UNMASKED: Disruptor To Empower

This story is an entry to COMCO Mundo’s “UNMASKED: The COMCO Mundo Write To Ignite Season 3”. The initiative aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine Blogging communities. “UNMASKED” aims to explore how each mask is a person brimming with hope and wonders to share with others, as well as why it is important to tell their inspiring journeys in life. The “Write To Ignite” Season 3 is made possible by COMCO Mundo League of Enterprises, AirAsia, Babyflo, PHILUSA Corporation, Century Tuna, Licealiz, Lamoiyan Corporation, Remy Martin, and Uratex as brand sponsors.

On Travelling and Blogging

I started blogging back 2017 as a way to tell stories of people and places. It was my 23rd birthday when I thought of blogging as way to record the stories I gathered from people in my travel. I discovered something at the very first blog I wrote. 

I, for one, thought people travel to escape someone or something. I thought travelling is a portal to a new world with new people. I thought travelling is breaking through a dimension of innocence. I thought travelling is cup of java just paired to a cookie.

But when I tried travelling alone that weekend, I realized there is more to life beyond the usual daily routines brought by the demands to survive the day. I found out that travelling is not an escape at all. It is neither beholding a new world with new people nor just breaking a barrier of innocence. It definitely not as simple as a cup of java.

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I was in the van travelling back home from Antique. Shoulder to shoulder with other passengers, my mind was floating around while we were bumping each other inside the car. The word “blog” came into mind as our vehicle was swirving along the mountain side road of the province. I said to myself, alright and let me check it when I get home. So I did exactly as I planned. I got my laptop, checked out wordpress and created my first blogsite in its free platform. 

And, the rest is history.

Travelling is just same old stuff. It is as normal to people who lived in the area as it is to me travelling back home. It is not an escape from life. Rather, it is part of life. From time to time, we have to move. Motion is the blood of life. When we don’t move along time and space, we are left behind with so much regrets.

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Masking under a pile of stories

Over seven years, I have been interviewing and publishing people’s story. Maybe because I thought my story is broken, lacking of substance that can hook people to reading. Maybe, I thought my story is not as important as the story of other people. Maybe, I thought my experiences were not as life-changing as the experiences of other people.

Chef Myka of Healthy Kitchen

For so long, I have been good at projecting the stories of others in a good light. In fact, I have made a living out of it. I grew from just blogging to becoming a brand consultant of brands in Iloilo City. I worked with several business owner in building their brands through brand activation campaigns, content writing, and social media marketing. 

Telling stories have been my hobby, only that the stories are not mine. They are the stories of other people, places, and products. This cycle happened for three to four straight years. I left my corporate job to tell stories thinking I could earn from writing. 

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And viola, I lost my salary. The blogging was only contributing about 15% of my salary. That was a loss of 85% of my income. But I continued. I kept following my north star. I kept writing. I kept posting. I kept telling stories of other people. 

Chef Pauline of Al Dente
Anna Marie Wharton of Mrs Wharton Group

Time flew fast unnoticed. I miraculously survived those three years earning below minimum. Those were precious years that built my faith in God. So, I am thinking. Instead of interviewing someone and feature their story, why can’t I tell the untold story of Nile on Weekends? 

Therefore, I have decided to interview myself and let my story be heard.

Unmasking the story of the storyteller 

When did I start sharing my life experiences?

When the pandemic hit the earth, everyone was hard up economically. In fact, I almost lost even the little income that I had. I was again facing the wall with nothing in my hand.

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One day, I thought of branding myself like how I brand other people and their businesses. I started branding my marketing services. I launched myself as a life coach and started online coaching. 

“The coaching gives me clarity over the season of my life,” says Lheonny, one of the coaching participants. It helped her to awaken her inner self to fulfill God’s dream for her and her family. 

I discovered that as I started to share my experiences and how I got through my difficult situations, people began to listen – at least some of them. “You know that a session is good when after the class, the participants think, what a powerful message and speaker. You know that a session is great when after the class, the participants think, I am powerful enough to speak my life’s message! Coach Nile’s session sure is a great one,” Marinel of LoveSpeak International shared.

