Embracing Versatility: The Journey of Lora Ledesma

Graphics by Joshua Dautil

Enderun Colleges is a highly prestigious school. Thousands of students over the years have passed through its doors. It is inevitable that many of these people will have inspirational success stories for the younger generation to learn from. One of these students is Ms. Lora Ledesma, a current financial advisor and artist, and an alumna from Enderun Colleges. Ms. Felix, Art Appreciation professor, hosted Ms. Ledesma on the 21st of February, 2022 for a talk about her life, projects, and development as a person. It is highly encouraging to witness a former student of Enderun involved with such a monumental historical landmark of the Philippines. One of Ms. Ledesma’s major projects is contributing to the restoration of a historical piece of architecture known as the San Sebastian Basilica.

Ms. Ledesma finished her course in Entrepreneurship in October of 2013 but formally graduated from Enderun Colleges the following year. Ms. Ledesma was both an artistic and an entrepreneurial type of person. Before finishing college, she had already created her own business, Octopod, that specializes in prosthetics, special effects makeup, and many other products used in the movie industry. She was able to work on multiple movies and “teleseryes” or Filipino TV series, which kick-started her career.

A few years later, despite finding success in the movie industry, she found that it would be best to switch environments in her pursuit of achieving her goals. During this time, she had already planned to settle down and start a family, therefore, this line of work was unsustainable. She then established another company and became a self-managed financial advisor partnered with Pru Life UK. She is now her own boss. Having more time and freedom, she was able to work with an artistic group that created religious artworks, which led to her involvement with the conservation of the San Sebastian Basilica.

San Sebastian Basilica is a church in the Philippines that is recognized as a National Historical Landmark and a National Cultural Treasure. Additionally, it is also the only church in the country that was constructed entirely with steel. Because of the building material and several other factors, the church is deteriorating gradually. As a result, the fundraiser “Para sa Ina” was established to assist in funding this restoration project. Para sa Ina is an exhibition of numerous artistic pieces such as paintings, relics, and many more. These artworks are sold and used to fund the reconditioning of the church. Expressing her artistic side, Ms. Ledesma was able to become an artist in this exhibition, creating three artworks for the fundraiser. She urges people to visit the church for themselves and promote the exhibition.

During the Q&A portion, we were able to attain additional insight into her life. One question asked, “How did you process this (her skills) as a college student and how did you know that you wanted to pursue that (both business and art) in your life?” Following this question, Ms. Ledesma revealed that her favorite classes included both accounting and Rizal even though they are quite dissimilar. In her accounting class, she learned the more orthodox entrepreneurial skills, while on the other hand, she embraced her creativity through Rizal class as she was in full control of her outputs. “We didn’t have a final exam. We were just told to have a major project,” Ms. Ledesma shared. The second and final question was simple yet interesting, as it asked about Ms. Ledesma’s inspirations in creating her artworks. She expressed that she obtains inspiration from happy or positive things and feelings. Following her religious involvement, she also gets inspiration from God and religious practices.

Seeing Ms. Ledesma’s journey, we can conclude that we will never know where life can take us. While constantly working on our skills and abilities, we can narrow down our career options, but as seen in Ms. Ledesma’s path, sometimes we may end up working towards something bigger than ourselves. This talk showed us the importance of versatility and adaptability, as she was able to get to her current position through developing both her entrepreneurial and artistic expertise. We can all learn from Ms. Lora Ledesma to become more mature and successful Titans for the present and future.

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