Photo courtesy of Said Alih k Sha.

James Paul Leoncio, a college student from Brooke’s Point, decided to take a jab at developing content for social media during the pandemic lockdowns when he thought there was little else for him to do.

Deep dive he did, and now he has at least 130k YouTube subscribers on a Silver Button account, and a Tiktok following of 1.6M, making a modest income he never realized possible.

A 4th year college biology student of Palawan State University (PSU), James said he created his social media accounts only 2019 and never really paid close attention to them until the pandemic got serious and the lockdowns kept him at home.

“Bored ako noong quarantine,” he said, recalling how he came upon the idea of creating content for his social media platforms, initially by capturing his everyday family life.

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“Wala akong maisip gawin kaya naisipan kong ayusin yong channel ko — pinangalanan kong James Leoncio. Short lang para mas mabilis ma-search, honestly super happy mag-vlog, doon ko nalalabas ang pagiging kalog at pagiging funny ko,” he added.

Growing his following
James said increasing the number of his online followers had not been easy and was dependent on the performance of his posted contents.

High-performing contents, he added, are those that provide positive vibes to viewers who are likely having a bad day at work, at home, or wherever they are.

“Kung gusto niyo paghirapan, tiyagaan niyo, pilitin niyong abutin kahit mahirap kasi for sure kapag nakulitan sayo si Lord, ibibigay niya din at the right time and dapat matuto kang maging proud sa success ng iba para happy lang. The more kasi na good vibes lang, the more na magaan lang ang buhay. Ang masasabi ko lang, everything comes to you at the right time. Be patient and trust the process,” he said.

His contents include family pranks, food trips, cellphone surprises, live-streamed mukbang, shopping adventures, community service activities, and showing his daily experiences.

Earning income
He makes more as a vlogger when he engages with his audience live online. His strategies include providing groceries to his Tiktok and YouTube fans so they will continue to watch his live feed.

“Honestly, kumikita ako sa Tiktok kapag nagla-live ako. Madaming natutuwa, at na-i-interview na rin ako. Recently, sa Showtime and at the same time friend ko nga yong Showtime sa Tiktok,” he said.

James now helps his neighbors and other individuals who are in need. He believes that by paying forward, more blessings will come his way and allow him to fulfill his dream of building a home for his family in Brooke’s Point.

“Nagbibigay ako ng groceries kapag sobra ang blessings ko. Iba kasi yong word na genuine na happiness kapag ikaw ang nagbibigay, malaking tulong din ngayong panahon ng pandemya,” he said.

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is the news correspondent for Sofronio Española and Narra, Palawan. He also covers some agriculture stories. His interests are with food and technology.