WATCH: Jessica Sanchez proud to sing for PH

Meryll Yan
Plus: what she thinks of Malaya on 'Idol,' and what it was like to sing at Madison Square Garden

SECOND HOME. Jessica Sanchez says she's happy to be back to do what she can for victims of typhoon Yolanda. Photo by Jay Ganzon/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Despite arriving at 4am Manila time, Jessica Sanchez showed no signs of jet lag. 

Emerging all smiles to meet the Philippine press, Jessica, who is in town to headline the anniversary concert of Solaire, said of her return: “It’s good to be back.”

Since competing and finishing first runner-up in the 11th season of American Idol, Jessica has captured the hearts of Filipinos. During her very successful run, she was the subject of watercooler and lunch discussions, and the Filipino frenzy turned up to a fever pitch as local A-listers like Ruffa Gutierrez conducted Twitter campaigns for her success. 

Her visit as part of the Idol Top10 Tour, months after the season wrapped, could best be described as a prolonged Filipino victory party, with Jessica occupying magazine covers, billboards, and bus stickers as both performer and endorser. During her Valentine’s concert last year, the crowd welcomed Jessica with open arms, and now she’s back – this time, to repay the favor.  

Watch Jessica talk to Rappler about her whirlwind success and coming home to the Philippines:

Help for Haiyan victims  

Most recently, Jessica performed at the Pinoy Relief Concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Singing “Let It Go,” the pint-sized 18-year-old translated this most-covered song with her own set of pipes. Accompanied by Fil-Am Bobby Lopez, who has achieved the distinction of being an EGOT winner, the two showed the world that Filipinos know their music. 

She is in Manila again for a similar reason. Proceeds from the Solaire concert will also benefit the victims of typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), and although Jessica admitted that it was “all last minute,” she is glad to have made time to come home. 

From fan base to family

“These are my people and this is my home country, or my second home. I’m proud to do it,” explained Jessica on why it was important to her to do something for the victims of typhoon Yolanda. Sales from “Lead Me Home,” her last single released, were also for the benefit of typhoon Yolanda victims. 

There has been a marked change in Jessica since we met her in late 2012. It was her first visit to the Philippines, after a whirlwind tour. Jessica then was 16 years old, fresh from the competition, tentative, and still shy with the Philippine press. 

The Jessica today confidently bantered with the crowd, exchanging giggles with her fellow press con panelists and concert performers (The Voice of the Philippines‘ Klarisse de Guzman, Star for a Night’s Mark Bautista, the Crystal Voice of Asia Sheryn Regis, and friend and fellow AI alum, Hollie Cavanagh)  

HERE TO HELP. From left: Klarisse de Guzman, Mark Bautista, Hollie Cavanagh, Jessica Sanchez, Sheryn Regis and Solaire's Jasper Evangelista. Photo by Jay Ganzon/Rappler

From being a child singer who could belt “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the top of her lungs, today, Jessica is confirmed to sing a different national anthem: “Lupang Hinirang,” and a second time at that, for the upcoming Pacquiao-Bradley fight in April. 

“I didn’t have time but you guys tell me what Filipino song you want me to sing and I’ll learn it for next time,” said Jessica when asked if she has one in her Solaire set Sunday night. “I’m trying to figure out my sound. My last album was good but it wasn’t completely me. It was a little too pop. I’m a little more gritty and urban. My voice is a little stronger.”  

She could also have been describing the Philippines. –

Jessica Sanchez topbills Solaire’s A Celebration with the Champions, a concert on March 16, 8pm, celebrating the luxury casino resort’s first anniversary. Other performers will also include Christian Bautista, Erik Santos, and G-Force

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.