What's the Big Idea series

How technology helped blind singer Alienette Coldfire see the world, dream big

Kimiko Sy
How technology helped blind singer Alienette Coldfire see the world, dream big
'I may not be one whom you can consider a celebrity, but I can proudly say I'm a person with a clear vision, big dreams and definite plans for the future, thanks to technology,' says the Filipina singer

MANILA, Philippines – Filipina blind singer Alienette Coldfire, also known as Katchry Golbin, shared how technology and social media helped her achieve her dreams. 

Coldfire gained popularity when she won 3rd place in France Got Talent in December 2016.

Even before the talent show, she had been visible online after a video of her singing Mariah Carey’s “I’ll Be There” in a mall in 2014 went viral

Coldfire said in an interview with Rappler that the overwhelming number of “likes” she got on social media made her feel like she had accomplished something big. 

“I felt so surprised. My video got viral when I least expected it. That was neither well recorded nor was it the best performance I’ve ever given. When I uploaded it to YouTube and Facebook, I only thought of my friends and how they would react to it. A few months after I uploaded the video, a friend of mine sent me a link to a Facebook page which made my video viral,” she said.

A Capiz native who didn’t know anyone from the music industry, social media and technology helped make Coldfire’s dream a reality. The presence of different social media platforms allowed people to discover her. 

Social media also connected her with people who wanted her discovered. One of them is Ogie Alcasid, who was a judge at a talent show she auditioned for. He became one of her avid supporters. 

“Whatever connections I made in the past to get to where I wanted to be where all through social media. [It] leads me to the right people I wouldn’t have known otherwise, and those people, in one way or the other, helped me reach my dreams,” she said.

She considered technology her open window to the world, giving her endless opportunities and making her believe she can be anyone she wants to be.  It not only serves as a stepping stone to reach her dreams but is also her main source of daily learning and knowledge. 

Growing up in the province where textbooks for the blind were not immediately available and Brailles were limited, Coldfire said she felt “useless and isolated.”

“I was not the kind of person I wanted myself to be….There were so many things I wanted to learn, so many books I wanted to read, so many ideas I wanted to discover, and so many places I wanted to explore,” she said.

When she learned how to make use of technology, she finally felt a sense of fulfillment. She said it gave her hope that it was not too late to learn anything. She even tried to learn the French language.

Coldfire wanted to learn French when one of her friends sent her a link to Edith Piaf’s “La Vie En Rose.” She immediately fell in love with everything French since then. After studying French for 3 years online – an experience she described as more fun than challenging – and conversing with French people in their native language during that time, she finally became fluent in the language. It was another way that technology helped her.

She thanked technology for serving as her “eyes” and for taking her to places she never thought possible. It also helped her form priceless  friendships all over the world.

“Social media and [technology] has certainly paved the way for my dreams. Without [it], I couldn’t even have dreamt big in the first place, knowing how limited my world is. It was social media that showed me the possibility of my impossible dream and lead me to people who helped me realize it,” Coldfire said.

She added: “I may not be one whom you can consider a celebrity, but I can proudly say I’m a person with a clear vision, big dreams and definite plans for the future, thanks to technology.” – Rappler.com

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