A man of faith with an inspiring life story – That is Carl Pascua in a nutshell.
Since he was young, Carl has dreamed of becoming an inspiration to others. And now that he has found his voice and the perfect platform, he is able to do exactly that. He is a senior pastor at a small independent church in Cabanatuan, who also works as a professional host and singer. “I’m doing that to finance our church,” he says. “90% of the Adventist po kasi ay mga students, so, we don’t have a strong source of finances because we are an independent church.”
Carl has always been close to the youth, both in his past career as a college instructor, and now in his present role as pastor. Coincidentally, it is through the young people of his church that Carl first learned about TikTok. He shares, “Sa church ko po, yung mga young people, nagti-TikTok po sila ng nagti-TikTok. So ako naman , natutuwa ako sila kasi sumasayaw sila, nagsasama-sama sila, nagkakaisa sila. After ng Sunday service, magpapractice na sila. Pati ako, nakiki-practice.”
He started out on TikTok just for fun, but now he makes an effort to upload every day. And while the message and purpose of each video comes first, Carl makes sure to add fun and wacky parts to all of his posts. This way, his content doesn’t come off as too serious or boring, while still staying true to the core messages and moral lessons he wishes to impart.
One of his recent videos talks about second chances which is a great example of the kind of content that Carl puts out. In a way, it also echoes his very own life story.
In his youth, Carl got mixed up with an organization that was involved in illegal activity. This caused him to lose sight of his dreams and want to quit schooling. “Until, I saw the eyes of my parents. That broke my heart,” he shares. “Nung nakita ko po sila, the first time na parang nakikiusap sila sa akin na ituloy mo yung buhay mo. Sana wag kang mapagod na mangarap kasi sa’yo lang din kami umaasa para sa pamilya natin, so I continued studying. Nandito na po ako ngayon na natututo sa pagkakamali.”
A commenter once asked Carl how he is able to stay so positive, and he says that the question made him feel vulnerable. “I became so honest. I went through so many ups and downs in my life and that is the fuel that gives me motivation to do what I do.”
Carl’s most viewed videos prove that followers are drawn to him for his authenticity, as well as the inspiration that his words provide. When asked to share an uplifting message for his own self, Carl had this to say. “My message to myself is: Always find the reason to smile and be happy. To be easy on myself and don’t pressure myself. That I am enough. That I am doing what I need to do and want to do. And that someday, I will reap the fruit of my labor, so none of these are actually in vain if I will just continue to do this out of love. Love to people, love to God.”
To those who are struggling in life and in faith, Carl says just hold on. “Kapit lang! To survive each day, they just fight every battle, kahit isang battle lang at a time, and just be positive that one day, everything will make sense. And I hope, the process of them just waking up each day and fighting each battle one step at a time, they will understand that there’s someone bigger holding their lives, someone bigger holding the world and that is the reason why they are capable of continuing the fight, and it’s God. And through that process, sana, magtiwala ulit sila kay Lord and ma-redeem po nila yung faith na meron sila.”