WITH millions of followers across different social-media platforms, most notably YouTube, Lyqa Maravilla is an online educational content creator who makes videos and podcasts to help people pass aptitude tests, such as the Civil Service Test, Licensure Exam for Teachers, and college admission examinations.
Coach Lyqa, as Maravilla is known, also created a series of videos in her Get Hired playlist that aims to help people prepare and land a job with tips on how to ace interviews and make resumes.
It all started when Maravilla wanted to help a group of women who could not pass the Civil Service Exam because they were busy being homemakers and mothers. She was inspired by her late grandmother, who only completed Grade 3.
“Ganyan tayong mga babae, we are multitaskers. We can do so many things at the same time,” said Maravilla.
In the beginning, she had to wait for everyone in the household to fall asleep so she could film her videos. She had to share a slow internet connection with all the people in her house. Today, Maravilla has her own studio for filming.
For Maravilla, the best part about what she does is that it helps people find jobs.
“Our current average is three to five people, mostly women, reporting per day that they land jobs and get promoted,” she said.
Maravilla was one of the speakers in YouTube’s Breaking Barriers Online and Beyond event, where women content creators shared their inspiring stories of rising above challenges and how YouTube helped them make a difference.
I spent an afternoon last week at the event, which was hosted by Miss Trans Global 2020, actress, writer and content creator Mela Habijan. The other speakers were actress Candy Pangilinan, pilot Chezka Carandang, entrepreneur Jozelle Tech, and Google Philippines country director Bernadette Nacario.
The event was held in BGC, which is a long way from my home Fairview, but the speakers and their insights on life and content creation made the trip worthwhile. I was, quite honestly, in tears because of what these admirable women shared during the discussion.
Carandang talked about how her parents encouraged her to be a flight attendant before she studied how to become a pilot, just so she would learn the ropes while on the job. Contents like this are what her YouTube audience likes.
“It all started with one video on how to become a pilot, and after that, I was able to build a community. I get so many comments saying, ‘Chezka, I became a pilot because of you. I didn’t know it was possible to become a pilot.’”
Carandang recalls that in the beginning, she would film her videos in the airplane because she lives in a condo where the lighting wasn’t good. Today, she has over 270,000 subscribers on YouTube.
“There are videos that do better than others and I admit that sometimes I get discouraged. But for aspiring content creators, my advice is to keep going and keep creating those videos,” said Carandang.
For actress and mother Candy Pangilinan, “my burden 19 years ago has become my blessing today.”
Pangilinan’s YouTube channel features her daily life as she raises her teenage son Quentin, who has special needs. She never imagined that she would be an inspiration to other mothers in similar situations.
“We still film using a phone and I had to ask Quentin’s permission before we started sharing our life on the internet,” said Pangilinan, who also wrote a book about her life with Quentin.
The videos on Pangilinan’s channel are very spontaneous and candid. Her subscribers like it that she shares tips about being a mom to a child with special needs.
Jozelle Tech is a YouTube content creator who has spinal muscular atrophy. Thus, she needs to be in a wheelchair. This physical barrier has not stopped her from telling either her story via her YouTube channel nor the stories of others via The Rolling Media, where she is the CEO.
“What’s harder is that I’m part of two marginalized groups—I’m a woman bound to a wheelchair. As a child, I had so many dreams, but people would always tell me, no, don’t be ambitious. But I am ambitious, and I couldn’t accept that this was going to be my life. I couldn’t walk, so that’s why I decided to run a business,” said Tech.
Habijan, who talks about all things transgender on her YouTube channel, credits the platform for the full realization of her hosting dreams, as she announced she will be hosting shows on YouTube including “Rainbow Bench,” a YouTube-first talk show focused on LGBTQIA+ stories and allyship.
Sharing her very own breaking barriers story, Nacario said, “I’ve been in tech for over 30 years now and my journey in the industry has not been easy. Back in the early days of tech, I was the only woman in a boardroom full of men. It was daunting at first but I didn’t let this hold me back. I stood my ground and believed in myself. I showed them that women can and women will.”
I remember first meeting Nacario when she was still with another tech company and since then, I have admired her for both her strength as a woman and her efficiency at what she does professionally. Be inspired by the #PinaysWhoBreakBarriersOnYouTube. Listen to their stories on the replay of Breaking Barriers Online and Beyond on the Google Philippines YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Image credits: Youtube