How will Jessica Sanchez sing Lupang Hinirang?
MACAU - It all started with a tweet.
“Jessica, would you do me the honor of singing the national anthems before our fight?” went the invite from Manny Pacquiao over Twitter last November 19. The half-Filipina singer and American Idol runner-up replied almost immediately, “Yes! I’m honored!”
Three days later, Sanchez arrived in Macau to take part in the event. She told Rappler the journey from Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Macau took her a total of 15 hours, but is worth it, “even if I am completely tired, I am pumped for the fight. I love Manny and am so happy to be here to support him.”
It is her first time in Macau, and her first time to sing the Philippine National Anthem.
Last June 2012, Sanchez sang the US National Anthem during Pacquiao’s fight versus Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas. For the Pacquiao vs Brandon Rios fight this Sunday, November 24, she sings both anthems.
When asked about how she intends to sing Lupang Hinirang, Sanchez says friends had advised her to stay true to the original arrangement. “It will be traditional, but I’m also gonna make it sound like me.” She said her mom has been teaching her.
Sanchez’s trip to Macau, although last minute, is a side trip in an outreach visit to the Philippines. She will spend two weeks in the Philippines to distribute 4-5 thousand hearing aids to children who have never heard before. One of her stops is Pacquiao’s hometown, General Santos City.
Last week the singer performed at a benefit concert for victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). On Friday, November 22, the singer also launched a new single, Lead Me Home. All proceeds from the song, available for US$1.29 on iTunes will go to the Philippines.
Football star David Beckham is also in Macau for the Pacquiao-Rios fight. Speaking at a Las Vegas Sands launch event here, the former LA Galaxy midfielder spoke about business, football, and the Philippines.
Beckham admitted he is a big Pacquiao fan, and spoke about how a victory in Macau would mean a lot to Filipinos, “He really is truly an inspiration to us. He’s not just loved around the world of boxing but the way people love him, and are inspired by him, this fight will mean so much for him because for a slight moment he’s gonna put a smile people’s face in the Philippines.”
Watch the entire interview below.