Jessica Sanchez considers herself ‘100-percent Filipino’


Her facial features—a cross between Filipino singers Sarah Geronimo and Ella Mae Saison—belie the fact that Jessica Sanchez is an American citizen and struggles with her Tagalog.

But that reality, Sanchez pointed out, does not make her less a Filipino.

The 17-year-old Sanchez was born to a Filipino mother, Editha Bugay, whose clan hails from Samal, Bataan province. Three months ago, a tabloid columnist wrote that “Jessica is full-blooded Filipino. Her mother and father are Pinoys. So why the Filipino-Mexican-American tag? Well, she was adopted by her stepfather, a Mexican-American.”

“Of course I was born in America, but I still consider myself 100-percent Filipino. I felt very much at home upon arriving in the Philippines. There is so much warmth and love,” the “American Idol” Season 11 runner-up told the Inquirer shortly before she was formally presented to reporters at Edsa Shangri-La hotel as the latest product endorser of a leading food chain.

Sanchez’s statements virtually trashed an intriguing question posted on the Internet by the new personal manager of another Filipino singing sensation, Charice.

On her Twitter account, Courtney Blooding, an American whom Charice appointed as her new handler, asked why the Philippines had been claiming Sanchez as its own, when she didn’t even have a Philippine passport and couldn’t speak the native tongue.

You’re Filipino if…


Sanchez said one of the “very Filipino” things she loved doing with her family while growing up in Chula Vista, California, was singing on the karaoke.

Although she sang mostly Whitney Houston songs during her childhood, her desire to pursue a music career is an aspiration normally wished for by Filipinos.

Asked by the Inquirer what being Filipino really meant to her, Sanchez said: “We’re very family-oriented. Back in the States, my grandma, Virgie, cooks a lot of Filipino food.”

Her favorite Filipino dish, she had said in an earlier interview, was “sinigang, the one with pork.”

She likewise likes the food she sampled during a visit to a Jollibee store a few days ago. “I love fried chicken, so Chicken Joy is now one of my favorites,” she said.

Learning Filipino


Has she been trying to learn the Filipino language?

“Definitely,” Sanchez replied. “My grandma’s been teaching me. The week that I arrived here, I’ve been trying to learn some words.”

Midway through the sellout concert on Sept. 21 at Smart Araneta Coliseum that featured the “Idol” Top 10 finalists, a visibly overwhelmed Sanchez told the cheering audience: “Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat (I love you all very much).”

There was never a time, Sanchez told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, that she felt discouraged or considered setting aside her dream to become a pop star. “Music has always been my passion. It was not a hobby or something I can take out of my life. My family has been very supportive.”

Losing in singing competitions, for that matter, has not fazed her a bit: “I have [experienced failure and rejection] a lot … many times. But my family always told me that I should keep singing. So that’s what motivated me.”

Sanchez said she “definitely wants to go back here next year and experience more of Filipino culture.”


Solo concert

At present, there are negotiations for Sanchez to hold a solo concert in Manila in February 2013—a source who had knowledge of the proposals told the Inquirer.

Before Jollibee signed Sanchez, the same source claimed that the endorsement deal was first offered by an agent to another food chain, but was turned down. The Jollibee contract, the source said, “is worth at least $200,000 (more than P8 million)—the same amount Sanchez was paid for her endorsement deal with Bench.”

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.


    Jessica should learn to sing HATER LUV in Tagalog and move on.

  • Practical

    Jessica just wants to work like everybody else…  Just let her work.  If you do not like her, do not buy her products nor endorsements.

  • Endefr Dela Cruz did u know that? are u with her 24/7? what a dumb question..i bet u never been in the USA..just stop this nonesense.

    • AngelMananquil

      Mr. Endfr Dela Cruz, think a hundred times before you call people by so many rude names, because it might fit your description. Be Careful always….

  • AngelMananquil

    In your previous comment, Mr. Endefr Dela Cruz, You don’t have right to call me idiot for I’m not; and don’t pretend to be well educated, its, doesn’t show mal-educated guy.  Why don’t you consult a lawyer and learn something about citizenship and being born in the U.S.A., before proving anyone else wrong. That is the right way of intellectual exchange of knowledge. I have a doctorate degree and a well-travelled man, and sorry to say this to you but I ‘am not dumb as you were telling me. Are you a Lawyer?, I am sure you are not…because of the way you present your case…Be kind to those who made comment.Mr. Endefr Dela Cruz I’ am not
    confused person as you said, may be you are the one who is confused. I did not raise
    an argument in my comment on article written in Inquirer entertainment issue.  I just stated a fact. Don’t pretend to be so knowledgeable Mr. Endfr Dela Cruz on laws if you are not a Lawyer. Drink some Holy water to tone down the way you call people. You call me idiot and
    dumb, If I ‘am then what do you think you are?

  • AngelMananquil

    Mr. Endfr Dela Cruz, think a hundred times before you call people by so many rude names, because it might fit your description. Be Careful always….


    Jessica cleared that up in YT years before IDOL. 
    Search ‘Questions and Answers with Jessica Sanchez’  
    At 5:54 “i am Filipina…i’m proud to be FILIPINA… PINOY PRIDE all the way!”  
    So she’s exclaimed her pride in her mother’s ethnicity and thankfully recorded it before she was on the tv show. She never claimed 100 percent and follows that up by mentioning her Mexican surname. it’s easy to check.

  • Roberto

    pure pinay ….and her mexican stepfather 

    • gate crash

       Old news… and a lie.

  • gate crash

    I don’t care if she’s Filipino or not… she’s got genuine talent and that should be good enough. Too much “intelligent” comments, but really don’t make sense. Some Filipinos should get over themselves, really!

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