Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A man of many talents

AT FIRST glance, people describe him as a fun-loving man who always has a smile on his face. A cheerful and helpful, community-serving person is another thing to characterize him. However, those qualities are just the tip of the ice berg of Owen Jaen, a man of many talents.

Jaen is born in Butuan. His childhood revolves around art. As the youngest in the family Jaen was always left alone in their house.

“I have always been creative, especially that I'm the youngest tapos I felt like I was distanced from my siblings kasi 10 years yung gap namin ng kuya ko (because my brother before me is 10 years older). So when all of them were growing up, I was still a child so I was always left alone in the house. What I do is I made used of my time. I watch movies, I read books, I make my own comics, mga ganun. I started doing creative work when I was still very, very young,” Jaen said.

At the age of 12, he was given the opportunity to train in theater and was also given the chance to study acting in Manila.

His experience in theater was what drove Jaen to start a theater company in Butuan City during the early 2000s.

Despite his outstanding talent in art, Jaen actually attempted to become a doctor by studying dentistry in a university in Cebu. It was after his five years of studying under the course that he realized that such path is not meant for him. The same happened when he studied Political Science.

So he decided to work in the City Tourism Office as a clerk, then promoted as an officer for quite some time, and eventually proceeded to work in ABS-CBN.

“I worked for ABS-CBN in Butuan for four years as a producer of a lifestyle show. When I was in both ABS and theater, our theater company was invited to perform at Liceo [de Cagayan University] at Rodelsa Hall. That was my entry,” Owen said.

“When I went to Liceo, and when I saw the whole Rodelsa Hall, I told the cultural director na I like the place, it’s so nice, it reminds me of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Baka tumatak yun sa isip nya so after a few months he called me up and invited me to work for Liceo,” he added.

He started working as a marketing officer in the Cultural Affairs Office of Liceo de Cagayan University. Then, he became the program coordinator of the university for five years. And before he knew it, he became the director of the said office.

It was also in the same university that he finally graduated, through the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency & Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) of the school.

It was in October 2017 that Jaen decided to resign from his work in the university to start his own business.

“I decided that maybe I should try to do something for myself. I mean, I'm still going to do something creative but on my own terms as a self-employed person or doing a startup company. So I left the university last October. Luckily, I found some business partners from JCI [Kagayhaan Gold],” Owen said.

“Now I'm using that art to venture into something na money-making, hindi lang sya yung parang just to feed my soul,” he added.

It is also worth mentioning that Jaen is the current president of the JCI Kagayhaan Gold.

With a business partner at his side, he proceeded to open his own company in November 2017: the 9000 Events, a registered company doing events management and related services.

From art to event organizing, the experiences and skills he acquired keep piling up. Although, he said that those experiences and skills he learned before were quite helpful in his journey of managing his own company.

“I attribute my self-confidence to the experiences that I have in theater. As a theater performer, I have to be in tune with my emotions,” Jaen said.

“It became an advantage in my interpersonal skills that what I learned in the art, especially in performing arts,” he added.

The multi-talented man also shared the several challenges he had faced when he was just starting his company.

“We're still doing baby steps, although we're very fortunate that we have already gaining grounds but we cannot yet say that we are very successful ang company kasi start-up pa sya,” Jaen said.

“So the challenges are ang dami. We make sure that we are being recognized by the people, they are aware that we exist. So yun palang, hard part na. We're trying to fit into the market and make us one of the companies that they will consider when they think of an event,” he added.

With his duties as the president of JCI Kagayhaan Gold and the owner of the 9000 Events company, you could see how, despite being so busy, he was able to organize everything and keep all in control.

A person with such skills is rare to be seen nowadays. Especially as multi-talented as one Owen Jaen.


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