After launching myself into the coaching industry, I began writing my first book. It took my storytelling to the next level. My first book entitled “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” was initially launched in a beta copy and was later self-published on my 27th birthday.

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Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, tells about my five-year journey from giving up my corporate job following the vision of my life to overcoming challenges as a freelance service provider in social media marketing. I wrote about my struggles, fears, and doubts. I feared not having enough money for my and my family’s daily needs. I doubted my decision and had struggles along the way. 

I had no connection, a powerful family name, and billions of money in my name. But, I knew I had God. I knew what I saw in the vision when I prayed to Him. I knew the kind of peace when I made my decision. I told myself, it may not be my reality now, but I know it is my truth by faith. 

I wrote in my first book the lessons I have learned on dreaming of the future that God has planted in me. I knew I would not be forever sitting in front of my computer as a full-time job. I knew that a whole new world outside was waiting for me. If you are feeling that there is something more for you, my book, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow is perfect for you.

I sold almost a thousand of copies of my first book. I had pocket events where I shared with people about the book and how it can be a tool for clarity in our personal journey. I received heartwarming responses from the readers who bought the book.

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The stories born out of my story

One reader said the book got him thinking and was helping him understand things in his life better. “So more people definitely should read it,” Rommel sponsored books to be given away to young professionals in Iloilo City as part of my Buy To Give Book Campaign.

As humbling as it can be, Ace Gapuz, CEO of Blogapalooza, bought and read my book. “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow will inspire you to believe in yourself and in your power to make your dreams come true,” she said. I talked about my journey in following my dream and took some notes on how to clear the path to the realization of our best self, while fulfilling the deepest desires in our hearts. “This is a great book for people who are trying to figure out what they want in life or even for people who just need a glimmer of hope amidst the ever-changing times,” Ace concluded.

Erica, a reader from Aklan

Erica, a reader from Aklan, reached out to me with an emotional message. “I feel so attacked when I get to read the third chapter,” she pointed out with sincerity. She learned how not to lose hope, trust, and faith in God and to always believe in how God created you to be. “I learned a lot. It was worth reading every chapter.”

Another reader notified me after reading the book. She opened up her struggles as well as her learnings. “The book was exactly what I have been going through,” the reader chatted. After reading it, she sought God about the very thing she is passionate about. 

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The liberating experiences of my reader pushed me to bring my stories to the outside world more often. It lead me to my second book which dealt with prayer, church governance, and the future of the world. The book is entitled “The Sound of Silence: Your Little Black Book for 2020 and Beyond” and was self-published and launched on my 29th birthday last year.

Launching of my book The Sound of Silence

I could not imagine on my own that I would be the author of two books before I reach my thirties. Self-publishing a book is not an easy path. It took a whole lot of faith, courage, time, energy, and money. 

On top of that, we put up a publishing house whose vision is to see the arising local authors take center stage through self-publishing. We call it Be A Messenger Publishing House and Consultancy Inc. and I am the chief marketing officer. How did we get the money, should you ask? I would answer, in prayer.

From Keyboard to Microphone

Towards the end of 2022, I was invited to speak in Gising Na Kabataan, a non-profit organization in Iloilo. I spoke on several occasions. From that point, I knew God was ushering me to my new season. 

Guest Speaker at Gising Na Kabataan Iloilo

Back in November 2022, God gave me a vision about the Rise of the Youth Mission for 2023. It will be a mission trip to three metropolitan cities in the country: Manila, Cebu, and Davao. Of course, I have to test the spirit of the vision.

The vision is an act of sowing God’s hope to the youth in these cities. During the mission trips, God would define what should be done in the field plus a session with a group of youth. I waited on God for confirmation. December comes and I attended a Thanksgiving gathering with the media and bloggers. During the raffles, I won free hotel accommodation. Guess, where? Yes! The hotel is in Manila.

