What Jessica Sanchez needs to doBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
“American Idol” runner-up Jessica Sanchez is coming to Manila to perform for her Filipino fans, with the other top finalists in this year’s edition of the popular show. The special concert, possibly the only one outside of the United States, is expected to be a big hit.
But there are some things that Jessica needs to do to make sure that her performance in her mother’s native land will be the triumphant success that it should be.
First, she has to be aware of the disappointment and incipient flak that has resulted from the fact that, at Manny Pacquiao’s championship bout with Timothy Bradley, some local fans expected her to sing the Philippine National Anthem, but she sang the American anthem, instead.
We should stress here that it appears that the confusion wasn’t Jessica’s fault at all, but the result of some reports’ incorrect “interpretations” of the initial news about the Fil-Am’s participation in the championship event.
Some local writers appear to have presumed that, both
Pacquiao and Sanchez having Filipino roots, she would sing the Philippine anthem.
But, the presumption was erroneous, because Jessica is also American, like Bradley himself, so on point of theoretical oddsmanship, it could have gone 50-50, either way.
Well, it turned out that the American anthem won out, but who could rightfully “blame” Jessica for that? She’s American, the bout was being held in America, so?
Another factor that is rubbing some local fans the wrong way: It was later revealed that, although her mother was born in the Philippines, she grew up
in Hawaii, and didn’t teach her daughter Tagalog. That’s the way it is in some, if not many, Fil-Am households in the States, so again, the Sanchez family can’t be “blamed” for it.
So, even if Jessica wanted to sing the Philippine anthem instead, she couldn’t—because she would have to learn and understand its lyrics first!
The point is, the disappointment over her singing the American anthem instead should be no big deal. But this being the Philippines and
some Filipinos being exceedingly touchy, it’s become a (hopefully minor) sticking point that, before her reported shows here, Jessica should posthaste try to un-stick.
How? By working hard to make up for her lack of knowledge of Tagalog and other elements related to her mother’s birth country before she arrives. By the time her plane lands, she’d better know some Tagalog—or it could be taken against her.
Why? Because she looks so Pinoy that some of her local fans presume that she’s like them, through and through—
which of course she isn’t, and shouldn’t be expected to be.
After all, some Fil-Ams have lived and worked here for decades and still can’t speak Tagalog, nor do they care to.
So, ease up on Jessica, everyone, and make her so-called “homecoming” an overwhelmingly positive and inspiring event.
Incidentally, even Jessica should place great importance on the visit because, if her
post-“Idol” career in the States isn’t the big hit some people prematurely predict it will be, she can still have a great, profitable, stellar career in the Philippines. Fans of birit singing will eat her up like ice cream.
Look at what another “AI” second placer, David Archuleta, did when his US career wasn’t heating up: He made a lot of money here by way of a
teleserye and many other performing initiatives.
So, Jessica, it’s time to belatedly focus on the Filipino part of your personal and performing persona—because 90 million fans are a good career booster to have on your side as you gear up for singing stardom here, there, and everywhere!
Recent Stories:Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.