Wisdom > Faith

How God showed me how to run VISOR

It took a lot of pain and humility to teach me that it’s not about me

Last year, we started publishing faith-related articles. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

If you’ve been reading this website for a while now, then you must have some background of my history. If you check my profile, you will see that I’ve been doing this gig for more than 26 years now. I’ve done newspaper, magazine, website and social media. There was a time I actually believed that I was the best at what I did—which I now humbly accept to be false—so much so that I wasn’t willing to share it with anyone.

When I was the editor-in-chief of Top Gear Philippines, my boss literally begged me to let go of the print magazine and just focus on the website. Which made sense, since digital media was the future. But no, I held on to both, gladly overworking myself and smugly letting everyone know that I could do it (other titles had separate EICs for the magazine and the website).

Of course, you’re familiar with what happened next. God humbled me. With just a snap of His fingers, everything was taken away from me—not just the magazine but also the website and the very popular Facebook page. Somebody sued me for cyberbullying. From hero to zero. I didn’t see that one coming.

When VISOR was born some 14 months after I left Top Gear, I wrote a column narrating the lessons I had supposedly ‘learned’ from the sorry episode. In truth, I hadn’t learned anything. I put on an enlightened front, but deep inside I was more interested in getting back everything that I had lost. I was eager to prove that my previous publication’s success was because of me. How arrogant, I know.

I worked harder, if that was even possible. The work environment I fostered wasn’t sustainable at all. I was the only person who had access to our content management system, as if saying that this business would live and die with me.

And because I wasted the lessons that I should have mastered at Top Gear, I just repeated everything. Even worse. Like I said, my unspoken goal was to retake the ‘crown’ I had lost. I was going down that familiar road again—the road of pride and self-glorification.

Thankfully, I did not escape the Lord’s discipline. The Bible says:

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

As you know, I had a cerebral aneurysm in August 2020. I almost died. And if that wasn’t enough to make me recognize God’s hand in all of this, I had a stroke in October 2021. It was clear to me that if I still couldn’t get what the Almighty was telling me, then I’m hopeless. In a nutshell, God was declaring to me:


It’s all about God; it was never about me. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, I’m now already dead.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

The VISOR team is being taught by God about the importance of prioritizing Him. PHOTOS FROM VISOR

Last year, I went back to God. I dedicated my life to Him. I appointed Him the Lord of my life, and the CEO of our company (No Glare Media). I vowed to make Him my priority. Sure, I slip here and there, but I’m getting there. I no longer wish to make VISOR the “number one” motoring (or mobility) website in the Philippines. Yes, I want us to be the best version of ourselves—not because I’m after everyone’s approval or admiration, but because I want to give our very best to the Master. If you want to know the truth, I even pray for our competitors now. The guys I used to enjoy competing with are the same people I now lift up to God.

Also, last year, I stopped publishing content on Sundays (except for faith-related articles). I decided to offer this day to the Lord—even if I was initially scared that our website and social-media traffic would nosedive as a result. But we turned out to be okay.

I also consciously changed my editorial management style. I let my teammates know that I won’t be here forever, and that they should learn to also prioritize God.

Even the content that we serve to our readers is hopefully for the better. Some of you may not agree with me, but I promise you that we strive for the best.

These days, I regularly receive visitors—both industry executives and readers—to our humble office, not to drink but to talk about life and God.

Everyone is welcome to the office to talk about life and God. PHOTOS FROM VISOR

I’ve been a motoring journalist for more than a quarter of a century. This is all I’ve done my entire life. When I think about what I should tell God when my time is up, I am ashamed to admit that I wasted most of it on many worldly things that I now know to be insignificant.

But maybe He put me here to reach out to folks like you—people who need to hear this message. If you’re one of these guys, let me know and I’ll make time to talk to you about God.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.