1. Basic Info about the honoree. When did they join the company.
Current position and other positions held, Industry background, Educational background
Pocholo de Leon Gonzales is known as “The VoiceMaster of the Philippines”. He has made his mark in the field of youth empowerment and communication development as a voice artist, youth advocate and motivational speaker.
For the past 20 years, Pocholo has been utilizing his voice not only for the purpose of entertaining people, but also more importantly for inspiring, motivating and empowering particularly the Filipino youth. He has already brought thousand of characters and brands to life, having voiced for animation, radio and TV commercials, audiobooks, children’s shows, video games, and many more.
With his vision and passion of promoting voice acting as an art, he opened the only voice acting and dubbing school in the country to pave the way for aspiring voice artists to get their foot in the door of the voice acting industry.
Pocholo is the founder of Voice of the Youth Network (VOTY), an advocacy organization that aims to inform, inspire, involve and empower the Filipino youth through media and Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Pocholo has been widely recognized and honored as a youth advocate here and abroad through this organization.
Pocholo has spoken to more than 100 schools and universities all over the Philippines, as well as in various organizations and events here and abroad, sharing his knowledge and experience in Voice Acting, Communication, Personal Branding, Guerilla Marketing, and Youth Empowerment and Development.
The man behind a thousand voices. A great visionary. The modern-day Jose Rizal. Pocholo “The VoiceMaster” Gonzales is truly, in his own right, one of the outstanding young men in the country today.
Pocholo “The VoiceMaster” Gonzales is considered a veteran in the art of Filipino voice acting, even at his young age of 35. He started his voice acting career at the age of 16 after winning a competition in DZMM’s drama and singing contest “Radyo, Radyo” where he later became one of the anchors, scriptwriter, and co-director. His voice has since then been used for thousands of anime characters, hundreds of local radio and television commercials, various children’s programs, films, dubbed foreign telenovelas, drama, TV shows, video games and audiobooks. He has also done work for many TV and radio stations – both major and minor – as a reporter, broadcaster, host, voice over, radio drama talent and voice director.
Pocholo has dubbed voices for thousands of hours of animation including Gundam Seed Destiny, Negima, MegaMan, Digimon, Jumanji and Cyborg Kuro-Chan, among others. He even became part of the dubbing team of the highly-rated Taiwanese drama Meteor Garden in 2003 where he dubbed Shan Cai’s father. He has also voiced hundreds of local commercials for high-profile clients like PLDT, Globe Telecom, Smart Telecom, Pepsi, National Bookstore, McDonalds, Head & Shoulders, Touch Mobile, Rebisco Crackers, and Bibo Hotdog, to name a few. In 2008, he dubbed the characters of Toti and Hal An in his first digital full-length animation movie entitled “Dayo: Sa Mundo ng Elementalia”. He was the only professional voice artist among other TV personalities who did voice-overs for the film. He also worked as a Dubbing Director for HERO TV and Cinema One.
Pocholo believes that voice acting is an art that needs to be further developed. His vision is to make the Philippines the center of voice-over excellence in Asia. This is why in 2005, he established Creativoices Productions, the premier voice over company in the country today. Creativoices is known not only for its voice over services, but for being the home of Voiceworx, the first and only basic voice acting and dubbing workshop offered in the Philippines.
Because of all his accomplishments as a voice artist, Pocholo became the only Filipino/Asian panelist in the 2012 VoiceOver International Creative Experience (VOICE) in Anaheim, California.
One might think that with all his accomplishments as a voice artist, Pocholo has already maximized the potential of his voice and his career. However, he has a natural desire to teach and pay forward. He shares his wealth of knowledge and experience throughout the years to everyone, especially to the Filipino youth whom he sees as the future of this land. This is why aside from all his accomplishments as a voice artist, Pocholo is above all a youth advocate and a motivational speaker.
