There are people one meets in life with whom one can immediately “connect”. One click and a cheery “hi!” and instantly, a fraternal bond begins to last forever.
That was how my friendship with Nikko Panti started. Nikko, along with MadHouseMNL, belonged to our favorite pool of bloggers way back when I was still a publicist. After only a few meetings, I have grown rather fond of Nikko and have kept in touch, talking about everything from our love for God, adventure, and Los Angeles.
About a year ago, Nikko left his post as a senior accounts manager for M Social under The MadHouseMNL Group where he was in charge of content and strategies for Social Media and various brands and companies focusing on retail and fashion to take the leap of faith in what I consider the real city of dreams, Los Angeles, California.
Nikko and I grew closer because of our love for “everything LA”, and I silently cheered him on as he decided to extend his trip from a vacation into relocation. My heart grew as I saw him leave everything familiar behind, to take the risk into the unknown. Nikko, packed with optimism and a lot of prayers, decided to stay in the States and live the American Dream.
Nikko admited that his decision wasn’t made overnight, “It was a ‘hard’ decision that eventually grew on me. It was just a vacation but then my father and relatives encouraged me to pursue the American Dream.”
He added that it’s the environment and the culture that sealed the deal for him. Nikko knew that if he wanted to pursue his dreams of becoming a publicist eventually, LA was the where to be. “This environment gives me the chance to pursue my dreams because of the many opportunities.”
While the change was challenging, he said that challenges pushed him to become better.
“The challenges and obstacles are there to make you grow as a person. From these kind of events in one’s life, you will be able to learn something from it and be better.”
He confided that rebuilding one’s life is a “long and arduous process” but he said that the support of his family and friends helped a whole lot in keeping him sane. His experience, he added, made him appreciate overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) even more.
“The American Dream is not what everyone assumes it to be. In fact, I have even deeper respect for OFWs who are thriving hard in foreign land just to give back to their families left at home,” he said.
Nikko’s story of a Filipino making it big in LA, would make my heart leap especially since I saw the hard work hehe put into working and studying just to make it big. His story is one of the many that recount the resilience of a Pinoy’s heart wherever they would be, a testament that Pinoys thrive wherever they were.
Nikko is truly an example to prove a dictum: that all it takes is a leap of faith to live the life of one’s dreams.