Toni Gonzaga, masayang nahanap ang niche at purpose niya sa YouTube

“What Paul noticed with me last year is that I kept watching all these inspirational interviews, I kept watching preaching. And that’s all I do naman in YouTube. Just feed my soul and feed my mind with positive affirmation. Susog daw ni Direk Paul: ‘‘Why don’t you do a Filipino version for your audience? Tutal, meron ka na namang subscribers, why don’t you do something like that?’”

Photos: @celestinegonzaga & @cathygonzaga

“What Paul noticed with me last year is that I kept watching all these inspirational interviews, I kept watching preaching. And that’s all I do naman in YouTube. Just feed my soul and feed my mind with positive affirmation. Susog daw ni Direk Paul: ‘‘Why don’t you do a Filipino version for your audience? Tutal, meron ka na namang subscribers, why don’t you do something like that?’”

Isa si Toni Gonzaga sa mga artistang kilala rin bilang practicing Christian. At sa naging interview niya kamakailan lang sa YouTube Channel na Grown in Grace, nag-open-up ang Multimedia Star ng kanyang life testimony.

At  doon ay inamin niya na may mga proyekto noong naio-offer sa kanya, pero tinatanggihan umano niya dahil taliwas ito sa kanyang paniniwala at pananampalata.

“Yeah, may mga gano’n,” pag-amin ni Toni. “But actually, I have to give credit to my parents. Sila ang nagsasabi sa akin na, ‘You’ll not gonna do this, you’ll not gonna do that because that’s not who you are. That’s not who you represent and who you are as a person. That’s not what you want to convey to your audience or to the people.’

“So, there were instances na in the beginning, it was my parents who would turned it down. Eventually,  especially now dahil right age na ’ko and mas marami na ‘kong medyo alam sa buhay, kahit paano may konti ng wisdom...nakakapag-decide na ’ko na this is not for me.”

Dagdag pa ni Toni, “You know what I do when I tried to turn down a project or when I accept a project, I do not decide for it?

“I don’t allow my feelings or my mind to decide for something. Because if I will allow my mind to decide for a certain project, basta whatever that I’m just doing, I feel that it’s just my ego deciding for it.

“I think I’m done with my ego running my life. And I just lift it all up to God and I surrender it to Him. 

“You know, it’s a miracle that He guides me along the path that I should take along this journey.”

Pakiramdam daw ni Toni, malaki ang spiritual guidance niya pagdating sa discernment at natutunan din daw niya kung paano sumunod sa instincts niya.

“I believe, ’yung instinct is a God-given gift.”

Inamin din ni Toni na wala raw siyang intensiyon noong una na pasukin ang mundo ng YouTube vlogging. Pero hindi umano siya tinantanan ng kapatid niyang si Alex na isa sa mga reyna ng Phillipine YouTube scene. 

Ngayon, ang Celestine Gonzaga-Soriano YouTube Channel ay meron ng  3.38 million subscribers.

 “You know, it was never in my head na gawin ko ‘to,” pagbabalik-tanaw niya. It was my sister who kept telling me to open my own channel and I kept telling her na hindi naman ako nakakatawa na katulad mo.”

Aniya pa, iba naman daw kasi ’yung natatawa sa kanya ang manonood sa mga romcom movies niya dahil yun ay scripted naman daw.

“I can do romcoms because there’s a script and I love portraying roles,” esplika niya. “As a person, I always feel like I’m boring kasi medyo tahimik lang talaga ‘ko in real life.

“’Yung nakikita mo sa movies, it’s something that I love doing and it’s something where I can explore myself and be somebody else. So, nae-enjoy ko ’yung side na ’yun.”

Opposite nga silang magkapatid ng personalidad, pero pag-amin ni Toni, gusto raw niyang maging katulad ni Alex.

“I really want to be like Alex,” saad niya.

“Gusto ko ’yung gano’ng personality niya na always up and above. But it’s just that you know, I discover na I’m an introvert pala. Kaya pala I’m an introvert with extrovert qualities. I become extrovert when I’m in the zone, when I’m working, when I love what I’m doing.

“But in reality, I’m an introvert. I like staying in my own bubble. I like recharging by myself. I like being alone. I cherish the solitude and treasure my alone time.”

Pero dahil host  naman din talaga siya, nami-miss na raw niya na nakikipag-usap sa mga tao lalo na during the lockdown. Ang mister daw niyang si Direk Paul Soriano ang nakaisip na gawin niya ang Toni Talks.

“Si Paul ang nag-initiate ng project na yan. I was like, ‘Who’s gonna sit with me? Who’s gonna talk to me?’ S’yempre it’s inviting guest and, ‘Who’s gonna share their stories?’” sabi niya.

“What Paul noticed with me last year is that I kept watching all these inspirational interviews, I kept watching preaching. And that’s all I do naman in YouTube. Just feed my soul and feed my mind with positive affirmation.

“That’s just all I do when I go to YouTube, I just watch inspirational talks, inspirational stories and motivating stories that can uplift me last year.”

Susog daw ni Direk Paul: ‘‘Why don’t you do a Filipino version for your audience? Tutal, meron ka na namang subscribers, why don’t you do something like that?’”

So far, ilan na nga sa mga naging Toni Talks guests niya ang naging inspirational nga ang dating sa mga manonood gaya Baron Geisler, Candy Pangilinan, Moira, Rica Peralejo at gayundin ang ilang non-showbiz personalities na pawang inspiring ang mga kuwento ng buhay.

Paglilinaw rin niya, hindi rin daw nila sinadya na maging inspirational ang mga interviews niya. Gusto lang daw niyang mai-share ng mga guests ang mga stories nila.

“Honestly, I don’t even tell my guests na, ‘O, ano tayo ha, let’s inspire people, wala, walang gano’n. Feeling ko, ang laki ng guidance ng Holy Spirit sa conversations.”

 

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