Posted by Cynthia Sycip

It’s easier these days to become whatever you desire to be. Technology has become a medium to becoming a millionaire, a global sensation or an instant bestselling author. Though many believe women lag behind men when it comes to getting promoted, on the Internet it isn’t quite so.

There are many stars today catching their break via social networking (ex: Tila Tequila, who found fame through MySpace). Many regular folk use YouTube, for example, to display their talent, only to be later discovered by the Oprah or Ellen show –becoming celebrities overnight.

This is exactly what happened to singer Charice Pempengco, whom Oprah dubbed “the most talented girl in the world”. As a child, Charice dreamt of being a singing sensation.  Her mother had her sing for a webcam, uploading the videos to YouTube. She was only 13 when Oprah discovered her talents via YouTube and invited her to sing live on her show. After Charcie appeared on national television, Oprah contacted music producer David Foster to see he could do for Charice. David Foster took charge, and released her first CD in 2010 called “Charice”. It was a hit, making her the first Asian singer in history to land in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 albums chart. Today Charice is an occasionally guest on Glee, playing the role of Sunshine Corazon –that is, when she isn’t on a world tour concert.

Could Charice have reached her dreams without YouTube? We don’t know, but we are sure it would have been exceedingly more difficult. The odds were against her – she lived in a province in the Philippines – not even in Metro Manila, the capital. In fact, she tried to win several singing contests on television but never won any grand prize. There was one woman though who believed she would make it big, and that was enough: her single mom.

Charice’s mother was no tech whiz, but she knew how to take videos and upload them to YouTube. She did this for a year, then another year and then she got a call from the Oprah show for an all expenses paid appearance for her daughter.  Soon thereafter, Ellen DeGeneres personally called Charice (after an exchange of “private messages” on YouTube!).

Charice now has a schedule of concerts all over the world; she’s sung with greats like Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Billy Crawford and many other acclaimed singers internationally. Charice earns millions of dollars a year, all thanks to the Internet, particularly YouTube.

You no longer need a dollar and a dream –just WiFi and a dream.

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