Pocholo has been honored locally and internationally for being the founder of Voice of the Youth (VOTY) Network, an advocacy organization committed to promote youth participation and development through education and support. VOTY aims to inform, inspire, involve and empower the Filipino youth through media and Information and Communications Technology (ICT). VOTY is developing a peer-to-peer learning environment where the youth may teach one another valuable skills. It’s also working to create a national platform to enable youth voices to be heard and be acted upon.
Pocholo has been actively participating in various youth-oriented events and organizations, both here and abroad. Included in his accomplishments in youth participation are:
§ In 1998, he became an active youth coordinator and the youngest participant of the 2nd National Youth Parliament (NYP). Organized by the National Youth Commission, NYP is a biennial assembly of youth representing the various sub-sectors and geographical groupings nationwide to develop a legislative-executive agenda for youth development where he participated in the national decision-making processes of the government.
§ In 2001, he was elected by his fellow youth leaders to represent his region to the 1st National Youth Summit or PAMBANSANG UGONG NG KABATAAN (PUNK) of the National Youth Commission and Department of Social Welfare and Development. In the summit, they discussed and listed down issues facing the present Filipino youth. The topics and problems discussed were then documented and presented to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the government to study and consider in future policy-making.
§ He organized the Philippine Country Celebration of GLOBAL YOUTH SERVICE DAY held in Balara, Quezon City on April 11-15, 2003, and 5th GLOBAL YOUTH SERVICE DAY. He was one of the head facilitators for Sangguniang Kabataan (YOUTH COUNCIL) National Federation National Eco-Youth Camp and Convention, Values Formation Workshop organized by SK Federation, Office of the President Youth Affairs held in Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Subic, Olongapo City last April 9-11, 2003.
§ On May 2003, he was also the main Reactor and Discussant for The Fifth National Social Science Congress (NSSC IV), “What’s With the Filipino Youth: Perspective from the Social Sciences, Philippine Social Science Congress” at PSSC Center, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.
§ He has been a the top participant for Young Leaders Program by the National Defense College of the Philippines, Institute for Extramural and Continuing Studies, National Defense College of the Philippines, the youngest delegate and Awardee of the 8th Open Conference on Cooperation for Responsible Citizenship and Corporate Governance and 1st Responsible Citizenship Fair by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia, the World Bank Institute and the Asia Pacific Association for Student Exchange (APASE) held at the Rizal Ballroom of the Makati Shangri-la last May 27, 2003.
§ Together with his Co-Founder and the former Vice-President of Voice of the Youth Network, he organized the Lian Youth Action Forum, with the theme “A Youth, Government, Business, Community and International Organization Partnership” for Lian Development Youth Arises as Action Partners for Lian’s Development held at Sea Breeze Rendezvous, Matabungcay Beach, Lian Batangas last May 28, 2003.
§ Pocholo participated in the 27th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program in the year 2000. In the 3rd APEC Future Leaders Forum, he represented the Philippines during the 37th International Youth Camp of UNESCO and 6th Arirang Youth Camp in Seoul, South Korea.
§ He is one of the speakers and facilitators during 3rd International Youth Conference held at the Philippine Normal University and Malacanang Palace last August 12 to 14 led by the United Nations Association of the Philippines (UNAP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization-Associated Schools Project (UNESCO-ASP), and Philippine Normal University (PNU).
§ Pocholo attended numerous international youth programs in 2004 including 1) World Youth Peace Summit – Bangkok, Thailand on February 25 – 29, 2004; 2) International Conference on Youth Empowerment – City University, Hong Kong on May 17 – 20, 2004; and 3) the 2nd International Youth Parliament – Sydney, Australia July 5 –12.
Pocholo also spreads his advocacies for the youth through his motivational talks. Being one of the most inspiring and sought-after motivational speakers, he has spoken in more than 100 schools and universities, as well as in various organizations and events here and abroad. He shares his knowledge and expertise in Voice Acting, Communication, Personal Branding, Guerilla Marketing, and Youth Empowerment and Development.
Some of his noteworthy speaking engagements are:
§ Tech Tutor 5, Mall of Asia Arena (September 24, 2013)
Motivated over 18,000 students about the importance of technology and how the youth can use it to their advantage.
