Kirby Asunto during the Salamat Dok 10th year Anniversary. Photo grabbed from the Facebook page of Daisy Padilla
MANILA – Filipina-American Kirby Asunto got her first shot at fame during the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas, Nevada back in 2012.
Asunto was personally handpicked by the Pacman to sing the Philippine National Anthem then. Her counterpart was American Idol Season 11 first runner up, Fil-Am Jessica Sanchez, who sang the US national anthem.
"It all started when I sang the Philippine National Anthem in the Pacquiao fight. Since then I got a lot of requests to sing at events. I got a lot of tv guesting. That's where it all started because it was my big achievement so far," said Asunto in an interview with ABS-CBNnews.com
Last year, Asunto was a proud cast of the "Noli Me Tangere the Opera" in New York where she played as the boy, "Basilio".
Asunto described that play has the most challenging for her.
"Because it was my first time in a co-production opera and I had to act like my mom was dying because Basilio's mom died in the book and I had to cry," she said.
She said she had to sing "as loud as I could" because "in the opera world, there is no mic on stage."
Last March, Asunto, who took home school program, graduated from high school. She hopes to continue her studies here in the Philippines.
"Conservatory of Music maybe. My dad wants me to take medical or business , but I want to take Conservatory of Music they said maganda daw sa UP or UST," she said.
But her singing career won't take a back seat while she's studying, she said. She is aiming to penetrate the local music industry too.
"May handler na ako ," she said.
Asunto confessed that she likes singing Broadway songs but are also open to other music genre like pop and R&B.
"Right now, di pa masyadong benta ang teatro, musical di pa nae-expose yung ibang Filipino. So my mom was saying that I should do a lot of modern kanta ngayon like 'Let It Go'," she said.
Born to Filipino parents, Asunto's family migrated to the US when she was just eight years old. But the family was not able to petition Kirby's older siblings. Only she and her brother migrated to the US together with their parents.
"My dad is in New Jersey. He is working. My mom is with me right now. She quit her job just to support me and my singing career. She's the most supportive one here. She used to work as housekeeping at a hospital," said Asunto.
Asunto said she is pursuing her dreams now and striving to become a better artist.
"There's always gonna be someone who is better than you and you have to strive for it, you have to be unstoppable, you know, live up your dreams," she said.
As for the future, the Lea Salonga fan said she hopes to be able to produce an album and maybe hold a concert with the Tony winner and pop princess Sarah Geronimo.
Asunto meanwhile gave this tip to aspiring Filipino singers: "Wag kang makinig sa sinasabi ng iba. Live up your dream. Be unstoppable. Gawin mo kung anong gusto ng puso mo".