ventured into business as an offshoot of the pandemic. Let’s take the cue from them to remain productive and not self-destruct while we’re cooped up at home.

As the mantra that’s so apt for these challenging times goes, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”


To paraphrase that, I would say, “When life gives you lemons, add tequila.” May that remind us not to let the coronavirus kill our zest for life. Cheers to less Covid-19 fears.

Aiko Melendez


I put up a gadgets store on Instagram @gadgetsallinone to help people in my own little way. Since day one of the pandemic, I have been raising funds for different projects and hospitals. So, I thought of putting up a business that would protect people from the virus. I’m selling gadgets with minimal mark up.


For front-liners and OFWs (overseas Filipino workers), I sell it at cost. My bestselling item is the antivirus necklace. My dream is to give gadgets to frontliners for free when my biz booms. I know this business is not the kind that would make me a billionaire. It’s more of an advocacy for me (call 0968-8001216).

Connie Sison-Escudero


When my husband Chris and I spent the holidays in Spain, I got to taste different wine varieties and fell in love most with the blend of the Tempranillo-Garnacha. I knew then that I’d want to have this blend at home to share with family and friends.

The idea of having my own wine label did come instantaneously. But I thought to myself, why not start a business now? So, I put that thought on hold. I came home instead with just the idea of having a “personalized wine” as gifts for the holidays. And wow, they all loved it, including the label design (a painting of mine).

Fast-forward to March 2020, the quarantine happened. Initially, I wanted to have a product that could help augment the income of my friends who lost their jobs due to the lockdown. Having to resell my own wine label was farthest from my mind, until a friend of mine volunteered to sell online.

So far, so good. Wherever this new business venture takes me, I’ll be just as happy knowing it’s serving its purpose to help my friends out during these tough times and that I fulfilled my passion to have my own wine label (send a message to Caren Marquez-Tiangco on Facebook).

China Cojuangco- Gonzalez


My husband has a food line called Chef Gino’s Kitchen. He has frozen items such as Hamachi jaw, sea bass jaw, rib-eye, scallops, and he makes his own Irish corned beef. He recently started his cooked food line, which includes lasagna, roasted sea bass jaw with roasted vegetables, Galician steak with roasted vegetables, mixed mushroom truffle pasta, and baked prawns with lemon herb butter sauce.

I finally decided to join his venture. I sell smoked longganisa Baguio-style and Cagayan Valley-style. When we trim our trees at home, I use the wood to smoke the longganisa. I’ve used mango wood and currently duhat wood (message @chefginoskitchen on Instagram).


Vina Morales


Since “work from home” is the new normal, I launched three business ventures to help people looking for “rackets.” Be a marketing agent or kitchen partner of my “BeauTea Bubble Tea,” or a marketing agent for my “Dip and Go Supreme,” or a top-up agent for my “Money Sent” Service (e-mail [email protected]).

Jim Paredes


I am conducting an intensive four- or five-week online course on songwriting. It is the same one I taught in Ateneo, where students must write one song every week. I’m taking in only 15 students.

Classes will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays starting on June 23 at 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Manila time. There will be 10 sessions (inquiries: IG @jimparedes). INQ

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TAGS: Aiko Melendez, China Cojuangco-Gonzalez, Connie Sison-Escudero, covid-19, JimParedes, Vina Morales
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