§ Youth for Information Technology, UP Theater (September 2009-2012)
Spoke to over 5,000 youth about the importance of voice acting for animation and IT.
§ Philmark Davao (July 22, 2011)
Inspired 3,000 students about personal branding.
§ Marketing Summit, Cebu City (September 2013)
Talked about the art of guerrilla marketing to over 6,000 students.
§ International Youth Assembly, Cuneta Astrodome (August 3, 2014)
Motivated and inspired over 10,000 youth from around the world. Awarded as Youth Ambassador for Peace together with TV actor/host Dingdong Dantes.
§ MVP Executive Talk, Meralco Theater (July 11, 2014)
Spoke to more than 1,000 students and the executives of the Manny V. Pangilinan Group of Companies.
Whether he’s voicing a cartoon character or speaking onstage in front of thousands of people, Pocholo never ceases to captivate his audience with his voice. More importantly, it’s his heart for inspiring and empowering people that would make anyone be blown away.
2. What does it mean to be a Rising Tiger, Nation Builder for you?
A rising tiger, the Philippines is no longer East Asia’s sickly man. As a result of the government’s sound and improving budgetary position, macroeconomic conditions are stable. Combating corruption is being done with tenacity and it is beginning to bear fruit. Everything in the Philippines is becoming more transparent.
3. What are your personal accomplishments that embody these characteristics?
There is no denying that Pocholo has greatly contributed to the voice acting industry, or he wouldn’t be dubbed as the “VoiceMaster of the Philippines.” However, his exceptional achievements and contributions go beyond the characters and brands he brought to life with his voice. As a passionate youth advocate and communicator, Pocholo uses his voice and skills to further his advocacies for:
§ Promoting voice acting as an art
§ Youth Empowerment and Development
§ Caring for the Voice
VOICE ACTING AS AN ART
Pocholo’s vision for the voice acting industry is to make the Philippines the center for voice-over excellence in Asia. Having started his voice acting career at a very young age, Pocholo experienced first-hand the politics and monopoly surrounding the industry, especially among the major media networks. This fuelled his desire to create a new breed of voice artists – those who lend their voices for the passion than the compensation, those who treat voice acting as an art and not a job, those who would inspire and support aspiring voice artists, and those who would be happy to see new artists join the industry.
This desire led Pocholo to establish his company, Creativoices Productions, in 2005. As mentioned earlier, Creativoices is the only voice over services company that also functions as a voice acting school.
Voiceworx is the first and only workshop that teaches aspiring voice artists basic voice acting and dubbing. The workshop runs for 2 months and is being taught not only by Pocholo but also his friends and mentors from the dubbing, voice over and broadcasting industry. Voiceworx has been running for 9 years now. It has taught almost 1,000 students and produced hundreds of voice artists, all of whom are establishing their names in broadcasting, dubbing, hosting and voice overs. Pocholo has sponsored more than 300 scholars to attend the workshop.
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
The best way to inspire and empower the youth is to be one with them. Pocholo is widely known in the youth community for being the founder of Voice of the Youth (VOTY) Network, a national organization composed of young and talented leaders dedicated to encourage their fellow Filipino youth to believe in themselves in creating positive social change.
Through VOTY, Pocholo has shared numerous opportunities to the youth to attend seminars and events that inform, inspire, involve and empower them.
Pocholo saw a great promise in the utilization of communication technology to strengthen youth participation, networking, collaboration and leadership. Moreover, he believed that media (which includes the radio, TV, newspapers, mobile phones and the Internet ) is a powerful tool in inspiring, informing, involving and empowering the youth. This is why in the past 10 years, Pocholo has produced and hosted more than 15 radio programs all over the Philippines, all of which are being managed and hosted by volunteer youth broadcasters. The current radio programs of VOTY are:
§ Voice of the Youth Radio, DZIQ 990 kHz on Saturdays, 3-4:30pm (first aired August 17, 2013) –The flagship radio program of VOTY.
