Thursday, May 24, 2012

Why Jessica Sanchez's Idol run matters much to the Filipinos

Jessica Sanchez was only starting to create a buzz when I shared to my colleague the fact that another Filipino made it to American Idol 11. Expectantly, she knew about it, but she also quickly commented "Ina-acknowledge ba nya na Pinoy sya?” (Does she acknowledge that she’s a Filipino?). And she listed a number of American "stars" with Filipino roots who do not acknowledge themselves as being one -- Vanessa Hudges, Rachel Bilson, among others. She got a point, but I believe Jessica's case is different.





For once, I read that she’s very much aware of her roots and she’s very proud to be one. Nevertheless, that doesn’t take away the fact that she’s also Half-Mexican. That means Mexico can also always claim her as theirs. For me, though, it’s thrilling to see an Asian-Hispanic making a name via the most-watched television show in the US.

 Jessica singing "I Will Always Love You, earning her a standing ovation

This is not my first post on American Idol. I’ve declared myself a fan of the show when I posted an article on Thia Megia. Of all the series, I’d say I have been very consistent in watching almost every episode of the show since Season 5. In fact, I am self-proclaimed know-it-all fan, having been correctly predicted who’s going to win or make it to the Finale (Final 2) on just the basis of their auditions (The prediction I share to my friends, not on this blog, so ask them if you don’t believe me. LOL!). I’ve predicted Katherine McPhee (Taylor Hicks won), Jordin Sparks (she won!), David Archuleta (David Cook won, who I predicted to sing it off with David C in a blog I made for Ramiele Malubay, which is now non-existent), Adam Lambert (Kris Allen won, who I then predicted to win after “Heartless”), Crystal Bowersox (Lee Dewyze won), Lauren Alaina (Scotty McCreary won) and Phillip Phillips but not until Jessica Sanchez sang “The Prayer” on Sing For Your LIfe Week (as we all know her audition piece wasn’t shown). While I’m not a fan of most of them, I knew they would make it simply because of gut feeling. Moreover, I would really soak myself on every performance and rely whether I’m moved or not – and I make sure I’m not influenced by what others think of the performance.  

Jessica singing "The Prayer" again on AI 11 Top 2

And so combine it up with the fact that Jessica Sanchez is Half-Filipino. That makes her relatable. That’s why the whole country gets crazy when she hits the stage.

She represents. Yes, being Filipino is only half of her being. That’s still 50%. That’s sharing half of the dream. And Filipinos, even those I don’t expect to bother, find time to root for Jessica – through Twitter, Facebook, blogs, newspapers, etc. Name any form of media in the country, Jessica’s name would be mentioned one way or another. In fact, on live chats, Jessica’s the only one with active “backers” when someone bashes her performance.

Nationalism. Simply put, it’s like when Manny Pacquiao has a fight. While Jessica’s case is different, she still has shown what Filipinos (or Half-Filipinos) are capable of – she representing talent; us representing unity. Why bother support an “American” Idol? It’s because that’s one arena where the whole world pays attention to. It’s not like every day the world gets to recognize Filipinos. When there’s at least one little chance that we would be, it ignites pride in all of us.


Jessica singing "And I Am Telling You" proclaiming she's not going!

Jessica probably is still overwhelmed with so much support from a country where she has never stepped in. But that actually makes her journey worth the fuzz – she genuinely dreams like any other Filipino. Have we heard anyone saying he/she is reaching a goal solely for the country? With the plight of our economy, I doubt it’s a priority. Nevertheless, it’s still a fulfillment to know that by mere dreaming, you can make your country proud. If, we, Filipinos make a big deal out of her American Idol run, it’s because it is in fact a big deal.

Congratulations, Jessica Sanchez. You’ve achieved more than a dream!
 

4 comments:

  1. com'on!:) i super like.ö

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    1. Hehe... Thanks for taking time to read, Frea! :)

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  2. im proud of her. but i like philip more. hehe maiba lang ^_^

    oohh thanks for linking PHL360!

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    1. Hi Chyng! Well, I did predict he'll win but being an avid Idol fan plus the fact that she's Half-Filipino, that made me root for her.

      And yeah, after Idol, there's PHL360! Looking forward in June!

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