Jessica thrilled for homecoming; Phillip thanks PH

By Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jul 27 2012 04:19 PM | Updated as of Jul 28 2012 12:19 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Jessica Sanchez left her US hometown San Diego, California an unknown and returned a star through the Top 10 concert tour of reality singing competition “American Idol.”

Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez. File photo

Her debut performance at a big stage in her hometown was a success.

"It's definitely different. Kind of weird, actually, knowing that before, nobody really knew my name here in San Diego,” Sanchez told ABS-CBN News in an exclusive interview.

"I'm going have tons of family coming tonight. It's going to be great. I just miss San Diego so today is coming off perfect for me,” said Sanchez, who placed runner-up to Phillip Phillips in the 11th season of “Idol.”

Phillips, for his part, said he can't wait to meet his Filipino fans when they hold their concert in Manila this September.

"Filipino fans, thank you so much for supporting all of us. We're looking forward to coming to perform to you all. We're all excited, so thank you all,” Phillips said.

Joshua Ledet, who got third place, has been earning raves for his concert performance.

He admitted feeling nervous about flying to the Philippines due to his claustrophobia.

"I'm excited to go the Philippines but I'm scared to be on the plane for 16 hours. Oh, man, I don't know how I'm going to deal with it,” Ledet said.

Sanchez is also excited to go to her grandparents' homeland and displayed enthusiasm in learning some Tagalog words during the interview.

"Maraming salamat po sa lahat,” Sanchez said. “Look at me!"

The 16-year old added that she's thrilled about the many opportunities coming her way now.

She is rumored to be in the running for the title role in the "Miss Saigon" film adaptation, and she might also appear in the TV musical "Glee" next season.

While on tour, Sanchez is also working on her first album with the help of several big-name songwriters and producers in the music industry.