§ Tinig Kabataan, DWDD 1134 kHz on Sundays, 11:30am-1pm (first aired January 19, 2014)
§ Voice of the Teachers, DWDD 1134 kHz on Sundays, 1-2pm (first aired April 13, 2014)
§ Voice of the Children Radio, DWDD 1134 kHz on Sundays, 10-11am (first aired July 22, 2014)
§ Youth Power Radio, DZME 1530 kHz on Saturdays, 10:30am-12nn (first aired August 2, 2014)
§ Kabataan on Air, DWDD 1134 kHz on Sundays, 11-11:30am (first aired April 13, 2014)
§ Radio Kabataan, DZAR 1026 kHz on Saturdays, 2-3pm (first airing on October 11, 2014)
§ Boses ng Kabataan, DZRH 666 kHz on Saturdays, 3-4pm (partner radio program where Voice of the Youth and Creativoices Productions produce the radio drama aired in every episode)
VOTY Radio also has programs in various provinces all over the Philippines:
§ VOTY Radio Sorsogon
§ VOTY Radio Bulan
§ VOTY Radio General Santos
§ VOTY Radio Negros Oriental
§ VOTY Radio Laguna
Another critical component of VOTY’s efforts is the use of the Internet to facilitate communication and information-sharing. VOTY’s website, http://www.voty.org, contains information on youth participation; a calendar of local, national, and international events; publications; and relevant links and statistics. E-mail discussion groups also enable young people to share what they know and network with one another.
VOTY’s vision is to see Philippines as a nation in which young people, empowered learners, join together to bridge social, economic and technological divides; where young and old work hand-in-hand to dismantle cultural and geographical barriers; shaping, exploring and expressing lives rich with meaningful and fulfilling experiences.
CARING FOR THE VOICE
As a veteran voice artist, Pocholo understands the importance of voice, not only for his craft, but also for “professional voice users” – people whose livelihoods rely mainly on their voice. Aside from doing motivational talks in schools and universities for students, Pocholo also started conducting seminars for teachers to teach them how to better take care of their voice.
In 2013, Pocholo founded Voice Care Philippines, a non-profit organization specializing on the prevention of voice problems by providing voice care workshops which help participants reach their full potential while maintaining healthy vocal practices. Voice Care Philippines started this advocacy by offering the Voice Care for Teachers program in various schools and universities in the country. The Voice Care for Teachers program aims to educate the teachers about the voice, its common illnesses/sickness, and how to take steps to care for their voice and minimize the risk of voice problems. It also provides the teachers with information on how to make classroom discussions more interactive and effective through the use of voice acting and public speaking skills.
The voice is one of the most powerful tool we have as human beings, and the VoiceMaster has definitely maximized his, not only for his own personal gain, but moreso for the benefit of his fellow Filipinos.
4. Given these personal milestones, what has (your company) accomplished through you?
The following are just some of the honors and awards received by Pocholo “The VoiceMaster” Gonzales in relation to his exemplary contribution to Youth and Communication Development:
n Youth Ambassador For Peace, International Youth Assembly, Universal Peace Federation and Youth Federation for World Peace, Cuneta Astrodome, Pasay City. August 3, 2014
n Most Inspiring Bataenio MicroEntrepreneur, Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship and GO NEGOSYO, Balanga, Bataan. November 9, 2009
n District Winner, Community Work Category, 2nd Quezon City Youth Achiever’s Awards, Office of the Vice-Mayor, Quezon City, Amoranto Multi-Purpose hall, Roxas Avenue, Quezon City. October 8, 2003
n 8thOpen Conference on Cooperation for the Responsible Citizenship and Corporate Governance and 1st Responsible Citizenship Fair, Institute for Solidarity in Asia, the World Bank Institute and the Asia Pacific Association for Student Exchange (APASE), Rizal Ballroom of the Makati Shangri-la, May 27, 2003
n Best Student Model for Media and Information Technology, Youth Action Forum On Social Involvement, Ateneo De Manila University. February 8, 2003.
n Global Youth In Action Award, Global Youth Action Network, New York City. August 30, 2004
n 2nd YouthActionNet Award, International Youth Foundation, Aboard Odyssey Cruise, Potomac River, Washington D.C., October 12, 2003.
