MANILA – Filipino-American singer Jessica Sanchez will again sing the Philippine national anthem at the much-anticipated rematch of Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley in April.
Currently in the Philippines for a concert later Sunday, Sanchez said she is honored that the Filipino boxer chose her to sing the “Lupang Hinirang.”
“I love Manny and I love singing for him. This time I want to see him win. Every time I sing the Philippine national anthem, I just feel so proud. It makes me feel even more like a true Filipino so I'm very proud to sing it for the Manny Pacquiao fight again,” she told ABS-CBN News on Saturday.
Sanchez, the runner-up in the 12th season of "American Idol," first performed in a Pacquiao fight during the boxer’s June 2012 bout against Timothy Bradley Jr. She then sang the American national anthem.
In November last year, Pacquiao again asked Sanchez to sing the Philippine national anthem in his match against Brandon Rios.
Saying she plans to stick with the anthem’s tempo, Sanchez said: “I think I did a pretty good job last time. Everybody pretty much loved it last time. I got so many tweets. They want me to keep it traditional and nice and simple like I did last time. I don't want to change it up too much.”
While Sanchez will sing the Philippine national anthem, Pacquiao announced on Twitter earlier this month that he picked American singer Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas to sing the national anthem of the United States.
The Pacquiao-Bradley rematch will be held on April 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Advice to Fil-Am ‘Idol’ finalist
Aside from being excited about Pacquiao’s upcoming match, Sanchez said she is also happy to hear about Malaya Watson, who is among the Top 10 contestants of the current season of “American Idol.”
Watson is the only remaining “Idol” finalist with Filipino roots in the singing competition.
“I hope she makes it really really far. I hope she does well. I haven't been able to watch the show much but I hear that she's doing awesome. Good luck to you. I'm here to support,” she said.
Sanchez said she is looking forward to meeting Watson in the future.
“Just stay strong, don't give up even if there are haters out there. I would love to see you here in the Philippines,” she said.
Sanchez, who arrived in the country on Saturday, will only be staying in the Philippines for three days. She is set to return to the United States on Monday.