“I had no job, no money, no dream. But then, life happened.”

Two years ago, I had no job and no career. 

I quit my corporate communications job for a higher position at a conglomerate that, for some reason, didn’t materialize. Suddenly, I was left with nothing to do and nowhere to go. I had no money and lots of debt. Not really the best combination. 

I was afraid, frustrated. I felt utterly defeated and useless. It felt like the end of my dreams. 

“I can’t be like this when I’m almost 30!” I exclaimed, repeating it to myself like it would change anything.

I’m a storyteller, always have been. I see stories in everything. But at the time, I was so sure writing or telling stories can’t put food on the table or money in my pocket. A depressed mind can and will play tricks on you, trust me.

Met world-renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue during a coverage in Cebu
Interviewing the creators of the Final Fantasy franchise for Enduins

After languishing in self-pity for months, I forced myself to start doing one type of work that has always come naturally to me—writing.

I reached out to some print media friends, asked if I can contribute articles for a few hundred bucks. The money mattered, but the idea of just being outside my own head mattered more. My mind had become toxic. 

Covering the 2019 Tour de Cebu for Esquire Magazine
Covering the 2019 Tour de Cebu for Esquire Magazine

Going outside and talking to new people helped big time. The problems didn’t disappear, but the mere act of doing something started to recalibrate my mind.I slowly started believing I am good for something, or at least I’m good for a few decent articles per month. Without me realizing, I started healing. 

My writing took me to new places where I met interesting people. Then, I got reacquainted with an old media colleague who needed someone to shoot videos for his company. Sure, I said. I didn’t have a camera and haven’t produced a video in over three years at that point. But when you’re swimming in debt and bills, any gig is fair game.

One video led to another, and another, and another. In my past life as a broadcast journalist, I never got to hold the camera, never bothered with learning more about editing. It was all about writing. This time, I write, shoot, and edit everything myself, partly because I can charge more for it and partly because I couldn’t afford to get other people. Incidentally, my ability to be a one-man production crew opened up new opportunities with other clients as well.

Driving around Thailand in a Mini Cooper
Driving around Thailand in a Mini Cooper

It was hard work, but more importantly, I had work. My mind was finally active again. I had a purpose, again.

This required me to up my production game, though. I had to learn so much more than what I already knew because I had no assistants or other producers I can direct. Yes, I was already an executive producer back in the day, but in the freelance production world, I was the newbie.

Brainstorming with award-winning documentarist Jay Taruc and acclaimed commercial director Ian Celis
Brainstorming with award-winning documentarist Jay Taruc and acclaimed commercial director Ian Celis
With some of the country’s gaming and cosplay superstars

Fast forward to today and I’m regularly working with at least three production companies on top of my own freelance projects and my Youtube channel. And my writing and storytelling, which I thought weren’t all that valuable and didn’t pay much attention to, have given me an edge and a unique perspective that allows me to offer more in an industry that’s more crowded than ever. Not bad for someone who never imagined going back to doing production work.

Two years ago, I had no job and no career. Now, I have found what I truly love.

Yes, shit happens. But miracles do, as well.

Shooting a project with Ride PH

About the Author

Cyrian Agujo is an insomniac who loves coffee. He is also a video and film producer, photographer, and journalist.

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