Being the “VoiceMaster of the Philippines,” Pocholo is by far the most acknowledged and recognized voice artist in the country. He has been featured as a guest in hundreds of television and radio programs, as well as newspaper and magazine articles sharing his experience and expertise.
Here are just some of Pocholo’s featured guesting/appearance on print, radio and television:
Television Features and Guesting:
§ Tribe (NET 25) – October 2014
§ I Juander (GMA 7) – August 2014
§ Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (GMA 7) – January 2011
§ Sweet Life (QTV) – May 2010
§ Bread Tambayan (UNTV) – September 2008
§ Matanglawin (ABS CBN) – July 2008
§ ShopTalk (ANC) – January 2008
§ Kabuhayang Swak na Swak (ABS CBN) – March 2007
§ Balitang K (ABS CBN) – 1998
Newspaper and Magazine Features:
§ Speed Magazine – July 2014
§ Philippine Star – July 2014
§ El Prez Express – 2003
§ Abante – 2003
§ Manila Bulletin – 2004, 2003, 2000
§ Voice of the Philippines (DZRJ) – October 2014
§ Generation K (DZAR) – August 2014
§ Easy Easy Lang (DZBB) – August 2014
§ 97.9 Natural Radio – August 2014
§ Student Hour (UNTV Radio) – June 2014
5. What has the pandemic taught you?
The VoiceMaster, through CVAP, aims to provide accessible quality voice training to both aspiring and experienced voice artists. When the COVID-19 pandemic happened and the lockdowns that ensued afterward, people were left restless and anxious. Pocholo saw this, but at the same time, the soaring demand for voice acting despite the pandemic, so he organized webinars about voice artistry from April to May 2021. Eventually, he, along with his CVAP Co-Founder, Nike Esmero, established the first and only voice acting certification program in the world.
Pocholo said that the main reason why he established CVAP is because of his D.R.A.F.T. – desperation, rejection, aspiration, frustration, and transformation. He explained that he wanted to democratize the voice-acting industry, which has always been monopolized by the elite few. He believes that the new age is upon us, where everything is now happening online. There is a need to keep up with the times, and Pocholo’s solution is to produce a new generation of online voice artists through CVAP.
In his book, Gusto Kong Maging Voice Talent, he clarified that they should be called voice artists, not voice talents, as they use their voice not for the money, but as a way to express their passion and artistry. Pocholo emphasized the big difference between a voice talent and a voice artist: the former sees voice acting only for financial gain, but the latter treats it as an art. This is reflected in CVAP, as the workshop is not only central to equipping students with technical skills, but most importantly, the principles and morals of being a voice artist, along with how to gain confidence in their craft.
From helping develop one’s vocal skills, providing access to practice scripts, and teaching one how to set up one’s own home studio, to providing guidance on how to go about with auditions, and eventually celebrating one’s successful projects, CVAP is not only a community of people with common interests, but an extended family that one can count on not just his voice acting career, but also in life as we know it.
Through the solidarity of the CVAP family, this new generation of online voice artists serves as the stepping stone to equalizing the industry, and eliminating the politics that has long corrupted the voice acting industry. Protecting the principles of voice artistry, and its firm support from the students and alumni of CVAP, is what fuels the revolution and democratization of the industry.
6. How did (your company) work around the limitations of the pandemic?
Without question, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the lives of many Filipinos. Earlier this year, the national government mandated the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the hopes of protecting the people from contracting the deadly disease. Unfortunately, it meant that many businesses had to close and events had to be postponed. In the months that followed, many industries suffered including the voice talent industry.
