• Kent Garcia

THIRD GENERAL ELECTION: Is it Coleen Trinidad’s time to reach infinite heights?



Coleen Trinidad (Team NIV)

1st GE rank: 3rd (trainee rankings) | 2nd GE rank: 18th

Armed with beauty and charm that is adored by a lot of people, Coleen Trinidad’s rise to fame as an MNL48 member is nothing short of remarkable.

Despite not getting a slot in the Top 48 during the First General Election two years ago, the 17-year-old Pasayeña who placed 3rd in the trainee ranking defied the odds and eventually made it entrance to the group as part of Team NIV two months later.

Things only went better from there, as Trinidad made an impact in the group’s second single “Pag-ibig Fortune Cookie” where she was part of the senbatsu and centered Team NIV’s “Palusot Ko’y Maybe” which exposed her more to the mainstream audience. Trinidad followed it up with another senbatsu appearance for the third single “365 Araw ng Eroplanong Papel”.

These gains were amply rewarded as Trinidad went up to 18th as part of the Undergirls in the Second General Election last year. However, things will only get more sweeter from that point as “Baby Coco” was set to continue where she left off in her rising momentum.



Acceleration


Trinidad was initially set to only appear as one of the members in the fourth single’s coupling song and first-ever Undergirls track “Gingham Check”, but she became a recipient of some lineup changes after popular member Sayaka Awane suddenly graduated from the group and the Undergirls center Thea Itona moved up to the main senbatsu. In a sudden turn of events, Trinidad became the new Undergirls center and the main figure for the coupling song for MNL48’s 4th single, which had its own music video, mall show and series of TV guestings. She also became part of the MNL48 contingent that was sent to the 2019 AKB48 Group Asia Festivals in Bangkok, Thailand leg last January and for the Shanghai, China leg last August of the same year.



Further success followed in the fifth single “High Tension” where Trinidad made the senbatsu as a replacement for graduated member Faith Santiago and centered Team NIV song “1! 2! 3! 4! Yoroshiku!” with fellow teammate Brei Binuya. She was also selected to represent MNL48 in the AKB48 Group performance in the "One Love Asia" global charity concert last May alongside more established members Sheki Arzaga and Abby Trinidad. Trinidad will also be part of the senbatsu for the upcoming single “RIVER” and entered acting stints as she had a supporting role in the Japanese film adaptation of “Seikimatsu Blue” last year, made a cameo appearance in the MNL48 Presents short film “2020 Vision” last March and has nailed a spot in the upcoming series “Pranks Not Dead”.


Moreover, Trinidad ensured another step in solidifying her mainstream popularity as she became a part of the idol group’s first unit, Baby Blue, which focuses more on the city pop and RnB genres. This change of genre enabled her to showcase more of her singing and dancing abilities to the public.


All of a sudden, the mainstream exposure coupled with her viral TikTok videos and social media posts converged to create a mass following for Trinidad. From a trainee two years ago, Trinidad has now emerged as the group’s most popular member on social media with more than 2.4 million followers on TikTok, 753,000 followers on Facebook and 269,000 followers on Instagram as of now. Thousands of likes and reactions flood her social media posts from fans every day. Her passion for playing the popular online battle game “Mobile Legends” has helped her gain more fans as well, mostly young teens.

The rapid progression in terms of exposure helped Trinidad to progress into a better and more confident performer in a short amount of time. In an online interview with PAKSA MNL, the administrators of her fan club, Coleenfinity, said that she has polished her skills well. "Mas naging sharp pa yung pagsayaw niya at mas naging stable din ang vocals niya," they said. Furthermore, they stressed the importance of Trinidad being a part of Baby Blue as a vital part in her improvement, stating that the experience in the unit group should help her a lot. "Being part of a trio sub-unit gives you maximum exposure unlike when you’re promoting with your team or even as a whole group. It should boost her confidence by miles kasi sa dami ng magagaling na members, 'di madaling mapili para maging parte ng sub-unit," they added.

In the face of increasing commitments and higher expectations, Trinidad’s fans state that the young idol is coping up well and remains focused on being an MNL48 member. "One thing’s for sure, since nasa showbiz na siya at a very young age, she’ll get to adjust accordingly," the fan club administrators added. They also admire her professionalism and maturity as an idol. “There’s definitely something beyond the “baby” image. If you’ll get to talk to her sa mga events, you’ll know kung gaano sya ka-mature mag-isip,” they said.



Preparing for lift-off


Coleenfinity launched the “Choose Coco” campaign last March for the Third General Election with the hopes to capitalize on Trinidad’s rising popularity and lead her to a higher rank this year.



The flagship project of the campaign is the fan-made “Choose Coco” shirt with all proceeds from sales going to the fan club’s voting funds. They have completed the first batch of orders and have opened the pre-order phase for the second batch of shirts. They also continue to share content and activities from Trinidad’s social media posts in their official fan pages.



To infinity and beyond


Trinidad has been a consensus pick to make the Third Generation senbatsu this year by most fans and observers, attributing to her popularity that will surely attract a lot of votes. But the big question remains if she has enough support to reach the Kami-7 or even win the General Election. The Coleenfinity administrators agreed with the predictions of the majority. “Lowest she could get would be within senbatsu, highest would be within Kami-7. Nawa’y makaboto ang lahat,” they said.

They also extended their thanks to all who have supported Trinidad prior and during this campaign. “Maraming salamat sa mga sumusuporta, at sa mga susuporta pa lang kay MNL48 Coleen (Trinidad). Let’s join her journey towards the top,” they said. Furthermore, to close the interview, they gave a personal message of affirmation to Trinidad. “You’re doing a great job. Ipagpatuloy mo lang ang performance mo at wag kang mag-alala dahil nandito lang kami through thick or thin,” they said.

While there’s no doubt that Coleen Trinidad is in the process of cementing herself as one of MNL48’s prominent members, the true impact of how far she had already gone can only be confirmed through a resounding result in the upcoming Third General Election. The time ticks now for her fans and supporters to make sure she reaches the bright stars.

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