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Corazon Dayro Ong brings you the taste of home


The language of food is a language that Filipinos speak fluently. The most important gatherings and decisions made between people, most especially between families, are over meals. That is why when someone invites you into their kitchen or to taste their food, it means you are cherished, and Corazon Dayro Ong’s kitchen has been open to every Filipino family for 45 years. 

Meet the real CDO -- Corazon Dayro-Ong

Start small, dream big
On June 25, 1975, Mrs. Corazon Dayro Ong started a small home business from her kitchen in Valenzuela making her own meat products. With a growing family, she decided that her love for cooking could help augment the family income. Ma’am Cora, to those who know her personally, was a nutritionist - dietician who learned how to make popular food items like skinless longganisa and siopao. Even during the humble beginnings of the business, she knew the importance of innovation. She combined the two dining table staple food items to create a siopao with longganisa filling and began selling these to friends and neighbors. It was an instant hit. Her husband, Jose “Pepe” Ong, then an aquaculture specialist, joined his wife in the kitchen, kneading the dough and even doing the deliveries. 

CDO’s first logo in 1975

Through friends, relatives, and business contacts, they were able to grow the enterprise, eventually supplying hospitals, groceries, and hotels. With the help of a small loan from the bank, they turned their home into a small factory. 

Ong family’s old house in Valenzuela City, which was also their first-ever CDO factory.

The company was registered as CDO Food Products in the same year, carrying Ma’am Cora’s initials. Later on in 1981, they registered as a corporation under the name Foodsphere Inc. where CDO became the flagship brand. CDO carried their most popular products: tocino, longganisa, ham, bacon, and more. 

Jose and Corazon Ong at their first production plant in Canumay, Valenzuela City.

Sir Pepe used his expertise to help set up systems for production and logistics, while Ma’am Cora kept an eye on maintaining the quality of the products to make sure that no matter how big the business gets, the food products remain as well-loved by Filipino families as they were when they came out of her very own home kitchen.

Your favorite CDO products in their original packaging.

Taking on adversity with innovation
Challenges are inevitable in building a business, but the Ong family consistently showed resilience and adaptability. Early on in their story, CDO Foodsphere, Inc. had its share of setbacks. Their home factory was ravaged by a fire in 1987, and the inauguration of their first modern production plant in Canumay, Valenzuela City in 1990 coincided with the 90s financial crisis. Nevertheless, they saw this as an opportunity to provide more jobs. It was at this time that the family took steps to expand further, and thus took on dollar-denominated loans. CDO also built their second plant in 1997 where they also started their first canning line and launched CDO Karne Norte.

Concern for their employees and the employees’ families are what inspired them to create solutions, like introducing a new line of products instead of closing down, to keep the factory running and the workers earning. Ma’am Cora not only continues to, figuratively, invite Filipino families into her kitchen through the quality food products that the company offers, but also by taking in employees into their growing company “kitchen” who have become part of the CDO Foodsphere family.

The Ong family is not averse to risks, and they keep making big moves to keep up with the times. CDO Foodsphere released their first television commercial in 1995. Alongside this, they also expanded their production plants with a large meat processing and canning factory in Paso de Blas and a mega plant in Malvar, Batangas in 2009. 

They were willing to take big strides in business and take their small backyard enterprise into the national arena. In the early 2000s, the company improved its distribution nationwide and, for the first time, entered modern trade. This is a strong statement on how determined they were in bringing their food to every household.

Year after year, they continue to introduce new products that have become household staples, and established the CDO brand as a carrier of quality and affordability present at every Filipino family table. The leading corned tuna brand in the country, San Marino Corned Tuna, was a product of superb market research that further broke the monopoly in canned tuna in the country. Highly popular Bibbo Cheesedog, CDO Karne Norte, CDO Idol Cheesedog, CDO Funtastyk Tocino, CDO Holiday Ham, Highlands Corned Beef, and Danes Cheese are just some of the products that have become household names. 


CDO products

In its success, the family always remembered to pay forward the blessings that they receive. In 2004, the Odyssey Foundation was established, which served as the Company’s advocacy and CSR arm.

During the current pandemic, CDO has found ways to provide consumers with access to CDO products. Through Mobile Food Stores, the company has partnered with LGUs for the online selling and delivery of CDO products. The CanDO program of the company has answered the call for help in many sectors. This program initiated financial assistance, shuttle and lodging provisions for the health and safety of their employees, meals for frontliners, and sharing products with families hard hit by the crisis.

The growing family kitchen

CDO’s 25th anniversary celebration

Currently, the whole 2nd generation of the Ong family is involved in the business. Jerome, the eldest son is the President, Charmaine, the only daughter is the Senior Vice President for Purchasing and Treasury, and Jason, the youngest, is Vice President for Emerging Businesses. Janna and Jao from the third generation are involved in Marketing and Sales. Ma’am Cora is the Vice Chairman. Her heart and soul are still in the family kitchen-turned- flourishing business that she and her husband, the late Sir Pepe, created. CDO continues to invite every Filipino to experience the family kitchen through their food.

The Ong family

Now celebrating 45 delicious years, CDO Foodsphere has a new, refreshed identity alongside its new tagline: “food that brings you home” to take the company into many more years of success, and refresh the brand that many Filipinos associate with home-style food. This new look is a deeper testament to what the CDO food products commit to bring to the family dining table – food that brings together the family in their meal times, and foster a nurturing environment of meaningful conversations and strengthened relationships.

CDO Foodsphere’s new look

Embracing the modern times to serve to the consumer is embodied in the warmth of the new brand mark. Warm colors and gradients bring out the nurturing nature of the brand, much like its founder who chose to embark on the CDO journey to help the family. The fluidity of the elements show how the CDO products have evolved to follow the modern lifestyle that desires freshness of products and adaptability of mealtimes, while keeping the traditional qualities of family togetherness seen in the familiar red circular letters that spell out quality – CDO. 

CDO, food that brings you home

The newness is not only in its look but also in its vision of addressing the modern needs of the family: affordability to sustain families, easy to prepare products to give them time for each other, quality ingredients and taste to bring happiness and satisfaction, all while enjoying meals that foster family closeness. Again, CDO invites us into the family kitchen while moving with the new dynamics of how families gather together, that is, lives are intense and busy but it is still the language of food, the language of CDO, to be the one that brings you home.

In 1975, when Ma’am Cora decided to venture into business, it was to use her superb cooking and love for food to help her growing family. Forty-five years later, that family still continues to grow. After catering to the Filipino taste and supplying the best quality products for 45 years, so many Filipinos have become at home in the CDO kitchen, and they are looking forward to staying many years more.

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