Pocholo Gonzales is a voice actor by trade and suffered greatly during the lockdown. “Malaki ang nawala sa akin. Hindi na pwedeng pumunta ng mga recording studios dahil lockdown at bawal lumabas,” he says. “Pati mga speaking engagements ko na-cancel dahil mas bawal ang mass gatherings. At pati yung ibang negosyo na meron ako, kinailangang magsara.”
But despite all that, he found the silver lining to his situation, “Marami na rin kasi akong mabigat na napagdaanan sa buhay kaya ang iniisip ko lagi, ‘May paraan! Lahat posible!’”
Marami na rin kasi akong mabigat na napagdaanan sa buhay kaya ang iniisip ko lagi, ‘May paraan! Lahat posible!’
At the onset of the pandemic, Gonzales was determined that COVID-19 was not going to destroy his dreams. He then started organizing free classes for voice acting.
“Ginawa ko yun kasi ayoko magpatalo sa pandemic. Ayokong magpadapa, so pinilit kong tumayo at magsama ng ibang tao sa pagbangon ko,” he says.
From face-to face classes, Gonzales started conducting online classes for students who wanted to learn the art of voice acting, calling his classes the Certified Voice Artist Program. Through his classes, he helped his students build their confidence and created a community for them with “real human connections.”
“Thankful ako kasi I had the opportunity to focus on my voice acting passion na matagal ko nang gusto,” says Faith Pastrana.
“During (the) pandemic nakatulong sa akin ang pag-vo-voice acting. Hindi ko napapansin na nalalagpasan ko yung mga problema,” admits Rymar TV.
“I am thankful sa nangyaring ito sa atin, dahil I was able to go back and reconnect to my voice acting passion na matagal nang natabunan,” he shares. “Ngayon, I am very proud to see them doing their online shows, getting voice over projects. Pero alam ko na higit sa voice acting, natututo silang mahalin ang kanilang boses at sarili para makabangon sa buhay.”
Sometimes when the world seems so dark, being a light to others not only saves them but save us, as well. While the world is still reeling from the pandemic, all we can do is hope for better days and infect others with that same hope we hold on to.
7. What are your personal values and strategies as a leader?
There is no question that Pocholo’s achievements as a voice artist, youth advocate and motivational speaker already serve as an inspiration to the hundreds of thousands of people who seen (and heard) his works. Pocholo is a living proof that anyone can carry out their passion, overcome all the odds to live their dreams, and that anyone can do it NOW… with the right training and the right venue.
Through Creativoices Productions, Pocholo has opened the doors of the elusive, and somehow, untapped, voice acting industry. Not only did Creativoices provide jobs and projects to our local voice talents, scriptwriters and translators as the business responds to the demand of local and international clients – it also made hundreds of young people realize their potential to becoming voice talents.
It is no longer enough for aspiring voice talents to merely have a good or flexible voice to get into the business, for it would take a lot of discipline, days or even years of practice to truly become a professional and make a living out of the craft. Also, to break into the industry is difficult enough, and this is where Creativoices steps in.
Voiceworx already had graduates getting jobs for dubbing, voice-overs, and advertisements. These first-timers did not only enhance their talents, they also gained self-confidence and realized their dream. Pocholo’s reputation in the industry (where he’s been involved since he was 16 years old) has also become a selling point to these workshops as he was able to invite the best mentors and practitioners to teach aspiring voice artists that range from students to professionals looking for other avenues for their career. And these students did not only become practitioners in the industry, they also found potential life-long friends with one another as they get involved with several events and projects through the workshop’s off-shoot organization called Society of Young Voice Artists of the Philippines or SYVAP.
Voiceworx, Pocholo’s voice acting and dubbing workshop through Creativoices, has already produced hundreds of voice artists who now thrive in their respective fields. Among these voice artists that are worthy of mention are:
• Richard Sarmiento (“Rico Panyero” of YES FM 101.1)
• Yen Mempin (“Lala Banderas” of YES FM 101.1)
• Wanlu Lunaria (ventriloquist, Hall of Famer in “Talentadong Pinoy” Season 1)
• Jag Camat (voice over artist and dubber in ABS CBN and TV 5)
• Cyril Cabornay (singer, sang famous jingles like Nescafe 3-in-1’s “Suddenly” and Pantene’s “Mad World”)
What’s also admirable is Pocholo’s advocacy, which is to promote voice acting as an art – for it is true that no skill, craft, business or profession would ever become a legacy until it has become an art. An ordinary voice talent would be content of just having enough pay slip after receiving a project or two once in a while and to be kept anonymous by their various voices.