Mega Tiktok Thanksgiving Party of Megaworld Iloilo

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Then by January 2023, I received a hotel voucher via email. Guess again, where? You got it right again! It is in Cebu! Days later, I was visited by an auntie pastor for a coffee treat. Guess, where is she from? Uh huh! She came from Davao. She was in Iloilo to tell me she received inspiration from God to have a combined youth gathering in Davao. The best part was the invitation to be the main speaker. That is how alignment with God works. So, the three cities were already checked from the list.

By January 11, 2023, I posted about the Rise of the Youth Vision. I created the landing page containing all the details about it. Four weeks later, the youth revival in Asbury broke out that lasted almost a month sparking more revival in other schools in America. Also, in February, I was invited by Word of Life World Mission Church Iloilo for their youth gathering. By March, I was invited as a guest speaker virtually to speak on a Sunday gathering.

A few weeks later, Beautiful Powerful Women and Dr. Ruth Cube Keijdener partnered with us and Be A Messenger Publishing House and Consultancy Inc for a mission trip in Iloilo. One of the major activities that was in the heart of Dr. Ruth was to minister to the youth or students in a school. So, we partnered with Central Philippine University. Oh boy, that was a blast of love, compassion, and healing in the presence of God.

Dr. Ruth Cube Keijdener in Mission Trip in Central Philippine University, Iloilo City

Then, I attended JCP Western Visayas youth camp to regain inner strength, refocus on the vision and receive from God clarity. I soaked myself in the presence of God. I basked in His fatherly love. I needed comfort, confirmation, and courage to step out for the Rise of the Youth Mission.

To make my journey easier, God gave me a partner travel agency to make sure my flights are well taken care of. Thank you, DRR Travel and Tours .

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After the camp, God opened a door in Nueva Ecija where I can kick start the Rise of the Youth Mission. By May, we flew to Gapan City, Nueva Ecija where I ministered to Brgy. Puting Tubig. It was a powerful mission trip where God was moving in a barangay level. I ministered together with Pastor Cherie Patino-Waters.

Mission Trip in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija

By June, we started the Rise of the Youth Cebu. We surveyed the province in the geospiritual and geopolitical level. In two days, we surveyed four cities. On the third day, we had a session with a group of young people. Before we flew back to Iloilo, God exposed the zip code where the spirit of suicide is lodging so strong.

Rise of the Youth Cebu

As soon as I returned to Iloilo, God placed me as the lead of Young Adult Fellowship Iloilo by JCP Iloilo. We had our first and second YAF sessions in July. We are now preparing for the third session which is on the second Tuesday of August.

Commencement Speaker at La Paz I Elementary School

Fast forward, I was the commencement speaker of the 98th Commencement Exercises of La Paz I Elementary School in 2023. I spoke my heart out as a conference speaker in a youth camp in Maasin, Iloilo, and Great Vision Church Iloilo. Today as of publishing this post, I am the conference speaker at a combined youth gathering in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo.

Youth Camp in Maasin, Iloilo
Youth Camp in Great Vision Church Iloilo

If you notice, God is so consistent with how He crafted the ushering of my new season. The alignment is evident. If the vision is from God, it will not lie. Very soon, it will happen.

This is how God works. It is plain and clear. The alignment will speak loudly in how our days go by. The Bible is true when it says that the steps of the righteous (by virtue of the sacrifice of Jesus) are ordained by God.

Now, I am preparing for the Manila mission trip. This is beyond me. This is not about me. This is totally about how God works. God is pro to a vision. Where there is a vision, there is provision.

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The moment I started telling my story was the day the world opened itself to me and showed me the space where I had my name on it. I bring the same story and many more side notes in my speaking engagements and mission trips. As I tell my story, people began receiving me into their homes and practically, their lives. The very reason why I gave up my job is still the very reason why I do what I do today. The pandemic as a disruptor was a tool to empower me to go out into the world fully with my story.

This is my story. And everywhere I go, I tell my story. It gave me the power to change the world one storytelling at a time. Just like that, you also possess the power in you through your own story.

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