When Monette Mahinay was younger, she had a strong interest in painting, with her life dream revolving around turning this passion into a career. However, an unexpected twist in her life story came when she started experiencing vision problems and eventually became blind. The unforeseen hurdle might have led others into desolation and despair, but not Monette. She found her voice amidst the darkness and went on to become the first Filipino blind dubber in the world.
During her CNN Philippines’ The Final Word interview with Rico Hizon, Monette and Certified Voice Artist Program (CVAP) Executive Director Nikie Esmero discussed their unique journeys in the voice-over and dubbing industry. Monette explained, “It was a childhood dream at first. And then I found myself this year, seeing an ad about Certified Voice Artist Program, and they’re inviting people to join the program.” However, being a person with disabilities (PWD), she had doubts about being accepted.
Fortunately, the CVAP saw past Monette’s visual impairment and recognized the potential in her distinctive voice. Nikie emphasized, “Anyone can be a voice artist. So in fact, we have PWDs like Monette, who can become a voice artist. Anyone.” With CVAP’s training and her strong determination, Monette managed to break into the industry and even earn recognition as the world’s first Filipino blind dubber.
When Monette joined CVAP, her life was upended in an instant. She encountered Pocholo De Leon Gonzalez, widely known as ‘The VoiceMaster’, a well-known voice talent trainer who saw the unique potential in Monette’s voice. Her distinct tone, coupled with her impressive level of perseverance, left a lasting impression on him. The VoiceMaster’s faith in Monette spurred him to help her develop her abilities as a voice talent further.
Monette’s journey to fame was not without hardships. The road she traveled was filled with obstacles that required tremendous toil, resolve, and tenacity. However, her unyielding spirit didn’t falter. She pressed on, working even harder to overcome her blindness and achieve her goals. Today, Monette Mahinay is recognized as a talented vocal artist in the Philippines, whose voice has enthralled countless listeners.
Reflecting on her career, Monette said, “Even if I can’t see, many people can still hear what I have to say. My goal is to motivate other people to never give up on their aspirations, despite the fact that they may encounter many challenges along the way.” Monette’s story serves as a reminder of the strength of the human spirit and the significance of perseverance in achieving one’s goals. It’s a testament to the limitless potential within us all, no matter the circumstances we may face.
Monette’s story inspires not only visually impaired individuals but also all people with disabilities, encouraging them that their goals are attainable despite their difficulties. Her journey has paved the way for the PWD community to make a significant impact on the world, exemplifying that with perseverance, dedication, and the right training, one’s disability does not define one’s ability.
Through the Certified Voice Artist Program, Monette continues to inspire others with her story. And with voices like Monette’s reaching audiences worldwide, it’s clear that this unique industry opens doors of opportunities for everyone, regardless of their physical limitations.
As Monette perfectly encapsulates, “You can be anyone with voice acting. It’s for everyone as long as you can still do it.”
Another voice artist now making waves in Hollywood is Oscars-winning Filipino animation director Ronnie del Carmen who debuted as the voice of Bernie Lumen in the new Disney Pixar movie, Elemental.
WATCH Monette Mahinay’s interview with Rico Hizon on CNN Philippines’ The Final Word here:
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