Focus on the Philippines: Jessica Sanchez sings anthem for Hillary Clinton campaign

Plus, singer Aiza Seguerra returning to Dubai and the Philippines to host Miss Universe 2017.
Filipino-American singer Jessica Sanchez. AP Photo
Filipino-American singer Jessica Sanchez. AP Photo

Jessica Sanchez is doing her bit to support US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The Filipino-American singer was chosen by the Democrat to record her campaign anthem, Stronger Together.

Written by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds (who has written tracks for stars including Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston), along with singer-songwriters Carole Bayer Sager and Bruce Roberts, the song was performed for the first time at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last week, and will be played throughout Clinton’s campaign, leading up to the election in November. 

Sanchez, 20, rose to fame when she finished runner-up on the 11th season of American Idol in 2012. During the show’s 15th-season finale last April, Sanchez brought the house down with a guest performance of The Prayer, the classic Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli track, written by Sager. Impressed by Sanchez’s vocal chops, Sager contacted her team last week to ask whether she would be interested in recording Clinton’s campaign anthem. “It was so last-minute,” Sanchez told Billboard. “I went in the studio, they mixed it that night and they sent it out the next day. With everything that is going on in the world right now, it’s important for all of us to come together and stay strong.”

The song was unveiled on July 26, the second day of the DNC convention, after Bill Clinton’s speech. It received favourable reviews on social media, including praise from Sanchez’s former American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez. She posted on Twitter: “Love the message in @JessicaESanchez new unity anthem Stronger Together for @HillaryClinton.” 

Sanchez also revealed she would return to the studio with Edmonds to record a commercial version of the track.

“It will be the first time that I will actually ever meet Babyface and work with him,” she said. “I am really excited for that.”

Singer Aiza Seguerra returning to Dubai

Filipino singer-songwriter Aiza Seguerra will perform at the Dubai World Trade Centre at 8pm tomorrow. The 32-year-old acoustic musician is a frequent visitor to the UAE, staging a show for her fans almost every year since 2008. Most recently, she headlined last year’s Abu Dhabi Pinoy Music Festival. 

“I’ve always loved performing in the UAE,” Seguerra said. “Dubai is one of my favourite cities for playing gigs – the people are so warm. It’s always a good audience there.” 

Seguerra said it was always a pleasure to perform for Filipinos who live and work abroad. “One of the perks and blessings of being a singer is you can bring joy to our countrymen working abroad,” she said.

“If my songs can somehow ease their longing for the Philippines, then I would gladly perform it for them anytime.” Seguerra’s showbiz career started at the age of three, when she appeared as a contestant on Little Miss Philippines, a child beauty pageant broadcast on the variety programme Eat Bulaga! (Noontime Surprise). As a child actor, she appeared in more than 30 films and television shows.

Seguerra pursued a career in music during her teenage years, singing and playing the guitar. Her most recent album, Araw Gabi (Day and Night), was released last year. The concert, titled Acoustic Journey, will also feature Joey Generoso, former vocalist of the popular Filipino pop group Side A, and James Wright, a Filipino-Australian singer. 

Tickets for the show, priced from Dh90, are available at Virgin Megastore Tickets ( and Doors open at 6pm. 

Philippines to host Miss Universe 2017

Miss Universe is coming to the Philippines. The country’s tourism ministry announced that the 65th edition will be held in Manila on January 30 next year. Tourism secretary Wanda Teo said the Philippine government would not spend public funds on the pageant, estimated to cost about US$12 million (Dh44m).

Instead, companies from the private sector will sponsor the show, which will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena, an indoor venue that seats 15,000 people.

Teo said several pageant events would be held across the country, with the contestants visiting provinces of Cebu, Palawan, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Aklan. 

Last month, reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach discussed the country’s proposal with president Rodrigo Duterte. 

“Everything looks good and we’re just trying to polish a few things,” Wurtzbach told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“It’s going to be a great way to promote tourism and to showcase the different islands, places, tourist destinations here in the Philippines.”

The country has hosted the pageant twice – in 1974 and 1994. Steve Harvey, who last year mistakenly named Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez as the winner instead of Wurtzbach, is set to return as the pageant’s host.

Published: August 3, 2016 04:00 AM


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