But Pocholo had a different thing in mind. He wanted to provide opportunities to other people, to motivate them and to enrich their talents. He wanted to open the Philippine voice talent industry to the other people who are just waiting for such doors to be unlocked. He also wanted to open the Philippine voice talent industry to the world.
Furthermore, Pocholo’s achievements through Voice of the Youth Network has also paved the way for aspiring broadcasters to experience first-hand the world of radio broadcasting. Most of the hosts and program managers of the various VOTY radio programs are students, meaning they get to practice what they only learn theoretically in school. In addition, VOTY members are also given the opportunity to participate, host and organize youth-oriented events in the country. Just like Pocholo, these young members of the society are already considered influencers and an inspiration to the rest of the Filipino youth.
Over the years, VOTY members have been invited to present at local, national, and international conferences, and have been featured on national radio and television programs, as well as in newspapers and at school and community events. Today, VOTY has grown into a collaboration of youth organizations in nearly all 78 provinces of the Philippines. Its goal is to maximize the impact of young people working to make a difference. VOTY provides networks, tools, resources, and recognition for youth leading positive change in their communities.
Having gone to over 50 provinces and spoken to more than 100 schools and universities all over the country, Pocholo has inspired, motivated and empowered hundreds of thousands of Filipino youth through his motivational talks. Not only are they entertained with his wit, sense of humor and numerous character voices, but they are also inspired by the story of Pocholo’s journey to becoming the VoiceMaster of the Philippines.
8. How important is being recognized as a Rising Tiger to you and (your company)?
Pocholo believes that nothing can beat the heart of a volunteer, and that is why he himself has volunteered a lot of his time and effort in most of his activities – whether as a voice artist, a youth advocate and a motivational speaker.
On the surface, anyone who has met Pocholo would consider him a “go-getter” for the many things he has already achieved. A man with great visions, he can easily come up with new ideas for his advocacies – from a new segment for their radio programs to a new youth-oriented advocacy – he never seems to run out of ideas. In reality, though, Pocholo is more of a “go-giver” because all of his ideas and visions come from his heart – a heart that believes that there’s excellence inside each Filipino, a heart that seeks opportunities for everyone to shine, a heart that desires nothing but to make people better and happy.
None of Pocholo’s achievements were about making him famous or rich or the last man standing. His motivational talks, his voice acting workshops, his radio programs, and his youth organization all of these initiatives are geared towards inspiring, motivating and empowering other people. Pocholo is the VoiceMaster not because of the many voices he can create, but because he has duplicated himself in the hundreds of youth he has helped to become broadcasters, voice artists and motivational speakers in their own right.
9. Any inspiring story about you and your company that you want to share with the public?
Exploring the World of Voice Over – The Philippines
You may know how big the voice over industry is in Japan being the anime capital of the world; and no matter how huge the movie and television industry in India is, they still have plenty of room for international movies and shows, dubbing hits in not just one language but in multiple local dialects and languages; and Mandarin is one of the top languages recorded for ads whether for television, radio or internet – but do you ever wonder what the voice over industry is like for their neighboring Asian countries?
The Philippines – a country name dropped in countless movies and television episodes, is also prime for voice over work. As one of the first Asian countries to produce radio programs in the 1950’s and eventually a pioneer in movies in their region, Filipino voice over talents found most of their work playing characters for radio dramas and dubbing over live actors’ voices in movies.
In the next 60 years, the tapestry for voice over work for this small island country changes along with the changing technology and times.
