Pacquiao Watch: Who will sing the national anthem?

Edwin G. Espejo

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Manny Pacquiao is dedicating his Macau fight to Typhoon Yolanda victims. Who will sing the national anthem in what promises to be an emotional match?

READY FOR MACAU? Manny Pacquiao offers his fight to victims of Typhoon Yolanda. Photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Unlike his previous fights in the United States, we are clueless about who will sing the national anthem when Manny Pacquiao makes his comeback fight a week from now in Macau.

There have been hits and misses about singers singing the national anthem under the glare of the Las Vegas spotlight.  But so far, nobody really has come out with a version that best describes the psyche of the Filipino as a people and as a nation.

A Facebook friend recently posted a video of Mindanaoan artist Joey Ayala singing his own version of Lupang Hinirang, complete with his own observations and corrections on how certain words in the lyrics should be pronounced and, more importantly, how it should be sung.

With his booming voice, Joey can command the attention of even the rowdiest and biggest crowd.  Watching and listening “Lupang Hinirang” with only his guitar as accompaniment will make one very proud of being a Filipino.

Joey is one of the better composers to come out from Mindanao with songs like “Walang Hanggang Paalam” and “Wala nang Tao sa Santa Filomena” among the favorites of a generation that fought the Marcos dictatorship.

Pacquiao has shown affinity with progressive groups in some issues like environment and workers welfare. Pacquiao has been supporting the P125 across the board legislated wage increase demand of the Kilusang Mayo Uno and even appeared with the group in several photo opportunities.

Since Pacquiao is dedicating his November 24 fight to the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda, he might as well enlist Joey, who he could tap for future fundraising drives when he comes back from the fight.

Joey is a true-blooded artist who Manny can always identify with.

I do not think it will cost him a fortune enlisting his services. Joey is used to Spartan-like concert hall gigs but is also no stranger to the big scene.

If not in Macau, he can always consider Joey for his future fights.

Pardon me for the unsolicited advice. –

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