The Voice of Kokey at Imaw: Noel Urbano Shares His Journey and Wisdom in Dubbing

In the world of Philippine voice acting and dubbing, one name stands out, resonating with the enchanting characters and memorable voices that have graced our screens for decades - Noel Urbano. Known for his iconic portrayal of Imaw in "Encantadia" and the lovable alien, Kokey, Noel Urbano has become a household name in the industry. In an exclusive interview with TagaDubb TV, Noel opened up about his beginnings, the art of dubbing, and the passion that fuels his craft.

The Journey Begins

Noel Urbano's journey into the world of voice acting started with auditions at DZRH, a radio station in the 1990s. During this era, radio dramas were all the rage, with shows like "Zimatar," "Gabi ng Lagim," and "24 Oras" captivating audiences nationwide. The demand for fresh radio drama talent was immense, and Noel seized the opportunity to audition, along with hundreds of others from all corners of the Philippines.

Out of the 300 hopefuls, only 60 made it through the initial audition. Subsequently, 10 were selected, comprising five women and five men. Noel was among the fortunate five men chosen by DZRH. This marked the beginning of his journey into the world of dubbing.

Supervisor Josie Galvez played a pivotal role in Noel's career, introducing him to the dubbing industry, particularly in movie dubbing.

The Road to Dubbing Success

Noel Urbano's foray into dubbing was not without its challenges. He vividly remembers his first individual dubbing session, where he had the daunting task of matching the voice of Charito Solis. Despite his initial anxiety, his professionalism and dedication shone through, earning him the respect of his peers and supervisors.

Noel's journey continued as he delved into the world of puppetry. Thanks to Choy, a colleague who recommended him for a hosting and puppeteering role on "Batibot," Noel broadened his horizons and ventured into the realm of puppetry.

One of the most unforgettable moments in Noel's career was when he auditioned for the role of Imaw in "Encantadia." His unique approach to recording and mimicking the voice of Joonee Gamboa caught the attention of the producers. Although initially mistaken for Joonee Gamboa's work, Noel's distinct voice ultimately landed him the role of Imaw, solidifying his place in the hearts of viewers.

Becoming the Voice of Kokey

Noel's remarkable talent and adaptability extended beyond his vocal abilities. He found himself at the forefront of animatronic puppetry when he helped bring to life the beloved character Kokey. His expertise in providing audio guidance for the actors and mimicking Kokey's voice during scenes paved the way for an efficient production process. The director was so impressed that he decided to retain Noel as Kokey's official voice, streamlining the dubbing process.

Noel's talents didn't go unnoticed in the dubbing community. He became the go-to choice for animatronic puppetry, working with both GMA and ABS-CBN. His ability to seamlessly blend his voice with various characters' movements elevated the viewing experience for audiences across the nation.

A Message to Aspiring Dubbers

As a veteran in the dubbing industry, Noel Urbano offers valuable advice to aspiring voice actors and dubbers. He emphasizes the importance of passion and dedication, stressing that success in the field goes beyond mere skills. Loving one's work and committing to honing the craft are the keys to longevity and recognition in the industry.

Noel encourages newcomers to focus on their love for the profession rather than financial incentives. He believes that when you truly love what you do, the rewards will naturally follow.

Noel Urbano's journey from radio dramas to becoming the voice behind some of the most iconic characters in Philippine entertainment is an inspiring testament to the power of passion and dedication. His story serves as a reminder that, in the world of dubbing, success is born from the heart and the willingness to give one's all for the love of the craft.

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