Jessica Sanchez gets thumbs up for ‘Lupang Hinirang’ rendition
DIGOS CITY, Philippines – It was not yet the Pacquiao-Bradley fight but the crowd already exploded into jubilation as Filipino-American singer Jessica Sanchez, who wowed voters of American Idol season 11 for her vocal prowess despite her young age, belted out the Philippine national anthem, “Lupang Hinirang,” in high pitch.
“She nailed it,” said a spectator at a coffee shop here, where the live telecast of Pacquiao’s fight with the American pugilist was being shown.
For Len, a bar singer who was also watching the live telecast, said she had thought Sanchez would not be able to belt out the highest note of the national anthem.
“Kaya niya. Taas ng boses at wow, galing ng quality,” she said.
A spectator, who did not wish to be identified, said he did not care if Jessica mispronounced some of the lyrics of the national anthem, such as “nagniningning” (Jessica was heard saying nagninigning); and buhay ay langit (she said buha ay langit).
“She gave justice to the rendition and I hope we Filipinos would appreciate it instead of criticizing her for that small mistakes. She doesn’t speak good Tagalog so what do we expect?” the man asked.
Another musician said Jessica’s slow rendition of the song in contrast to the 2/4 marching tempo should also be forgiven.
“She’s a balladeer and there was no backup so maybe she was tensed and had not remembered it should be sung in an uptempo,” the musician, a bandmaster, added.
The musician cited Ashanti’s rendition of the American anthem “Star Spangled Banner,” which also elicited a hot response from the crowd.
“The Star Spangled Banner was also written with a brisk tempo but she sang it like a ballad and she did it well,” he said.
The wrong interpretation of the Philippine national anthem has put into limelight other Filipino artists in the past.
But for the group of people watching the Pacquiao fight at this particular cafe here, it did not matter if Jessica sang it according to what traditionalists wanted.
“Tinalo nga niya si Ashanti doon. Kung singing contest iyon, siya na ang panalo,” Elmer Santos, a confessed music lover said.
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