We caught up with Filipino voice over talent, Pocholo Gonzales, dubbed as the country’s VoiceMaster and founder of the Philippine Center for Voice Acting, to share what the voice over industry is like in the Philippines.
How big is the voice over industry in the Philippines?
the-voicemaster-recording-for-a-commercialAs technology grows, the need for voiceover grows. 20 years ago when I was starting out, voiceovers are only needed for radio/TV commercials, radio drama, and dubbed anime and soap opera. The proliferation of the internet and automated technology brought about the need for voiceover in these emerging media – telephony systems, educational materials such as e-learning and virtual tours, audio-visual presentations, websites and mobile apps, and interactive gadgets like GPS, elevators and the ATM.
Localization has also made the industry huge. There are a lot of projects like children’s stories, foreign movies and TV shows, even e-learning that need to be translated and dubbed in our native language, and even in some of our native dialects. Many of these projects are with international clients.
What type of work do Filipino voice over actors normally get?
Dubbing session with Filipino movie lead actor Dingdong Dantes
There’s really a wide range of voiceover projects that we get here in the Philippines – commercials, dubbing translated content for different media and platforms, radio drama, video games, audiobooks, e-learning, AVP’s, IVRS – you name it, Filipinos can voice it. Filipinos are very good English speakers, and mostly have a neutral accent, which is why we remain to be the top choice when it comes to English voiceovers in Asia. Also as mentioned, there has been a huge demand over the last few years for localized content, which gives more opportunities to voice artists.
I believe I have helped revolutionized the voice acting industry in the Philippines through my school. Voice acting grew not because of the demand, but because of the SUPPLY. Hundreds of new voices have become available to choose from – in various ages, dialects, range, characters, etc. – and that made the industry more known especially to the organizations that need them. Take audio-video presentations (AVP’s), for example. We get a lot of voiceover projects for corporate videos, events, production promotion, explainer videos, etc. It used to be that these clients would just choose an employee in their company with a “good voice” to do the voiceover. Now, they know that the voiceover can be done by a professional voice artist.
How accessible is voice over training in the Philippines?
Through the Philippine Center for Voice Acting, voice acting training has become very, very accessible to aspiring voice artists. Every year we conduct several voice over trainings like “Basic Voice Acting and Dubbing Workshop”, and 2-month workshops where students are taught not just the basics of voice acting and dubbing, but also translating scripts and creating character voices.
Not only do students learn the basic skills needed in voice acting, but they also get to develop their self-confidence in the process… something that’s crucial to succeed in the voice acting industry.
The workshop also goes beyond the confines of the classroom and exposes the students to real-life experience in voiceover, dubbing and broadcasting. Even after the workshop is over, we (the teachers) invite our students to our recording sessions, auditions and radio programs so that they can apply what they have learned in training. The great thing about our school is that it promotes the culture of sharing opportunities and learning. We encourage our students to submit their voice demo and audition for projects even outside our studio.
Despite the success of our school, however, we are still faced with the challenge of making voice acting training more accessible, especially to our fellow Filipinos in other parts of the country. I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked if we have another branch in a certain province, if we can accept one more student when the slots are already full, or if we can do the workshop more often in a year.
Where do you see the future of voice over in the Philippines?
Voiceover in the Philippines has significantly grown, and will continue to grow in the next 10-20 years.
I can clearly see how the Philippines can easily become the first choice for dubbing and voiceover in Asia, because we speak English relatively well and have a neutral accent compared to our Asian counterparts. In addition, through our efforts in our voice acting school, voice artists also get to learn the many facets of the voiceover industry – including translation, sound mixing and sound design. As long as we develop the culture of sharing knowledge, skills and opportunities, it won’t be long before we see the Philippines as the center of voiceover excellence in Asia.
In a country known for their talent and skills in singing, acting and in the arts and boast 76% proficiency in a second language or another; and with their healthy obsession and fascination in various voice over mediums – video games, animation and entertainment, and with a little more push and help from more voice over actors and innovators like Pocholo, we may see the Philippines alongside countries like Japan, India and China in the voice over world soon.